Monday, October 03, 2005

30 Reasons to Get Fired Up For the 2005-06 NBA Season - #10

East Finally Better than the West?

Okay, I’m supposed to write an article that determines whether or not the East can finally be considered the superior conference. Unfortunately, that’s like asking me to decide between Kim Smith and Krista Allen, which at this raging hormone stage of my life, is rather impossible. But like Jay-Z says, “Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week” and that’s our approach here at the Source. The problem is that I don’t want to bore you by breaking down each team and trying to decipher who’s better because that’s essential an 05-06 preview. So here goes, something original, a bit crazy, but the only sure way to decide who’s better, the East or the West. I present to you the first ever NBA boxing tournament. Not a boxing fan? Don’t have to be, I’m not. Here are the rules:

1) Rank the top eight teams in each conference as I see them today, then break that out into a top 16 by criss-crossing East and West.

2) Pretend that each NBA franchise is an Olympic boxing team, doing their very best to advance through the rankings to become world champs.

3) Each team fields a core of three players who must fight in succession. Thus, if Shaq fights in Round 1, he must let Wade and ‘Toine take care of business in Rounds 2 and 3 before he steps back in the ring.

4) Each team must include at least one guard (smaller than 210 lbs.) on their roster and all three fighters must be starters.

5) If a team from the West wins in Round 1, they move on to face the next team in line in the East. West never plays West, East never faces East.

6) The winning team gets to choose it's next fighter, giving their challenger a slight disadvantage.

7) Whoever notches the most victories at the conclusion of the tournament will be deemed the superior of the NBA. Dan Rafael, eat your heart out!

Featherweight Division (Teams 16-13):

(15) LA Lakers (K. Bryant) def. (16) Boston Celtics (P. Pierce), K.O.-6th
Pierce comes out with much more energy, but ultimately wears down in the 4th. Kobe, with Phil Jackson in his corner, owns the trainer’s edge and finally gets to Pierce by setting him up with a series of jabs. One monster uppercut seals the deal in the 6th.

(15) LA Lakers (K. Brown) def. (14) Philadelphia 76ers (C. Webber), Decision
The Lakers, not wanting to face Allen Iverson, elect to throw Brown in the ring rather than a “washed up” Aaron McKie. C-Webb, attempting to get out of the way of the quicker and younger Kwame, sees his knee give way early in the 9th round. Bruised and battered by the end, Webber loses a close 2-1 decision.

Welterweight Division (Teams 12-9 and their challengers):

(12) Chicago (E. Curry) def. (15) LA Lakers (A. McKie), K.O.-1st
Bad heart and all, Curry whoops McKie’s ass. The match lasts just 13 seconds.

(13) Golden State (B. Davis) def. (12) Chicago (B. Gordon), K.O.-9th
Coming out with his Ultimate Warrior face paint on, Davis easily wins the hearts of the fans and helps make this the match of the tournament thus far. Both boxers land over 50% of their punches, but Baron, outweighing Gordon 223-200, proves to have a little bit more behind his throws. His final one, a scorching right hook to the face, knocks Gordon completely around and down to the canvas. Warriors advance.

(10) New Jersey (V. Carter) def. (13) Golden State (J. Richardson), Decision
All the talk before the fight centered on the Warriors’ decision to go with Richardson rather than the 270 lbs. Adonal Foyle. The best the Nets had to counter with was Nenad Krstic, a match-up clearly favoring Golden State. But trainer Mike Montgomery said, “We feel very strongly about Jason’s training and want to save Foyle for Ilgauskas.” Big mistake. Carter lands 40 more punches and ultimately prevails on all three of the judges’ scorecards.

(10) New Jersey (J. Kidd) def. (11) Dallas (J. Terry), TKO-7th
Boy did this match turnaround quickly. Terry came out with a series of rights to Kidd’s face, causing an enormous gash to open up above Jason’s eye. But Mr. Court Vision, wasn’t going to let this wound slow him down. Trainer Lawrence Frank’s “stick-n-move” philosophy proved to get the better of Terry. Kidd knocked his opponent down three times in the 7th, sending his Nets’ to their third fight in three days.

(9) Denver (C. Anthony) def. (10) New Jersey (R. Jefferson), Forfeit-1st
Jefferson delivered a monster blow to Anthony’s head just 10 seconds into the 1st round. Unfortunately, that surgically repaired wrist shattered into a million pieces and left RJ with no choice but to retire. ‘Melo and co. advance.

Middleweight Division (Teams 8-5 and their challengers):

(8) Cleveland (L. James) def. (9) Denver (Nene), K.O.-9th
Giving up an inch and 20 lbs., most analysts predicted that LeBron had no shot. But Nene tired quickly after 7 rounds, struggling to keep up with the quicker James. LBJ seemed to just toy with the Brazilian in the 8th, and finally ended the affair 11 seconds into the next round. LeBron seemed unfazed and relaxed after the bout.

(8) Cleveland (L. Hughes) def. (7) Sacramento (P. Stojakovic), K.O.-1st
C’mon now…

(5) Houston (Y. Ming) def. (8) Cleveland (Z. Ilgauskas), Decision
Yeesh, this was like watching two fat people race to a donut. Perhaps the slowest bout in the history of boxing, both fighters only managed to land a total of 21 punches. With Yao landing 11, the judges had no choice but to award him with the decision.

(6) Indiana (R. Artest) def. (5) Houston (T. McGrady), K.O.-3rd
Van Gundy had a pretty tough decision to make here. Go with Stromile Swift to face Jermaine O’Neal, or let T-Mac go up against Artest? While I agreed with his selection at the time of the match, I severely underestimated a determined Artest. Ronnie came out with a flurry of hooks that seem to gradually tire the 210-lbs. McGrady. Artest, penalized in the 2nd for trying to pull a Mike Tyson on T-Mac’s ear, ultimately prevailed with one giant blow 5 seconds into the 3rd. It was “reminiscent to the punch Jermaine put on that fat dude in Detroit,” according to Stephen Jackson.

Heavyweight Division (Teams 4-1 and their challengers):

(3) Phoenix (S. Nash) def. (6) Indiana (S. Jasikevicius), Decision
Rick Carlisle had no choice. Throw O’Neal here against Stoudemire and then Jasikevicius would have to fight Shaq—really a no-brainer. Unfortunately for Indy, Nash came out dancing around the ring like he was Mr. Peterman on Dancing with the Stars. While Sarunas was able to land a handful of punches early, the Croat made fatal flaws when it mattered most. By the end, Nash looked as fresh as he did in Round 1, while Jasikevicius looked more like Jamaal Tinsley on ‘shrooms. Nevermind, Tinsley always looks like he’s tripping balls.

(4) Miami (S. O’Neal) def. (3) Phoenix (A. Stoudemire), Tech. Decision-1st
The ratings for this bout were the highest in sports history, with athletes and celebrities from all over the globe littering the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. No one knew what to expect. Would Shaq wear down? Would Amare be able to sustain O’Neal’s right hook and an 80-lbs. disadvantage? Could he utilize his speed to get to The Diesel? Unfortunately, none of us were able to find this out, as Amare hit Shaq with a wicked blow below the belt just 30 seconds in. Interviewed after the bout, Amare had this to say: “Yeah I’m 6-10, 245, but he’s SHAQ for God’s sake. I had no choice. This fight could have ended my career.” When Shaq was asked for his opinion, as usual no one could understand a word he said.

(1) San Antonio (M. Ginobili) def. (4) Miami (D. Wade), K.O.-5th
Perhaps the upset of the entire tournament. The turning point of the match came when Ginobili faked a fall by never touching his knee to the mat. The only one in the arena who didn’t notice was Wade, who was turned around saluting the Diesel and his black & blue balls. Manu sneaked behind Wade, tapped him on the shoulder, and then struck him with a devastating right-left combo of uppercuts to the face. Wade went down faster than a groupie in Kobe’s hotel room. Up next: a Spurs-Pistons rematch.

(1) San Antonio (T. Duncan) def. (2) Detroit (B. Wallace), K.O.-7th
Analysts hoped it would come down to Duncan and Shaq, but this match was no floozy. In the end, TD’s height advantage (3 inches) and intelligence in the ring proved too much for the 6-9 Wallace. While Big Ben tried to wear down his opponent physically, Duncan simply waited for his opponent to tire, saving up enough energy to finish him in the 7th. The Spurs are champs again, but does this mean the West is better than the East?

Final results: The West finished with 8 wins, the East 7. But while the lower seeds in the WC may look a bit stronger than their Eastern counterparts, I still think the trio of Detroit-Miami-Indy will prove to be better than San Antonio-Phoenix-Houston. So does that mean the East is better? Not necessarily, because the West remains on top both with 8 wins and the Spurs. Thus, my feeling is that no matter how many ways we slice it, both conferences appear to be evenly matched. That hasn't been the case for quite a while, so let’s enjoy it while we can.


At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, how about GILBERT ARENAS defeats some lowly West PG. Gimme a break. The Wizards made it to the second round last week and actually improved this off-season with the pickups of Butler, Daniels and Atkins.

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to see a Kenyon Martin - Tim Thomas fight. Now that Kenyon relocated to the West, it does follow your guidelines. GREAT ARTICLE!

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

T-Mac losing to Artest? Are you fools on crack. Unless of course this is a real boxing match, but I seriously doubt that because Artest and his crazy a$$ would probably win the whole thing. This is about basketball ability right?

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Guys, this article is a JOKE. I don't know who could beat up who, I just didn't have a concrete idea for this article and went with this. No I'm not on crack, yes T-Mac would beat Artest one-on-one, no he would not defeat Ronnie in a fight. And as for the Wizards, I think they got worse. That's my personal opinion, sorry. I think Butler sucks and losing Hughes is gonna hurt. Plus I'm a Celtics fan.

At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the Amare vs O'Neal fight. Classic.

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that shit was wack, period.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Jeez, let's cry about the fact that I left the Wizards out of the Playoffs. Give me a break. I mean is it SO far-fetched to leave them out? Is there a conceivable chance Caron Butler still sucks and cannot provide the compliment Arenas desperately needs? Is that wack? And are the Celtics going to be that much worse after losing Antoine Walker? Could they actually be better now that their youngsters have another year under their belts? Guess we'll have to wait and see, but for now dis shit is wack.

At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarunas Jasikevicius is actually Lithuanian, not Croatian.

Other than that, a unique way to look at the playoffs, to say the very least.


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