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Archive for April, 2009

Here’s Ron Artest on TNT last night, auditioning for Jamie Foxx’s role in The Soloist:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’m getting the impression that Ron thinks Brandon Roy is the best player he’s played against. I’m not sure why. Better than Kobe. Better than Lebron. Maybe not as good as some guy he grew up with in Queensbridge who’s now in jail, though.

I’m not a psycho-pharmacologist. Is this what happens when you’re on meds? Or when you go off of them?

Also, Craig Sager, you best watch your ass, laughing in Ron’s face before tossing it back to the studio. What’s that expression bears use? Don’t poke the Ron-Ron?

Hat-tip to Ball Don’t Lie.

Posted by LA Dubbs

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Go gentle into that good night, boys.

Go gentle into that good night, boys.

After all the accompanying anger and frustration during this season (and the last couple), the predominant emotion I feel at the end of it all is sadness. I’m sad and tired (kind of like Sheed).

There are several reasons its over, some complex, some as simple as guys getting old and windows closing. But the reason that this era came to a close at this exact moment in time, the reason it had to end now, is due to something intangible that no is talking about: Regret. This team can no longer support itself under the crushing weight of its own regret.

The Darko Milicic debacle. The Malice at the Palace. The failure to repeat as Champs after getting so close. The messy divorce from Larry Brown. Flaming out against the Heat in 2006. Losing to a lesser team in the Cavs in 2007. The weight from all this regret was too much for their collective shoulders. There’s no way to live all that down.

Remember when the Pistons were the team that never gave up? When their record in games when other teams were trying to close them out was impeccable? For the last couple seasons, they’ve been the team that doesn’t bother to show up to close-out games. They folded early in game 6 in Cleveland a couple years ago. They gave up in a winnable Game 6 of the Boston series last year, a game in which they held the lead in the fourth quarter. I remember watching and feeling like they were rolling over right before my eyes. And this year they didn’t even bother to show up for an entire playoff series. When a team starts giving up, there’s no road to return. It’s over.

It was a great run while it lasted. Pistons fans should be grateful. For a while there we had a very likable team, with no egos, that played hard, and played ‘the right way’ and it was a beautiful thing to behold. But the biggest holdover from this era will be the missed opportunities, the close calls and the regret. They should have accomplished more. Instead, their 2004 title will stand as an aberration, which isn’t to say that they didn’t earn it or deserve it – they did. But it is the exception to the rule that you need superstars to win an NBA title. If the Pistons had won more than one championship, they could’ve called that rule into question. Now, all we’re left to do is enjoy our asterisk. That’s not a slam – it’s a great, big, shining asterisk, one a fan can point to with pride.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be talking about what’s next. But for now, let’s mourn and think of better days.

ben_rasheed_wallace2

Posted by LA Dubbs

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This play is as chaotic as this series.

This play is as chaotic as this series.

I told myself if scrappy, little Rajon Rondo dropped one more triple double on a stat sheet I would be forced to write about him. 28 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds later…still no post, Rajon! This isn’t a horseshoes blog, close doesn’t count!

Obviously, Rondo (averaging a triple double for the series) has been spectacular and he deserves credit for elevating his game at a crucial juncture. But despite his heroics, Boston is barely holding on. On paper, Rondo is filling just about all of the roles left vacant by Kevin Garnett’s absence. On the court, though, they look like a completely different team.

The Boston Celtics aren’t great because of Garnett. They are The Boston Celtics because of him. This isn’t pick-up basketball; you can’t just assemble the best players and win. Teams are designed to play a certain way. When Rondo scores 28, 16 more than his season average, those points are coming from somewhere else, and often at the expense of the gameplan.

Paul Pierce has found a way to be decent in this series, because he, like Rondo, is capable of making his own offense. Ray Allen has suffered immensely. It is not a knock on Ray-Ray to say his points are manufactured. He is a key component of the offense, so when that offense breaks down, he is lost. As are the majority of the Celtics, while Rondo and Pierce audible on clear-outs all game.

The Bulls have stuck around in this series for far different reasons than we originally imagined. Touted as a gritty, defensive team, the Bulls were expected to counter Boston nicely in a low-scoring series. Instead, Boston has played right into the hands of the Bulls two important rookies: PG, Derrick Rose and head coach, Vinny Del Negro.

Despite Rose’s epic talents, he should be outmatched in this series for lack of experience. Let’s not forget, he had one year with Calipari at Memphis adhering to a gameplan that was, ostensibly, “Do your thing, Derrick,” followed by a season under the minimalistic tutelage of Del Negro, who should also be outmatched in this series. The Celtics, when resembling themselves, are focused and disciplined. They play within their system and force you to adjust to them, something Vinny Del Negro would’ve failed at.

Lucky for VDN, the coaches have been reduced to spectators as this series has turned into a glorified two-on-two featuring Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon vs. Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce. If this series goes the distance it will be one of the longest (total minutes) in NBA history. Seems fitting, since we all know a good pick-up game can last all day.

Like any loyal Pistons fan, I hate the Celtics. I like it when they lose. But I love basketball, and that Boston squad from a year ago was special. They were the opposite of the one we are watching right now. The Bulls aren’t very good. Not yet, at least. They are in this series because Boston is playing down to their level. I know KG can’t suit up for his team, but you’d think he could maybe shame a few of them into remembering who they play for. Celtic pride used to mean something. But I guess that was way back last year.

KG finds alternative ways to contribute.

KG finds alternative ways to contribute.

Posted by BA Brokeass

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If they ever make a movie out of the career of Miami’s James Jones, it will be exactly eleven seconds long. These will be those seconds.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Rest assured, James Jones will never appear on this site again. Unless he slaps Louis Amundson. But that’s a longshot, James isn’t Lou’s type.

Posted by BA Brokeass

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This is the most fight they put up all series.

This is the most fight they put up all series.

While we continue to provide uninterrupted coverage of all the playoffs, please allow us a few days of mourning before we address the end of this era in Detroit Pistons history. They sucked serious anus and, right now, it just hurts to feel. Thank you for your understanding during this trying time. Trying, that’s another thing the Pistons didn’t do. Uh-oh. I think I’m going to start crying again.

Think about the Tigers, Brokeass. Think about the Tigers. Okay. I’m good. Nope, I was wrong, they’re coming y’all! The tears are coming! WHY GOD WHY?!?!

Posted by BA Brokeass.

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Watch him age right before your eyes.

Watch him age right before your eyes.

Before the playoffs, if I told you that the series between the Heat and Hawks would return to Atlanta locked up at two, you probably wouldn’t have batted an eye. But if I told you the same thing, and also that Dwyane Wade has been a poor-man’s version of himself, well maybe then you might experience some eye movement. If not, see a doctor. You could be having a stroke.

Wade has handled volume scoring and controlled the offense (allowing Mario Chalmers to exclusively focus on looking goofy), but the most steady performer has been Jermaine O’Neal. The dominant big in this series, he has averaged almost 17 and 6 for the series, while routinely schooling Atlanta’s Sammy Sosa look-a-like Al Horford. It won’t be enough if D-Wade doesn’t mystify, but it has helped to remove some pressure from the overloaded back of the team’s superstar. JO said, “D-Wade, let me carry a few dudes!” Then a few players jumped on and O’Neal promptly slipped a disc.

Here at AF4D we like to poke fun at JO, because he is ridiculous and brittle and went from 25 to 40 in the span of like a month and a half. But he has stepped up this series. Without him, Miami is seriously over-matched. He is still ridiculous and brittle and unnaturally old. And we will never stop making fun of him. And Miami probably remains overmatched.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is: Fuck Jermaine O’Neal. Wait – I think I had a different message when I started. Oh well. Fuck him.

Posted by BA Brokeass

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When LA Dubbs says, “The Birdman is going to fly,” look to the skies, my friends. You WILL see a Birdman take flight.

When BA Brokeass says, “Get ready for the epic resurgence of Tyson Chandler,” look to the skies, my friends. You WILL see a Tyson Chandler get dunked on.

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Posted by BA Brokeass (so Dubbs don’t gotsta brag)


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