Friday Fire: Who Is the Greatest Player Not to Make NBA Finals?

Posted in Blogroll on May 21st, 2010 by Michael Tillery

I don’t get it, but I definitely get it

Pundits are throwing around that Steve Nash is greatest player not to play in a final. Huh? That’s a joke right? I can name so many off the top of my head, but I’d rather leave in up to you. Obviously Bernard, seen here,  is on the list and I’m sure you can come with many others.

I’m beginning to hear (finally) some folks offer Nash criticism…which never happened publicly until now. I find it crazy there has to be this all out assault on Nash’s legacy, but if the career perception of Gary Payton suffers because of the bright light shining on 13, then some objectivity has to be realized.

GP was a beast!

Remember, if we don’t write it, it will not be written. Jemele held it down on Jim Rhome’s show yesterday confirmed what we’ve been saying about Nash a long time. This conversation must continue or some really good players will never get the proper shine they deserves/

Notes from NBA TV’s Pre-Game Show and TNT’s Exclusive Coverage of the NBA Western Conference Finals – Wednesday, May 19, 2010: Kobe Bryant Does a Steve Nash?

Posted in Blogroll on May 20th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

Kobe seemed cool with trusting his teammates and gave them passes in spots where they could score. Similar to Orlando/Boston Game 2, this was a much better contest than the Game 1 blowout. Still, the Suns seem outclassed on both ends and went down 124-112. I had a conversation on twitter earlier and I asked when will Steve Nash be scrutinized just like any other player with 2 MVP awards? I don’t think enough people read what I wrote here but I digress…

Read more »

Boston Holds Off Orlando 95-92 in ECF Game 2

Posted in Blogroll on May 19th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

The Celtics defeat the Magic 95-92 and go up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals best of 7.

There’s a reason why our parents implored us to respect our elders. Those experienced know more about navigating the odds and ends of life and with that experience comes a sense of wisdom in anything involving making decisions in times where cooler heads must prevail.

I picked the Magic but after two games it appears the Magic are getting a whuppin’ by those who hold the NBA keys to wisdom seemingly in winning away from the friendly confines of the Boston Garden. The Magic crowd were into probably the best game since the Lakers vs. Thunder series and the Celtics did what they had to do to ensure victory.

Read more »

Barack Gets Donovan McNabb and Now Potentially John Wall? Must Be Good to Be the Prez

Posted in Blogroll on May 19th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

Mr. President and good friend Marty Nesbitt take in a game at the Verizon Center

The city of Washington, DC now has reason to be optimistic about each of its core sports teams after winning the 2010 NBA draft lottery. The Wizards now have the top pick in next month’s draft.

After the blockbuster trade that sent future Hall of Fame quarterback Donovan McNabb to Washington, Redskins hopes in Chocolate City were revitalized. The Capitals are on the rise with phenom Alexander Ovechkin and after last night, add the Wizards to the mix as Washington beat the odds and secured the first pick in the 2010 NBA draft. Barack Obama is a tried and true sports fan and similar to the jolt of energy he has given the country, the capitol’s teams now all have reason to look forward.

Read more »

Los Angeles Destroys Phoenix in Game 1 of WCF

Posted in Blogroll on May 18th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

Chris Carlson / AP

Beans had it going last night

I went hard on the Suns in my WCF preview. I had to go there because it just had to be said and if last night was any indication, why watch the rest? When a player some thought was beginning to fall off scores 40 in a Game One 128-107 victory, it’s really time to pack it up. I mean look at this next vid. The Lakers are trying to smash the Suns into cartoonish smithereens. It’s only one game but…

Read more »

2010 Western Conference Finals Preview: Los Angeles vs. Phoenix

Posted in Blogroll on May 18th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

I’ve been in so many Nash/Kobe/MVP discussions the past month, I finally decided to give it a rest, but…but…I had to get one last tweet in:

Cause I’m twice as fast. My spirit you cast, so with honor I reach back in the past, give them 2 MVP’s to Kobe and watch him laugh at Nash.

I can’t help it. Don’t label me a hater for hating what you think I’m hating hater…

Because championships are more important? Yessir. I doubt Mark Madsen and the rest of his mates would disagree.

I’m getting a sense Steve Nash’s ability is somehow being compared to that of Kobe. Bean. Bryant.

What the hell are you smoking?

That’s like comparing the Suns to the Lakers franchise historically.

I get personal because this series is personal. Maybe not as much for the Lakers because they are defending champs, but in the Suns case a win here validates their success the last few seasons.

The league is also a business, so the perfect storm is brewing. Will the player with two MVP’s defeat the best player of the decade? A once in a generation type player who has major individual accomplishments, but has won one MVP trophy despite 4 championships and a Finals MVP to boot?

How. Can. That. Be?

Oh yeah, the video of this pic will be posted…again…but before that ultimate slice of edutainment, let’s get down to business but I must warn that if you are a Suns fan, you won’t like the latter stages of this preview. It’s just like the pic.

I go in like someone should have a long time ago…

Read more »

Boston Defeats Orlando 92-88 in Game 1 of ECF

Posted in Blogroll on May 17th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

Boston strolled into Orlando confident and as healthy as any contender could possibly be this time of year. It seemed the Celtics were 2008 back…as if they themselves were the defending Eastern Conference Champions.

The Magic are an intriguing bunch. It would appear they were still a team on the rise…searching for that in to make a true national NBA impact. Do they resemble a defending conference champion in a normal sense? I don’t think so.

Big brother ain’t playing and the Celtics led by as much as 20 points before holding off the Magic 92-88 to take a 1-0 lead in the best of 7 Eastern Conference Finals.

If there’s any team in recent memory that smacks of similar, those Pistons squads that Sheed himself starred on come to mind. This current Celtics outfit gets it done and doesn’t care collectively who gets the honor. They just want the win.

Read more »

2010 Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Boston vs. Orlando

Posted in Blogroll on May 16th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

No shoulder injury, no controversy, no problem

Remember last season when the Orlando Magic were in this position despite losing Jameer Nelson to a separated shoulder just before the All Star break days before he was to make his All Star Game debut?

In the 2009-2010 playoffs (8-0 record. The Magic haven’t lost since April), Jameer is averaging 20.5 points, 5.3 assists and shooting on a 51.9% clip. He’s also hitting 40% of his threes and 80% of his foul shots.

He’s what ORL has been missing and surely the reason why Stan Van Gundy took a chance and started Jameer in the Finals vs. the Lakers. We all know how that turned out, but Van Gundy knows the body dies when you chop off the head and Nelson is without question what makes Orlando go. Swap Vince Carter for Hedo Turkoglu, add some depth to your bench and Orlando finds itself in the same position it was last year…albeit stronger.

Just one subplot in a series full of inspirations.

Read more »

Friday Fire: Why Is “The King” Getting The Pauper Treatment?

Posted in Blogroll on May 15th, 2010 by Ron Glover

NBA play-offs: LeBron James empty handed as Boston Celtics knock out Cleveland Cavaliers

There will be no title for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers again this year and it’s easy to see why. What I’m focusing on is this sudden (and I mean sudden) hatred towards James. Feelings towards James have exploded in a way leading me to think he had sex with a college student in a public restroom or pleasured himself in front of a 16 year old girl.

Woe to him who wears the crown.

Read more »

Mike Brown Reportedly Fired By Cleveland; Mike Woodson Let Go By Atlanta As Well

Posted in Blogroll on May 14th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

Black Friday takes on a new meaning today as two of the most successful coaches in the NBA were both axed by the respective teams. Both Mike Brown and Mike Woodson had stellar regular seasons but once again the playoffs prove to be an entirely different animal as Atlanta and Cleveland underachieved in the NBA’s second season…despite losing to better teams. (Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has denied Brown’s firing) Brown was 272-138 (Coach of the Year last season) during his five years with the Cavs and Cleveland won 66 and 61 the last two seasons. Woodson was 206-286 in six years but improved steadily each season after winning just 13 games in 2004. The Hawks never moved past the Eastern Conference Semis and were swept by Orlando last week in embarrassing fashion. The 106 point difference is the most ever during a playoff sweep. Cleveland lost to 3 and possibly 4 Hall of Famers in what could spell LeBron’s last Cleveland go round, while Atlanta was defeated by a battle tested team defined by the most dominating big man force in Dwight Howard. Both coaches most likely won’t be out of jobs for too long. Expect Philly to take a good look at Woodson.

Et tu, Cleveland Fans? How Does LeBron James Kill Six Birds With One Throne?

Posted in Blogroll on May 12th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

It happens.

Boston blasts Cleveland 120-88 in a contest some predict will be the King’s last home game as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. LBJ puts in a pedestrian 15 points and doesn’t score a field goal until the middle of the third quarter. The point total is his 4th fewest playoff output ever. This was not the greatest of the LeBron’s nights, but we must keep the conversation sane and understand credit goes to where credit belongs, and that’s to the heart of a Boston champion. A 2008 champion stewing and scratching and clawing for respect in a Cleveland/Orlando driven Eastern Conference. After all, did they really fall off that far? Black Pharaoh (KG) wasn’t having the young next and his close knit fam take it to his prideful squad without a street fight. You know they are still sick LeBron kicked them with 46. Last night was simply their measure for the get back respect so earned by those who have found comfort and also hunger in the pinnacle.

Read more »

Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs –Tuesday, May 11, 2010: Never, EVER Underestimate the Heart of a Boston Champion

Posted in Blogroll on May 12th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

This was not that long ago

I’ve written most of my thoughts above so I’ll let you check this and that out but are we as fans and writers that far gone to assume Boston was just gonna lay down and give the clear path to the Eastern Conference Finals? Uh…no. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and the Boston incumbent Paul Pierce were no way in hell gonna let that happen. Add a budding young Celtics legend in Rajon Rondo and before our very eyes is a Cleveland disaster laying in wait…

Cleveland’s best shot is to try to get out and run somehow, someway.

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the Western Conference Finals begins on Monday, May 17 at 9 p.m. (ET) with the Phoenix Suns @ L.A. Lakers (Game #1)

Read more »

Ryno In The Crosshairs

Posted in Blogroll on May 11th, 2010 by Ron Glover

(Carnegie and Culture)

Ryan Howard was the Big Piece in the Phillies rise to the World Series Championship.

The last brutha in this town to make over $100 million became the arguably the greatest player in the franchise’s history and set a standard that will stand for years before he was unceremoniously traded to a grateful rival. Pretty self serving for a franchise that still dreams about that float ride down Broad Street.

Unlike Donovan McNabb, Ryan Howard has an MVP and World Series title to his credit, as for that $125 million extension he recently signed  – well let’s just say that those once appreciative guppies have  just turned into a school of piranhas waiting to skeletonize Philly’s newest cash cow.

Could he become the Dick Allen of our lifetime?

Read more »

Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs –Monday, May 10, 2010: You Are A Fool If You Sleep On The Orlando Magic

Posted in Blogroll on May 11th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

Can we get some cot damn respect?

Dwight Howard shoots 84% for the series. Jameer Nelson plays out of his mind. Matt Barnes gets in the head of Joe Johnson. Stan Van Gundy does what he does. Vince Carter steps up. Magic sweep Hawks. Do. Not. Sleep. On. Orlando. It seems like they haven’t lost a game since Mike was getting ripped by Penny…

Los Angeles does the same to the Jazz. Kobe averages 30. Pau Gasol the sidekick. Phil Jackson wins again. Ho hum. Up next are the Suns. If the Lakers beat that ass I wanna hear something regarding the Suns underachieving. Period.

Don’t be surprised if we have a Finals repeat because it’s looking that way.

TNT’s coverage of the 2010 NBA Playoffs continues on Tuesday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) with the Pregame Show followed by exclusive coverage of the Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers (Game #5). TNT’s exclusive coverage of the Western Conference Finals begins on Monday, May 17 at 9 p.m. (ET) with the Phoenix Suns @ L.A. Lakers (Game #1)

Read more »

Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA Playoffs –Sunday, May 09, 2010: Rajon Rondo Goes Oscar; Nash and the Suns Sweep Spurs

Posted in Blogroll on May 10th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

29 Birds, 18 Russells, 13 Cousys. 97-87 victory. Like I said in the preview, “Rajon Rondo will be around Oscar numbers the entire series…” but I had no idea he would get off like this. Look at those numbers. Have they soaked in yet? When you consider how much time you’ve put in watching the NBA, how many players come to mind that could achieve something similar?

I have to stick by my prediction and say the Cavs will pull this out in six, just remember what I also said about the Celtics…because they ain’t no slouches.

As far as the Suns, I’m surprised as any of you the Spurs were swept and maybe that sentiment is because of their dynasty. The Suns showed and proved. Steve Nash stepped up and took what he wants to be his. Get past Kobe Steve and I’m on board, but until then your two MVP’s are still bogus.

TNT’s coverage of the 2010 NBA Playoffs continues on Monday, May 10 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) with the Pregame Show followed by exclusive coverage of the Orlando Magic @ Atlanta Hawks (Game #4), followed by L.A. Lakers @ Utah Jazz (Game #4) at 10:30 pm (ET).

Read more »