2014 NBA Playoffs 1st Round: Things Learned


This time of year much of what I do is influenced by the NBA. I wear tennis shoes with Velcro straps. I’m prepared should I ever be lined up next to J.R. Smith. I broke out my NBA dinnerware. Not surprisingly, when I turned it over, it only said “Silver.” The word, “Sterling,” had been magically rubbed out. I’ve got to get a V. Stiviano welder’s mask. I never know when the paparazzi is stalking me. Here are things I learned about the very exciting first round of the playoffs:

The Spurs Have More Players Than Other Teams – Do you ever look at the Spurs and think “My gosh, their bench goes on forever.” Coach Pop can rest his elderly starters like Duncan, Parker and Ginobili and still be competitive against the league’s best teams. Do you ever think that? Then it shouldn’t be any surprise that at the end of game six, the Spurs had six guys on the floor compared to the Mavs’ five.
An investigation needs to be made to see how often the Spurs get away with this.

Old Guys Can Advance, Too – Many of the teams advancing to the second round had elderly, experienced old guys playing key roles. Check these oldsters – Paul Pierce, 36, Kevin Garnett, 37 (18 years in league), Ray Allen, 38, Tim Duncan, 38, Manu Ginobili, 36, Derek Fisher, 39. There’s a lesson, here. If you’re going to have seven game series, have a few guys who have been there before.

Mr. Unreliable – More like Mr. Undeniable. Yes, stupid was the original headline tagged to Kevin Durant which he responded with 36 and 33 while leading all playoff scorers at 33 per game. How someone at the Oklahoman could describe the Most Valuable Player this way just because he missed a free throw is beyond us. Lesson to self: Write own headline. Lesson two: Pass advice on to Barry Tramel.

Overtime Games and Four Point Plays Become Ho Hum – Some say this has been the most exciting first round in NBA history, most overtime games – 8 –, most games decided by five or fewer points, 18, most game sevens – 5 –, most four point plays, eleventy-dozen, it seems like.  Westbrook, Durant, Lillard, Curry, Korver all had four pointers. Some of them ridiculous like Durant being fouled at the end of the game while falling out of bounds. We must have left a few people out, like Jamal Crawford, who holds the NBA record, 43, for four point plays.

Kia Believes You Can’t Promote Too Many Cars During the Playoffs – You get a lot of car ads during playoffs. Not all of them Kia, but enough so, they’ve drowned out all other carmakers. Too bad there’s not an NBA team in the playoffs from Detroit. The K900 has Lawrence Fishburne’s Morphus offering two different colored keys to luxury. You’d think some of the money spent on luxury could go to closing the gap in Morphus’s teeth, a gap wide enough to drive a Kia Soul through. Even the Kia Soul hamsters have tighter teeth than Morphus. Of course Blake Griffin and Jack McBryer’s Griffin Force pushes the Optima.   I want to see one commercial where Morphus offers the red pill to the Griffins which makes them morph into hamsters, just once.

Steven Adams Can Get You Suspended – Ask Zach Randolph. Not sure what it is, whether it’s his quirky New Zealand “Flight of the Concords” accent, his rugby background, his scrambling feistiness from struggling with seventeen brothers and sisters, or what. Whatever it is, Steve is able to get in your head and then after you punch him, he doesn’t retaliate. He walks away like your punch was a love tap. This takes a bit of skill but this year Zach Randolph, Nate Robinson, Larry Sanders, Jordan Hamilton and Vince Carter were all ejected, fined or suspended for striking Adams.

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