Links: Playoffs Diary Day Six

by April 25, 2008

by Lang Whitaker

OK, we’re almost a week in. After two games, it all looked pretty simple and explainable. In fact, I realized yesterday morning that it looked as thought I was going to correctly predict all 8 of the first round winners. And I still think I’m going to nail all eight. But everything took a turn for the interesting tonight.

I really thought Washington was dunzo after LeBron shattered them in games 1 and 2, but they got their groove back tonight while Cleveland looked hungover. Washington didn’t just win, they destroyed Cleveland and somehow made Souljah Boy relevant. Tell ’em! Years from now, we will look back on this series and not remember Cleveland eventually winning or LeBron taking over games four and five. No, instead we will recall Soulja Boy, a rapper who writes his name on his sunglasses and then wears them indoors.

And look what happened to Washington tonight: They stopped trying to thug it out and instead made like Soulja Boy: fun and disposable. That’s where the wins are for the Wiz.

Up in the T-Dot, the Raptors got one back as well. They’ve been letting Orlando push them around, but TJ Ford decided to make some shots for a change and everything opened up for the Raps. I tried to watch this game but got distracted by “The Office” and “30 Rock.” As Jack Donagie said, “Hugs are so…ethnic.”

I did watch most of the Jazz/Rockets game, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: By far the coolest part of this game was Carl Landry getting his tooth knocked out. Boozer caught him with a stray hand and a tooth went soaring majestically through the air. As it turned out, it was a temporary tooth that got knocked out, a falsie Landry had installed after Mutombo knocked the same tooth out in practice earlier this season.

Anyway, really good, hard-played game with two tough teams. If it wasn’t for Collins The Greater’s braids, this game would’ve looked like it was being played in the 1960s. Houston got Rafer back from injury and he gave them just enough firepower to squeak out the win in this series where no home team has won a game. A Carl Landry one-toothed block of a Deron Williams runner sealed it for H-Town.

Why does Rafer Alston always look like someone just told him to go sit in the corner?

I’m on the road tomorrow night, and I’m lining up a fill-in as I type. Then I’ll be back with ya through the rest of the weekend. In the meantime, thought I’d consolidate this post with NBA Friday.

Oh, but first, I wanted to get a link up to this clip that aired really late on TNT Wednesday night. It’s pretty self-explanatory, and the parts with Kobe laughing get more and more awkward the more I watch them…

Quality. Now, finally, let’s check in with Joel Kimmel, the official illustrator of The Links. This week’s team is the Denver Nuggets. And this week’s player? Allen Iverson.

“One of the first words that comes to mind when describing Iverson is ‘heart,'” Joel says. “He’s always been undersized in stature but made up for it with the energy and passion in which he plays the game. You can often see Iverson on the court, hunched over and tugging at his shorts for a quick breather, his heart pounding. I wanted to portray a moment like that where he’s in the middle of a tough game, facing players who are bigger and stronger than him, and he stops to gather himself before heading back into the battle. Of course he’s also an emotional player, so I put some hearts on his sleeve.”

The picture is below. Have a great weekend and keep checking in with SLAMonline all weekend!!