Re: The Villainless Finals

1

but you can't really hold that against him

You can't?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:45 PM
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Compared to KG ghandhi was evil. And did you see that heroism from Paul Pierce? What a champ.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:46 PM
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Have you overlearned the lessons of the Iraq war? Not all sociopaths should be tolerated.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:46 PM
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I might as well go read a poem.

So they won't be villanelleless, then. Which is actually how I first read "villainless." What has w-lfs-n done to me?

(That fruit is so low it isn't worth the effort.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:47 PM
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Oh sure, quote in the first comment the one sentence I rewrote.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:48 PM
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French Open semifinals are tomorrow. There's no one to hate, really, but it's interesting to watch Fed and Nadal play for history.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:49 PM
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Beautiful! KG seems motivated.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:51 PM
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there's even a African-European in the games tomorrow


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:51 PM
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It looks like Kobe is going gentle into that good night.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:51 PM
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If the Lakers win, I'm voting for McCain.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:54 PM
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Kobe's distracted by all that hot Townie ass in the Garden.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:54 PM
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there's even a African-European in the games tomorrow

there's one in the NBA finals too.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:55 PM
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I just started watching on Tivo, beginning with the second half, and Pierce just nailed his banked 4-point play. That was exciting. But I'm still voting for McCain if the Lakers win.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:57 PM
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When did Boston sports fans stop being villains?


Posted by: Everywhere else | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 9:59 PM
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Since New York? Sheesh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 10:00 PM
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I just read a bunch of Basho's haikus. Highly recommended.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 10:00 PM
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15: Other than Yankees fans, there's nothing especially villainous about NY fans.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 10:19 PM
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"I guess I'll root for...good play and close games? I might as well go read a poem."

As a Philly-bred boy, I hate both franchises. But so what? Who needs a rooting interest to love the opera?

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as the NBA Finals

-----

That was a helluva game.

Paul Pierce continues to be tits. He ripped LA's heart out in the third quarter.

The reanimated corpse of Sam Cassell simulates life.

Karaoke Jordan shoots 9 for 26 and makes everyone wonder.

It's still the Lakers' series, however.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 10:36 PM
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6: no, any time Federer plays there's someone to root against. He's made things so boring.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 10:38 PM
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It's still the Lakers' series, however.

It's a huge relief to know that I can still disagree with you even with the primary season over.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 10:44 PM
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Surely the fact that the Lakers were given Pau Gasol giftwrapped for next to nothing - vs. the seven (!) players the Celtics gambled on getting KG - should tip the moral balance here in favor of Boston. And I say this as a native Angeleno, albeit long expatriated from the city of the Virgin of Porcincula and The Angels.


Posted by: dr ngo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 11:06 PM
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"It's a huge relief to know that I can still disagree with you even with the primary season over."

To the extent that I am rooting here, most of my rooting is being done for the same team that you are rooting for. I've always liked Pierce, and I've always had trouble liking Kobe.

But LA has the personnel to win this series, even without home court.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 11:18 PM
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These are also the villeinless finals.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 11:18 PM
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22: You're probably right. But I think that people are underestimating the quality of the Celtics' defense and their huge strength advantage inside. If Pierce plays as well throughout the series as he did tonight, and Allen can continue to hit open shots, I think they might win.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 11:23 PM
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23: Elitist.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 5-08 11:41 PM
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I thought it said the Villainess Finals. I was going to vote for Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction or the Queen in Snow White.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 6:08 AM
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When the finalists were set, I too felt like I didn't have a strong rooting interest.

When the game was about to start yesterday, I had absolute clarity in my desire for the Lakers to lose.

I still probably won't watch the games, I'm sorry to say. I'd rather read about the court cases in Seattle.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 8:19 AM
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Compared to KG ghandhi was evil.

Gandhi was actually well known for constantly screaming and pounding his chest.

Karaoke Jordan shoots 9 for 26 and makes everyone wonder.

I'm going to say it: I think, and have always thought, Kobe was somewhat overrated. Of course he's a great player, obviously top 50 in NBA history, but I never thought he was among the top 10 players in the history of the game. Certainly he's far from the next Jordan.

His career shooting percentage is about 45%, and he's never shot even 47% in any season (compare Jordan, who shot about 50% for his career, had a higher shooting percentage than Kobe ever has in his career for for 10 out of his 11 full seasons with Chicago, excepting only the last one). Kobe's a good 3P shooter but not a true assassin -- he's had only two seasons where he shot over 35% from 3-point range. These are signs of someone who over-relies on the jump shot, forces long-distance jump shots when guarded, and cannot get to the hoop at will, all of which is true when you see his game.

He makes up the scoring differential by getting tons and tons of foul shots (usually averaging over 10 FTAs per game), which I suppose you could claim is because he is unguardable when he tries to penetrate, but I think it has something to do with referee favoritism.

You can add his fine defense to this, and the whole package -- one of the great volume scorers who is an excellent defender -- makes him a great scoring 2-guard. But he's not one of those superhuman players who can be counted on to singlehandedly dominate a game. He's obviously the leader of this Lakers team, but overall they are a pretty good team even without him. I think the two and three options, Odom and Gasol, put them behind only Boston and San Antonio as having the best top three in the game, and of course they have a great coach who has gotten a lot out of the rest of the team too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 9:29 AM
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"But he's not one of those superhuman players who can be counted on to singlehandedly dominate a game."

Well, he can't be counted on to singlehandedly dominate every game. The question at hand is whether or not he can singlehandedly dominate four games out of seven.

OF COURSE, he's not as good as Jordan. He's got a better outside shot, but is noticeably inferior in every other facet of the game to the G.O.A.T. It's not even close to being close.

But Kobe is still the best '2' guard to sashay by since Jordan left the Bulls, which is where some of the erroneous comparisons come from. Well, also with Kobe's creepy desire to be Karaoke Jordan rather than wanting to be Kobe Bryant.

And he's the second best overall player in the association right now, behind only Bron-Bron, and ahead of the fading Timmy. That's not a bad place to be.

He'll get off in the next game, and likely three more after that to come. I think PJ has the weapons and strategeries to get him into a productive comfort zone as the series continues.

------

Considering the audience, I'm sure you'll all fully agree with me that Kobe = Barack, right down to the finest detail.

Both have mad skills. Both are aloof, selfish, and cowardly. Both have aluminum pumps where actual human hearts are located in the body.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 9:52 AM
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Bold face makes argument strong!

Both have mad skills. Both are aloof, selfish, and cowardly. Both have aluminum pumps where actual human hearts are located in the body.

And both black! Incisive!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 9:56 AM
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And he's the second best overall player in the association right now, behind only Bron-Bron, and ahead of the fading Timmy

You'd put him ahead of CP3? He's a better defender, and a better 3 point shooter, but otherwise I give the edge to Paul.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 9:56 AM
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I'm looking at the stats now, Bryant is also a better rebounder than Chris Paul, but here's the breakdown on per 36 Minute stats.

Points: Bryant +6
Assists: Paul +6.1
Rebounds: Bryant +2
Steals: Paul +0.9
Turnovers: Paul -0.5
Fouls: Paul - 0.4

TS%: Exactly the same (.576 for both players).

Pretty Close. Bryant's a better defender, but you have to give Paul credit for having more than twice as many assists as Bryant while having fewer TOs.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 10:03 AM
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DWade at his peak was as good or better than Kobe, I thought, but then the injuries started.

Nash has been better than Kobe on the offensive end, but what a defensive liability.

I guess I agree on the second best thing, but there are a lot of players out there who are close to being as good as Kobe, in terms of their overall impact on your team. He just doesn't tower above the NBA like previous greats have.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 10:12 AM
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The question at hand is whether or not he can singlehandedly dominate four games out of seven.

No. I guess that's what I had in mind -- my guess would be something like two games in the series. Jump shooters are just too fickle to sweep and entire series for you.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 10:14 AM
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"And both black! Incisive!"

Jordan is LBJ

Clyde Drexler is Jimmy Carter

Tracy McGrady is Walter Mondale

Michael Redd is Mike Dukakis

LeBron is Bill Clinton

Chris Bosh is John Kerry

And, yes, the AA Kobe is the AA Barack. A fetishization of form over function is endemic to both of their characters.

But I will note that it's nice to see the Obama-clueless not recognizing that the race baiting that got them the nomination will not likely reprise well in the general election.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 10:19 AM
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"No. I guess that's what I had in mind -- my guess would be something like two games in the series. Jump shooters are just too fickle to sweep and entire series for you."

Kobe can dominate a game or two while only scoring 20 - 25 points, if he can break down the Boston schemes to let everyone else get off.

He can dominate two games like that, and get 35 - 40 twice, and it's series LA.

I'd still be betting LA this series at even money. Kobe's nowhere near Jordan, but he's only a notch less valuable than LeBron, and that's noting to sneeze at with a competent roster surrounding him.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 10:29 AM
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Certainly he's far from the next Jordan.

I think I've said this before, but you really have to break up Jordan's career into three pieces, as separated by his retirements. Kobe's not as good as Jordan I, better than Jordan II, and, since by common consensus we pretend that Jordan III never happened, there ends the comparison. And Kobe's defense may be the most overrated part of his game. He can be a very good defender, but a lot of times, he just doesn't care to be one.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 10:30 AM
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Red Auerbach is John McCain!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 10:32 AM
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Kobe's not as good as Jordan I, better than Jordan II

Kobe's not better than Jordan II, although the comparison gets much less ridiculous. Well, I guess for 97-98, when MJ really ran out of gas, the current Kobe was better than MJ. But still, check out 95-96 and 96-97, still statistically better seasons than Kobe's ever had. And MJ certainly had a something of an edge in intangibles, clutch, etc.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 10:45 AM
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If you compare the last three years of Jordan II to Kobe's last three years, you'll see they look quite comparable. That said, Jordan's last three years were better than I remembered, and it looks like he averaged about a one point greater in PER comparison, so there's a case to be made. I think I'd still take Kobe because he has a greater array of offensive moves, and his defense, while not usually good, can be quite good. I suppose you could say the same for Jordan's defense, but, by memory, his bursts of good defense were much less likely to be sustained. But I admit it's harder to make my case than I thought it would be.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:36 PM
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35: I'm not race baiting, Petey. I'm calling you a racist. It's different.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:38 PM
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I suppose you could say the same for Jordan's defense

Nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:39 PM
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42: Some of that was on reputation (like Kobe's selection this year).


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:41 PM
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Well, we're going to see this year. Can anyone doubt that a Lakers team led by Jordan -- even Jordan II -- would win this finals? Unlike baseball, in basketball there really is something to the whole producing in the clutch/intangibles thing.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:44 PM
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45: It would be a mistake to doubt that Kobe's going to win.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:47 PM
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Wouldn't Tracy McGrady = John Edwards, still waiting to make it out of the first round?


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:48 PM
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PJ Brown is Chris Dodd!
Ron Artest is Alan Keyes!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:55 PM
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45: why are you doubting yourself, Tim? Huh, huh? Why are you doubting yourself?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:57 PM
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Oh so this is the basketball thread? The "pretend Rondo doesn't exist" defense seems to be working well, so don't fuck with it.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:58 PM
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defense may be the most overrated part of his game

I guess kindness to hotel staff doesn't count as part of his game per se...


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 4:19 PM
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How can you call this a villainless finals with Kobe in the mix? Who, for you, counts as a villain in the NBA?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 4:24 PM
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The rapers are facing the celtics! Back in the day, the celtics were the white-guy team, and Celtics management did all they could to reinforce that fact.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 4:58 PM
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