I'm convinced there'll be a time in the future that a clever, skilled center, a true 5, will ounce again dominate in the NBA. In the near future, perhaps the near-sighted future, the NBA will be dominated by run and gun, deep three shooters. Sorry, Steph, you started this trend and that's okay. It's great to see the threes raining down like manna from heaven. It's fun.
But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that soon, some smart, very tall young man will get it into his head he can score big in the paint with all the defenses running like mad to defend the three-point line. He'll learn to shoot a Jabbar hook, a Nate Thurmond jump hook, a Bill Walton backboard jumper. He'll spin to the basket like Hakeem, dominate like Wilt, and block shots like Bill Russell.
The truth in this fantasy is the paint for a skilled big man is open territory. The problem is that the big man has been so devalued that what we have left are bruisers and dunkers, whose skills are pathetic.
It's not going to happen right away, but I hope some skinny, fast growing 6th grader will read this Blog and say, "Aha!" Can you imagine an offense-skilled Hassan Whiteside? Or Andrew Bogut with a lefty and righty hook shot? Or DeAndre Jordan with a spin jumper or Hakeem post moves? I salivate at the thought.
The Warriors are a playoff team, no question. In fact they are a team that can reach the Conference Finals, and will, but without Steph, they can not win the title. This should not be a surprise to any NBA cognoscenti. All the great Championship teams relied on one Super Star. With all due respect to Klay and Dray, as it was for Wade and Bosh, the Heat don't win without LeBron, the Warriors don't win without Curry.
The Kings are looking for a coach. Any takers in their right minds?
If San Antonio has an Achilles heel, it's that they are not real athletic. When OKC pounded them with physicality, they struggled. Kawhi leonard and Patty Mills are their only truly athletic players. This does not mean they don't have a chance to win the title. They've got a lot of other stuff going for them: smarts, great passing, excellent shooting and wonderful coaching, and they've got a lot of talented players to keep coming at an opponent off the bench in waves. However, don't be surprised if OKC upsets the Spurs.
The Cavs will try to overwhelm with threes and athleticism. Whether goes LeBron, goes the team. It was that way last year, it's still that way. Looks like the Raptors vs the Cavs in the Eastern Finals. I haven't been impressed with the Raptors D. Cavs in five games. In the Finals, I take the West. Cavs try to play D, but get confused easily.
I've blogged this poem before, but it seems worth putting up again. It's got such great feel, like a shooter's touch.
When I Got It Right By Carl Linder
The ball would lift
light as a wish,
gliding like a blessing
over the rim, pure,
or kissing off glass
into the skirt of net.
Once it began
I couldn't miss.
Even in the falling dark,
the ball, before it left
my hand, was sure.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.