Sunday Afternoon Hoops: Bulls Vs. Heat And Lakers Vs. Spurs

03.07.11 6 years ago 46 Comments

Remember the scene from Boyz N The Hood when Ricky and Tre were pulled over? Then the Uncle Tom black cop put that gun to Tre’s chin solidifying the first cinematic appearance of what would prove to be the inspiration behind Aaron McGruder’s “Uncle Rukus.” More specifically, do you remember the very next scene when Tre went Brandi’s house and he started punching the air while mumbling incoherently?

Yeah, that last sentence basically describes me and what life after the All-Star Break has been like. My own friends have even taken the liberty to take AK-47-type shots in my direction and all I can do is sit there with the dunce cap on and a kool-aid smile to match. Tough times do not last, rather tough people do. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. And since I’m a fan of the NBA as a whole, I keep watching. I keep watching even though every comment I make will somehow get thrown back in my face with anti-you-know-who resentment.

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Chicago Bulls Vs. Miami Heat

Pre-Game Hype: To a lot of people, the Miami Heat are like Sarah Palin – undeserving of the accolades with no substantial background worthy of a championship/election prediction many have placed upon them. That being said, people love to pay attention to them, even if it is just to see them end up on the wrong side of a scoreboard. And as of late, that’s all sports shows have been leading their programs with. Everyone knew how important this game was. A three game losing streak has felt like ages in today’s world of endless news coverage and social media. Sunday’s contest was basically a return to the scene team of the crime when this ugly and public skid began.

To make matters worse, Riley’s bunch was coming off the heels of their most embarrassing loss of the season Friday night in San Antonio by 30. Saying this was a “must-win” would be an understatement. If Miami lost this game – and the season series to the Bulls – the public venom would continue. The questions of LeBron’s ability to perform in the game’s most pressure packed situations would become even louder. And the overall misfortune of the Heat would continue to bring tears of joy (*Cee-Lo voice*) for those who harbor disdain for the manner in which the team was cultivated in the first place.

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Post-Game Reality: You mean aside from the fact my opinion on basketball is crumbling quicker than Wiz Khalifa’s weed? Nothing amazing really. Just routine mistakes. The Heat blew another double digit lead. The Heat’s bench was nowhere to be found. The Heat made critical mistakes in crunch time – not grabbing a rebound off a missed Loul Deng free throw which ultimately led to him getting another pair, thus putting the Bulls up by one. LeBron James missed a contested lay up and Dwyane Wade a contested jump shot, either of which would have won the game.

Chicago is a legitimate threat to come out the East, point blank. Will they? Hell if I know, but they certainly have all the tools to do so especially now that injuries no longer an issue. Rose is the leading candidate for MVP and Thibodeau has to be the favorite for Coach of the Year. A lot can and will happen over the course of a month, but that prime time Thursday night game in Boston on April 7 looks mighty tempting, now doesn’t it?

The South Beach boys, on the other hand, have a sh*t load of work to do. At this point, the only way they would advance in the playoffs would be if they played the Wizards in the first round. Now 1-9 against the league’s elite and no clotting in sight for the bleeding, Spoelstra has one hell of problem on his hands. LeBron said after the game their recent struggles fall squarely on him and Wade acknowledged that prayers of their downfall have come to fruition. Spolestra even admitted – smartly or not – that water works were flowing in the locker room; a far cry from the probate the “Big 3” had in July. To add insult to injury, ESPN has even turned their backs on the Heat clowning them at every opportunity and they were the ones who basically helped create the circus around them.

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Los Angeles Lakers Vs. San Antonio Spurs

Pre-Game Hype: Did you know the Lakers or Spurs have represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals 11 out of the past 12 seasons? Yep, you guessed it, the Mavs were the only other team to make it the NBA mountaintop before letting D-Wade go all Mike Jordan on them four games straight back in 2006 NBA Finals. They’re the blueprints for long term NBA success over the past decade, but none of that mattered yesterday because the Lakeshow needed to avenge two early season defeats which included a game winning tip-in by Antonio McDyess a few weeks back in the Staples Center.

Post-Game Reality: Realistically, the Lakers probably will not catch the Spurs for the top seed out West. But that ass whooping they gave them Sunday afternoon will leave its marks, aside from the fact San Antonio’s 22 game home winning streak is no more. It was obvious to see Kobe, Pau and company came to Texas to prove a point and the game was never truly close from the first quarter on. The game got so blown out of wack that I left to drop a friend off at Ronald Reagan International Airport and came back 30 minutes later only to find L.A. was still up by more than a dub.

It’s funny how quickly things can turn in the NBA. A few weeks ago, people wondered if the Lakers would even make the playoffs! All right, not that far, but still. Questions about the two-time defending champions dominated headlines. They were losing to the Cavs and we all contemplated what a “Carmelo-for-Bynum” swap would mean for the future of the franchise. Ron Artest had completely lost his mind (again) and begun his career as a perfume/cologne salesmen. Then came the All Star Break, Kobe’s fourth MVP coronation and no one in purple and gold has looked back since. Now the Lakers are Charlie Sheen winning and have not lost a game since the mid-season exhibition and faithful fans nationwide are sticking out their chest to show off their “3 PEAT” tattoo because, let them tell it, that’s all they care about.

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