OPEN THREAD: Day 40 of the 2k8 NBA Playoffs

I know my esteemed colleague and usual weekday TV partner for all things sports wasn't all too excited about yesterday's Eastern Conference Finals match, but I have to say- it was a hell of a game. I hope this series goes the distance. Game 7 in Boston- where you at?

P-M-U-J for a preview of what could be a pivotal dynasty shifting close out game tonight.

G5: San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles Lakers (Lakers lead 3-1)

Tonight could be the night that ends the Spurs dynasty. Sure it wasn't a real dynasty since the Spurs never managed to have any of their 4 titles occur in back-to-back seasons, but it was still really impressive if not incredibly boring and painful to watch. Sure you can call it the Diet Coke of dynasties since 2 of those titles would have never happened if the Lakers didn't ship his Shaqness to Miami, but let's give them their due.

These guys are warriors and unlike our Warriors I don't expect them to fade in the clutch as their season winds down. I see the Spurs rebounding from their tough Game 4 loss tonight in LA. Hopefully San Antonio sold out their Conference Finals home games unlike last year against the Jazz because they should be hosting a great Game 6. Tim Duncan and the rest of crew are going to come out swinging and they're not about to let their season and imitation dynasty die easily. Plus they're sure to whine, flop, push, and cheap-shot their way to extend this series.

However if this is the end of this Western Conference Finals it will be TNT's last NBA broadcast of the 2007-2009 NBA season. I just wanted to thank the entire TNT crew from the Inside the NBA cast (Ernie, Kenny, and Chuck) to their world class announcing crew (Marv Albert is the man. I'll never forget him proclaiming "The Golden State Warriors have pulled off the greatest upset in NBA Playoff history") to their polished production crew for another unstoppable season. TNT's overall NBA package (love the soundtracks) is far and away above anything ESPN has put together over the past decade. I'm really going to really miss their work when I'm watching the Finals on the painfully bland ABC package.

Here's the hype clip TNT used to wrap up the 2006-2007 NBA Playoffs last year. It's 100x better than the monotonous annual NCAA One Shining Moment. 

I can't wait to see what they put together this time around.

A few quick thoughts on Derek Fisher since the league officially declared his silly foul at the end of Game 5 on Brent Barry a missed call and his shenanigans have partly inspired the league to finally institute a much-needed penalty for flopping [ESPN] (beware Manu Ginobili, Anderson Varejao, Raja Bell, Bruce Bowen, Shane Battier, Matt Harpring, Richard Hamilton, Al Harrington, and Monta Ellis-- check out The Greatest Floppers in NBA History [ESPN Page 2]).

Let me begin by saying that Fisher seems like a really decent guy overall. As a Warriors fan it's easy to remember his pouting when the Warriors first threw the Fish in the Salt Lake a few short summers ago. However, that's a mistake as Fish easily does more charitable work than 99% of the people in this world.

In a few words when it comes to Derek Fisher- I hate the game, not the playa. Over the years it has just been incredibly painful to watch Fisher play basketball the "wrong way" and see him get so much undeserved credit. He is what he is:

  • At best a streaky jump shooter even though he's mostly been WIDE OPEN throughout his career with all the attention on his teammates like Shaq, Kobe, Carlos Boozer, and now Kobe-Gasol-Odom
  • A veteran player with extremely low hops IQ. Watch him continually screw up on the defensive side at the most critical junctures of a game with his silly fouls (just ask Brent Barry) and terrible decisions with the rock on offense.
  • An utterly ridiculous flopper (just ask Monta Ellis).
  • A PG with ZERO court vision or ability to set up his teammates.
  • A supposed solid defender who quicker opposing guards routinely have career nights against.
  • A vet who's quick to yell at and blame his younger teammates for his own mistakes (just ask Mickael Pietrus).

I'd have Derek Fisher on my community outreach team any day. On my basketball team? No flopping way. Too bad he'll be playing for his 4th ring in a few short days.

Post your golden picks and playoff game thoughts in the comments.

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