The Calm Before The Storm

By: 05.01.11  •  34 Comments
LeBron James

LeBron covers Dime #47

Okay so the first round was great. EXTRA special. The Thunder kicked the diapers and didn’t even stumble. Chris Paul nearly changed the world by himself. And we saw Z-Bo go from that guy you completely avoid on the subway to the dude everyone wants to ball with. But starting today, things really get interesting. Oklahoma City opens the second round at home against the Grizzlies at 1 pm ET (ABC) followed at 3:30 pm ET with the Celtics and the Heat (ABC) … LeBron James has one thing to say for the haters: “That’s corny.” On the eve of another huge playoff tilt against the Celtics, reporters wanted to know just what happened last year when James and Cleveland fell apart against Boston. Did he quit? Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said he did. But LeBron said he didn’t understand that sentiment. The numbers certainly agree with him. But the theatrics? We’ll leave that up to interpretation. This year, he has the talent around him to finally beat Boston, but will it be enough? We doubt Dwyane Wade ever wears the color green again (12.8 points a game against Boston this year. Pathetic). Meanwhile, Chris Bosh can’t be looking forward to his matchup with Kevin Garnett. Just as it always does, it’ll come down to LeBron … But we like the tone being set by both teams. After hearing about James’ Philadelphia “breakfast,” Ray Allen said that against the Celtics, “You gotta have a big appetite, because we’re a smorgasbord.” … We aren’t sure how many are on our side, but the Thunder/Grizz series is our most anticipated. Why? These are two of the most exciting teams to watch in the NBA. At their core, both are unselfish and defense-obsessed, and play like they genuinely care and enjoy winning … Zach Randolph is the new Jimmer. So weird … Just two days away from their series opener, there were reports out of Los Angeles that said Kobe Bryant was still limping on that sprained ankle. Has it become a requirement of Kobe that he has to overcome some type of injury at this point in the season? If he wasn’t banged up, would they just make one up? Or hire Tonya Harding? Would they use the old “messed-up finger” thing, the fall-back option that has been working like gold for about three straight years? Dallas definitely doesn’t care one way or the other. They have more important things to worry about, like ridding themselves of a decade of doubters and the opinion that Dirk Nowitzki is the most “un-clutch” clutch player ever … Go ahead. Tell us we hate the Hawks. Tell us we never give them a chance. We aren’t the only ones who felt that way. We just don’t see this series lasting longer than five. By the way, the Hawks are saying Kirk Hinrich is doubtful for the series because of his hamstring strain he suffered in the clincher against Orlando … We mentioned yesterday that C.J. Watson sort of broke the “news” that Derrick Rose was named MVP. Check out Pooh’s hilarious response: “I didn’t say anything to him about that, but I’m happy that he’s doing that. It means a lot coming from him. C.J. knows a lot of people out here, a lot of famous people too. So watch that guy.” … Just a few nights after Dallas ended their season, the Blazers are already dealing with waves. First, there were reports they were thinking of offering Greg Oden $40 million over four years. Now it sounds like Brandon Roy wants his starting spot back. Now we love Roy as much as the next man. We blew him up when he had his Willis Reed thing going in the playoffs. But if that series showed us anything, it’s that his knees can’t hold up. In Games 3 and 4, Roy scored 40 points. In the other four games, he had only 16 … Indiana has made it clear they’ll make a decision on Larry Bird‘s future within the next 10 days. Here’s a thought: bring the legend back … Yesterday afternoon, some of the Dime fam checked out the Under Armour I-95 Elite Challenge, pitting the best of Baltimore against the best national talent. While everyone could play, we were especially excited to see one sophomore in particular. You’ve probably heard of him: Aquille Carr. While it was an All-Star game, so the intensity was on Rasheed-in-December-levels, and Carr missed most of the first half with an apparent ankle injury, the 5-6 guard had a five-minute run in the second half where he must’ve scored on six straight possessions, all right at the rim. He had one play where he had his defender sliding and swiping at air three different times before finishing with an insane three-point play … We’re out like keeping Aquille out of the paint.

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