That was an AWESOME basketball game
Wow… I mean, really… wow. Let’s just roll right into the bullet points:
- Before we get to the play, I gotta start by saying that that was an AWESOME game. Great from start to finish. And a much needed awesome game for the NBA after how much flak they caught for how boring round one was. Two quick points on the actual game:
- Lamarcus… Have a series big man! I don’t know if it’s his lowkey nature, or the death of the ‘dominant big man’, or just being a Spur now or whatever, but I never saw LMA taking it to this level. All Star? Yes. Dominant offensive player at times? Yes. Second best player on a title team? Yes. But this? This is a new level. He’s playing like a guy who wants to make that leap into Superstar territory. Every time he touches the ball it’s like he knows he can score. And while I think Ibaka is overrated, and there’s still a whole new animal in that small-ball Warriors lineup next round, these first two games have been wildly impressive.
- I have absolutely ZERO faith in every Thunder player not named Durant or Westbrook in the final five minutes of a game. None. Roberson, Waiters, Ibaka, Foye, Payne, Adams, Kanter, whoever – I’m expecting a miss. And in that same breathe, we might as well include every Russ three-point attempt. Basically, if it’s not a KD shot or Russ inside the three point line, it’s a guaranteed miss. It’s the only team I feel that way about in the entire playoffs. I don’t know if I’ve just been conditioned to believe that, or if it’s actually true. But short of that one Waiters corner three and that blown alley-oop pass from Russ that led to an outrageously lucky Adams dunk, I can’t remember a single shot made by someone other than KD and Russ for the last eight minutes of that game.
- Okay… on to the play…
- First off… OUTRAGEOUS move by Billy Donovan to give Waiters the ball in the first place. I mean, how can you possibly justify that? Roberson, Foye, Payne, shit, even one of the big men. Basically anyone in the world except Dion Waiters should be taking that ball out. Indefensible move from Donovan, made even more indefensible when Waiters threw the first ever inbounds pass forearm shiver.
- Honestly, that should’ve been the single playcall that led Durant to leave OKC. I know it’s ridiculous to boil it down to one moment, but it’s true. If that foul is called and the Spurs go on to win that game, this series is over in 5 and KD is gone. Sorry for the clickbaity hyperbole here… but you could honestly argue that that’s one of the biggest missed calls in NBA history. I really believe that.
- I’m fine with Manu stepping on the line. That happens all the time. You can let a slight foot infraction go on the games biggest play. You can’t let a blatant shove from the guy who has the ball go.
- Awesome, AWESOME call from Chris Webber. That kind of passion is exactly what I want to hear on a telecast. I don’t know if he had money on the game or if he just has a permanent vendetta against all referees for the Kings-Lakers series, but that dude was the angriest person in the arena last night. And I loved every second of it.
- Lost in the shuffle of the actual lack of a call there is that we just watched the most Dion Waiters play of all time. That should’ve gone down as one of the single dumbest plays in NBA history, and the dude somehow got away with murder. Peak Dion.
- I know that play was a mess, but what is Danny Green doing throwing that ball to Mills under the basket? Seriously, what’s the best outcome there, Danny? That pass totally ruined that whole play. You have Manu to your right streaking to the basket, or an outlet behind you in Kawhi and Lamarcus. The last person who should be getting that ball is 5’11” Paddy Mills, under the basket, with Steven Adams on top of him. There were ten seconds left. If Green stops for one second to make a smarter pass, the Spurs score there.
- Kenny Mauer being involved in the outcome here is one of the least surprising facts I’ve ever heard. That guy makes Tim Donaghy look impartial. Every game that Kenny Mauer has ever been involved in has been rigged. I don’t care what you tell me, that’s a fact.
- But the number one highlight of the night? That has to go to Billy Donovan. I mean… the fucking stones it takes to sit up on the podium and play dumb like that. That’s some cold blooded, I’ve-broken-bread-with-the-mafia, this-hand-does-not-shake type of shit. It takes a special kind of person to pull that off. Dude sat up on that podium, blatantly lied, and basically just took the FIF right in all of our faces. “The play where Dion shoved Manu? Yeah sorry, I don’t know anything about that. FIF”
P.S. I’m all for giving these guys rest, but it’s absurd that Game 3 isn’t until Friday. One night off between home games, two nights off for travel. It’s not that hard.