So, this is easily the best first round of the NBA playoffs I've seen in a long time, maybe ever. There have been game winning shots, great players playing spectacular basketball, Chris Kaman throwing Reggie Evans to the ground after having his crotch grabbed from behind (on purpose), Raja Bell nearly decapitating Kobe Bryant, and the Clippers actually winning a series. If the Lakers finish off the Suns tonight, as I fully expect them to do, especially with Bell suspended thanks to his guillotine maneuver, then we're set for an all-LA second round which is going to be amazing. All of those games played in the same building, just with a different floor and different fans. There may very well be a riot... which is fun.
My playoff predictions have been mostly right so far, except the Lakers are about to prove me really wrong, and most of the series have been much more competitive than I thought except for the ones that are already over (Dallas-Memphis, a massacre, Detroit-Milwaukee, a little bit of complacency allowed the Bucks one win, and LAC-Denver, where the Nuggets were so unimpressive that I'm surprised they didn't lose every game by thirty.)
The two underdogs I'm rooting for, Sacramento and Chicago, have had some outlandish performances. Bonzi Wells is playing like Charles Barkley and simply butchering Bruce Bowen, making me think about how stupid my defensive player of the year choice was. And for the Bulls Nocioni has been awesome. As Nick Carder might say, "When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie... Nocioni." I'm not sure what that means, but I like it.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the best western conference semis in a long time, featuring Dallas versus San Antonio and LA versus LA. I still think the east is kind of a wash, but at this point, I'm prepared to believe that New Jersey could beat Miami, because the fact that Miami can't beat a tiny little team like the Bulls make me think they're just a bunch of lazy has-beens. New Jersey can take 'em.
One more thing... the fact that ABC can't think of a better promotional song for the NBA playoffs than Tom Petty's "Running Down A Dream" is fucking pathetic. I've probably ranted about this before, but I have to do it again.
1) That song is probably 20 years old... at least with that horrible Rob Thomas song they chose a few years back, they were in the right decade.
2) What the fuck does Tom Petty have to do with basketball?!?!
3) Why not play some fucking rap music? Is is that controversial? I'm not even saying this because it's my favorite music or whatever, I just think it's foolish (and extremely ignorant and cowardly) to deny the obvious fact that hip-hop culture and basketball culture are inextricably linked. In a sport that is 90% black dudes from the ghetto with tons of tattoos and cool shit like that, you can probably stick your neck out and play some fucking hip-hop for god's sake. The league is all about hip-hop, whether the corporate stiffs at ABC, and the corn-fed, whitebread, college basketball pundits like it or not. Basketball is the hip-hop of sports. Period. I know basketball came before hip-hop and all that shit, but basketball is no longer being played by James Naismith with a peach basket and fucking melon (thank god), it's being played, mostly, by young black dudes, who are just like other young people in that they like music and relate to cultures surrounding music... often music that old, white, red-state shitholes think is destroying America. And just like every other example of this situation, those shitholes are just that... shitholes. So fuck them. Play some fucking Biggie or something. Play something relevant, something that can get you psyched up to watch the quintessential urban game played at its highest level. Don't be afraid. It's just black culture, it's not going to ruin anything. If Allen Iverson playing ball on TV hasn't destroyed society, then playing Biggie on network TV isn't going to do it either.
Oh... and fuck Tom Petty. He sucks balls.