Thursday, June 4, 2009

The 23rd Time MIGHT Be The Charm

Part of the enjoyment I'm getting from suddenly starting to care about the NBA is that I can now appreciate the full genius of columnist, Bill Simmons.  For those who don't follow sports, Simmons ("The Sports Guy") combines actual sports analysis with a fair amount of high-level ridicule.  At his best, he's very very funny.

The moment below is my favorite from his new mailbag (a regular feature in which he responds to reader questions).  The premise of THIS mailbag is that the people writing in aren't average readers, but sports celebrities.  (Obviously, the letters are all made up).  Here's his response to a question from Mike Brown--the coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that lost in a blowout to Orlando after almost everyone on Earth predicted they'd make the NBA Finals.

Q: What should I have done differently?
-- Mike Brown 

[+] EnlargeMike Brown
Elsa/Getty Images"No, no, no -- just keep doing the same thing!"

SG: You mean, other than come up with offensive plays or a playbook? I will never understand two things. First, why you didn't mix things up at all : throw a zone at Orlando, try a zone press (which worked really well in the regular season), go super-small when Howard was on the bench and play LeBron at center; something, anything. You just let the Magic do their thing and made no real attempt to throw them off. Perplexing. And second, why did you insist on doubling Howard and leaving their shooters open? One of the reasons I picked you to kill Orlando in my now-infamous chat was because I thought you'd use 24 (and maybe even 30) fouls on Howard, single-team him, make him score 40 points a game to beat you and stay home on their shooters. You did the opposite. I will never in a million years figure out why. It was like watching someone hitting on various female celebrities at a Hollywood party by saying, "Hi, I'm a member of the paparazzi, I have no money, and I have VD" and going down in flames over and over again but feeling like the 23rd time would be the charm. Again, perplexing.

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