Friday, March 13, 2009

Oscar Wilde to Mavs: Yes, I know that we are in the gutter but some of us, yourselves included, are looking up at the stars or at least the #3 spot.

I am probably not the most optimistic of Mavs fans, possibly because I enjoy watching them even when they are not doing so hot. But to say that my optimism power bars were incredibly low about this West coast four game road trip was low is a huge understatement. There haven’t been any blowouts and Wednesday night’s nail biter against Portland did nothing to calm my fears of the Mavs still being capable of blowing leads in the fourth quarter. But to have started the nailing of Phoenix’s coffin and then to beat the #6 team on back to back nights makes me feel pretty good about my basketball team of choice. But then I look at the playoff standings as of now and I start to get a special, warm feeling.

We are half a game back from Denver and Portland and only one game from New Orleans. A game and a half is all that separates us from the #3 Rockets, who have a testes crusher of a season remaining. That’s absurd. I’ve heard lots of number crunching about the road records against fellow Western conference teams for each of the 8 potential playoff cast members. It gets pretty math-y and stat-y and reading this blog, you know that math-ys and stat-ys are not my strong suit. I just know this: I expect the Mavs to beat Golden State tonight. It’s a combination of entitlement, bitterness and sheer probability and records. I do not expect the Mavs to beat the Lakers. I would like to not get blown out but I am not even holding my breath for that. All I want at this point is to come back home with a 3-1 result from this road trip.

And now to my favorite thing in the world: the Eastern (WNBA-esque) conference. I just can never wrap my head around it. If the playoffs happened today, it would be weird because it’s only the middle of March. But also, if the playoffs happened today, there is one Eastern conference team who would make the playoffs with a record under .500. That’s amazing to me. All it would take is one more 76ers loss to make that two teams. Blows my mind. In the West, the Lakers have put a great distance between themselves and everyone else. Eight and a half games to be exact. But from the Spurs downwards, there is never more than a two game differential between teams in the remaining 7 spots. In the Eastern conference, the #3 and #4 teams (Orlando and Atlanta, respectively) are separated by TEN AND A HALF GAMES. Wow.

Finally, related to nothing I just talked about, I am annoyed that Dwanye Wadye (I get to spell it however I like) is ESPN’s hot tip for MVP. Really? If there is a God in heaven, a drop of the milk of human kindness left in the universe, a prayer for peace in our time, a flickering ember of hope for justice then the MVP will go to Chris Paul. I love Chris Paul. Even when he beats us. Scratch that, even when he beats us up until we are nearly unconscious, pulls our pants down and finishes us off with a swirlie in the handicapped stall, I love him. I would watch him play tether ball while he talked on his cell phone. I would probably watch him fill out a bank deposit slip and wait in line to deposit a check his grandma sent him for his birthday. I would watch him spend an afternoon in the off-season gathering receipts to take to the accountant who does his taxes. I would watch him sit on his couch and try to get a piece of a popcorn kernel out of his teeth that’s been stuck there for an hour. Fuck it, I would start a blog called And in case you are curious, #1 is play basketball followed quickly thereafter by #2 which is to watch him beat Dwayene Wayede for the MVP this year.

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