Monday, May 21

Why The NBA Got Derailed This Year

I was reading an article earlier about the NBA's need to be fixed because of all the hurt the association has been facing, and all I can say is: This is a very dark moment for the NBA. If you're interested, you can read it here.

Now if you're still interested, you can continue reading below:

Yes, the NBA needs to be fixed, but I doubt they'd need any help from the NFL to do so. Do you know what the NBA is right now? The NBA is sick. No, the NBA is not a sick, but the NBA is sick. Much like a little child with the flu. He feels horrible, he feels like the world's ass is sitting right on top of his face, and to add to the insult, his doctor gives him wrong medication which in turn makes the sickness worse. So he is left with nothing else to do but to just leave it alone and wait for it to pass. If he lives, he becomes stronger; if he dies, well.. he's dead. This is the NBA; and this is what the NBA is experiencing. You get the analogy, you should. After watching hundreds and hundreds of painful NBA basketball this year, everyone should understand what the NBA is going through. Come on, it's been an awful year for sports this past year, and the NBA is no exception.

So what went wrong with the NBA this year?

It's a surprising turn-around, but I caught a term that can possibly describe this phenomena that the NBA is experiencing. Do you guys remember the classic game between the Suns and the Mavs this year? The game which went Double-OT with Steve Nash being proclaimed the hero. I'm sure everyone remembers that. Then the Suns went on to lose two straight games after their victory. I think somebody called it 'emotional-exhaustion' (Let's call it EE shall we). The EE lasted for two games, but after extracting all the bad elements, the Suns went back to their dominant play. This is what could have possibly happened to the NBA this year, maybe all the concepts are wrong and nothing is related and everything is intertwined, you have to admit that they have similar outcomes: After the most exciting playoffs in decades and probably the most in history at that, it is followed by a let-down season where nothing seemed to go right.

Let's discuss the sighs, groans, and pains of this year's NBA season (with playoffs):

1.) Injuries. No team was safe from the injury bug. It affected each and every team one way or another and created at the least an adequate impact on the team's overall performance for the season.

The injury which bumped Michael Redd off the map for a few months cost the Bucks the possible playoff appearance, everyone saw how horrid the Bucks were without their star. Even when he returned, there was no stopping destiny. The Bucks played a few games without FOUR of their FIVE starters. Michael Redd was occasionally out even after his comeback, Mo Williams went out for a few games with the shoulder injury, Andrew Bogut never finished the season, and Bobby Simmons never even started the season. Harsh.

A team which was tortured and shown no mercy by the injury bug: New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets were without four key players for a long period of time. Chris Paul was out with the sprain for a few weeks, Peja Stojakovic was out for almost the entire season with back problems, David West and Bobby Jackson were also out for a significant amount of time. It was surprising to see them surging for a playoff seed, only to fall a few games short. Harsh.

The Washington Wizards, a playoff team, will not be an exception. The Wizards ruled the east with their 'Big Three' of Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, and Gilbert Arenas. Too bad it was short-lived. One by one, the stars came down for the Washington Wizards. Each member of the 'Big Three' fell to injury, but not simultaneously, that would just be a painful hit. What happened was more of irritating rather than painful. Here's what happened: When Antawn Jamison would go down, the Wizards would start to win some and then lose some. After some time, Antawn will be back, and then it would be Caron that will go down. The Wizards again will win some and then lose more. The cycle will continue between Caron and Antawn until the painful part finally caught up with them: Caron breaks his hand as Arenas injures his knee. The Wizards went on a losing party and eventually lost in the 1st round of the playoffs despite a valiant effort by Antawn Jamison. From mighty Wizards early on to performing magic tricks in a kid's party. Harsh.

There are A LOT more injury stories which stifled a team's success this year, but I can't write about them all. What would be great is if you guys can e-mail me of more injury tragedies and maybe I would write a part 2 for this issue.

Moving on to the next reason why the NBA was just no good this year.

2.) Imbalance. This year's conference match-ups have got to be the poorest excuse for the word "balance" I have ever seen in my entire life. It's not even actually an excuse, it's a blatant spit to the face that the West and the East are the eternal opposite of basketball skills for this season.

Check out the Eastern Conference's #1 seed, the Detroit Pistons. Cheers to Detroit, a great team, but has anyone thought about what would happen if they were actually placed in the West? They would drop to the #5 or #6 seed. That is just horrible. It reminds me of the 2000-01 season where the #1 seed of the West up to the #7 seed had 50 or more wins, but at least the #1 seed of the East was not far off from the #1 seed of the West. Are you confused? If yes, just read on.

The Western Conference teams OWN the Eastern Conference this year. The 5th seed of the West could have very much played the 1st seed of the East. This was just a horrible year for basketball, just pitiful.

Special mention and no thanks to the defending champions Miami Heat. Miami Heat is the biggest contamination of EE (Do you still remember EE?) this year. As NBA Champions, they were supposed to carry the battle of the Eastern teams on their back. Yet, they slack off and we easily forget about them after two hours and seven minutes. As champions, they were supposed to be the face of the NBA for this season, and I guess they completed their obligations well; since their performance rubbed off on the rest of the Eastern Conference. Thank you Miami Heat for carrying the Eastern Conference. We are ever grateful.

Can anyone please tell me what happened? I don't really have a clear idea. Why in the world has the league become so lopsided this year?

Can someone e-mail me what they think about the NBA-dominance by the Eastern Conference led by then-defensive juggernauts Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers back in 2003 and how it has slowly declined through the years? Could it be related to band-wagoning the running game? Someone e-mail me their thoughts!

Moving on.

3.) Lousy trade deadline. The whole NBA world was watching and waiting for someone to pull off a blockbuster trade on the wanning moments before the trade deadline; maybe a trade that will turn a mediocre team into an instant NBA Champion, those kinds of big trades (AKA Detroit Pistons and Rasheed Wallace). Seconds, minutes, hours passed. Until it was hours, minutes, and seconds that remained before the trade deadline. The only trade that occurred was Fred Jones for Juan Dixon. Thanks for the consolation.

That was dull. I was expecting Pau Gasol, Jason Kidd, or Mike Bibby on the move. But then, there was nothing. There was silence, a foreboding of what was to come for the NBA in the second part of the season.

The biggest trades that happened in the season are: 1) The acquisition of Allen Iverson, another player movement which turned the West into basketball paradise and the East into golf-lovers; Iverson and Melo need to fix some on-court chemistry issues though, only minimal. 2) 8-man trade which sent Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington to Golden State and Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy to Indiana. The soft East just got softer. What a move by Larry Bird.

4.) Tanking. I'm not in a position to say if some teams (Boston Celtics) were purposely tanking or just coincidentally tanked by resting their star player due to some "soreness" and "injuries". They're the only ones who actually know for sure, but either way, they now have pretty decent chances of landing those top 3 picks in the draft. Congratulations to them, whoever they are.

Bah, screw the subtleties. Screw you Boston Celtics for tanking.

Look at that smug on Doc Rivers' face. Danny Ainge must have just blown the news to him that he was going to get a contract extension for being such an awesome coach.

Let's call in Jermaine O'Neal for an interview.

Me: Jermaine, how long has the cartilage in your knee been torn?
(Let's imagine this is just the end of the regular season and the Pacers lose their final game).
JO: Around 2 months, since February.
Me: And you have been playing on this torn cartilage the whole time?
JO: Yes.
Me: Why?
JO: I'm hoping we can make a playoff push, so I'll play in order to help.
Me: Now that your season is over, are you going to get that long-overdue surgery?
JO: Yes.
Me: It was nice talking to you.
JO: The pleasure is all mine, I love your blog.

Okay, maybe I made the interview up, but all the information there is true. All the tankers should be ashamed of themselves. You might say that the Pacers still had a legit chance of making the playoffs but your team was already 30 wins out of reach; but the Pacers were headed that direction anyway, what's the difference?

5.) Others. I decided to put the remaining issues under others, so it doesn't get really really long.

Has anyone ever thought about what could have happened if the Dallas Mavericks actually defeated Golden State? Sure, everyone rooted for Golden State to win. Everyone loves underdogs, and everybody loves history-making, but let's look at the long-term effects here (specifically now). Given our situation now, had we known Golden State was going to be thrashed by the Jazz anyway, wouldn't it have been much better to have the Dallas Mavericks here now? Come on, paint a brighter picture.

The Suns-Spurs controversy really hurt the NBA Playoffs big time. That was just a foul move by David Stern to have a series decided by suspensions. I am not saying the Spurs do not deserve to be up there in the Western Conference Finals. By all means they have the right to be there with the level of basketball they have been playing as of late, but here's the problem: we never got to see them truly get past the Suns. The Spurs were a better team for 3 games, but a series should be won with 4 games. Had the Spurs defeated the Suns in full strength even in Game 5, then the Spurs were undoubtedly just the better team. Too bad we'll never know.

These and some reasons more are why the NBA got derailed this year. We'll have to wait next season and see if the NBA can get back on track and provide us with intense and legit basketball action. If any one of you guys have more ideas as to why the NBA was derailed this season, send me an e-mail. I'll post it up for you guys.

'Til next time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what a load of BS this guy posted

NBA rocks! Go Pistons!!