Pretty happy for the Mavs. Dirk earned that championship and that organization is extremely well run. Plus, it always feels a little bit better to know the team you lost to eventually ended up being the best one. That’s two years straight the team that eliminated the Thunder won the title. I guess OKC is sort of the Buck Showalter of the NBA.
David Thorpe of ESPN.com on the West next season: “I have no idea what Dallas will look like. Here’s what’s intriguing: They were by far the West’s best in the playoffs, and they have plenty of young talent in the pipeline. Corey Brewer has a bright future. Dominique Jones is a great scorer, almost in the Jason Terry mold with tremendous confidence, almost cockiness. J.J. Barea’s best basketball is ahead of him, if they can sign him. Rodrique Beaubois has a ton of potential. And on top of all that, the Mavericks have the draft rights to Nick Calathes, who has blossomed into a very strong player in Europe. I’d say Oklahoma City and Dallas enter the season as the favorites.”
If you missed it: Nate Robinson was cited for public urination over the weekend. Word aap.
Carles of Hipster Runoff for Grantland: “I feel bad for so many young players after watching 2011 NBA playoffs. Kevin Durant disappeared. Russell Westbrook is the new Stephon Marbury. Derrick Rose shoots too much. Dwight Howard will never make his teammates better. (Also, Ricky Rubio apparently isn’t good anymore, and he has never played an NBA game.) It just seems way more difficult for young players to “take their lumps” now than it was 10 years ago. They have more voices that are there to question their abilities, when in the past a player really just needed a few commercial spots to convince him that he was already “great when he was averaging 20 points per game on the Vancouver Grizzlies. I probably would have rather been a young player back then, not just because of my fragile psyche, but also because of the favorable rookie pay scale. These young men are working against opinions that are as valuable and informed as your own.”
Chuck Klosterman wrote an incredible piece about live TV and DVRs. Like he completely nailed this so hard.
Bill Simmons wrote that Tyson Chandler had a ton to gain, but mentioned the bearded one: “Actually, it’s already happened win or lose — he’s basically turned into 2008 Kevin Garnett but without a jump shot. Along with Dirk Nowitzki, James Harden, Dwyane Wade, and Zack Randolph, he’s one of the five biggest winners of the 2011 Playoffs.”
Darnell Mayberry on Tibor Pleiss: “But Pleiss simply might not be ready for the NBA. Though he’s listed at 242 pounds, Pleiss is still thin and needs to bulk up. His game is still far more finesse than power. Because big men historically take longer to develop than guards, it’s no telling how soon Pleiss will improve his perceived weaknesses. And Pleiss has always been viewed as a long-term investment rather than a player who could provide an immediate impact. In 10 regular season games with Brose this season, Pleiss averaged 6.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 19 minutes. Not bad production considering the stronger emphasis on team play internationally.”
John Rohde on the Thunder and change: “Thunder general manager Sam Presti is a big “process” guy. Everything is about the process. Presti wants his team to recognize its strengths from last season, improve its weaknesses, learn from both success and failure and continue to evolve. “Some of our biggest strides have come from adversity,” Presti said. What makes Presti’s process so potentially appealing is all this internal growth could happen with the exact same roster that advanced to the Western Conference Finals last season.”