Can you dig it? The Golden State Warriors haven’t gotten people this excited since they were a prospective Ras Kass/Xzibit/Saafir underachieving rapper supergroup in the late-90s (update: make that a still-notionally extant supergroup!), and the Warriors finished off a huge upset tonight. But let me get to that in a minute. It’s been a bit since I got bloggy in here, and I want to stretch out some.
I haven’t watched much of the Warriors/Mavs or any other NBA Playoffs series due to a workload that has significantly overwhelmed my feeble time-management capacities. Today represented a break of sorts, as I finished a bunch of work — you try writing an old-timey-but-informative basketball card for humps like this guy, 200 times over — and settled in to watch the Mavs/Warriors, interspersed with a little bit of Mets action. The TV Party was on, and I…am only now beginning to feel some embarrassment over the fact that watching a bunch of TV was how I chose to celebrate wrapping up a bunch of work. Anyway, here’s what happened.
Both games started excitingly enough, and wound up in extensive Burgos Time by the time their conclusions. True, Ambiorix Burgos did not come in to do his usual janitorial duty after the Mets got gully on the Diamondbacks’ Jose Valverde and Dustin Nippert — blowing a win for a very effective, very badly goateed Micah Owings — in a six-run ninth inning. But Burgos Time is Burgos Time, whether Scott Schoeneweis is pitching or not. The Mets won 9-4, their 11th straight win at Arizona’s Chase Field, and got another clutch home run from poker-faced ‘Stache Stand-in Damion Easley.
Dame might betray some emotion over the fact that he was robbed of his inevitable “Easley Does It” or “We Want Easley” back cover headline in the New York Post by the fact that one of the biggest playoff upsets in NBA history also happened tonight. The Warriors, a team I’d seen in person earlier this season looking enjoyable but mediocre, revealed their new playoff steez — a little stroke of Nellified coaching genius called “spazz out up and down the court like it’s NBA Jam and you have comically oversized, caricatured heads” — and ran the Mavericks way the hell out of the building, 111-86, taking the series 4-2.
Stephen Jackson went berserk in one of his two preferred ways of going berserk, finishing with 33 points and hitting 7 of 8 3-pointers. A visibly hobbled, fully unstoppable Baron Davis (20 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists), Matt Barnes (16 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, one robust, avian-themed neck tattoo) and Andris Biedrins (12 points, 12 boards, a worse haircut than Barnes’ lo-fauxhawk) provided able support. Dirk Nowitzki was double-teamed throughout the night and played terribly: he seemed tight, nervous, and more than a little frantic. His Dirkness finished with Erick Dampier’s stat line: 8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 of 13 shooting. Dampier, for his part, finished with a stat line reading: DNP-CD. Due to the bountiful Burgos Time at the end of the game, though, players who did not record DNPs include Saras Jasikevicius, Kelenna Azubuike and Mo Ager.
There will be difficult questions for the Mavericks in the days and weeks ahead, but tonight is not the night to ponder their collective disappearance in this series. Tonight is the night to celebrate the third paragraph in Bill Simmons’ most recent riff-fest — and yes, I know this post is somewhat Sports Bro-ian in its lack of focus; I’ve been writing basketball cards for fucking Ante Tomic for two weeks, so take it easley on me. Sports Bro’s piece (with a rare double-passive-construction headline) was ostensibly about the Warriors fans. Remember that when you read this.
Once upon a time, the Celtics had the most significant home-court advantage thanks to 15,000 savvy hoop lunatics crammed into an overheated lunchbox. Since I was blessed with the chance to attend most of their pivotal games during the Bird Era, you have to believe me on this one — we swung the outcome of six series (’81 Sixers, ’84 Lakers, ’87 Bucks, ’87 Pistons, ’88 Hawks and ’91 Pacers) in which superior opponents failed to handle the mythical combination of Bird and the Garden. Off the top of my head, I can remember 20-25 games in which we carried the team to a higher place.
And that’s just off the top of his head! Don’t worry, he gets to the Warriors fan — who, by the way, were amazing tonight at yelling and holding up their Comcast-sponsored “We Believe” signs — in paragraph six. Goodnight.