Yipee-kay yay: West will be action-packed
Updated: 2013-04-20 07:19
By Dusty Lane (China Daily)
Spoiler alert: The NBA playoffs this year are going to be a lot like a Bruce Willis movie.
They're going to be wildly exciting. There are going to be some twists and turns along the way. Somehow, somewhere, there are going to be some irritating Europeans involved. And you know going into it how the final scene is going to play out.
Unless you're being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative, it's just about impossible to envision a scenario other than the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat facing each other in a rematch of last year's NBA Finals, with the Heat probably winning in five or six games.
Even with the ending determined, the early acts will be entertaining.
In the "I'm getting too old for this" genre, you've got the No 7 Lakers, who had a chance of not making the postseason at all, and instead will face both the No 2 Spurs and the loss of Kobe Bryant.
Those Spurs, of course, feature Tim Duncan, whose four NBA titles would be a little more impressive if he hadn't been playing in the league for approximately 345 years at this point. But, Duncan's only played 69 games this season, and he's averaged barely 30 minutes. He's rested and ready to crack one more case before he buys a fishing boat and sends his kids to college.
Duncan even has the classic one-liners ready to go. Why has he been on such a shot-blocking tear recently? "I'm old," he told a San Antonio blog last week. "But I'm slow."
I have strange taste, so to me, the No 5 Memphis Grizzlies' matchup with the No 4 Los Angeles Clippers is the middle-of-the-pack show that doesn't hold much in the way of audience appeal (at least if I'm the audience). The Clippers' Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are great, of course, but man - I'd rather watch Look Who's Talking than sit through a Grizzlies game.
On the flip side, I'm more excited than the average fan about Golden State playing Denver. Sometimes, all you need are a couple of your favorite performers. We'll call this one Die Hard: With a Vengeance. Yeah, it was terrible in parts, but it had Samuel L. Jackson doing a lot of yelling, so fine by me.
To that end, Denver's got coach George Karl, survivor of cancer, winner of more than 1,000 games, well-loved curmudgeon and former head of my hometown team, the Seattle SuperSonics.
Golden State's got Stephen Curry, who just set the record for most 3-pointers in a season. I'm a simple man. I like my beer cold, my TV loud and a guy who can score three points instead of two. (That's 50 percent more points!)
But here's what I'm most excited about. What I'm excited about is seeing the animated corpse of my old team - those Sonics, now the Thunder - bulldozing their way through the West, then losing to the bad guy Heat in their final season before the Sonics become the Sonics again.
The Thunder are going to come out of the brutal West with black eyes, swollen feet and broken teeth.
But they're going to be facing the Miami Heat, the league's brutally efficient villain, and they're going to lose badly.
Oklahoma City will not Die Hard.
Dusty Lane is a sports copy editor who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
(China Daily 04/20/2013 page24)