That shit just be callin' me man, it be callin' me, man... I just got to go to it!-- Pookie, New Jack City
It's spring again-- Biz Markie, Spring Again
Everybody knows it's spring again
To the girls and boys and people above
This is the time to fall in love
This is a very special time of year. March Madness is about to start; the NBA regular season is slowly drawing to a close, and teams are gearing up for the playoffs; and, after a slight hiccup, it's finally getting warmer and is probably going to stay that way (knock on wood) -- which means I, Dr. Julius Sparkles, will soon be dusting off my black Nikes and hitting the ball court, like Muslims making the pilgrimage to Mecca. Or rushing towards poorly-guarded overseas embassies.
I turn 28 this year, which means I'm probably at my prime as far as athletic performance is concerned. There's a lot of gas still in the tank, but I'm at that point where I'm willing to admit that some chinks are showing in the armor. It's probably all downhill after this season, so I'm going to play as frequently and as hard as possible, and pretend like it's a contract year. Watch out imaginary world -- I plan to average a triple double this season in the BPL (Bundang Pick-Up League). Those 6th graders are so toast.
That's my official prediction (if, by the way, you're in Bundang, or willing to make the trip, and want to play some ball, send me an e-mail). As for the real league -- the one I didn't create in my mind -- I have some thoughts on what the future holds for those guys, too.
They don't have a strong enough bench to make much noise in the playoffs. Plus, there's always a chance that Wince could fly to Mexico on the eve of a game 7 in order to put the final surgical touches on his transformation into a woman. An ugly woman with hops.
Both AIs and C-Webb are going to come strong in April. But, as with NJ, their lack of depth will prevent them from getting very far. When am I going to start seeing Free Iverson T-shirts?
Paul Pierce's awesome play this past month has come too late for them to make the playoffs. The biggest non-Pierce related story in Boston has been the emergence of Ryan Gomes (who?). If they fire Doc Rivers, they might be competitive next season.
I'm really excited that Rob Babcock won't be making this summer's draft choices. Tip for Brian Colangelo: try to get a replacement for Chris Bosh, because he's not going to stick around. Even if he says he intends to, don't listen. We've heard it before. Hell, T.O. is my home team, and even I wouldn't want to play there.
I don't think Isiah could possibly make any more stupid moves, but I've been wrong about that numerous times. Look for them to try to get Kenyon Martin. I wonder how many bodyguards Isiah has. He should probably double that number. Just saying.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2006 NBA Champions. And your runner-up for Coach of the Year (props, Avery).
First, probably the stupidest thing you could do if your a Cavs fan -- besides making Bill Bixby angry and saying "Beetlejuice" three times -- is boo Lebron. It takes a very special, stupid fanbase to do that. Congrats, Cleveland; Your fans (even if it was a minority, the rest should have beat them senseless) are dumber than Marlee Matlin. Yes, he stunk up the place in the 2nd half of that game -- but Lebron is like the hot girl whom you've implausibly convinced to go out with you, and you have to keep complimenting her if you want to have any chance of getting some pussy.
The Cavs'll get to the second round, during which Lebron will end up devouring all of his fingers (the thumbs are where the good meat is, 'Bron) on both hands. Even with stubs, he'll still be an All-Star, I predict.
Wait 'til next year, Indiana. Sound familiar? Sorry. You're not going very far this post season. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men. Can we have Rick Carlisle quit and take the (soon to be, at least in a fair world) vacant Raptors head coaching job?
They'll hold that final playoff spot. Lucky for them their biggest threat is...
Poor Kirk Hinrich. Luke Ridnour gets an invite to tryout for Team USA and Kirk doesn't? Kirk, you're the MC Search of b-ball, and Luke is Milkbone. You're the Brokeback Mountain of hoops, Kirk. Don't worry, even if they put together a decent team, they're still going to be coached by Mike Krzyzewski, which is even dumber than hiring Larry Brown to coach the 2004 Olympic team.
Anyway, I see the Bulls making a run for KG. They'll get the 2nd pick in this summer's draft, take Adam Morisson, and then have to decide whether to trade away Hinrich or Ben Gordon. My money's on Gordon.
And they'll still have a hard time making the playoffs.
They're going to be impressive in the playoffs, but they just don't have what it takes to beat Detroit in a 7-game series. They haven't been together long enough. Then again, Detroit's bench is the Piston's Achilles heel, so maybe, just maybe...
They'll make it to the second round if they end up playing the Nets in the first.
I'd like to say that they have a strong foundation, that all the building blocks are there. But there's obviously a curse on the Magic, and Dwight Howard will probably end up blowing his knee out, Jameer Nelson will develop a drug habit, and Darko...gasp!...won't pan out. Just take a look at past Magic alumni and tell me I'm way off on this:
- Nick Anderson's awesome free throws
- Dennis Scott
- Shaq, 3-time champ IN LA!
- Grant Hill
- T-Mac and his wonky back
I'm probably forgetting a bunch more. Point is that, if you're a professional basketball player, you have a better chance winning league MVP as Kobe's teammate than having a long, successful career with the Magic.
Call me crazy, but I see them making the playoffs next season.
Do they even have bobcats in North Carolina? I realize that there's no Jazz scene in Utah, and that there are no lakes in Los Angeles, but those teams kept their original names after moving, from New Orleans (hey, big trend!) and Minneapolis, respectively. If there are no bobcats in Charlotte, they picked a really stupid name.
(And for the record, yes, there are so dinosaurs in Toronto. Two, actually: Ed Mervish and Antonio Davis.)
Everyone, including myself, is questioning them right now, what with their injuries and such. But we've seen this before. If they can stay healthy, they should make the finals.
[Will Farrell voice]
Would play in the conference finals were it not for the badly-in-need-of-an-adjustment divisional playoffs structure. I still can't figure them out. They're the L's biggest enigma. Is Dirk really that good? Um, I guess he has to be, because I can't name one guy besides Josh Howard whom I'd like to have on my team, and he's far from being a superstar (good D, though).
I think they're all wearing Magneto-style helmets which prevent anyone from understanding them. My only hope is that they don't play the Suns, mercifully sparing us from hearing about how much Steve Nash and Dirk love each other.
They should change their team name to The Memphis Early First Round Exiters (I'm so witty).
Better luck next year, Hornets.
By the way, I was listening to Masta Ace's INC Ride a few days ago and gregariously altered the punks be all up on it like a Charlotte Hornet bit to punks be all up on it like a New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornet. I guess you had to be there.
The future does not look bright for T-Mac. He's like one of the survivors in the Final Destination movies. The reaper finally got Stevie, Tracy: he's in Hell, aka New York. Your time is running out.
PS - I wonder what T-Back looks like when he's anesthetized. Does he ironically appear to be awake?
'Melo will win the Most Improved Player award. If I were 'Melo, I'd pull an Alex de Large and tell 'em where they can stick that award.
The Nugs will make the conference finals. *cough!*
I can see KG playing for them next season. Sure, nobody wants to live in Utah, but at least the weather is better than...
My magic 8-ball (not to be confused with my magic 8-ball, or my Magic 8-ball) says: outlook not so good.
With 'Shard set to bolt, and with Jesus not getting any younger, they're going to be even worse next season. Sad thought.
I'm going out on a limb here and predicting that they'll get the 1st pick in this summer's draft (they own their pick, don't they?). I think Rudy Gay is the only thing that can save them. Get Gay, Portland.
Amare Stoudamire will not, I repeat, will not be back this season. They're going to get upset in the first round, I can feel it.
Chris Kaman would win the Most Improved Player award were he not so up-and-down. Jesus, did you see his line from yesterday? 24 pts, 23 rbs, 1 ast, 4 stls and 3 blks. Fntastc! Amzng!
It has been a great year for the Clips. Too bad they'll get bounced out of the 1st round.
I watched them embarrass the Spurs at home last weekend. If they meet in the first round, and if Duncan is hurting, look for an upset. A Lakers/Spurs matchup, surprisingly, has the potential to be the first round's most exciting series.
They're going to make the playoffs, and will make the 2nd round*. Ron Artest will have an altercation -- possibly with Dirk Nowitzki -- and promptly get suspended, at least for 1 game. Just like old times.
Everyone called me crazy when I predicted, before the season, that they wouldn't make the playoffs. They still call me crazy, but now for other reasons.
* if these playoffs predictions sound too out there (and, granted, I've predicted the Lakers, Kings and Nuggets to all make the conference semis), please keep in mind that I filled out my Final Four bracket last night and am still giddy with upset fever. Still, these are my predictions, and I'm sticking with (most of) them.
Kreskin aka Criswell*_*