Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hoops round-up

The Detroit Pistons likely made a tactical error. In the last game of the regular season, they managed to squeak by the Cleveland Cavaliers in overtime. Like other top teams with nothing much to play for in the regular season finale, the Cavs sat out a few of their top players.

But guess who the #1 seed Cavs get in the first round of the eastern conference playoffs? The #8 seed Pistons. Detroit going into Cleveland and handing Lebron and Co. a loss in a game that meant nothing probably wasn't a smart move. If anything, if will give the Cavs even more motivation to demolish the Pistons in the playoffs. Granted, the suburban Motowners were probably going to get broomed anyway, but why stir up a hornets' nest with nothing to gain? Should have let those sleeping dogs lie.

Mercifully, the Kobe love-fest is finally over. Has more pomp and adoration ever been bestowed on ANY athlete in ANY sport before? Well OK. Maybe Tiger.

The LA Lakers hosting the Utah Jazz was a nothing game. The Jazz had been eliminated from the playoffs and the Lakers were firmly entrenched in the basement of the western conference. Their worst team of all-time.

Yet it seemed like the media (see TV/talking heads) and those in attendance at Staples Center (see glitterati) were having one mass orgasm after another watching their hero.

Kobe Bean Bryant didn't let them down. He scored 60 points. OF COURSE he did. This is what can happen when a dude jacks up 50 shots in a single game, including 21 three-point attempts. Throw in a dozen free throws and 60 sounds about right.

People talk about his legacy. His final game cemented exactly that. The most ME player of all time went out with a bang. What nobody dares mention is how Bryant stunk it up for the last two years while saddling the franchise with a $24 million salary per season. And for what? Hype, pomp, and leading the Lakers into the bowels of the league?

Meanwhile, a few hundred miles north, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors were making history. Getting their 73rd regular season win in a rout of the Memphis Grizzlies surpassed the 95-96 Chicago Bulls all-time record of 72.

But they set other records as well. GS became the first team ever to not lose two games in a row all year, nor lose twice to the same opponent over the 82 game season.

Curry himself has had a phenomenal year. He led the league in scoring, while shooting over 50% from the field, 45% from 3-point range, and over 90% from the free throw line. He's all but a lock to win his second MVP.

On top of that, Curry absolutely obliterated his own record for most made 3's. He went over 400 for the year in the Grizz game. THREE HUNDRED had never been done before. Dude can definitely shoot.

Besides the 73 wins, as a team the Warriors led the league in scoring, assists, and made 3's. They run, they pass, they defend, and they're deep. Like them or not, few would disagree they're the most "fun" team to watch. Even some guy named Jordan has conceded that.

So somebody tell me one more time -- with them going on at the same time -- which would any objective hoops fan rather have watched?

1) A career-long egotistical selfish player -- that's lately been terrible while playing for a terrible team -- limp to the finish line amid LA-LA land hoopla in a nothing game -- or

2) Possibly the best team of all time set multiple records, both individual and team, in the last game of the regular season?

This was not even a close call. See ya, Kobe. It's been real and go away smug if you if will but, please, just go away. Though they'd never admit it, the Laker front office is probably glad to finally be shed of him and his ridiculous albatross salary.

Bring on the playoffs......

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