2011 NBA Playoffs: Round 1 Recap.

Oh boy, I’ve really got myself behind the 8-ball here. I have really done it this time. As you probably know, I was originally hired on here at swayzesghost.com as their Senior NBA analyst. Basically I was supposed to be in charge of keeping you guys abreast of all the latest news and story lines of the National Basketball Association season. Then LeBron left Cleveland and I said that I’d rather just become the tennis guy because there’s no way I’m gonna watch that collective bag of shit that is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thankfully they said “No, no one wants that. Tennis is a horrible sport for horrible people and no one wants to hear a borderline alcoholic ramble on about it every Tuesday afternoon. Just make sure you cover the playoffs, that’s all we ask”. This was early November. Then today rolls around. Turns out I completely forgot basketball existed. Okay, no need to panic I thought, I’ll just turn on Sportscenter real quick and find out the sitch. Wrong. Batteries in the remote are dead. TVs gonna be stuck on AMC all day because I’ll be damned if I turn the TV god knows how many channels manually. And before you ask why I didn’t just go to espn.com, it’s because I am boycotting that particular website until they bring back the always funny Girls & Sports comic strip. Give the people what they want!

Naturally, I did what any good journalist would do and I just made something up. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not just some crazy person guessing at the results of basketball games here, I’m a student of the game. I’ve probably watched more games of basketball than you’ve taken showers, which by the way is not nearly enough; i.e. you stink. I have managed to find the current series records through some pretty deep digging through the newspaper, which I might add was exhausting. But other than that I have no idea. I repeat that, I have no idea! So any and all facts stated hereafter that turn out to be true can be attributed to my vast basketball knowledge.

Grizzlies / Spurs

I’m just going to start right in with the series that surprised me the most, The Grizzlies leading the Spurs 3 games to 1. I don’t know why I said I was surprised a sentence ago because it doesn’t surprise me in the least. The average age of a San Antonio Spurs player is 57 years old(basketball-reference.com). How can you expect them to hustle up and down the court with their walkers and canes and hover-rounds (which I still argue should be illegal)? I mean granted, Popovich pulled a crafty, veteran move by putting tennis balls on the bottom of their walkers to increase speed, but in the end it just isn’t enough to keep up with Memphis and Pau Gasol, who I’m assuming they got back because there is absolutely no way they could have scored any points without him. Obviously David Stern finally came to his senses about that trade to the Lakers and vetoed it. And just in the nick of time. Really? It took you this long to realize something was fishy with that trade, Dave? Memphis is really gonna trade their best player since Shareef Abdur-Rahim for a couple draft picks and Kwame Brown? Way to finally stand up and admit your mistakes, commish.

Prediction: Memphis wins 4 games to 2. The Grizzlies rest Pau in game 5 which leaves the Grizzlies under the helm of OJ Mayo. Refusing to pass the ball even once, the Spurs decide to simply quadruple team him. He puts up contested three after contested three, refusing to cut to the basket for fear of being touched or possibly even knocked down (oh no!). He manages to make a few of these Hail Mary threes, but the Spurs win with a last second 19 foot bank shot by Tim Duncan off of a fundamental two-handed bounce pass from Manu Ginobli. Final score: 10-9. Pau returns in game 6 and decimates the Spurs. Tim Duncan’s career is ended when a teammate throws and errant towel towards the bench during a time out and it strikes his knee, tearing every tendon.

People I can name on these two teams: 7.

Hawks / Magic

Next up is another somewhat surprising series, the Hawks are somehow leading the Magic 3 games to 1. I guess that the Magic somehow got Vince Carter back for this series? I mean, that’s the only possible way they could be playing so bad, right? Vince Carter is back and he’s shooting 10 to 15 3’s a game. While Dwight Howard stands next on the sideline doing his hilarious impression of Stan Van Gundy. While hilarious, this of course leaves a gaping hole in their defense which allows Joe Johnson to put up 50 or 60 points a night, which is more than enough to beat the Magics anemic 40 points a game.

 Prediction: The Hawks win 4 games to 1. I just don’t see the Magic being able to score enough. Who do they even have? Is Rashard Lewis still in the league? Even if he is, he’s off roids so he’s a non-factor. Hedo is good about 8 and Dwight’s good for nothing but a few laughs. Game. Over.

People I can name on these two teams: 4. Those ones I named right there.

Mavs / Trail Blazers

I’m gonna come clean about this next one. I heard about Brandon Roy’s performance in that game where he came back and made a bunch of shots to win the game. But that’s all I know, I swear! I’m imagining it went something like this. The Mavs are up like 50 going into the 4th quarter, heads held high, laughing, Dirk Nowitzki is probably high fiving his team mates at inappropriate times and just generally looking awkward. So it comes back from the commercial break, all ready to start the 4th quarter and what’s this? The arena lights go out and the sound of glass being shattered plays over the P.A. System. That’s right, Brandon Roy is back baby. And he uses the same theme music as Stone Cold Steve Austin. Then he stone cold stuns everyone and makes a bunch of shots and they win. Dirk walks off the court with the same exact expression on his face that he had when they were up by 50 because that’s his one look. Mark Cuban probably yelled at a ref one time.

*Artists rendering

Prediction: Mavs win 4-2. This seems like a no brainer. Of course Brandon Roy is going to get hurt again, he’s Brandon Roy. He was the inspiration for Mr. Glass in M. Night Shamalans hit Blockbuster movie Unbreakable. His bones are literally made of balsa wood. What I’m saying is that he’s very injury prone. Without him, who do they have? Greg Oden? I’m pretty sure he’s in a nursing home right now. Uh, some other guy on the team? Fat chance, guy no one has ever heard of.

People I can name on these two teams: 7, if Greg Oden and Clyde Drexler count.

Celtics / Knicks

This next one is going to be the real test. The Celtics swept the Knicks 4 – 0. Oh. Well. I’m gonna go out on a limb on this one, so just follow me. The Celtics probably played at a nice, slow, leisurely pace and passed the ball a lot, while the Knicks played absolutely no defense? Ohhhh, how did I know that? I’m a fucking expert, that’s how. You don’t get the title of swayzeghosts Senior NBA Analyst without knowing a thing or two about the ole round ball.

Picture shamelessly stolen from The Onion.

Prediction: The Celtics sit around and continue to have won this series, Shaq consumes an entire side of beef over the course of a few hours.

People I can name on these two teams: 12. Yeah, that’s right.

Heat / 76ers

The Heat are beating the 76ers 3 games to 1. I have nothing to say about this series other than I’m sure the one game that the 76ers won was due mainly to their superior guard play, namely a one Evan Turner, product of The Ohio State University. Also, I’m guessing Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade played really well in the games they won, and they’re probably the only people on their team that did.

Prediction: 76ers win 4 – 3. Carried on the shoulders of future MVP Evan Turner the 76ers pull a courageous comeback against what Sports Illustrated called “The Biggest Group of Chotch-Bags That There Ever Was”, The 2011 Miami Heat. Chris Bosh and Dwyane play well enough, but they give the last shot to some other dude on their team 3 games in a row and he bricks the shot. Every. Time.

I feel like I'm forgetting someone.

People I can name on these two teams: Bosh, Dwyane, Mario Chalmers, Mike Bibby, Juwan Howard, Mike Miller, Zydrunas Ilgaulskas. Yep. That’s all from that team. Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, and Andre Iguodala.

Thunder / Nuggets

Again, I fully admit to sort of cheating on this Thunder / Nuggets series in that I know about Westbrook’s performance last night thanks to twitter which was, well, all atwitter after the game. The Thunder are currently up 3 games to 1. I’m gonna chalk that Nuggets victory up to the fact that Westbrook literally punched Durant in the jaw every time he crossed half court with the ball, stole it, and put up a shot, paired with the fact that the combinations of Birdman, J.R. Smith, K-Mart, and Ty Lawson’s tattoos formed into one, sentient being with the basketball skills of a Teen Wolf.

This Actually Happened.

Prediction: Thunder win 4 – 1. Sadly for Nuggets fans, the full moon has came and went so another Teen Wolf performance just isn’t in the cards, sorry. Also the non-existent defense they play just isn’t going to be enough to stop Russel Westbrook and Kevin Durant, even if they are trading punches as they jog up and down the court.

People I can name on these two teams: However many I just did. I completely tapped out my Thunder / Nuggets rolodex.

Lakers / Hornets

Finally, we’ve got the closest race so far in the tied up series of the Lakers and Hornets who are all knotted up at 2 games a piece. I think these Hornets have had success for a couple of reasons. 1 – The combination of Chris Paul’s sneaky speed and ability to lob it up to Emeka Okafor (assuming he still plays for them) for the alley oop 40 to 50 times a game, and 2 – the fact that Kobe Bryant has probably been viciously beaten to death by a gay pride group for calling a referee a gay slur that I dare not utter for fear that Liberace’s ghost will strike me down. Like I said, I haven’t been keeping up with basketball, but when you do something like that, Kobe, it doesn’t really help you fly under the radar, y’know. They actually cut in during Death Wish on AMC for that piece of breaking news.

Prediction: Hornets win 4 – 2. As we know, Pau Gasol no longer plays for the team after David Stern reversed that sham of a trade in ’08, and now Kobe is more than likely dead. Sorry Lakers, you don’t stand a chance unless Derek Fisher pulls one of those .4 second, turnaround, fade away threes again but I’m pretty sure his deal with the devil only covered one of those. Also, Chris Paul is really good.

People I can name on these two teams: Inconclusive, I don’t remember who all I’ve fake traded/killed off.

Phew, there it is. A rock solid, 100%, completely factual re-cap of what’s happened so far in the First Round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs. Don’t bother checking my facts, because like I said, they’re all completely true.

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