The Weekly Slap: Western Conference Preview
I, R. Preston Clark, live in San Diego. Justin Tinsley lives in Virginia. So fittingly, I’m going to do the Western Conference playoffs preview and he’s going to take the East. Don’t worry folks. We’ll still be bringing heat as only we can as a duo but for now, you’ll just have to live with me. So without further ado…
Welcome to the Memphis Grizzlies Invitational!
1) San Antonio Spurs v. 8) Utah Jazz
I’m not watching a minute of this series. Every time I think about these two teams playing, I can’t get Karl Malone, John Stockton and David Robinson out of my head. You don’t know how much I hate Malone and Stockton and I only watched Robinson when Shaq was dunking on him or Hakeem was dream shaking him into a black marshmallowy gook that resembled Alex Mack. I repeat: I am not watching this series. Not one moment. Well, unless the Jazz take it to seven games and there are two minutes left and the Jazz are up. Then the basketball junkie in me won’t be able to resist. But ONLY then…
Spurs in six.
4) Memphis Grizzlies v. 5) Los Angeles Clippers
By far the best first round series in the West. So much is riding on the outcome of this series, it’s not even funny. Vinny Del Negro gets fired if the Clippers get beat. The ‘will Chris Paul sign an extension?’ talks will start if the Clippers get beat. The ‘is Blake Griffin really just a highlight reel and not a franchise-guy?’ talks will start if the Clippers get beat and Blake struggles. But guess what? Everyone in the league is now a Clippers fan. You know why? BECAUSE EVERYONE IS AFRAID TO PLAY THE MEMPHISGRIZZLIES! Do you hear me? EVERY-ONE. LeBron doesn’t want to see them. Paul is mad he has to.Kobe doesn’t want them. Durant doesn’t want them. Dirk doesn’t want them. Parker-Duncan-Ginobli damn sure don’t want that problem again. So everyone in the league is begging Paul with late-night text messages to pull his best Isaiah Thomas impression (which by the way, he’s perfected) and single-handedly will his inexperienced bunch of athletes to a series win over a team that couldn’t be more built to beat them. Gasol and Z-Bo can bang with the best of them and the Grizzlies have that one crazy ass wing defender that seemingly every championship team has in Tony Allen. Allen will guard Paul the entire series. And Paul will hate Tony Allen as a person, player, man and molecular being by the end of the series. And Tony Allen won’t care because Tony Allen doesn’t care about such things. This series is about to be utterly wonderful and every NBA fan in the world will watch every God-given minute of it.
Grizzlies in six.
2) Oklahoma City Thunder v. 7) Dallas Mavericks
This series shouldn’t be so interesting to me, but it is. I think the Thunder are the most talented team in the West. Majority of the season, they were also the best team in the West. Sometimes, they were the best team in the league. Kevin Durant is my second favorite player and will be my favorite player once a certain no. 24 retires. James Harden is the sixth man of the year and Russell Westbrook is a freak of nature. And yet, the Dallas Mavericks worry me. They cruised through the regular season in one of those, ‘let’s just get to the playoffs’ kind of modes and now we’re finally here. And they have Dirk Nowitski, who I’m only calling by his full name this one time because he’s one of those one name guys in the league. He’s Dirk. He beats teams by being an unguardable shooting machine with Sam Cassell’s swagger. I feel like Dirk thinks we’ve forgotten about him and playing the West darlings in the first round and knocking them out would be the best way to remind everyone that he’s still alive and kicking and his Hakeem impression is still alive and well. Yet still…
Thunder in six.
3) Los Angeles Lakers v. 6) Denver Nuggets
Lakers in five. In the words of my twitter account: ‘I’m giddy. I’m hype. I’m excited. I’m joyous. My NBA Playoffs are back. Y’all don’t understand how happy I am right now. It’s kind of scary.’
Lakers in five.
In the words of my twitter account: ‘I’m giddy. I’m hype. I’m excited. I’m joyous. My NBA Playoffs are back. Y’all don’t understand how happy I am right now. It’s kind of scary.’