Home > Basketball, The Final Buzzer > The Final Buzzer : Mega Write Up Part 2- The West (9/4/11)

The Final Buzzer : Mega Write Up Part 2- The West (9/4/11)

And welcome back. Thanks for sticking with us! If you missed my thoughts on the East, you can check them here. Now you’re probably wondering with all that excitement out East, the West must be pretty lame…WRONG! If anything, the West is even crazier. How much crazier? We’ll you’re going to have to read on…

The talk of the Western Conference since the All Star break has been the Los Angeles Lakers. They’ve had an 8 game and a 9 game winning streak since the break. Fun fact- that 9 game streak is actually the longest winning streak the Lakers have had in the Pau Gasol era. Before that, their longest winning streak was 8 games. They had a couple of injury scares with Gasol and Bynum but both are fine [insert Bynum knee jokes here]. The most impressive thing with the Lakers record since the break has been that its come against talented playoff teams such as the Spurs, OKC, Magic, Portland, Hawks and of course the Mavericks with an average margin of victory around  11 points. They’ve recently lost 3 in a row (Nuggets, Jazz and Warriors) and appear to have entered the “can’t be f**ked” mode that they usually entered before the playoffs.

OK I’m going to get a little side tracked talking about this so-called rivalry between the Lakers and Mavs. They’re both fighting for the 2nd seed out West, and home court should they meet in the playoffs. The Mav’s are also on a 4 game losing streak but they’re resting Jason Kidd for games so he’s ready for the playoffs. The Lakers and the Mavs played each other last week and the Lakers destroyed them by 28. There are so many delicious subplots going on it’s like a season of 24! You’ve got Mark Cuban vs. Phil Jackson and Ron Artest (who’s become loveable again since he decided to start posing and kissing his biceps after huge plays), Lamar Odom vs. Jason Terry (for the 6th man), Matt Barnes and Steve Blake vs. Jason Terry (in an old school wrestling feud), Pau Gasol vs. Dirk Nowitzki (in the battle for Europe) and finally Kobe disregarding the Mavs as a rivalry at all saying “it’s not a rivalry until they beat us in the playoffs”. Classic Mamba.

But the story of the game was the brawl that happened with Jason Terry shoving Steve Blake and Matt “I will kill you if Ron Artest doesn’t” Barnes shoving Terry back. This led to 5 players getting ejected in the game and a suspension for Barnes. Brandon Haywood got ejected for being tall. Terry didn’t get a suspension at all even though he started the brawl in the first place. Interesting call from the league.

It’s like saying a guy stabs someone and isn’t charged, but the friend of the guy who’s stabbed beats up the guy who did the stabbing and is arrested for beating up the stabber, charged with assault and thrown into prison. Good on you Stu Jackson! That makes perfect sense!

You can watch the full brawl here:

On to the Spurs. They beat the Phoenix Suns ending their six game losing streak (which is the longest losing streak in the Tim Duncan era), have since won 3 in a row and have basically secured home court advantage throughout the playoffs and the number 1 seed in the West.  They’re the first team in the NBA this season to win 60 games. Still, there are questions regarding how healthy this team is. Greg Popovich’s new up tempo offence is a risky move especially when basketball traditionally slows down in the playoffs and there’s more emphasis on defence. And speaking of defence, what has happened to the Spurs defence? It’s disappeared, much like LeBron’s popularity.

The Oklahoma City Thunder is in 4th and if they’re not careful may be caught by the Denver Nuggets for the 4th seed although the Thunder could actually move ahead of the Mavs for the 3rd seed if the Mavs continue to lose. A Thunder- Nuggets match-up would be a fun series. Denver is playing some inspired basketball and it probably has people in Denver wondering why they didn’t trade Carmelo Anthony sooner! I don’t actually see Denver upsetting the Thunder, but the Nuggets are playing so well at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised. Denver is a very deep team and their bench unit, according to Kobe Bryant, could be a starting five in the league. That’s pretty rare as most NBA teams only have an 8 or 9 man rotation.

I gotta say, life must be pretty good for Kendrick Perkins right now. He got a 4 year $35 million contract extension to hang out with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, and the Celtics are imploding on the other side of the country! Not too shabby…

Portland is half a game up on New Orleans for the 6th seed and appears to have found a nice rotation with Nicolas Batum coming off the bench and having Gerald Wallace start. They are the dark horse this year. Especially when you’ve got Brandon Roy AND Batum coming off your bench! Both of those guys are legit starters in this league and both have accepted coming off the bench. It’s scary for their opponents that they’ve both happily embraced the 6th and 7th man roles. Props to Nate McMillan for fooling them into wanting to be bench players!

Small rant on the Gerald Wallace trade. What was Michael Jordan thinking when he made that trade?! It’s like he’s making bad trades on purpose so people will admire his playing career even more! THE GUY DRAFTED KWAME BROWN WITH THE NUMBER ONE PICK!

New Orleans and Memphis are 7th and 8th respectively and both have the same record (44-33) although New Orleans owns the tie break. New Orleans is basically treading water after losing David West, with Carl Landry doing his best to fill the gap. CP3 almost had a triple double the other day. Gotta wonder how long he can carry the Hornets for. Memphis is on a four game win streak and has a 3 ½  game lead over the Rockets for the playoff seeding. Did you know that Memphis has never won a playoff game let alone a series? The more you know eh?!

Phoenix, Utah, Golden State, the Clippers, Sacramento and Minnesota are all eliminated from the playoffs. I feel for Steve Nash. Will he ask for a trade to a contender? Would Phoenix do that for him? I don’t think Nash would ask for a trade, he’s too classy for that (*cough* Melo *cough*) but I do know that Nash can blame Vince Carter for single-handedly killing their playoff chances. Vince must have a beef with Canada. First he turns his back on the Raptors franchise by telling them he wasn’t trying, and now hurts Canada’s favourite son by destroying potentially his last chance at making the playoffs. Vince Carter: Half man, half amazing. But fully washed up.

Utah becomes the first team in NBA history to start 15-5 and 27-13 and not make the playoffs. Mind you, they traded their best player and one of the best coaches in NBA history quit so you can’t really blame them…or can you?

Sacramento is trying desperately to keep the Kings in town, while the owners are intent on moving to Anaheim. This is pretty unfortunate for Kings fans. They’ve had some fantastic teams earlier in the decade when Chris Webber was still playing, Peja Stojakovic was an MVP candidate (bet you didn’t remember that) and Mike Bibby was still alive. It’ll be a shame when they move. The Kings currently have some nice pieces that will probably flourish after they move, which will hurt the Kings fans the most.

Golden State can look forward to hiring Mike D’Antoni in the next couple of years so they can average 180 points a game (but surrendering 240 points a game). They’re on a 3 game win streak highlighted with a win over the Lakers on Thursday and are doing their best to relive those 2007 days when they got the number 8 seed and shocked the Mavs in round one. Sadly, I don’t think they realise that they can’t actually make the playoffs…

Minnesota can look forward to firing Kurt Rambis. I can’t believe he actually thought bringing Kevin Love off the bench was a good idea. David Kahn should’ve fired him right there! But then again, it is David Kahn…he probably thinks the pick and roll is something you get from a McDonalds Happy Meal.

The end of the Clippers season means the end of Year 1 of the Blake Griffin highlight reel. And it’s been pretty awesome. He’s had an awesome season on an average Clippers team which should be better next year. They’ve got some nice pieces. It’s a shame that their owner is a racist and hates everyone on the team except Chris Kaman and the seven eighths of Blake Griffin that isn’t black. If you’re wondering what the one eighth of Blake Griffin that’s black, it’s his athleticism. Donald Sterling will regret hating that one eighth when Blake Griffin signs with the Lakers in 3 years…

And that is probably enough! We finally got there!  Thanks for reading all to the end. And even if you didn’t read it all, it doesn’t matter because my page views increase regardless if you read the entire thing or not.

And that my friends, is The Final Buzzer.

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