Monday, March 9, 2009

More bad NBA broadcasts, and a bad game recap to boot

* I just got thru watching the Detroit Pistons extend their long win streak over the Orlando Magic; actually, "suffered thru" is a better description of the last 45 minutes for my ears and brain. Now, general speaking, the broadcast wasn't completely terrible; actually, it was quite vanilla, neither bad nor good in any way. But one simple question highlights the glaring omission that took a run-of-the-mill broadcast from average to painfully horrible: where was Hedo Turkoglu? Right now, I have no idea. The Pistons broadcasters rambled on and on incessantly about the loss of Rasheed Wallace (he left near the end of the first quarter with a strained calf and didn't return), but the Magic's 2nd most important player plays 20 minutes, and they don't even notice? I'm at a loss for words. I was left to scratch my head for those 45 minutes, wondering why I saw J.J. Redick running around aimlessly, getting repeatedly abused by Rip Hamilton.

At one point I recall those Piston broadcasters, noticing the entrance of Marcin Gortat, inform us that the Magic were going to run their own version of the twin towers. Such insight. Never mind that, as I now learned 2 hours after the final buzzer, one of the most important players on the Magic squad went down to injury (thank you Detroit News). Oh no, Gortat's insertion alongside Dwight Howard was clearly a strategy-first move. Way to earn that paycheck guys.

Then to top it off, the full AP recap didn't mention Hedo either? At all??? Did I drop into the twilight zone? Could Pau Gasol or Paul Pierce sustain an injury and no one notice?

On second thought, maybe I should cut the AP writer some slack; perhaps he (or she) was listening to the Pistons broadcast when scribbling their game notes. I guess that reporter at the Detroit News would've had enough experience to know better.

* Caught the final quarter and both overtimes of the Heat/Bulls game, and got to enjoy some more Dwayne Wade wizardry...and endure some broadcaster torture. The final play was amazing, picking John Salmons' pocket at the top of the key in the backcourt, dribble half the length of the floor, put up a one-foot runner at the buzzer from the 3-pt line.....buckets! And then to see Wade get all "mannish" -- "this is my house!". Wicked.

But then what followed was headache-inducing. Congratulations and adulation is is annoyingly, uhh, effeminate. The next five minutes was a top-of-the-lungs, barely-legible man-loving rant: "MVP! Best in the game! Greatest of all time!" Mix, rinse, repeat for 120 seconds. Colorman: "The refs are checking to see if it was a three!" Umm no. Play-by-play: "Oh yea, they're also checking to see if he got it off in time." Well, at least you're somewhere in the neighbourhood; we'll give your "also checking" nonsense a pass since you were in the midst of an orgasmic celebration.

But please, calm down. This is the NBA. A sporting event. Exciting things do happen every so often.

* Some random thoughts:
- the Lakers are a pretty good lock to win a title with Andrew Bynum; without him? Hmmm not so much. I've been having this thought for the past couple weeks now, even before the destruction happening in Portland as I type this (Blazers lead by 28 after 3). Such a shame.

- something told me to reserve excitement over the Rafer Alston trade. The Magic still haven't returned to their level of prominence. I don't know if it'll happen for the young kids this year. Rafer looks great on paper, but there's something still missing with this team, something Jameer brought that is still lacking. It could be as simple as the shot-making: Jameer was murder when left open, but Rafer hasn't proven to be nearly as accurate.

- why does my gut tell me Utah's not quite for real? Everything else says they are: great PG, great PF, capable bench, reeling off a long win streak, and they might be more rested than everyone else (seeing as how so many of them weren't playing), and they're finally healthy with their full complement of playe -- oh, wait, was that Boozer missing another game yesterday? OK err umm never mind.

In any case, I dunno; what's really different about this team from last year, apart from the emergence of Paul Milsap? I am open to the fact that I could well be wrong; maybe they just need another year together, another year of growth for Deron, and some magic elixir to keep the team healthy, and maybe they'll take that next step -- oh wait, I keep forgetting, Boozer, ankle, DNP.

Those Utah docs are certainly earning their keep.

- speaking of Utah, it's starting to look like Jerry Sloan is going to get the equivalent of a sentimental lifetime achievement plaque masquerading as the Coach-of-the-Year award. Not to say he hasn't done a great job this year, keeping the team afloat thru the M*A*S*H parade. But still, has anybody done more with less, and with more problems and rotating lineups, than Rick Adelman in Houston? Take a look at their roster; how is this team winning games? Lots of them? With defense? Is this the same Adelman that coached the running gunning early-3rd-millennium Sacramento Kings? Not that any team with Ron Artest and Shane Battier shouldn't play good D; they should. But still, this is Adelman we're talking about. Everyone thought Jeff Van Gundy would've packed their defense into his Honda Civic when he was cleaning out his locker, but no such thing. Between that, the injury situation, and incorporating new players after a mid-season trade, Adelman is turning in a hands-down coach-of-the-year performance.

But that whole lifetime achievement award thing for Sloan would hardly be the worst travesty to befall an award. Halle Berry for Oscar it would certainly not be.

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