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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Hoop-o-Sphere

Matt Bernhardt of Bulls Blog hosts the latest Carnival of the NBA, complete with lotsa links to NBA blogs discussing the playoffs. While I watch Dallas-Phoenix, a few thoughts on the postseason...

West is best (viewing): Why is Mavs-Suns on now? Does ABC really think that Indiana-Detroit is more compelling television, worthy of the network TV audience earlier today? Anyone outside the midwest would rather see the series where the teams actually score baskets, I think. And is Shaq really that much of a TV draw that until today, every ABC game involved the Miami Heat?

Nobody Beats the Wiz (except Miami): Last night's game was just bizarre since the comeback happened with Juan Dixon and Steve Blake on the floor after Gilbert Arenas fouled out. Arenas showed a little Pierce/Walker-type behavior by getting a technical upon being called for his fifth foul, nearly getting another when he slammed the ball to the floor in frustration at another point, and dejectedly throwing his jersey into the crowd when he was DQed with his sixth foul. Since I've been subjected to lots of Wizards basketball living in DC this season (and the dreadful broadcast team of Buckhantz and Chenier), I know Arenas does this to give a fan a souvenir at the end of every game, but it sure as hell seemed out of place when Arenas fouled out with six minutes to go and his team fighting for its playoff life. Al Michaels and Hubie Brown were confused, with Michaels asking, "What do you do with that, take it to the laundromat?" Even if Arenas sees this as some good gesture on his part, I think it's a stupid thing to do, especially in this context. I know he's a pro athlete with a physique he might want to show off on TV, but the vast majority of male fans don't really need to be seeing you shirtless either, Gilbert. (The WNBA, by contrast, might increase its following if its players did stuff like this.)

Game Breaks Hurt: Time to bitch about the TNT coverage. Was it really necessary to have such a long break between the Indiana-Detroit and Phoenix-Dallas games on Wednesday night? They did two whole segments back in the studio, even showing some of a Rick Carlisle press conference, well after the announced 10:30 start time of the late game. As a result, Dirk Nowitzki ended up hitting his game winning shot at around 1:25am eastern, and I was very tired on Thursday.

The Ghost of Ron Artest: I just thought I'd add that Bill Rhoden wrote a silly column in yesterday's NYT suggesting the Pacers are better off without Ron Artest--never mind that they had the best record in the league last year. On seeing the Artest interview by Jim Gray of ESPN this week, the part that struck me was when Artest explained what he tells his kids about the brawl: "Daddy made a mistake." It must be quite something to be the child of Ron Artest, don't you think?

Commercials I Know and Love: "Samantha wanted hors d'ouevres!" "They're plastic, and they're spectacular!" "Refresh, rethink, reeee-mixxx!"

Commercials I Have Grown to Hate: All of those Dr. J ads--I don't think a Hollywood career beckons. Who made Erving the authority on winning championships, since he only won a title once on that 1983 team that was led by Moses Malone?