Friday, May 04, 2007

YEAR OF THE UPSET IN THE NBA


Well, Golden State shocked the world last night. And while it is always great fun to see Mark Cuban lose, I kind of actually feel sorry for him today.

How the heck are the Dallas Mavericks ever going to rebound from this total disaster? Not just this season, but last season, too, when they blew a shot at a 3-0 series lead in game 3 of the finals, and proceeded to lose four in a row and the NBA title. This season they had the best record in the league, the sixth-best record in the history of the NBA, a club record for wins--- and they go down in flames after six playoff games after throwing away home court to the Warriors on the opening night of the playoffs. And not only that, they lost to their former coach Don Nelson.

One writer calls it the worst defeat in the history of American sports. Honestly, this is worse than David beating Goliath; more like a cockroach beating Goliath. They lost to the Warriors, people. Stinking bad Golden State, one of the worst-run franchises in the history of the NBA who hasn't been in the playoffs in 13 years and only qualified on the last night of the regular season this year. The only major sports loss that comes close to this total debacle is that time in the baseball playoffs a few years ago when that fan in Wrigley Field prevented that Cub player from catching that fly ball. The Cubs ended up losing that game and eventually the series. But the Cubs are basically the Golden State Warriors of major league baseball anyway; what do you expect.

That night when that ball went through Bill Buckner's legs was pretty bad, too, for the Red Sox. But at least they lost to the Mets. The Mavericks have no such excuse because they lost to GOLDEN STATE. They lost to a franchise summed up by one word: "chumps".

That's how bad a reputation the Warriors have, and they've been bad for at least 30 years. But they looked really good in this series. It's been fun to see those Warriors fans react to all this success. They are getting attention from the likes of Charles Barkley, who gained notoriety for trashing the city of Oakland on TNT. This is what makes covering sports fun, folks--- people make rude comments on TV and people get all excited and angry, and so it is really sweet when you end up winning. ( On a side note, most of these Golden State fans are also big fans of the Raiders. So if you think these fans at the game were acting a little like Raiders fans, well, guess what, folks... they are!!! Just an interesting observation.)

This has been a terrific first round in the NBA, full of surprises. The defending champion Miami Heat went down in four very short games to the Chicago Bulls. And the Atlantic division champion Toronto Raptors are throwing away their good season against the New Jersey Nets, trailing three games to two. Usually these playoffs are dull and boring, but this year these playoffs are unfolding as if it's the NCAA Tournament. They're making the NHL playoffs look boring in comparison.

By the way, the Raptors have no excuse now if they lose to the Nets. All the excuses I heard about the Raptors' problems in this series was about how they lacked playoff experience and all that. But heck, Golden State didn't have any playoff experience! And look what they did!

Should the Raptors go down to the Nets, they can take solace in one thing: as bad as Raptor fans might feel if they lose to that bum Vince Carter, the Mavericks fans are bound to feel worse.

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