Shoals and Ziller preview each NBA playoff series.
Old meets older in the war of Texas's survivors. The Mavericks boldly dispatched San Antonio last season -- in an odd year, no less! (Backing to drawing board for all those wizards using coincidence in place of analysis. Maybe look into bone throwing?) How dishearteneing is it that Michael Finley breathes yet this series is without him?
What dost thee Deities of Basketball decree?
This long-standing conflict is far too muddy for basic theological judgments. If Peter Holt, R.C. Buford, Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan aren't everything right with pro sports, they are at least the opposite of everything wrong with pro sports. Meanwhile, Mark Cuban created something out of nothing by hiring smart people (like Donnie Nelson) and keeping the wallet open, all while Dirk Nowitzki has refused to weep over attention diverted.
Shoals wrote that the Basketball Gods' relationship with LeBron is unclear. Also foggy is how much stock into personal behavior the Gods place. Like, Jason Kidd is the greatest teammate ever but a lousy man, by all indications. Does he truly deserve the fruits of his on-court labor? We need adjusted karmic plus-minus.
Everything revolves around 2010 free agency. How will this series affect the summer most?
Underrated benefit of the Caron Butler-Brendan Haywood trade: now there's no chance we have to listen to Dallas's myriad lunatics go on about how the Mavericks can sweep in and steal Chris Bosh. I have only so many shoulder shrugs and eye rolls in my inventory.
But magnificent be the suggestion, first reported by FanHouse's Chris Tomasson, that Richard Jefferson might opt out to get one more pre-2011 contract in. It won't allow the Spurs to become players in big-time free agency should it happen, thanks to the Manu Ginobili extension. But it leaves San Antonio without a starting small forward, and that means the mid-level exception candidates will be lined up around the block to take a swim with Timmy and friends. Remember when the Spurs were rumored to be interested in Ron Artest and then Corey Maggette? Fun times, bespeaking the pending courtship of Travis Outlaw.
We snuck into baseball's underground lair to pilfer one of its most lovely tools of prognostication -- the log5 method, invented by Bill James himself.
Well well well! Mavericks-Spurs really is the Antietam of the ongoing W-L Record vs. Points Margin war. (Note: in this repulsive analogy, Points Margin is Yankee.) The weirdest part of it is that the more traditional club -- San Antonio -- has a case for being favored based on New Age stats, while Dallas, champions of tomorrow's Big Orange (the supercomputer who will defeat LeBron in a one-on-one game), has to hang its hat on the almost agrarian stat "winning percentage." This is Jane Austen in high tops.
Yes, hipsters have infiltrated NBA fandom, as "instant-expert fans overrate certain players."
I'll spare you "Love Letters to Ian Mahinmi, Part 76." Instead we'll discuss Dallas's Frenchman, Rodrigue Beaubois, a point guard forcing to play two-guard with the Mavericks because Jason Kidd is Jason Kidd and J.J. Barea is shorter than Erick Dampier's femur. Beaubois was originally drafted by Oklahoma City before being traded for Byron Mullens, the king of big white stiffs. Dallas drafts a tall softie. The Thunder draft an electric athlete. It's like the trade was a co-sponsored April Fool's joke.
Beaubois managed to sneak in a 40-point game this season, providing the only stab at Rick Carlisle's otherwise sturdy zeppelin. Don't think Dallas is bluffing when it calls Beaubois an untouchable. This kid's leading France to an Olympic gold medal some day.
There are only so many tomorrows.