meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2018-04-15

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.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Start of the NBA Playoff

 Deep condolences to Pop andhis family upon the death of his wife.

Per my last blog, the Warriors were not ready for the playoffs. After 3 games against the San Antonio Spurs in which they are up 3 to zip, I amend my opinion to the Warriors being ALMOST ready for the playoffs. The first two wins were convincing. The third in San Antonio less so, but predictable for a do-or-die game for the Spurs. The Warriors need a healthy Stephon Curry. I hesitate to say, to go "all the way," since the Dubs still have KD, Klay, Green, Livingston, and Igudala. How about Igudala? Like a fine wine, he improves with aging. Why this vintage is best tasted in the playoffs continues to be one of the mysteries in sports. There are simply some guys who flick the switch to high gear in clutch time. I'm just guessing, but I'd bet the stats would prove that Igudala ranks in the top ten category of NBA players to greatly improve over-all performance during the playoffs. Anyone care to bet?.

Here is my take on the pitiful Twolves performances so far. Two of their star key players, Andrew Wiggins (a little too cool breeze for my taste) and Karl Anthony Towns, who from now on I will refer to as Bambi, are soft as Pampers on D. So where does that leave the Twolves if two key guys are soft on defense? Up crap creek. Aha, thus the Pampers simile. I thought coach Coach Thibodeau was supposed to be a defense guru. Butler and Gibson are the only two players that get down and dirty. It's playoff time: tough is defined by a new level of intensity. You embrace it, or you "go fishing."

The Rockets are tough, no doubt. They stretch the floor with their three point shooters. Harden is a God awful problem to defend, but I'd sure as hell take my chances of steering him to his right, not that he wouldn't make a few anyway. In my opinion there are two keys to beating the Rockets: contain Chris Paul and match up with Capella. Of the two, against the Warriors, Capella represents the greatest danger. 

OKC, even with its three supers, still looks vulnerable to me. Not sure the Jazz can pull it off, but the last game won on Oklahoma's court says about a missing Thunder ingredient to go the distance. Dare I say Carmelo? Perhaps that's unfair, but I've never thought he had an ounce of basketball smarts. I don't believe Westbrook is a smart basketball player either. He plays by instinct, which is off the chart, but so does Carmelo. Ergo: two players that lack court sense the team relies on is one too many.

Donavon Mitchell and Ben Simpson should share Rookie of the Year Honors. Can Simpson learn to shoot the basketball beyond fifteen feet?

I'm picking the Raptors to win it all in the East with respect to LeBron who could still pull off a miracle; he's that good. I have grudgingly come to believe in the King as the King, perhaps the perfect basketball body I've ever seen, although head to head I'd still want Jordan over LeBron on my team.

76ers team is still a year away, but they sure look good in spurts. Question: Did Marco Belinelli dump when he was playing for the Kings in order to get out of the River City? On every other team he's played for, he shoots the three with great precision. On the Kings he looked like he needed glasses.

Got to love the Pacers. They probably can't beat the Cavs, but the team should keep with their core guys and build around them Oledipo is smart and talented. One good draft choice, one smart trade and they will be relevant for a  long time. Where could they use help? A few more three point shooters at the one and two. A back up stretch 3 for Bogan.

Next year for Boston, with Hayward back and another good draft season.

John Wall joins Westbrook and Carmelo as instinct-only players. 

Mark Jackson, coach of the Knicks? Big mistake.

I find myself repeating favorite sports poems. Here's one that is wonderfully simple and is all about the essence of the game.

First Love   by Carl Lindner

Before sixteen
I was fast
enough to fake
my shadow out
and I could read
every crack and ripple
in that catch of asphalt.
I owned
the slanted rim
the dead spot in the backboard.

Always the ball

came back.

Every day I loved 
to sharpen
my shooting eye,
for the touch.
Set shot, jump shot,
layup, hook - 
after a while
I could feel
the ball hunger-
ing to clear
the lip of the rim,
the two of us 
falling through.