By J-Zone

Yessir! I’m back like these hi-top fade haircuts that shoulda been left in 1989 (don’t ask a grown man like me to “take it back”, I was though with it before these retro-kids learned what to do with it).  Sorry I didn’t chime in with a finals preview 2 weeks ago. I’m glad I didn’t, considering the Celtics went to seven games twice against much less talented teams, faced Detroit and had question marks over their performances up until that point. I would have called the finals a little differently based on fatigue alone. Given, the Celtics had the best regular season record in the NBA. But if you were to tell me they would have crushed the Lakers in 6, made a historical comeback from a 22 point deficit to win one on the road and smack them by 40 in the final game…ok. I would have expected to see Michael Cooper and Robert Parrish ride unicycles through fire rings in Speedos for the halftime show first. But low and behold,  the unthinkable. Boston takes it all with Spot Book ease, makes history, gets KG and Ray Allen (one of my all-time favorites) their much deserved rings, guarantees Paul Pierce’s jersey will be in the rafters in one day and gets a middle school caliber coach his first Gatorade victory bath. My prediction for the finals before the playoffs came true, but let’s look at the Lakers for a sec.

The Lakers’ performance in the finals may perhaps be the softest and most anti-climactic in NBA history. It was like watching the Toronto Raptors with a superstar (Bosh is a star, not a superstar). A bunch of brunette Downy-soft low-cal Dirk Nowitzki’s (Gasol, Vujacic, Pavlovic, etc.), the NBA equivalent of Jon Arbuckle (Luke Walton), Captain Streaky (Lamar Odom), a bunch of arbitrary role players and a superstar  “MVP” (Chris Paul got robbed) who happens to the best player in the NBA but never stepped into “old Kobe” mode when needed.  As a matter of fact, the old-selfish 50 shots a game Kobe would’ve done some good in this series. Trusting your teammates in a newfound “mature” humbleness is completely pointless when nobody is picking up the slack. Who’s gonna give you 15 a game, Jordan Farmar? Get real. May as well go get Devean George on a ten day contract. Odom has one brilliant quarter and disappears like BET News.  Half the team is showing concern for the community by shooting enough bricks to constitute affordable public housing in the Staples Center. Derek Fisher and Ray Allen traded places from the previous series’ in their games of Where’s Waldo? and Gasol’s 10 foot ostrich a*s  is missing 8 foot jumpers, getting stripped by a barely 6 foot Rajon Rondo and falling clumsily on the floor like a fire drill gone completely awry. The Lakers never could de-code the Celtics defense, but the bottom line is the Lakers lost because their own defensive effort was dog shit. But the old greedy Kobe would’ve at least brought this thing to seven.  To hell with team ball, when you’re in the position LA was in in that epic Game 4 collapse, it’s time for some good old 2005 one on five basketball.

But now let’s talk defense and rebounding (or  lack thereof). I knew the Lakers had no interior defense, but  to quote T.I., “I was flabbergasted”.  I’ve seen better defense in a game of HORSE. A crucial play in that Game 4 collapse was Ray Allen dribbling out the shot clock, then fox trotting his way to the rack completely uncontested.  In the replay you see Vujacic just chillin, lookin like he wants to ask Ray out on a date or something. “Yo Ray come back, I was just kidding!” . Game 5, although the Lakers won, was another example of those pesky rebounding allergies the Lakers suffer from and in Game 6, what a better way to go out than to just say ‘the hell with perimeter defense, we may as well watch Ray Allen get busy from five feet away so we don’t have to search it on you tube later?’ And lets not forget a playoff record low two offensive rebounds in the game. Jeeeezuussss! If I had a 213 or 323 area code, I would be disgusted and in complete opposition to anything purple and yellow. Spree candies, Flintstone Vitamins, whatever…A healthy Andrew Bynum and an angry Kobe Bryant may have given us a different outcome, but oh well. This crap performance + that smog = a looong summer in LA.

On the Boston side, they finally played up to their potential, but don’t get it twisted. This team was beatable. Known for slow starts, an opponent with a killer mentality can put this team away after the first quarter. This is a game of runs and this team is loaded, true, but I honestly believe 25 of the NBA’s teams would’ve grabbed Game 4. But nonetheless, the “Big 3” get their rings and hopefully people now stop snoozing on James Posey.  His three pointer in the third quarter of Game 4 to cut the Laker lead to 8, followed by his evil smirk at Lamar Odom was as pivotal as anything in the game.  And you can Dwyane Wade talk all you want, Posey leaving Miami is a HUGE reason why they went from sugar to sh*t. Hollywood Blvd. vs. Mass. Ave…what a before and after picture.

Enough of that, I’d now like to present to you  my first annual year end NBA awards. This is just my opinion, so if you don’t like it, go read a hoops blog geared towards popular opinion.

– MY STARTING 5

G- Kobe Bryant
G- Chris Paul
F- LeBron James
F- Kevin Garnett
C- Tim Duncan*

*some people consider him a power forward with a poor sense of style, but you can’t hide fact.

– MY SECOND TEAM

G- Deron Williams
G- Tony Parker
F- Paul Pierce
F- Caron Butler
C- Dwight Howard*

* I would’ve chosen Yao Ming, but he was injured half the season. Dwight is the man but he’s a robot on offense. He’s got the shooting touch of a slightly imporved Ben Wallace but the build of Ivan Drago from Rocky IV, so I woudn’t wanna go against that dude.

– TEAM UNDERRATED

G- Baron Davis
G- Joe Johnson/ Mo Williams (tie)
G- Monta Ellis*
F- Hedo Turkoglu**
F- Tayshaun Prince

* The Warriors run a four guard offense anyway
** Regular season only, he stunk up the playoffs

– THE “BILL LAMBEER MUST BE ASHAMED OF US” ALL-SOFT TEAM
(Sponsored by Snuggle fabric Softener & Mr. Sof-Tee)

G- Any of them forwards on the Lakers or Raptors that wanna be guards, I’ll grant em their wish
G- Dirk Nowitzki (since he thinks he’s a 2 guard, I’ll grant him his wish)
F- Dirk Nowitzki (clone him so he can get on this team twice)
F- Carmelo “Moonwalker” Anthony
C- Pau “Stop, Drop N Roll” Gasol

– MVP: Chris Paul

– NBA FINALS MVP: Tie- Paul Pierce/ Ray Allen

– PIMP OF THE YEAR: Keith Van Horn
Bottom line, he made a cool few million to play Candy Land with the trainers in the NJ Nets’ locker room for 2 months. I’m now a fan.

– THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT: Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trailblazers, New Orleans Hornets

– THE FUTURE LOOKS GRIM: NY Knicks, NJ Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Detroit Pistons, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavs, Chicago Bulls, LA Clippers & Minnesota Timberwolves.

– HE’S STILL IN THE LEAGUE??: Kwame Brown

– COACH OF THE YEAR: Byron Scott (not a fan of him, but that Hornets team exceeded expectations)

– WORST COACH TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP: Doc Rivers

– WORST COACH: Isiah Thomas , Flip Saunders (tie)

– BIGGEST TEAM A**HOLE NOT ON THE ROSTER: Mark Cuban

– BIGGEST BUST OF A TRADE: The Mavs/Nets trade

– ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Al Horford. Judging by total impact, not stats. Kevin Durant has stats and talent, but he’s the next Tracy McGrady (not really a good thing).

– BEST POSTGAME INTERVIEWS: Rasheed Wallace

– WORST ANNOUNCER: Doug Collins

– WORST BASKETBALL COMMENTATOR: Stuart Scott (ESPN)
Can somebody tap this Bojangling clown on the shoulder and tell him that his “cooler than the other side of the pillow” comment is old, corny and trite? And PLEASE, if this dude says “on fiiiiiyaaa like MOP” one more time, I’m boycotting ESPN. Speaking of MOP, special shout to my man Lil Fame. Anybody that knows who MOP is, knows how out of place and awful this is. For those that don’t, MOP is a legendary hardcore rap group with videos that look like this. There is NOTHING in this video that even suggests that drill sergeant fade wearing cornball Stuart Scott should even have MOP’s name in his mouth. Somebody fire this guy…or put him in that MOP video and let those drooling dogs entertain him for an hour. Good riddance!

– BEST BASKETBALL COMMENTATOR: Charles Barkley (TNT)
OK, I’m sick to death of him and Dwyane Wade’s T-Mobile commercials to the point I’m about to switch to Sprint. But I will say, this guy has a sense of humor and is one of  the only ones that’ll put somebody on blast in the politically correct world of the NBA. The fact that he’s completely mangled the English language in entertaining fashion gives him an automatic pass. Anything less would be “turrible”.

– A**HOLE OF THE YEAR: None other than ol Turkey Neck David Stern. Good luck with damage control post-Tim Doneghy, you schmuck.

I may chime in to make fun of the NY Knicks’ pick on draft night or sound off about a crazy summer trade, but with those exceptions, I’m done til November. I’d like to thank all of you that read this column/blog on the regular and to James, Akrobatik and all my Boston folks reading this, congrats! Don’t get a champagne headache poppin all that bubbly.


http://www.myspace.com/jzoneoldmaid