Jim Mora: A real man of genius. This is required viewing for the rant that will follow:
Last night, I was happily watching the Pistons/Mavs game when the announcers (Mark Jones and Jon Barry I think?) must have decided that the game was too boring. So instead of discussing, say, why the Pistons failed to leave Walter Herrmann on Dirk Nowitzki -- that one's for you, Al -- they started talking about the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs. These men seemed certain that the Pistons will be the East's second seed, and that they will be facing the Celtics in the Conference Finals. Talk about going out on a limb. They then went out of their way to assure the viewers that Detroit is very capable of winning big games on the road in the playoffs, even against really good teams. To prove their point, they cited Piston wins in Game 7 against the Heat and Game 6 against the Spurs...during the 2005 playoffs.
They somehow, rather conveniently I might add, forgot to mention how Detroit choked away critical home games over the last couple seasons. Those games include:1.
Game 5 of the 2006 Eastern Conference Semifinals (against the Cavs).2.
Game 1 of the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals (against the Heat).3.
Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Semifinals (against the Bulls).4.
Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals (against the Cavs).
So yes, while the Pistons have indeed shown that they can win big playoff road games -- three (against the Heat and Spurs) or four (against the Pacers and Lakers) years ago, they've also shown a tendency to lose focus (as well as games) both at home and
on the road.
But that's all beside the point.
, people. I don't need or want the playoffs set up for me right now. They're four freaking months away!
But it didn't stop there. ESPN's in-studio analysts (Greg Anthony and Tim Legler?) declared the Lakers to be the second-best team in the Western Conference, and further stated -- rather unequivocally -- that there was "no way" the Suns could beat the Lakers in a seven-game series. They then predicted a Lakers/Spurs matchup in the Western Conference Finals (with the Lakers losing).
Well hey, that's great, guys. I'm glad I don't need to follow the rest of the regular season or anything. Can I cancel NBA League Pass? Maybe I can demand a refund too. I mean, all this basketball is totally superflous anyway. Let's just go ahead and fast forward to the inevitable Pistons/Spurs Finals. Wait, on second thought, let's not.
Here's a little wakeup call to NBA analysts: The two hottest teams in the league this time last year (the Mavericks and Suns) got knocked out in the first and second rounds, respectively. And the Lakers started out pretty strong last season, before injuries and ennui led them straight into the snapping jaws of a first-round beatdown.
So please, remember that it's only January, and don't talk to me about playoffs.
Labels: analysts, ESPN, Jim Mora, NBA playoffs