Hump Day Hoops & Hockey Hooey

Let’s start with the Continental Drift, which in its most common usage refers to the shifting of the earth’s continents in relation to each other across the ocean bed. You know, tectonic plates and all that stuff.

For me it’s Tony Parker’s signature move. That it is homage to Francois Hollande makes sense. Parker, we’re likely to forget since he married and divorced a famous Hispanic — the singular gossip page item upon which his San Antonio Spurs might claim a modest moment of glitz — and has been an NBA fixture for quite awhile now, is a Frog.

His Gaulish accent remains, albeit having been skewed somewhat by hanging in longneck, ZZ Top country. Often he sounds like Clouseau, or, you know, maybe Texan Tommy Lee Jones going faux French.

And his move — The Continental Drift, remember? — is counter intuitive. He goes up for his mid range jumper, then leans . . . left. Denny Crum must cringe that most of the time he’s out of plane from close range.

Ask Russell Westbrook, the up and comer who plays point for the not quite ready for the trophy OKC Thunder, if Parker’s effective or not.

By the end of last night’s Spur’s dissection of their Western Conference foe, the former Bruin’s head was about to spin off. Greg Popovich’s charges had running him through so many picks, he looked like Goldie Hawn with her corkscrewed head in “Death Becomes Her.”

As Reggie Miller mentioned during the telecast, Westbrook surely slept well last night. San Antonio ran him ragged, schooling him, and his mates, from the get go.

If ever it was proper to trot out the old aphorism, “They play the game the way it’s supposed to be played,” describing the Spurs execution last night is the time.

It was a joy to behold. Screen. Pick. Cut. Pass. Screen. Pass. Cut. Pass. Pass. Pass. And then, depending upon which particular possession you are extolling, it would end with a) a wide open layup and the Thunder looking at each other with bewildered eyes, or b) a wide open 3 from the corner and the Thunder young Thunder pointing fingers at each other.

(Of which long balls, the Spurs hit 42% for the tilt.)

(Yes, OKC hit 47% of its trey attempts, but they were mostly catchup, out of desperation shots. San Antonio’s were part of symphonic flow.)

The final tally was 120-111. It was not that close.

San Antonio has now won 20 games in a row, the last ten in the playoffs?

* * * * *

¬†Watching the NBA playoffs and the Spurs especially the last couple weeks, I’ve been struck by two things.

1. The anti-NBA animus here in Hoopsylvania. At a cookout the other night, a big b-ball fan said with a dismissive tone, “Why would anybody watch the NBA?” Two fellow fans nodded in agreement.

Well, they are the best basketball players in the world. So, if only for that, it’s worth a look when they’re actually trying for the full 48 minutes of the game. The level of talent is stunning, if the game is different from that played in college.

When Durant or LeBron or Kobe are doing their thing, even if it smacks from individualism, it should be smile inducing to anybody who appreciates the game. And when San Antonio plays like they have been, last night’s masterpiece but the latest example, it’s even more of a joy to behold.

2. The level of disrespect afforded San Antonio. Those who deride the play for pay game speak of the chest thumping, dunk-centric attitude as the reason for their disaffection. Yet, the Spurs, the absolute antithesis of that get the Rodney Dangerfield. They just play. They play a fast and exciting game, scoring loads of points. They don’t get DUIs at 3:00 in the morning. They don’t jump when free agents. They are coachable.

Yet, you mention the Spurs, and people yawn.

Your loss, folks.

* * * * *

The Stanley Cup Finals start tonight.

I know that about as many of you as like soccer care about hockey.Which is to say not many.

Let me reiterate: Your loss, folks.

Anyway, in case you haven’t noticed it’s the New Jersey Devils vs the Los Angeles Kings. I guess they’re thinkin’ pucks not hoops in LA LA Land. Wonder if Jaaaaaaaaaack with be rinkside?

I have no idea who is going to win?¬† But I know this. I’ll be watching (except when the Spurs are playing if there’s a conflict). And the final pits a #6 seed vs. a #8 seed. This is like if Atlanta played Utah for the NBA title.

– Seedy K

One Comment

  1. bob
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    If the NBA gave homage to Fancois, Tony Parker would have to give up 75% of his points and assists to others less talented in the NBA.

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