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Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat.
June 9, 2012 12:54 PM   Subscribe


 






Hilarious contrast. Seems like one type of event is for the media and the other for the fans. Sorta like E3 vs Pax in the world of gaming.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:12 PM on June 9, 2012


ESPN's Take on the Boston Celtics (from @notbillwalton)
posted by lukemeister at 1:12 PM on June 9, 2012


I thought that juxtaposing the clip of Kevin Garnett running out of the burning orphanage carrying a sad-eyed toddler and twelve puppies versus the clip of LeBron James tying that woman to the railroad track was a little bit on the nose. But then again, I'm not much of a basketball fan, so I probably missed some of the subtleties.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:13 PM on June 9, 2012 [12 favorites]


ESPN's Take on the Boston Celtics (from @notbillwalton)

That's funny.

And, take a look at what Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy had to say about the home team even before this match-up started:
"Close your eyes, people.

This might be bad.

This might hurt.

The party is over for the Morgan Freeman Five, the Duct Tape Five, or whatever you want to call the ancient warriors who patrol the court for the Boston Celtics. The Tomato Cans from Atlanta and Philadelphia have been beaten. It’s now time for serious basketball and there will be green blood when this next round is over.

... this series doesn’t bode well for Boston’s proud warriors. The ancient, broken-down Green Teamers are a good bet to get swept, or maybe steal one game and lose in five.

... Ray Allen is playing on bad ankles, limping to the end of his Celtics career. Kevin Garnett has enjoyed an astonishing AARP renaissance and routinely plays well against the Heat, but he, too, may be all done with the Celtics after this series."
Fuck you, Shaughnessy. "With friends like this ..."
posted by ericb at 1:26 PM on June 9, 2012


Seems like one type of event is for the media and the other for the fans.

Yeah, it's a fun video, but it's a little like comparing someone's sober, serious church wedding to someone else's drunken, lunatic wedding reception.
posted by pracowity at 1:31 PM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hollywood as hell.
posted by phaedon at 1:40 PM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Considering that these events occurred before either team actually won anything, it's more like comparing a couple telling their parents that they're thinking of marriage to someone else's drunken, lunatic engagement party.

In this analogy the Celtics were showing off their wedding bands a year later, while the Heat's friends are openly discussing whether the relationship can work and wondering if that nice guy from Orlando (remember, the one we met at the All-Star party?) is available.
posted by dmit at 1:49 PM on June 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't see why the Heat won't give all their players striped uniforms instead of just those old guys.
posted by jamjam at 1:53 PM on June 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's ironic that Shank thinks the Celtics are too old, because I find his brand of (affected?) bitterness and cynicism to be well past its expiration date. I've pretty much stopped reading his columns, because they only annoy me.
posted by A dead Quaker at 1:57 PM on June 9, 2012


Oh well, that's what i get for getting rid of all my TVs.
posted by jamjam at 2:02 PM on June 9, 2012


To be fair, Miami has this thing go off when their baseball team hits home runs.

I'm hungry for donuts, for some reason.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:19 PM on June 9, 2012


jamjam: I don't see why the Heat won't give all their players striped uniforms instead of just those old guys.
That took me a second, but... heh.

I'm obviously rooting for the Celtics, but I'm rooting almost as hard for the Heat to fail again... and again... and again. The rational part of me knows they will break through one of these years, but that whole "Not 1, not 2, not 3..." rankles especially as a Celtics fan, what with the Russell-era 8-in-a-row, and 11 in 13 years. Lebron... you're no Bill Russell.
posted by hincandenza at 2:21 PM on June 9, 2012


It's interesting how much of NBA coverage is driven by media narrative. If it wasn't for the fact that they're actually competing to see who wins the games, it would be almost exactly like pro wrestling. The Heat and LeBron are definitely "heels" right now. Kevin Garnett is too much of an asshole to ever be cast as a good guy, so the Oklahoma City Thunder and their false-humility schtick have been thrown into the role of the "good guys." If the blog "Stuff people like" was basketball team, it would be OKC for sure.

But, interestingly, LeBron James is actually this close to flipping his narrative.

Ever since he joined Miami he's been cast as Satan. Yes he handled his change of teams in a tacky way, but what he actually did was take a pay-cut to go somewhere where he could win. Which is the exact opposite of the "they just want money!" narrative (mostly old, cranky, white) sportswriters usually use to villainize (mostly African-American) athletes.

Lately he's been taking it on the chin for not being "clutch." A lot of the problem has been he's deferred too much to his co-superstar Dwayne Wade who, while he has had his moments, is clearly not the player LeBron is. Again, this is the exact opposite of the usual "selfish black athlete wants all the shots himself; isn't a team player" narrative.

But with his great game in Game 6, LeBron started to turn it around. A lot of people were forced to eat their words in public. If he finishes this up and wins the title, I think people will start doing massive 180s in their opinion of him.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:22 PM on June 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Stuff *white* people like
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:23 PM on June 9, 2012


Lebron... you're no Bill Russell.

No, LeBron is stronger and maybe taller. Which is no slight against Russell, but just a funny indicator of how the game has evolved.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:25 PM on June 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I would find it incredibly satisfying if the Heat win Game 7 and then get swept by a team from Oklahoma. A man can have a dream.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:29 PM on June 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


But, interestingly, LeBron James is actually this close to flipping his narrative.

I agree with the points you made, but I don't think the narrative will flip if the Heat win a title. It's possible that James will be redeemed if he performs throughout the Finals like he did in Game 6, but I don't think that's likely. Even superhuman athletes have their limits.

The press and fans already have too much invested in hating the Heat. That narrative has been set. If they win the title, I think a lot of people will (unfairly IMO) consider it a title with an asterisk, due to the shortened season.

But anything's possible, I guess. The narrative on Garnett used to be that he was boisterous and arrogant but he's been recast as a proud old warrior. So who knows. I'm looking forward to the Finals no matter who wins in the East.

I can't believe I'm sorta defending James. I'm a Cavaliers fan. What's wrong with me?
posted by mcmile at 2:47 PM on June 9, 2012


I'm rooting for LeBron. Guy's been a dick occasionally, but the level of bullshit he gets from the media is just astonishing. Two years ago vs. the Celtics was especially revealing--his elbow was messed up going into that series, and all the talk was about whether he'd be able to play up to his usual standards. Then the Cavs lost a couple and everything turned on a dime--suddenly it was all about LeBron being a choker, no mention of the injury at all.
posted by equalpants at 3:00 PM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am a New York. Hate all Boston teams.
But, man, I hope the Celtics win tonight.

The Heat and Lebron have taken arrogance to a new level.
I would love to see them denied again.
posted by Flood at 3:23 PM on June 9, 2012


Whichever of these teams wins, they will be stepping into a whirling hall of knives in OKC.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:33 PM on June 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a basketball fan, it's sometimes frustrating how much the narrative around the sport revolves around superstars. The last four teams standing in this year's playoffs all have their own "Big Three" - but it's often the role players that end up making the difference.

Boston's title in 2008 does not happen without Posey and Cassell playing important minutes - previously Posey was the defensive specialist for the 2006 champion Miami Heat, while Cassell was part of a Big Three in Minnesota whose title hopes collapsed when his back did (that Wolves team had some great role players too, but I digress). Guys like that bring the work ethic and demonstrate to the rest of the bench how to be a professional without being a superstar. And of course that Boston team couldn't win without Kendrick Perkins at the center spot - and we all know who the starting center for the Thunder currently is...
posted by antonymous at 4:28 PM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay you've got me watching this 'game 7' thing on ESPN ("Commercial break. We'll be right back."). Now what?
posted by tarheelcoxn at 6:37 PM on June 9, 2012


Ok so above I said I didn't care who wins the East but I'm going to change that and throw my support behind the Celtics. Not because I think the Heat are evil but rather because I hate hate hate this trend of having every spectator in the arena wear the same t-shirt. Boston is the only team remaining that doesn't pull that stupid stunt.

You watch a game at the Garden on TV and the crowd looks like regular people who like basketball and are attending a basketball game. You watch a game in Miami or OKC and you get an NBA crowd as envisioned by Kim Jong Il. It's ridiculous. Showing fan solidarity is one thing but when the entire arena looks like the body snatchers have already landed then something seriously messed up going on.

And I don't mean to single out OKC or Miami since a lot of other teams have done it too. But it's still dumb.

/irrational rant
posted by mcmile at 7:09 PM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


mcmile I'm totally rooting for Boston just because there's a woman screaming for Miami and I find her 'wooooooo' really annoying for no reason whatsoever. Too bad Boston are down by four with 6 min to go.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 7:54 PM on June 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was outside north station yesterday and saw a helicopter hovering overhead and a bunch of news vans with people doing reports in front of them. We asked this guy walking past what had happened and he looked at is like we were from Mars, finally saying "There's a game on between the Celtics and Miami Heat".

I did take the opportunity to photobomb the news crew, so its all good.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:59 PM on June 9, 2012


If we're using wrestling metaphors, honestly, the Heat aren't heels. No one has pushed the Heat harder than ESPN (they had a special page set up as an aggregate for all of their Miami stories last year, had a reporter essentially following the teams every move for the whole year), but the fans aren't buying it. This is more of a 'new Goldberg' situation, wherein the WWE tries to force a new wrestler onto the audience, one who has no personality, a ridiculously muscled physique, and remarkably poor mic skills. At the moment, they're pushing some freak by the name of Ryback, and the fans just sit and chant 'Goldberg' through all of his matches.

The fact that Wade, Bosh, and James tend to come off as smug assholes is only aggravated by the breathless coverage. ESPN is only just starting to figure out how much people hate the heat, and are turning on them. Rest assured, though, if the Heat win, we will never hear the end of it.

All of this leaves NBA fans in the position of rooting for either outright assholes or for a team that belongs in Seattle. Eww.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:39 AM on June 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


I will take ancient Celtics over Lebron James even if they all were dead. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are amazing players. And Paul Pierce was doing his thing when the Celtics were the doormats of the entire league.

Lebron James is a disco ball with freak genes.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:30 AM on June 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am so happy Lebron is back in the finals BECAUSE I get to tell this joke again:



What is the difference between Lebron and a dollar bill?


A dollar bill gives you 4 quarters!


Badaboom!
posted by Asbestos McPinto at 10:16 AM on June 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


As someone who plays basketball, and played this morning, I like LeBron James and hope the Heat do well. I love KD too though, because he is awesome. I used to hate LeBron, especially when he was just coming out of high school and they were proclaiming him the next MJ, as that was the thing to do back then before it became clear there would be no next MJ.

This is a great finals for me, because both teams are great and no matter who wins it'll be a good story. As always, I feel the key is Westbrook's decision making. My favorite thing to watch is when Westbrook makes a couple of boneheaded plays (Oh look, 1 on 4 with no rebounding, how about I pull up! what? I dribbled for a solid 3 seconds looking for someone to be open!?), and then the next time up the court, KD gets the ball and they send Russell off into his in-game timeout in the corner so he can think about what he did.

The Heat weren't much better yesterday - what with Chalmers getting yelled at by LeBron and Wade, LeBron yelling at Bosh and having to tell people what plays to run, and LeBron pouting like a 3-year old when their defense kept breaking down and Rondo got layups.

The Heat had better stop whining and get back on D, because if Rondo was able to get to the rim, Westbrook will be there orders of magnitude faster. That's where the game will turn, I think. And the Heat better win one of these early games. Because the Thunder can certainly beat them in Miami. OKC won't be a hostile environment for the early games either. They are a loud home crowd, but not nasty and mean spirited. Game 1 will be the best game of the series, I think.

But anyway, the majority of the people I know who actually play the sport think "the decision" was stupid, but think LeBron is an outstanding player, and think the hate got old some time back.
posted by cashman at 1:00 PM on June 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cashman, I love basketball. It's easily my favorite sport, and I played it until they turned the place where I played pick up into a parking lot. And I hate James. I hated him when he was allowed to turn basketball into football during the pistons-cavaliers series, where he lowered his shoulder and drive through multiple set defenders, without a single offensive foul. Wasn't a fan of the decision, and from what Bosh (easily the Fredo of the group, letting things slip and wanting to know why he's the odd man out) has said, the three of them had made their decision at the Olympics, and the whole damn thing, stringing along multiple teams and fan bases, was a game to them.

You're absolutely right, he's a fantastic basketball player. Just like Rondo, he's a genetic basketball freak. Can I respect their abilities while still actively hating them for their pretty reprehensible actions? Oh, hell yes.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:34 PM on June 10, 2012


Yeah!
posted by cashman at 6:18 AM on June 11, 2012


Funny enough, I've also had that "court where you played is now a parking lot" thing happen to me. I was about to say we should get together and play and then I realized it might be kind of a trek to make that happen.

I used to hate James because he got ridiculous calls that weren't even fouls in that series vs the magic.

So what do you think the key is in this series?
posted by cashman at 6:42 AM on June 11, 2012


So what do you think the key is in this series?

OKC's ability to turn everything into a fast-break. Even ordinary rebounds are fast-breaks, bust especially the turnovers. Miami can't trot up the floor on defense, or they'll get clobbered.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:57 AM on June 11, 2012


That is actually a great point, because if the game is uptempo the whole first half, by the fourth quarter the Thunder can pull away because Heat defenders will be more tired because the team isn't nearly as deep as the Thunder. I know the Heat & Thunder split the season series, but I just cannot see the Heat winning even one game after watching the Thunder beat the Mavs, Lakers & Spurs in succession.
posted by cashman at 7:34 AM on June 11, 2012


The Spurs would have held on if their shot percentage had been higher, but Every. Single. missed shot was turned into an immediate opportunity.The Spurs made a strategic blunder in that they didn't attempt offensive rebounds in game 3, simply hoping to beat them back on defense, and it just didn't work. OKC really didn't let up for even one minute in that series.

Miami's best hope is that they can connect for 60% or more of their shots.

Even then, in-bounds after made shots can be goddam fast breaks with the Thunder.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:42 AM on June 11, 2012


The Heat can do that too though, and the Spurs were older than the Heat. The thing with the Heat is can Wade and Lebron stop whining about calls and get back on d. This should be so much fun to watch though. Werent there some shovinh matches/bad feelings in the earlier games this season?
posted by cashman at 9:32 AM on June 11, 2012


Is this YouTube user trying to claim that Boston Negroes know how to behave better than Negroes in Miami?
posted by mrgrimm at 2:09 PM on June 11, 2012


that was the thing to do back then before it became clear there would be no next MJ.

Depends what you by next MJ. Kobe and LeBron have already proven themselves above Michael Jordan's game. However, the league has gotten far more talented as well.

Looking at LeBron in Game 6, he could easily become Jordan-era dominant. He's only 27.

Can I respect their abilities while still actively hating them for their pretty reprehensible actions?

Oh yeah, that LeBron. Always beating his girlfriend, getting DUIs, busted for coke, spitting at reporters. Reprehensible, I say ...

I used to hate James because he got ridiculous calls that weren't even fouls in that series vs the magic.

Which is, of course, why you hated Michael Jordan so much in the 1990s ...

I'm pretty excited it's OKC-MIA and not Spurs-Celts. God, I hate Boston, and I hope Miami crushes OK Computer.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:14 PM on June 11, 2012


Cash man, honestly I think there's a great deal rising on the role players and bench. Can Thabo check Wade while he's on the floor? Can Supernintendo Chalmers (a nickname that doesn't get used nearly enough) stay anywhere near Westbrook? Does Shane Battier have enough left to make a defensive difference (if he can significantly hamper Durant or Harden, that could be a game changer, and if he can't, that could be the series).

OKC seems to have three options on offense that are pretty unstoppable one on one, simply because even on isolation, they're still looking to get the team the best shot (depending on Westbrook's frame of mind). I think we should enjoy this team before the new salary cap makes it impossible to keep them together. In a way, this is the timberwolves team from an alternate timeline where Marbury stayed and they had a complete badass as their 2.

Here's one more thing: if Battier or Bosh can handle/stay with Durant, I can easily see James on Westbrook or Harden in crunch time. As much as I dislike him, he can be a defensive monster, and can guard all five positions on the floor. Of he can shut down Derek Rose, he can take down Harden or Westbrook. If he's able to do that effectively for any length of time, the Heat could turn it into a rout.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:58 PM on June 11, 2012


Which is, of course, why you hated Michael Jordan so much in the 1990s ...

Oh man I loved Jordan once he started being counted on to make miracles happen, and did so a fair amount of time. He definitely got a lot of calls, but I feel like by the time it got egregious, he was a vet. And vets always get calls, and he was an all-star vet and the face of the league. LeBron was getting phantom calls (not getting hit lightly, but not getting even touched) way before he should have, I think. But part of that might have been his second-coming billing, and his style of play.

For what it's worth, Scott Brooks said something in his press conference today that I totally agree with. He said people like LeBron that get to where they are, don't just get there because of raw physical talent. They get there because of hard work. I agree with that. Yeah LeBron's a freak, but a so is Gerald Green, and so are a lot of NBA players who never got anywhere near LeBron's level.

Also for the record, I just got done playing and without provocation, some of the guys I was playing with started talking about LeBron, and one of them (clearly kind of talking shit) said LeBron is garbage. He called LeBron "Trash Gordon", which I thought was hilarious. His friends were Heat fans and didn't dispute it but kept talking about how the Heat would exploit Westbrook and make him turn the ball over with tough D. Guess we'll see!

Can Supernintendo Chalmers (a nickname that doesn't get used nearly enough) stay anywhere near Westbrook?

Oh! I'd never heard that name before. But yeah, no. Or wait, how are we defining near? Same area code? Same zip code? Maybe.

Shane is going to last about half a game if it is up and down. Those guys are just too quick and too big. Shane better get his couple of 3's in and then save it up for the half court possessions when it gets tight.

If he's able to do that effectively for any length of time, the Heat could turn it into a rout.

I think if he can do that, it'll affect his production on the offensive end, and so it'll be a low scoring game. I can't imagine what would have to go wrong for the Heat to rout the Thunder barring a horrible night from the 3-point line and an insistence on returning to it.

I wish it was starting tonight! I hope it goes 7 games, because I want to just keep watching. So glad we have a finals at last that doesn't have either Kobe, Duncan or Dirk, which have been all of the finals in the 2000's.
posted by cashman at 4:50 PM on June 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Defensively, if they could put Wade on Westbrook, James on Harden (or the other way around) and Bosh on Durant, they might have a chance at taking the series. But you're right about the endurance end of things. Wade's output would definitely suffer, and Bosh is still coming back from injury. James, though? He is, admittedly, a freak of nature. I've never seen him ask out of games from being too tired, either (which isn't always the best thing, but with where he's at in the court of public opinion, I'm sure he knows people would tear him apart for it, so he'd never do it in a million years). Then, of course, you've got Spolestra, who seems to come from the Thibadeau school of minutes management, wherein injured players like Luol Deng land in the top five in minutes played. Spolestra seems to be oblivous to the idea that his players can get gassed, as if he's playing NBA Live with the fatigue settings on off.

The one bit of credit I'll give James and Wade is the importance they're putting on defence. They've made a conscious decision to make it just as important as their offence, and with their strength and quickness, it's amazing to watch. Before they got together, it wasn't a huge feature of either of their games. At some point, someone will put together an oral history of the Beijing Olympics like they did with the Dream Team oral history in the current GQ. If you look at what essentially came out of that, with the rumors of the Bosh/Wade/James decision to end up in Miami together, and everyone supposedly just deciding to learn as much as they could from each other (again, whispers, but Kobe Bryant, elder statesman/Yoda-like figure!), it would be amazing to read about it. Comparing that group, and what those players have done since then, with any Olympic team since the Dream Team, and damn. They've essentially changed the game.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:15 PM on June 11, 2012


LeBron was incredible in the finals and congrats to him and the Heat. Wade made me want to rip my hair out with all the times he threw the ball away. And they just crushed the Thunder. I never saw that coming.
posted by cashman at 9:08 PM on June 21, 2012


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