Tuesday, May 12

NBA Playoffs:Where Euthanasia Happens

Last night, the Atlanta Hawks were mercifully sent to the golf course. I'm quite certain the Malcontent was not happy about the outcome, but the Cavs' quest for fo, fo, fo can continue without any accipiters loose on the backboard. The Hawks fell by a combined total of 142 points in their loses or slightly more than 20 per game. Combined with the Hornets 123 point combined losses, they combined for the worst showing by two teams in one playoff in the history of the NBA.

The Cavs move on, but having watched this team sweep two straight teams I'm now convinced of one thing. LeBron James, who finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year awards is not the best defender even on his own team. Both Delonte West and Anderson Varejao are more critical on the defensive end for this team's success. LBJ leads the league in spectacular blocks (with all due respect to Dwight Howard, whose blocks are less-impressive based on his propensity to block shots out of bounds). He also leads the league in blocks on Sportscenter, partly because of the incredible nature of his chase down blocks, but also because of his status in the league. How many Lamar Odom blocks were on SportsCenter? Can people even recall one? I ask, because he had more blocks this season than the King. This is not to take away from LBJ's accomplishments (he deserved the MVP), but just to point to the dumbing down of sports (and sportswriters and broadcasters that vote on the award).

The Mark Cuban-Kenyon Martin feud grew to unhealthy proportions, but with everyone looking to dole out blame, there's an important element no one is touching on. The word "thug" has been code to mean the N-word for several years, particularly in the arena of sports. I'm not asserting that Cuban was insinuating the N-Word, but a hyper-sensitivity by Martin should not be judged too harshly. Combining the danger his mother felt, the use of thug and an emotional loss, it would be difficult for anyone not to drop a couple F-bombs. Feel free to point to someone like Jackie Robinson's restraint and remember that's one of the things that made him an American Hero.

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