What a disgusting turn of events. I’m talking about the NBA Eastern and Western Semi-finals unfolding like a Lars Von Trier nightmare. Instead of watching the two teams I predicted here battling for the chip, I can now look forward to some Hostel-style blowtorch to the eyeballs agony that comes with witnessing a Dallas Donkeys – Miami Douche final. Dirk Diggler vs LeDouche, Douche Wade, and Chris Douche-Bosh. Hey, guess who my top three most hated teams in the NBA are? The Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, and the Miami Heat. Awesome. Asking me to preview this series and predicting a winner is like asking me to choose between death by fire or getting my asshole sewn shut and keep getting fed, and getting fed, and getting fed, and … But I’m a professional, so I’m gonna take a deep breath and set my hatred aside for the sake of punching out this article. But before I douse myself in gasoline, let’s take a quick look back at how we got here, in what has been a very entertaining and surprising playoffs.
I’m pleased to announce I was spot-on in my prediction of the colossal upset of the Spurs by the Memphis Grizzlies, but even I was surprised at the thorough dismantling they inflicted on poor Timmy Duncan’s team, and in the process, closing his window and ending his era. Trust me, the Spurs are fundamentally done. Can’t say I feel too badly about it…
Another surprise was how the Orlando Magic completely shit the bed against the Atlanta Hawks in a series nobody watched. Remember that scene in Trainspotting when Spud wakes up to the sound of flies and then looks under the sheets? Well, unless your name is Dwight Howard, that’s what all the Magic players woke up to in that series…
The potentially epic series between the Celtics and Knicks was derailed by injuries to both Billups and Stoudemire, leaving Carmelo to fend for himself with a bunch of scrubs you might find at your local Y.M.C.A. There was only so much Mr. Pringles (Mike D’Antoni) could do…
The Thunder – Grizzlies epic 7-game masterpiece was everything you could have asked for in a basketball series, punctuated by that triple-overtime multi-orgasmic thriller in game four, which came with so many unbelievable money shots that Peter North would have been proud. I lit a cigarette after the final buzzer sounded. Was it good for you too?
The Lakers went out like a bitch, with Pau Gasol melting like a marshmallow due to rumours about his girlfriend in the media. Are you kidding me? So all we had to do to stop them all those years was talk about his GF? FML!
The Final Four provided a perfect case study in clutchness, and its counterpart, choking. While the Mavericks and Heat were delivering a master class in clutch, the young Thunder and Bulls were exposed for their inexperience and total lack of poise, as witnessed by their ceaseless self-destruction at the end of close games. Make no mistake: as clutch as No-win-ski and LeDouche were in those series, hitting videogame-like shots, it was more the choking of the NBA’s young stars – Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose – that made it possible for them to move on to the finals.
While both series ended in five games, most of those went down to the wire, and in all those instances the Thunder and Bulls had big leads with time running out and still managed to give the game away. That’s choking. You don’t blow 15-point leads with under 5 minutes left because the other team is hitting their shots. I don’t care how many one-legged step-back circus shots Dirk hits, if you could have hit just one or two more shots, you’d be fine, because you’re up by 15! But you didn’t. You choked. I watched in horror along with a twinge of amusement as Kevin Durant – the NBA scoring champion – went from Thor in the first quarter to Donald Blake in the fourth. Whosoever holds this hammer my ass. And Russell Westbrook? I’ll take black holes for a thousand, Alex. Oh, don’t think I forgot about you Derrick Rose. I like your new Adidas commercial: “Remember this number: 9.8.” Is it the weight of your new shoes in ounces? Nah, it’s your field goal percentage in the fourth quarter. Choke don’t lie. Sure, Carlos Boozer played like a shit-turd, and Joakim Noah is ugly, but you’re the fucking MVP! Instead, you let LeDouche eat your lunch.
And now we have a rematch of the 2006 Finals. Cue Optimus Prime: “One shall stand, one shall fall.” Although both teams have been overhauled and reconstructed since then, the original engines remain – Nowitzki and Wade. And while Dirk’s team has added a lot of well-oiled complimentary parts, Wade now has a supercharged engine. It remains to be seen which model will triumph.
Basketball is all about match-ups. First question: who’s going to stop Dirk? The Heat will have four options to throw at him, starting with the RuPaul of big men, Chris Bosh. Um, that probably won’t work. Next is Udonis Haslem, who earned the title of “Dirk-stopper” in ’06 because he clamped him down and limited Dirk to 31% shooting. Not bad. They’ll probably use Joel Anthony for a few fouls too, but in the end, especially at the end of close games, it will be LeDouche guarding Dirk. There will be blood.
On the other end, who is going to stop LeDouche? Shawn Marion? Nope. DeShawn Stevenson? Please. He made the proclamation a couple of years back that LeDouche was overrated. Payback’s gonna be a bitch. How about Wade? Jason Terry can catch fire on offense but he’ll get torched by Wade on defense. Speaking of Terry, I can’t stand that rat-faced punk, but he sure knows how to guarantee victory! He got a tattoo of the Larry O’Brien Trophy on his arm before the season even started. How’s that for a guarantee! Take note all you would be Joe Namaths and Mark Messiers. You don’t make bold predictions with hollow words, you set it in ink motherfuckers!
While the individual match-ups will be fun to watch, ultimately, it’s going to come down to which team can successfully exploit their advantages. Dallas has the better team, with a deeper bench, while Miami has the big three. Dallas has better offense while Miami plays better defense. Dallas is bigger. Miami is quicker. Dallas has veteran leadership. Miami has younger athletes. Miami has home-court advantage but Dallas has the best road record in the playoffs.
With all these contrasting attributes seemingly canceling each other out, it might just come down to who wants it most. And that would be Dallas. Don’t think for a second Dirk has forgotten what Miami did to him back when D-Wade was still called Flash. To his credit, he has worked hard to shed that choker label placed on him since that series, and again when they lost to Golden State in the first round the following year, to get back to the NBA Finals. So he knows this is his last chance – to erase that choker image and to win a championship. Same goes for Jason Kidd. He’s been to the finals twice before with New Jersey, and lost (and then took it out on his wife). And of course you know Jason Terry wants to win it badly (tattoo removals hurt like the devil).
Dallas is simply hungrier, smarter, and deeper. Miami didn’t face a team with this many great shooters in their previous three series, and because Dallas can space the floor with their shooting, Miami’s defense can’t collapse on Dirk and pack the paint, like they did against D-Rose and Chicago. If you look down Dallas’ roster, you see that everyone can hit the three-ball, even Peja Stojakovic’s re-animated corpse can hit you with a dagger if you leave him open. And being the best free throw shooting team in the playoffs ensures you can always eke out those close games. In a series that’s so tough to call, that might make the difference.
So with all that said…sigh…I’m going with Dallas in 6. Sorry LeDouche, it’s not as easy as all that. Maybe next year. And despite Scottie Pippen’s proof-that-he’s-going-senile proclamation last week that he’s greater than Michael frikkin’ Jordan, I don’t think LeDouche can lead his team to a championship just yet.
So there you go. I’m going against all the experts and Vegas on this one. The Dallas Mavericks, your 2011 NBA Champions. Ugh. You guys owe me a new laptop cause I just puked all over this one. Anyway, yeah, Donkeys for the win. Go ahead and set it in ink. Just not in your skin.
– Tom Day