LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all have the ability to opt-out of the last year of their contracts with the Heat on June 30th, thus potentially making them free agents at the end of the season.
Let’s see … the sky was gray this morning … again. The temperature was in the 30s … again. The forecast calls for more chilly weather … again. Kevin Durant is going to be No. 1 on this list … again.
What is going to make today different?
These are the things you ponder while getting the kids ready for school — plus the thought of what the heck was the local school board thinking when they decided that school would begin at 7:30 a.m? Don’t they know about West Coast games? Don’t they know about snooze buttons?
Well, the fact of the matter is that this could be a very, very different Wednesday. You know why?
Because the Knicks and the Nets have been playing together in the NBA since 1976, and despite their geographic proximity to one another, they have never had a strong rivalry over those 38 years because both teams were never good at the same time.
Both teams expect to compete for the NBA championship. Both teams found their rhythm at the most opportune time of the season. Both teams stormed to the league’s best record and home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
There are obvious differences as well. For one, San Antonio still needs 10 straight wins – a run reached by only three other teams this season – to merely match Miami’s streak. Even if they win out, the Spurs will still come up one short of the Heat and have to resume the chase next season.
But here’s the biggest difference. The Heat were somewhat consumed by their streak. The Spurs are not consumed by theirs.
Kevin Durant is going to be the MVP. There’s no stopping him, and nobody is doing anything remotely close to what he is doing on offense for Oklahoma City. He might even win the award unanimously.
So that steers the MVP argument toward who should finish second, and I have been making the case for two weeks now that Blake Griffin is the most deserving candidate (although his missed FT late in regulation against the Pelicans was especially costly last night).
I have Griffin ranked No. 2 (and Joakim Noah ranked No. 3) in my latest MVP rankings, with LeBron James fourth. And after the Heat lost yet again last night, falling in Indiana, I would say my argument has been strengthened.
That was one of the topics of discussion this morning on AM830-KLAA on the Travis Rodgers show, but we also hit upon how Phil Jackson will try to rebuild the Knicks, how long the mediocrity window will stay open for the Los Angeles Lakers, and several other hot NBA topics. Enjoy.
Nominations for the ultimate Theater of the Absurd are now closed. It doesn’t get any stranger than it did Tuesday night at Staples Center, so nobody should even try to top it, OK?
Phil Jackson’s new team allowed 51 points in the third quarter to his old team, with Jackson watching from a luxury suite where he was joined by another former Knick and Laker, Metta World Peace.
Meantime, down in the second row, Jeanie Buss took it all in with a wonderful, gorgeous smile on her face.
And the Oscar goes to …
Well, I guess it would be the Oscar for Best Documentary. Because this was all so real Tuesday night, so very, very real and so patently absurd it made you want to laugh. Or cry. (Yes, Knicks fans, your pain is understood). Fifty-one points allowed in the third quarter? Don’t you wish you were a fly on the wall in that luxury suite listening to the Zen Master and the Nut Job discussing this one?
Jackson: “Metta, how exactly did coach Woodson teach defense in practice?”
World Peace: “Teach? He didn’t teach anything other than “Get the ball to ‘Melo as much as possible.’”
Jackson: “No, seriously. What about in the team huddle. Didn’t he even tell guys to put their arms up when someone blows by Felton?”
World Peace: “I really didn’t listen to Woodson. He was a hater. That old team of mine might be the worst defensive team I’ve ever been a part of, so I just tuned him out. Why do you think they waived me, anyway, Phil? I’m capable of giving them the one thing they need, perimeter defense, and I couldn’t even get my warmups off.”
Jackson: “You going to play again this season?”
World Peace: “Yeah, at Rucker.”
Jackson: “Isn’t there a playoff team out there that needs a little of your juice?”
World Peace: “Hey Phil … The Knicks would be a playoff team if they had used me correctly. I’m all about summertime now. The summer started for me a month ago. Can I come over to your pad and sit out on the deck the next few nights as the sun sets into the ocean? Love that view from your deck, Phil.”
Jackson: “I’ll have to ask Jeanie. She’s really getting on my nerves with her texts. In her last one she asked me who I was going to draft this June.”
World Peace: “What’s so bad about that? Seems like a legit question.”
Jackson: “We have no draft picks, Metta. Our second-rounders for the next four drafts have all been traded away. The Nuggets own our first-round pick this year, and the Raptors fleeced my predecessors for our 2016 first-round pick last summer in the Bargnani trade.”
World Peace: “Who’s Bargnani?”
Jackson: “He was your teammate, Ron. You taking your medication?”
World Peace: “Oh, that Italian dude? Tall skinny guy? Damn! All along I though he was our defensive coach. Every single guy on the Knicks was told to do what he does on defense. Woodson was saying that way back in training camp.
Jackson: “Metta… don’t you think Woody was saying that in jest?”
World Peace: “What does ‘in jest’ mean?”
Jackson: “OK, that explains a lot. If the rest of these Knicks know as much about vocabulary as you do, Metta, I’ve got this thing half figured out.”
World Peace: “Damn! This Robert Kelly is like the best passer I’ve ever seen. He’s kind of big for a point guard, no?”
Jackson: “He is not a point guard. And his name is Ryan. And he shouldn’t even be in the NBA.”
World Peace: “What did Jeanie just text you?”
Jackson: “She offered me Kelly for Felton and our 2018 first-round pick.”
World Peace: “You gotta do that, Phil! Kelly has eight assists, man. And Felton couldn’t even guard you with your artificial hips and knees.”
Jackson: “You talking to Jeanie behind my back? She just texted me the same thing.”
OK, enough of that. Gotta give y’all something entertaining since the MVP race is over. The only battle left is who will be No. 2. And maybe No. 3, because Joakim Noah is riding a wave right now. And if LeBron James loses in Indiana tonight …
So on to the rankings we go …