[Update: Aaronstampler posted the first of his NBA preview articles; you can find it immediately below this post.]
Things are picking up here at PoundingTheRock.com. I feel excitement about blogging again for the first time in what feels like forever. Writing has begun for my Spurs season preview and my number one contributor aaronstampler is working on a complete NBA preview. We're talking a division by division analysis. He's an ambitious fellow. Here's hoping he spends at least 500 words trashing Mark Cuban.
To hold you over, and for any potential newcomers to PtR, here are some of my favorite posts from the past.
Must Learn Focus. I had a couple of playoff preparation suggestions for Popovich:
Fun With Small Sample Sizes. An entirely sarcastic rant after Yao Ming's tenth (or however many) consecutive double-double:
Adnoids, Elton John and Nenad Krstic. This may be my all time favorite post. ESPN.com ran an article about 101 things they learned about the NBA during the season. I responded to each and every one of them, losing my sanity somewhere along the way:
Do teams get better when Steve Francis leaves? The Orlando Magic are 16-4 in the 40 days, which is the second-best record in the league over that period. I guess Francis can commiserate with his new friend Starbury. -- ESPN.com
Let's apply the scientific method to the question "Do teams get better when Steve Francis leaves?" Actually, I don't remember the exact tenets of the scientific method, so let's just use really bad logic. Theoretically there is nothing preventing Francis for playing for every team in the league and one of them twice. This would imply he would have to leave every team, too. Well, every team cannot get better, can it? Someone has to lose. Similarly, every team cannot get worse. Therefore Steve Francis is an absolute non-factor and due to my incredible power of reasoning is now fading from this reality like Marty McFly in Back to the Future.
A Series Preview, or Beno Udrih to the Rescue! The title pretty much explains the basic premise of the post (a preview of the Kings playoff series), though I cannot explain how I got to here:
A) Under no circumstances is Ginobili to make eye contact with Ron Artest. He might interpret that as a sign of aggression and the Tru Warier inside him may be unleashed.
B) The Spurs need a contingency plan in case Artest pulls an Artest. Here's what I'm thinking. Beno Udrih probably ain't gonna play much anyway, so give him the extra special assignment of being a decoy. Tell him it's top secret and called "Operation Cannon Fodder." Being Slovenian he probably won't know what that means. Shave his entire body except his scalp. Give him some quality hair extensions; go for the Farah Fawcett look. Dress him in a yellow sundress and douse him with makeup. Have Eva help. Make sure he leaves the high-heels at home; he's going to need to be able to run. Station him in the tunnel leading to the court and put him on standby. At the slightest sign of Artestation have Bu-den-HOL-zer give Beno the signal, which of course will be the sound an owl makes. Immediately after receiving the signal Beno is to prance out onto the court while screaming like a pre-pubescent girl. Have him work on his prance in advance. It needs to be dainty but not whorish. Don't let Eva help with that. If all goes well Artest will be attracted to the sounds of distress. His Tru Warier will emerge and animal instincts will take over. He will ascertain that Beno is the weak one in the pack and go in for the kill. This should give Manu ample time to escape.
C) If Operation Cannon Fodder is a failure and Manu finds himself cornered by Artest he should wave his arms, scream and try to "make himself big." This apparently works against bears but has yet to be tested on Tru Wariers in the wild. Lab testing has been inconclusive.
Tim Duncan is a Golden God. Lastly, I'll throw in some semi-serious writing, about Jason Terry's suspension for game 6 of the seven game battle between the Spurs and Mavericks:
But there's a difference between a premeditated punch (going after a guy with the purpose of clocking him) and a spur of the moment jab that occurs after a guy sort of sits on your head. And this difference is exactly why the NBA has written a clear cut rule that is not open to interpretation. Stern doesn't want Stu Jackson to have the responsibility of judging intent and factoring provocation. Because then every single suspension ruling effects subsequent cases. If Jackson would have been allowed to interpret Terry's actions and decide it was more of a simple reaction than a vicious act, and use that as reasoning for only fining him in lieu of suspension, all hell would eventually break loose. Five years from now something similar yet different would happen, and you would have some team arguing "In the 2006 case Jason Terry vs. The Spurs you didn't suspend the defendant citing lack of malicious intent. Well, your honor, my client Reggie Evans swears he thought that Tony Parker, being French and all, would derive much joy from the double-knuckled dual titty-twister that occurred during last night's game."
See, nobody wants to see that. So Stern has intentionally tied the NBA's hands, removing all leeway and possibility for argument and discourse, which is a genius idea given the general intelligence level of NBA players and management.