Tuesday, June 14, 2016

NBA Finals subplots

It's already been a very strange season, and most of it has to do with the Golden State Warriors. They set the all-time mark for wins. Steph Curry shattered his own record for made 3- pointers, and was unanimously voted the MVP -- the first time that ever happened in the history of the NBA.

After being down 1-3 to the Okla City Thunder, likely few thought the Dubs could storm back and win the series. But they did, and in convincing fashion.

And now the Finals are upon us and after 5 games, the Warriors lead the Cavaliers 3-2, with the series headed back to Cleveland for Game 6. Though both teams have been formidable on their home courts throughout the season and playoffs, they've also both been beaten in their own backyards. Game on indeed.

Yet many subplots have, and are afoot. In no particular order, consider the following......

Lebron James -- long time superstar and media idol -- is being mocked as a crybaby/whiner/punk in many quarters for some of his recent actions on and off the court. Who would have ever believed the King would suffer the ignominy of being scoffed at like a court jester? Especially among many of his brethren around the league? Oh my.

As mentioned in my previous post, Warriors' forward Draymond Green got zapped with a 1 game suspension over a "flagrant" foul that never happened. But the league had been itching to bang DG for past misdeeds and they finally saw their opening to bring the hammer down. Still, it was bogus and likely played no small part in the Warriors losing Game 5 at home to extend the series.

You just know that Lebron James and his Cav teammates will do everything possible trying to goad Draymond Green into another "infraction" in Game 6. Hence, if Cleveland wins, there would be a Game 7 -- without Draymond Green again.

Warrior big man Andrew Bogut suffered a hyper-extended knee and his future availability is unknown.

Sometimes Steph Curry and Klay Thompson -- the Splash Brothers -- go off on scoring binges. Other times they are shut down, or throw up long range bricks.

From game to game. Cav Kyrie Irving can be great as a point guard -- scoring 40 points, dishing out assists, and even grabbing a few rebounds. Or he can flip the other way. Can't throw the ball in the ocean, guard anybody, and become a turnover machine.

The benches (role players) of both teams have been up and down as well. Sometimes they light it up. Other times they stink it up.

Cavalier Kevin Love -- the $100 million man that was supposed to be the Robin for Batman Lebron, -- doesn't seem to be worth a C note under pressure, let alone all those extra zeroes.

The Warriors seem to have some sort of switch they can flip on to kick their team into overdrive when necessary. Nobody doubts they can score points in bunches and play terrific defense. Sometimes.

The Cavaliers appear to be a die-hard bunch. When they get it going, the Cavs can be mighty impressive as well. True, Cleveland had a much easier path to the Finals than Golden State, but that doesn't matter now. It is what it is.

Even the head coaches have similarities -- and differences. Steve Kerr was a teammate of Michael and Scotty back in the day when the Bulls were so dominant. He was a starter and could definitely play.

Tyronn Lu somehow made his way onto the LA Lakers roster back in the late 90's during the glory days of a couple guys name Shaq and Kobe. He got a couple rings, but contributed little on the court.

One seems to know the game as a head coach and makes adjustments accordingly throughout. The other just seems to be along for the ride and appears clueless. Guess who's who?

Maybe it's a good thing the NBA Finals were prolonged, rather than Golden State unceremoniously dispatching Cleveland in five. Lord knows, there's a lot more money to be made. The TV folks will pony up big time. They will be reimbursed by their sponsors -- mostly Asian car companies trying to sell vehicles to Americans. Get an exploding air bag and screw another American auto worker. Such a deal.

And it gives the talking heads another few days to yammer on with their usual stats from hell and other inane commentary.

After all, the Stanley Cup playoffs are over. All hail the Pittsburgh Penguins. Once the NBA is done, the sports pickings get mighty slim. Sure, the US Golf Open starts in a couple days and Wimbledon will be coming up soon in tennis, and there's the weekly roundy-round on the NASCAR circuit, but for the most part sports fans are stuck with the long dog-days of Major League Baseball. About as boring as it gets until September when the mighty NFL kicks off another season.

What's that? The Bachelorette is still dragging on? Not that yours truly would ever watch such nonsense, but will somebody please marry this twit to stop the suffering? Mostly from viewers. Good grief, they'll probably be divorced within a year, so what's the big deal?

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