Saturday, April 5, 2008

Clinch-tastic Friday

Friday was a theme day of sorts as five, yes FIVE, teams clinched playoff spots in one evening.The Hornets, 76ers, Wizards, Raptors, and Lakers will be in this year's postseason, which marks a great day in the lives of bee, history, magic, dinosaur and lake enthusiasts.

One can't help but be impressed with how the 76ers have done this season with most NBA analysts writing them off (myself included).  
Andre Miller has turned into a superhero, and Andre Iguo
dala has started to come into his own as a go-to player.  Most impressive, Mo Cheeks has insp
ired the team to believe in themselves, and solidified himself as one of the better coaches that has a porn star name.

Another observation: It's sorta funny and sad at the same time that the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference has clinched a playoff spot at the same time the top team in the West did.  The first place Hornets are a paltry 31 games over .500, while the 7th seed Raptors are an astounding zero games over .500 (and the losers of 2 straight).  David Stern needs to figure out a way to get parity back into the league again because I worry this step-by-step process might become the way things happen in the future:

Step 1: An Eastern Conference crap team drafts a blue chip player in the draft. Woohoo!
Step 2: The player wows everyone, yet still is surrounded by garbage players on his team.
Step 3: After a while, the player starts complaining about his teammates. Wants to head West.
Step 4: Player demands a trade to a Western Conference team, and it's granted. Barf.

There is an enormous growing trend towards this process, and in my opinion it's a bit silly.  If I were a player I would prefer to be on an Eastern Conference team because I wouldn't have to stew over the fact that I missed the playoffs despite being 10 games over .500. You could probably tie your shoelaces together and do a "power hour" during half of the games and still manage to get in the playoffs in the East (unless you are a member of the Bobcats, in which your hopes evaporate like the cigar smoke rings Michael Jordan blows in the air). 

Congrats to the five playoff teams, and best of luck to the Lakers and Hornets...who actually have a shot.

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