Sunday, May 3, 2009

Smoking a Cuban

Right, yes, I've been neglecting my Nuggets playoff recaps. Whattya want? I'm unemployed and drunk. I sit around the house in filthy Hanes yelling at a picture of Dean Singleton. I ride my bike to the liquor store..good God, someone please hire me. I'm one shit-stained pair of dungarees away from standing at Broadway and Alameda with the "WHY LIE, NEED BEER" sign.

The last I checked in with some NBA goodness, the Nugs were still in the process of dismantling the New Charloklaorleanshoma City squad, which they completed in a tidy 5 games, the only loss by two points. That was expected. The New Charloklaorleanshoma Citians are basically only Chris Paul and the Dude Who Used to Be David West. So no real surprise.

Ah, but the Mavericks, our second-round matchup, that's a different story. One of the more dominant squads in recent memory, even if could never cash in on a title. Headed by likely the only highly drafted foreign transfer student who ever panned out, Dirk Nowitzki--don't be bringin' that Toni Kukoc up in this. Deep, deep, bench. Cagey veteran leadership in the form of wife-beater Jason Kidd. So the Nugs went 4-0 against 'em in the regular season, who really thought that would matter? The Mavs didn't have Jason Terry in any of those games. Playoff basketball is old hat in Dallas.

Plus, their owner is a huge fucking sideshow who browbeats refs and plays media mind games as well as anyone in major professional sports.

*Quick side note about Mark Cuban: back when he first bought the team, right after he sold his company for billions, before anyone knew who he was, my wife (then girlfriend), was at a tradeshow in Fort Worth. One of her clients--she's in sales--a nice old rich Texan, kept raving and raving to her about trying to hook her up with his friend, an internet geek who just sold his company.

She was all like, eh, have a boyfriend. But the dude kept coming back for every day of the tradeshow--he even recruited his wife to come sell her on going out with his buddy. 'You're his type,' they kept saying. 'He'll love you.' They even brought out the biggest gun of all: 'he owns the Mavericks!'

But she kept giving them the polite brush-off. Because she had no idea what the Mavericks were. When she came home and told me the story, she asked if I'd heard of them. I had. A few months later, Cuban married some corporate saleswoman. I, however, have never lived it down.*

But even with all of that, a funny thing happened in the opening matchup. The Nuggets pounded the playoff-ready Mavs by 14.

Sure, it's but one game. But all you really needed to see from this one was: Nene had 24 points. If Nene keeps on scoring at anywhere close to that level in this series, it might not get to 5 games.