Running around to Give you the Reacharound


Where Bad Possum Analogies Happen

What happens when you play possum for too long

Though I would never place money against my team to lose a series or game outright, I thought heading into the playoffs that the Heat would emerge from Round 1 victorious, thus setting up a LeBron-Wade ESPNgasm in Round 2.

True, the Hawks at any given time have five of the six or seven best players on the court (the same would be true against the Cavs), but when the best player on the court is leaps and bounds better than everyone on your squad, having four really solid options out there can only take you so far. It also doesn't help when your go-to guy is doing his best impression of Steve Smith, #1 option, circa 1996-97.

As ugly as Game 3 was, and it was indeed Zaza-after-a-16-hour-coke-binge ugly, if the Hawks can win tonight they get homecourt and the momentum back heading into a rowdy Game 5 at Philips. Win tonight and all the ugly memories of Wednesday and Saturday disappear. Win tonight and I can stop having nightmares of Dwayne Wade hitting bank shots off my ex-girlfriend's bare chest. Lose tonight, and it probably makes more sense to cancel the Charter for Game 6 and put that money to hiring a new coach, because these guys aren't winning a Game 6 in Miami.

Apologies for the fluff analysis, but everything that's been said about needing to double Wade, stop running Joe isos, dishing it to Horford, inane substitution patterns and the like has already been said all over the Hawkosphere. I'm sick of it. Either 1. win or 2. fire Woodson. I'm happy with option one, I can live with option two.

Quick Hits on other series:

  • The lucky winner of Hawks-Heat gets to face a rested Cavs team that will likely have a week off before Round 2. That should be fun. Though the amount of garbage time in this series is giving many Hawks/Heat starters ample rest in their own right.
  • Allen Iverson, thanks for playing! Good god, have you ever seen a team deteriorate so fast by adding a future Hall-of-Famer to their rotation? Mitch Richmond is jealous. I love A.I., but dude played this whole situation like a total prick. His career can go in one of two directions now: He can go to a team like the Clippers or Bobcats, get his shots and stats, and win 30 games a season, OR, he can embrace his limitations and immediately become the best 6th man in the Lig, providing what Ginobili or JT give you off the bench, only on a grander scale. Either way, his days of being a prime scoring option on a contender are long gone.
  • There's no aspect of the Celtics-Bulls series that wasn't covered in that long ass Simmons piece, so I'll just give a tip-o-dee-cap and say I'm enjoying the hell out of it as well. Even moreso since OBJ bet me $25 at even odds that the Bulls would win the series (after Game 1).
  • I've been a staunch holdout, but yeah, even I can admit it now: the Spurs-as-title-contender era is probably FIN. That's what happens when you load up your bench with 35-year-olds, insist that Bruce Bowen is anything other than a mediocre defender at this point in his career, and improbably feature Matt Bonner as a 4th option at times. I know there is a tendency to give RC Buford and Pop the benefit of the doubt when it comes to personnel moves, but it's been quite a few years since they upgraded their role players. Imagine how much better the Spurs would be with Flip Murray or Mo Evans coming off the bench to provide instant offense or defense.
  • As good as Denver looked in Games 1, 2, and the early parts of Game 3, do not count the Hornets out. Again, it comes back to that whole "when the best player on the court owns everyone else out there..." rule.
  • On the other hand, the Blazers have about as good a chance of stepping on the court in Round 2 as that possum pictured above does. A crashed bus full of prisoners doesn't empty as fast as that whole "Blazers can challenge the Lakers!" bandwagon did.
  • Even though I don't really like anyone on that team, I'm thoroughly enjoying the fact that the Rockets are about to advance to the second round of the playoffs...without T-Mac. Karma's a bitch. And yes, the Rockets do match up well with the Lakers. And no, it won't matter. Lakers win that one in six.
  • The final four minutes of these Sixers-Magic games are required viewing for any hoops-head. The preceding 44 minutes are definitely not. Whatever though...I love the first round of the NBA playoffs. Every night feels like that opening Thursday-Friday of March Madness, only involving teams and players I'm actually interested.

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