Three rants instead of seven; here we go!
1. The Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics up, Heat down
The Boston Celtics stand on top of the Miami Heat tonight, winning 94-90, and yanking the heart out of the Heat and their fans, in their house. While I am not on the “Miami’s not working” type right now, I do believe that the Heat need to look in the mirror, because when they are on fire, they are unstoppable; and when they are not clicking, they fall apart. The worst part is that we don’t know which Heat team this is until the end of the game.
My dad and I skipped most of the game to watch the Game of Thrones finale (which was epic!), and tuned in right at the end, with 13.8 seconds left in the game. It was obvious that Boston knew what they were doing, that they were in the zone, and most importantly, that they knew they were in the driver’s seat. Up by four, they let LeBron score an easy two-pointer rather than let them get a three or foul him. They made Miami stop them by making them foul. In the end, it was obvious who was having the better night.
The scary part of that for Miami is that if I can see that in a few seconds of play, we can only imagine what a basketball genius like Doc Rivers is seeing after forty-seven minutes plus of the game.
Are the Heat not firing all on all cylinders? Do they prove that there is actually a problem with having too much talent? Well, let’s answer those. I have no doubt that the Heat, man to man, individually, are giving their all, and that they are doing their best to gel and work together; they had the whole season to do that. Perhaps, despite the friendship between the Three Miami Kings, there is too much ego that accompanies that excess of talent.
Wait, that’s not fair. LeBron would have stayed in Cleveland had he perceived that as a potential problem. Wade and Bosh would have made one hell of a duo, and there would have no doubt whose team that was; LeBron coming down made things a tad more difficult on that front, but you can assume the three of them knew what they were doing. Well, did Pat Reilly? Is it possible he saw the excess amount of talent and figured it was just better without thinking about it? To think, he just handed it off to Erik Spolestra; it’s like a father upgrading his son’s car’s engine and hoping he keeps it on the road.
However, I hesitate to blame Spolestra for the decisions of management. You can blame him for not handling his stars properly, and considering his background as a tech guy for the Heat, rather than a coaching one, he may be lacking in that department. If so, he needs a course on how to improve that, at least publicly.
Finally, though, let’s not take anything from the Celtics, whose play this series has been quite good, and especially in their wins.
2. The Kings beat down the Devils
When does a Devil ever lose? When he faces a King of course. The Los Angeles Kings administered a serious beatdown on the Devils on Monday at the Staples Center, beating them four to nothing, including two goals in the span of a minute in the third period. The crowd went wild, and the Devils were doomed.
The Kings looked dominant. They are winning because they keep the Devils playing defense more often than not, and that limits their ability to score, as well as their ability to keep their defense up all the time; the Kings wait for an opening and shoot the puck there. They are winning because they get more of them.
The Devils looked defeated in the third period even before the two goals in a minute. The looks on their faces after the game were bleak; they know the series is over if they can’t pull it together, and if they can, they know they will make history as the first team to win out of an 0-3 hole. Can they? Yes. Will they? History says no.
3. NFL Network’s NFL’s Top 100 Players List
One of the worst things the NFL Network, which is otherwise a very well run sports network, did was their NFL Top 100 Players list; this is coming from a network that does well in its original programming too; A Football Life, No Huddle, NFL’s Top 10, NFL Total Access, and hell, why not count old episodes of Hard Knocks are all great programs.
However, what has been a cornerstone of their spring programming schedule for 2012, outside of covering the problems with the New Orleans Saints, has been their NFL’s Top 100 Players List for this year. It is advertised as “being voted on by the players,” complete with commentary from the players. However, there are a few issues with it. For one, the list itself is questionable: the presence of Tim Tebow’s name on it (granted, it’s at 95 but still) raised my eyebrows, and prompted me to lose interest in watching it. Secondly, the pompous nature of the program is horrific; most NFL Network programming celebrates the game (in the case of Top 10, it is subject to a vigorous debate), but this one overdoes it; you hear current players talking about other current players like they are legends of the game, but you cannot be an active players and be a legend like that. That’s a turn off as well. Finally, NFL Network double-downed on the list by having a reaction show to it; to give you an idea of how much time this list is filling now; there are ten shows of the list, followed by ten reaction shows. That is way too much for one list that is questionable at best.