Newsflash: The West is INSANE

by April 07, 2008

By Sam Rubenstein

Last night there was a double overtime game full of playoff implications for one side, final score 151-147. Normally that would be the token crazy game of the season, an aberration for which a season will be remembered. This year, it’s almost expected. Even as teams solidify their playoff seeding, the West is still completely out of control. Congrats to the Sonics though, for one of the most loaded spoiler games ever.

Vince wrote a column a while ago about how the Nuggets play slop ball, and while I saw his point, it really didn’t bother me that much. Some teams are sloppy, it’s good to have variety. Then I saw the end of their 168 point game against Seattle. Guys were pulling up for threes, JR Smith was dunking on people, against a team that recently shipped out pretty much every single one of its veterans to clear cap space and is about to pack up its things and skip town.

Keep in mind the Nuggets coach once coached the Sonics, when they were supposed to be a budding dynasty, and they played a similar front-running, high-flying style but with great defensive players on board. Oh, and they blew it to of all teams, the Nuggets in the first round, the first #1 losing to a #8. George Karl has changed sides, and it’s just incredible that he couldn’t see this coming having all of that first hand experience. When the Nuggets humiliated the Sonics, when they made a mockery of another professional team, they set themselves up for the take down. At the time I thought maybe next year or down the road, cause how could the Sonics with Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and a bunch of castaways ever beat Iverson, Melo, Camby, etc. when one team has everything to play for and the other has nothing. Why would Seattle even bother to play hard at this time of year? Well, when you slap them in the face and laugh at them like in the 168 point game, that’s a pretty good way to get the other team fired up.

Denver played eight men last night. Allen Iverson played 55 minutes. Camby and Melo played 48 each and Kenyon Martin played 46. Even if the Nuggets survive to make the playoffs, last night will cost them and they have nobody to blame but themselves.

Another completely insane development, that needs to be shackled down at Arkham asylum it’s so crazy, is the return of Dirk Nowitzki with the HEART OF A CHAMPION! What sick, twisted, parallel universe are we living in right now? The Mavs have gone from staving off an epic collapse that couldn’t beat a .500 team to save it’s life, with their obnoxious team owner looking a total jerk with no class and billions of meaningless dollars, to becoming a legitimate threat again.

I hope Golden State makes it, but they’re really not doing themselves any favors right now. This Thursday should be the big one: Denver at Golden State, and it’s at 8 P.M Eastern. Anything less than triple OT 170-169 on a buzzer beater by Baron would be a let-down. Actually scratch that, cause it’s too predictable. Something completely f*cking nuts is going to happen on Thursday.

On top of all the race for 7th and 8th talk, the Hornets could be the top seed in the West. Chris Paul has carried the team with a point guard season really unmatched in recent memory, and I mean Steve Nash won back to back MVPs with some amazing individual seasons for a point guard, and Paul has outdone those seasons this year (defense too!). But, the Hornets have almost no significant playoff experience other than Peja, who really isn’t a crunch time killer on that stage. They will have to deal with the Spurs or Kobe at some point, if it gets that far, and in the NBA, experience is supposedly the thing that matters come playoff time, which is why old teams keep winning the championship.

Congrats to Memphis and Kansas by the way. I left watching the Kansas game at halftime to go bowling, assuming the blowout. Got tight there, but as soon as I got to the bowling alley, Kansas pulled away. My bad.