Monday, June 12, 2006

More basketball

Yesterday we went to the -Comets game in the afternoon, as a friend had signed up for the birthday package. We got our "quality time" with Prowl, which unfortunately involved neither candlelight dinners nor buying him a beer. Side benefits: we got a ton of Lynx schwag, as an attempt to apologize for only having kid-sized jerseys for the birthday party since it was 13 & under get a free jersey day. Also, our friend Uriah got to take part in the dancing competition between the 3rd & 4th.

As always, he lost to an eight-year-old kid doing the robot.

I haven't been to a Lynx game in two years, and I didn't really follow them last year either. But I've got to say, the rules changes this year (switching from 20 min. halfs to 10 min. quarters and cutting the shot clock down from 30 sec. to 25 sec.) have immensely changed the game play. There was always a bit more emphasis on athleticism in WNBA over the crazy stuff you see in the NBA, but if feels like the rate and style of play have really shifted. The game's really getting lightning-quick, but you're also starting to see jockeying for position and fighting for the ball after shooting rather than just having everyone run to the other basket at each turnover.

The general rate of pirate ball has also gone up immensely, which I am quite pleased with. I would highly recommend checking out some WNBA games for anyone who wants to see some good, cheap basketball.

I was also pleased to see the Lynx win by 15, of course.

Then we rushed off to catch game 2 of the Mavs-Heat finals.

Just looking at the score of a game can easily give someone the wrong impression. Although the Mavs only beat the Heat by four more points than they did Thursday night, it was a completely different game. After game 1, a friend asked me if I thought the Mavs could sweep the Heat. I thought it was possible, but unlikely. I was expecting Shaq to rebound last night, and the Heat to start working on a more modular defense to plug up the holes Jason Terry was making. Instead, the Heat fell apart. In game 1, the last few minutes was the only point we really felt the Mavs couldn't lose. In game 2, there was no point in the second half where the Heat seemed to have a chance.

I couldn't pay close enough attention to the game to really figure out what happened to the Heat. However, here are a few stats that can help give an impression:
Four Point Plays: 2 (1 by Jerry Stackhouse, 1 by Josh Howard: the 7th & 8th in NBA finals history, the first team to ever get two in the same game).
# of points scored by Shaq: 5 (an all-time low)
# of points scored by Stackhouse in the last 1:19 of the first half: 10

Two addenda:
1. I suspect some Heat fans have pulled out the hatin'.

2. This is all Mark Cuban's fault. But he's condemned me to a lifetime of misery for having seen this, now it's your turn.

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