I find myself with mixed emotions regarding these playoffs. On one hand, I want a championship. That means, mishaps to other teams are a good thing. I never want to see an injury, but if it gives us an easier path to the trophy, I breathe a little easier. On the other hand, I remember basketball philosophy taught to me by a movie, "In order to be the best, you have to beat the best." That's on the Spurs side of things. Then there is how I feel about other teams. I have a lot of antipathy, not generally towards teams per se, for things they have done to the Spurs etc., but against individual players. There are some guys I don't want to see successful. So here is my somewhat convoluted thoughts about the coming playoffs.
Championiship for the Spurs. I'd like to see us sweep through Utah. I would rather have had Phx in the first round, but oh well. I would like to see the Clippers, and then the Mavericks. I think we can beat them handily. On the other hand, if we really want to exorcise our demons, Utah, then Memphis, then Lakers. Let's see all of those big frontcourts, and send them all packing, pundits be d_, um, sent to a very warm place, like Phoenix. Although seeing the Thunder in the WCF wouldn't be bad either, since they have been the favorite all year. If you want to be the besr, you have to beat the best, and that is a good lineup. And I guess that means the Heat in the finals. If Rose were healthy and they were firing on all cylinders, I would be tempted to say Bulls, because I believe they are the better team. But most of the talking heads think that the Heat is the better team, so in order to be considered the best, you have to beat the teams that are considered the best.
Which brings me to my wishes for other teams. I never like to see Kobe be successful. He's smug, arrogant, selfish, and overrated, and thinks he is the best player in the world. I wish to see Denver knock them out.
I think LeBron probably isn't a bad guy. He has just has too much success, and not enough good counsel and that results in bad DECISIONs. One of those would be arrogantly saying that the Heat were going to win 7 or more championships. That's pretty disrespectful to the rest of the league, and pretty presumptuous to think that just putting together three guys, was a guaranteed multiple championships. So, I wish to see him knocked out in the first round.
Melo. Man, I can't stand this guy, the notoriety he gets for his offense while failing to come to play defense, completely disappearing at times, throwing his teammates and coaches, under the bus, etc. Just listening to his interviews with comments like, "There are enough shots to go around." He's TRYING to convey that he is unselfish and all about team, and yet, his words betray him. "There are enough shots, so I'm going to get mine, so everything is cool." That completely goes against my grain. On the Spurs it is, "Doesn't matter who is taking the shots. My stat line doesn't matter. As long as we're taking good shots and winning." He drove his coach in Denver crazy. Karl was happy to be rid of him. D'Antoni was actually able to coach his team and lead them to victory when Melo was out with injury. Melo comes back and starts riding Lin. Lin looks dejected, plays badly. Team starts disintegrating. He drove D'Antoni out, and he got his wish - Melo centric team, that actually started winning some games. Honestly, I believe this guy thinks he can win on his own. Maybe it was a bad angle, but it looked like he was smiling as he stood hovering over Shumpert writhing in pain. Like, maybe the more pieces go down, the more Melo it will be. I totally wish him the fortunes of Deron Williams - for some of the same reasons. I would like to see him lose in the first round. And that poses a problem. Can't have the Heat and Knicks BOTH lose in the first round.
So, it is not as if my pick would have any effect on the outcome of the series, but if it did. I don't know what I would choose. Knicks or Heat? If the Knicks beat the Heat in the first round, it would be considered a great triumph. If the Heat lose in the second round, it would be considered a great let-down. So I guess I'm going to have to go with the Heat to beat the Knicks. And Heat lose in round 2. To the Bobcats.
Which brings me to my fears. Fear #1: The Heat cruise almost uncontested to the finals. Boston seems pretty willing to get out of the way early, with the way they are playing and the suspension. Derrick Rose is out. Shumpert is out. Amare is out for at least a game. Who knows what else is going to happen. I'm like, seriously, the road to the finals in the East is already easier than the west, and now this? Are they really to be rewarded this way? I guess this shouldn't bother me so much, except that the pundits will give all of the credit to the Heat for being so awesome, and not consider at all that multiple freak things that paved the way for this very flawed Heat squad.
Fear #2: Spurs sustain injuries or anything else that damage the integrity of the team. I really want to see what these guys can do.
Fear #3: Other teams sustain injuries, or suspension or anything else, that puts an asterisk on the accomplishments of this Spurs team. Because unlike with the Heat or Lakers, people remember such things for the Spurs.