No column-type thing, as I have many things to say, all of them disjointed. Thus we resort to your standard "musings" or "thoughts" post. No doubt these are "random."
- One is inclined to like the concept of Dick Bavetta. He is an NBA referee at the ripe old age of seven hundred and forty-two. I'm sure somewhere in the Bible it says "And Bavetta begat Hastor." He's the definition of the word "spry," and it's always handy to have a platonic ideal wandering around in case you run into foreigners having difficulty with the langauge. Despite having all the aforementioned oldness about him, though, he makes calls with a simple, childlike enthusiasm. To translate Bavetta into sarcastic internet speak:
OMG OMG OMG Pistons ball out of bounds LOL.
This is all very entertaining.
- HOWEVER, when Cute Old NBA Referee and his merry band of travelling minstrels flash back to the days when there wasn't a no-charge circle under the net, ignore requests for timeout, or pretend to not notice James Posey getting very up-close-and-prison with Chauncey Billups in the waning moments of a game that's within two points because you ignored a request for a timeout, well, it is very annoying.
- The difference was night and day, but then we got quite a bit of night at the end again. What? Compare the Pistons offense from the waning days of the Cavs series and Game 1 with what we saw up until about the third quarter tonight. There's been quite a bit of debate about whether the Pistons were just missing open shots or if they weren't executing their offense as well. I think it's some of both, but with an emphasis on the latter. The Pistons sometimes get into funks where they stand around until the shot clock is down to about ten and then rely on a one-on-one play to score. Since they are not in possession of a Shaq, Wade, Lebron, or any of the other genetic lottery winners that can get something useful at a whim, this is extremely damaging. They require the movement, penetration, and kick stuff to get open shots.
- A side effect of not having a spectacular one-on-one player is that the Pistons seem to have major trouble when opponents switch all their screens, since it lures them into that iso-exploit-the-mismatch game that causes everyone to stand around, watching one guy work.
- 50% less crap... 50% less crap... so you only get a few sentences on Lindsey Hunter and his totally incorrect notion that he should be shooting contested threes with time on the shot clock. For that, Linsdey Hunter, you get this:
- His name is Prince and, as the turbaned man's Best Sign Ever said, he is funky. I don't have much add. I love Prince's quiet efficiency, his range, his swooping drives, and his ability to block everything from three-pointers to the entire Indiana Pacers franchise (seriously: from that moment on the team that seemed poised to dominate the East for five years has slumped to mediocrity). I also love that he reminds me of a pterodactyl.
(Does anyone have that picture somewhere? I desperately need it.)
- They are giving Ben the same respect they gave Jason Collins and are calling Shaq when he attepts to make pate out of Ben's jaw with his elbow. And as a result, Ben is doing a great job on Shaq, stats aside. Most of Shaq's points were off wide open dunks that other players created for him by forcing Ben to rotate. All night Shaq's hooks were six inches to a foot short because Ben had him juuuust that much out of his comfort zone. I have privately worried that Ben has been slipping and have had deeply panicked internal monologues about it: last night was soothing.
- We all know ESPN is violent death as a sports broadcast, but really, that awful camera angle with the sliding camera that's way too close to see the corners and at an angle in which you can't understand anyone's movement is beyond even my expectations for their stupidity. As King Kaufman always says, "show the game."
- Hubie Brown has no short-term memory. That is all.
Most annoying was the Posey stuff, since at any other time in the game he would have been called for a foul and everyone would have been like "yes, that is obviously a foul," but for some reason they got all NHL playoff ref on us.
Also, a note: the pregame/halftime guys annoy me even when I am fast-forwarding past them. (I have had to tape the Piston games the last two nights, as they are being shown simultaneously with Edmonton Oiler games and ESPN keeps telling me what the score is when I try to watch basketball first.)