Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I hope you remember game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals (part 2)


Before we begin: let's make sure everyone has seen this.  

Then, let's do a quick detour from basketball to soccer, since the World Cup is happening, and remind everyone that if you were born in the USA and you call a field a "pitch," a uniform a "kit," the number zero "nil," and/or a team a "side," you are a fucking dipshit of the highest order and you should be embarrassed.  I'm very excited about the World Cup, and I sometimes sort of follow the Champions League. (Admittedly, I do not have a favorite club team in America or outside of America, so it's not like I'm Mr. Soccer.)  But seriously, if you were born here and you like to use British terminology to describe the sport, you should be thrown out of a moving train.  You suck.  Go away.

Moving on: as succinctly and comedically explained to us by Anonymous in the comments to part 1 of this post, Bill doesn't remember anything about game 6.  Except the parts he remembers, because it was so unforgettable, which HE KNEW WAS THE CASE AT THE TIME.  Make sense?

But the fourth quarter? I remember a bunch of things. 

Of course you do.  You remember tweeting about how in ten years, people might remember this as a moment in which they decided to look forward and think about how they might remember it in ten years.

I remember Duncan fading as LeBron ascended to an ungodly level. 

LeBron has been the best player in the NBA for like seven or eight years.  Noticing that he was better in the 4th quarter of a game late in the playoffs than 37 year old Tim Duncan is not novel or interesting.

Stretch Bo Jackson to 6-foot-8, give him T-Mac’s streaky jump shot, Jordan’s competitiveness, Pippen’s defensive prowess and Bird’s brain, and that was LeBron dominating both ends for nine solid minutes. 

Attention, ignorant readers who know nothing unless Bill tells you you know something: LeBron is really good at basketball.

He fought off a slightly better San Antonio team, by himself … and then, just as unexpectedly, he remembered he was human and ran out of gas. 

LeBron played 49:46 of that 53 minute game.  Him running out of gas late in the 4th is not at all unexpected.

That’s when Tony Parker made a couple of Tony Parker plays, 

So descriptive!  I say this every few months, but "[Name] making [name] plays" is the dumbest fucking thing any person can write about sports.

and before we blinked, San Antonio’s bench was celebrating and Miami had bungled the series.

During that now-fateful timeout with San Antonio up five, 

Someone should have asked Popovich what he thought he would think about that timeout in five years!  I know I'm beating that joke into the ground, but Simmons's obsession with that concept is out of hand.

Jalen Rose and I watched NBA officials wheel the Larry O’Brien Trophy into the runway to our right. 

I AM FRIENDS WITH A FORMER NBA PLAYER!!!!  EVERYMAN COLUMNIST WHO REPRESENTS THE AVERAGE FAN COMES THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH AGAIN!!!

It couldn’t have been farther than 15 feet from us. We watched security guards assume positions around the court, and we watched Heat employees hastily sticking up yellow rope around the courtside seats. 

You know what, I'll give him non-sarcastic credit here.  This is actually non-horrendous description of a rarely-seen occurrence at a sporting event that most people don't really notice or pay attention to.  

Like they were cordoning off a homicide scene. 

And now we're back to the same old Bill--the employees cordoned off this area like they were cordoning off another kind of area.

Even after LeBron’s second-gasp 3, I still thought we were going home. Some Heat fans had already trickled out. 

Nooooo!  Heat fans aren't bad fans!  They are great fans who just have to beat traffic!  Miami is known for its terrible traffic, right?

We watched them leave in disbelief. How could the Basketball Gods reward … that?

Gregg and Bill have more in common than either would admit, but let's get down to brass tacks: if what Bill is saying is that Heat fans suck balls, he's not wrong.  Regardless of his reference to the Basketball Gods.

After Miller fouled Leonard with 19.4 seconds left, he strolled impassively to the free throw line, with Miami’s rejuvenated crowd suffocating him with boos and screams. I remember thinking, Forget about making these free throws — I wonder if this kid is hitting the rim. 

Kawhi Leonard is a career 80% free throw shooter.  No matter how he wants to tell the story, Bill knew Leonard was going to miss one of those free throws right after he missed it, and not a minute sooner.

Leonard sized up those freebies, the clatter bouncing off him, a Spurs collapse suddenly in play. How many current players could have nailed these specific free throws? 

Hundreds.  

Maybe 10 total? 

You're a fucking idiot.

Leonard clanged the first one. Mayhem. He made the second one, and by the way, I will always respect Kawhi for making that second one. 

YOU'RE WELCOME, KAWHI.  YOU MIGHT MAKE THE BOOK OF BASKETBALL'S FOURTH EDITION IN 2035.

Three-point game.

After Miami’s timeout, we watched in disbelief as Pop removed Duncan for the ensuing defensive possession. How can you keep the power forward GOAT off the floor twice? Jalen and I were flipping out. What was Pop thinking? 

I have no idea, and maybe it was the right decision and maybe it wasn't, but Gregg Popovich has more basketball knowledge in his pinkie toe than Bill Simmons could ever possibly accumulate.  Not to say that the "if you knew anything about the game, you'd be playing/coaching/managing it" argument is always infallible, but when we're talking about Popovich, I think it's worth giving him the benefit of the doubt on literally every decision.

As we were venting, they started playing basketball again. 

Back to some rock solid Bill exposition.  So descriptive, it's like watching with Jalen Rose.

Chalmers dumped it to LeBron, who missed another 3 near Miami’s bench. The ball caromed to the right side, with Bosh securing it right before Ginobili bounced off him. (For what it’s worth, that was a GREAT rebound by Bosh.) 

Everyone hates Chris Bosh.  He's 6'11", and here he's getting credit for grabbing a board over a 6'6" guy.

As Ginobili tumbled to the ground, Allen furiously retreated toward the right corner. None of the Spurs was close enough to him. And Bosh was tossing the ball his way.

Why?  Because, as Bill will soon show us, only a TROOOOO FACKIN' CELTIC (who spent approximately 30% of his career in Boston) like Allen could come up big in a moment like this.

Now …
I watched Ray Allen play for my favorite team for five years. 

YOU DID NAWT WATCH!  YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW RAY ALLEN PLAYS!  LISTEN TO ME!

He goes to the same spots and does the same things the same ways — not just for weeks, or months, but for years and years and years. 

This is not true.  He has favorite spots--and every player has favorite spots.  Allen is also first all time in NBA history in total three point FGs made by a lot, and 36th in 3FG%.  He's probably the best three point shooter ever.  He will kill you from anywhere behind the arc.  If you wrote a best-selling book about basketball, I'd think you might comprehend that.  I'd also think you wouldn't be a petulant child if given the chance to go on TV and talk about basketball, but here we are, with that link at the beginning of this post existing.

He’s the closest thing we have to an NBA robot. 

Wait, I thought Duncan was a robot!  Because he never shows emotion!  NO ONE APPRECIATES TIM DUNCAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This is not mockery of Simmons, it's a mockery of every dipshit out there who has been pushing that retarded-ass angle for the past five years or so.

He treats 3-pointers like tennis players treat their serves, golfers treat their swings and pitchers treat their delivery — quick jump, quick release, perfect form, line drive, bang. 

Or in other words, he treats three pointers like every NBA guard treats every jump shot.

Every shot looks the same. Watch Ray long enough and you instinctively realize when he’s heating up, when he’s shooting from a spot he likes, and when he’s thrust into a situation that — even if it seems chaotic — happens to be perfect for Ray Allen and Ray Allen only.

ONLY A FAN OF THE BASKETBALL SOX WOULD UNDAHSTAND OW-UH RAY!  THE REST OF YOU AHHHH CLUELESS!

With seven seconds left in Game 6, suddenly, we were in one of those situations. And I knew just from watching him backpedal those first two steps.

The fuck you did.  Die.

True story: When Ray practices 3s from different parts of the court, sometimes he blindfolds himself so he can’t see the 3-point line. His complicated shooting routine unfolds hours before games — like, HOURS before games — sometimes with cheerleaders practicing and arena employees turning the lights on and off. He practices footwork as diligently as a ballerina, partly because he’s a perfectionist, partly out of basketball OCD, and partly because he always wants to be prepared for anything. And you know what’s really crazy? Ray Allen is enough of a lovable weirdo that he practiced this specific shot. In fact, he’s been practicing it since his Milwaukee days.

This may be true or it may not be true.  Wouldn't surprise me; also wouldn't surprise me if this is embellishment of a story where, like, one time Allen wore a blindfold while shooting around because he was super in the zone.  Bill's source?  Bill's perspective, other than "Take my word for it?"  None.  Bill Simmons, everyone.  America's loudest semi-informed sports fan.  If anyone you know tries to cite him as an authority on anything other than Larry Bird, be sure to kick them in the nuts and then run away.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

He treats 3-pointers like tennis players treat their serves, golfers treat their swings and pitchers treat their delivery — quick jump, quick release, perfect form, line drive, bang.


I KNOW WHAT HE'S TRYING TO SAY (MAYBE?), BUT WHAT HE'S SAYING IS THAT TENNIS PLAYERS, GOLFERS, AND PITCHERS FOCUS ON QUICK JUMPS, QUICK RELEASES, PERFECT FORM, AND LINE DRIVES. OTHER THAN PERFECT FORM, SG IS COMPLETELY WRONG. PLEASE PROCEED, GOVERNOR.




Every shot looks the same. Watch Ray long enough and you instinctively realize when he’s heating up, when he’s shooting from a spot he likes, and when he’s thrust into a situation that — even if it seems chaotic — happens to be perfect for Ray Allen and Ray Allen only.

IF EVERY SHOT LOOKS THE SAME, HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY TELL WHEN HE'S HEATING UP?

Anonymous said...

That story is actually kind of true but Bill got it wrong in the opposite way.

It came out that what Ray Allen does is back pedal to the three point line without looking down, usually in the corner where there is a small margin of error, just in case he needs to hit a three quickly and doesn't have time to make sure he is behind the line but isn't out of bounds. He doesn't go around blind folding himself because a) that's retarded, he wouldn't be able to see the hoop he's shooting at so what would be the point and b) he can accomplish this task by just looking straight ahead or at the basket the whole time without looking down.

jacktotherack said...

Every shot looks the same. Watch Ray long enough and you instinctively realize when he’s heating up, when he’s shooting from a spot he likes, and when he’s thrust into a situation that — even if it seems chaotic — happens to be perfect for Ray Allen and Ray Allen only.

This is so stupid it makes me angry. So Ray Allen is the only person in NBA history that can hit big shots in chaotic situations? Fuck you.


With seven seconds left in Game 6, suddenly, we were in one of those situations. And I knew just from watching him backpedal those first two steps.

Bullshit. Fuck you twice. What a dick.

Scott W. said...

Stretch Bo Jackson to 6-foot-8, give him T-Mac’s streaky jump shot, Jordan’s competitiveness, Pippen’s defensive prowess and Bird’s brain, and that was LeBron dominating both ends for nine solid minutes.

I have to admit, when I first read this I thought it was an example of the backdoor racism Simmons occasionally lets slip; Bird was probably chosen to get a Celtic in there, but at first read I thought "hmm, the white guy is the brain and the physical attributes are supplied by African-Americans..."

dan-bob said...

What pitcher jumps during his delivery?