May 25, 2011
Good lord. Lebron James and the Miami Heat are definitely going to win a championship now. Whatever life the Bulls were trying to salvage was crushed last night.
Derrick Rose attempted to ‘be more aggressive’ in the game, and it worked, for a bit. The first half, Rose was dunking on fools, dropping sweet jumpers, and dishing out great assists. The second half, Lebron James basically shut down everything Rose was trying to do, and Chicago didn’t have ‘a big 2’ to fall back on.
James is a scary man (aside from that very feminine embrace he had with Wade.) You could see the confidence breaking in the Bulls, and Lebron made sure to jabber in the ear of every Chicago player in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. It was degrading. James can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, including that block on Rose that acted as an exclamation point for his defense. You can’t talk shit back when you’re getting beat up. Rose was getting beat up.
Just be thankful I didn’t write a rebuttle post to my own post and go back on my Heat prediction. It was insane listening to these analysts praise the Chicago defense after game 1, writing off the Heat as if they weren’t capable of adjusting match-ups. Charles Barkely practically gave Chicago the series after game 1, and now that game looks like eons ago. Stick to your guns.
It also appears that my OKC prediction is officially doomed. By the hands of it’s own players. The power struggle that was brewing between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook has exploded, and most of us didn’t even know it was there in the first place.
I keep remembering a discussion from PTI from about a year ago. Kornheiser brought up Durant’s emergence in a small-market team and the likelihood that he would stay in Oklahoma. Him and Wilbon were wondering if the NBA’s leading scorer would remain with the franchise, and that’s when Westbrook’s name was brought up. Durant already publicly announced his desire to stay in Oklahoma, but nobody was sure about Westbrook.
I’m not sure if the media is blowing up this story or if this is an underlying problem that has been brought to the forefront because of the playoffs, but it’s here. And it’s a big one.
My prediction – Dallas runs over the deflated Thunder, Miami runs over the deflated Bulls, Miami wins the Finals in 5 games. Just like 06′, Dirk ain’t gettin’ his ring at the hands of the Heat.
So with basketball practically written off, summer can officially start and baseball season can finally be the full-focus sport for me. This coincides perfectly with Utley’s return off the DL, and I’m going to say something that might possibly get me thrown out of a very high building but…
I would rather (GASP) have Wilson Valdez (WHAT) at 2nd base, than Chase Utley (GOSH) on defense (oh.)
It sounds kinda crazy right? Hear me out.
Wilson Valdez is an insanely better defensive second basemen than Chase Utley. Last year, they played about an equal amount of games, Utley (114) to Valdez’s (105.) Utley had committed 11 errors to Valdez’s 3. I need to remind our readers that this doesn’t include the 2010 post-season. This doesn’t include Utley’s miserable error from Sanchez (THEIR PITCHER) in the 2011 National League Championship. I’m still convinced he single-handedly ruined that series with not only his horrific fielding (3 errors,) but his ‘flipping’ of the ball after being hit by a pitch that almost started a brawl that ended Sanchez’s night (right before he was about to get lit up with 2 on and 0 outs.)
Valdez also boasts a better fielding percentage. In Valdez’s fielding chances (which are less, mind you, because he also played SS and 3B for a part of last year) he turned more double plays and had more assists than Utley throughout the year as well. Thank you baseball-reference.com.
Hitting on the other hand….. Valdez is batting a dismal .234 with 9 RBIs and 0 HRs this season. Utley would destroy those numbers in the first two months of the season.
Just to put things in perspective though, I learned an interesting fact a few days ago from my colleague Mr. Thomas. Chase Utley has spent pretty much all of spring training and the first two months of the season on the DL with a knee injury. Andre Iguodala, Philly’s least favorite athlete, played the remaining month of the season and all of the playoffs with the very same injury.
Utley, beloved. Iguodala, hated. Obviously, both sports are incredibly strenuous on a knee, but Utley gets a pass for his recovery time, and Iggy is scorned for his role on the Sixers. Just keep that in mind.
I’m not starting a hate-wagon, just trying to bring some people’s love-fest back to Earth. I would always put in Utley over Valdez, but I wish he was our DH and Valdez was our 2B. Call me crazy.
Go forth and enjoy your day! Tonight, the Phillies try to win the series against the Reds with Halladay on the mound. First pitch is at 7 P.M.