Batman, Birdman and Spider-Man’s Vulture, Michael Keaton once described Michael Jordan’s comeback game for the Washington Wizards against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden as “f###### boring” to a British BBC reporter on live T.V. for one of the best and most underrated bloopers of all-time. Such is the nature of rusty opening season games. But if the avian-superhero flew across town to the borough of Brooklyn yesterday he would have had more expletives for last nights game in the B.K. hoping to turn those clouds into pillows.
The Beastie Boys classic states there’s ‘No Sleep To Brooklyn’, but once you’re there according to last nights contest against the Boston Celtics it’s all Holiday Inn and Marriot. As the Beantown green needed more coffee grounds to stay awake against one of the worst teams in the league, albeit the one with the best state of the art arena at Barclays Center.
Fans in the home of Jay-Z usually leave a couple of minutes early when the game is in the can to catch a subway car back to midtown Manhattan before the rush half hour after leaves them stuck in the turnstiles like some old sketch comedy gag. But after this one fans we’re looking for the signs marked ‘Exit’ for quarters to spare. Coming down the stairs with their duvets and pillows ready like disgruntled families looking to sleep on the sofa when their snoring in-laws are in town for the weekend. Ready to put up their free pregame, sixties slick ABA tribute posters, because that’s where their bedrooms are.
Laxadasical isn’t the word…but still it’s a good one.
This match-up between the two Atlantic B’s promised to be a good one…and it still was for hoop heads no matter how much we dozed. But after Basketball Buzz caught a scrappy affair in New York the night before as the Knicks hosted and made the most of Portland in M.S.G., live in the B.K. we didn’t need to see another. Sure the head-to-head of two elite bigs that can go as far outside as downtown in the Nets’ Brook Lopez and Boston’s Al Horford was a good one. But as for the one between the new Isiaah Thomas for the C’s and Brooklyn’s Jeremy Lin, back in New York after his 15 minutes of Linsane fame in 2012 as a Knickerbocker…you only had to look courtside to see a suited in Brooklyn blue specs and dry erase coaching to boot J-Lin to see how that one played out.
Without this marquee duo dual it was up to other role players to make their jersey name. And as most Brooklynites looked like they couldn’t even match-up, let alone suit up for their new, inaugural season Long Island Nets affiliate in the D-League, it was up to the Celtics Jae Crowder to lift the visiting one up, cooking the home faithful like clam chowder from deep. His pot of gold threes needed no luck of the Irish, just more space than Kevin Love hitting a record 34 first quarter points in Cleveland.
In the end the Celtics blew out the Nets 111 to 92, behind Al Horford’s slow but across the line steady 17 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds, but like the guy next to me at half-time said…”HEEEEEEY”!
The Warriors Came Out To Play This Series
Even without the fantasy Basketball of Kevin Durant in this series, the Golden State Warriors still brought out the brooms like ‘Fantasia’.
And swept out of Game 4 like Thanos click finger dust, the Portland Trailblazers may have only lost by a bucket (119-117)…and in overtime at that. But with all the Splash they had to contend with this series from brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they were left dealing with more leaks and holes in all of their own ones like Mickey Mouse in said Disney epic.
This was meant to be the showdown between Dell Curry’s boys Steph and Seth which divided a household. And although the youngest gun stepped up to the plate, swung big in this carnival and knocked them down, big brother was always watching.
Steph Curry averaged over 36 points a game this series. Just read that again. 36 points. Right now we don’t need to talk about Kevin.
The Warriors are a dynasty for the ages even without their best player (although this writer thinks he wasn’t missing this entire series). The first team to make it to five straight finals since the Boston Celtics. The 1960’s Bill Russell Celtics. That’s King James crowning legendary. And Steph Curry with the shot and that facet of the game is just as iconic and dominant as a Bill block.
Give some credit to a blazing Portland side who never gave up despite the box score. They can hold their heads in the PDX. Even in their Moda Center home-stand City Of Roses end in RIP City. Their season eulogy should read as a celebration and commiseration, not a trolling condescension from critically entitled fans who have done nothing to determine the outcome of these games and could never make it this far in their wildest memes. They call themselves “influencers”? Well no one’s going to remember them in 50 years.
The NBA will remember one of their Top 100 greatest of all-time in a half century though. As after hitting the biggest buzzer beater in playoff history against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, Damian Lillard played through the pain of separated ribs this series and still made the Basketball God’s look down from the hoop heavens with praise. Like New York singer St. Vincent tweeted, “Damian Lillard is my hero”. Even his backcourt brother of splash CJ McCollum in the only small man set up to rival Curry and Klay came out to play against the Warriors after midrange mining the Nuggets into submission in Denver just over a week ago.
But Curry’s red hot triple double, starter, mains and dessert dish of 37, 13 and 11, to go along with a playing not crying, Draymond Green’s day of 18, 14 and 11 assists also was just too much in the clutch. As Stephen and Dray became the first teammates in NBA history to have a triple double in the same playoff game. Forget how much this team can unbelievably keep winning, how does this ball manage to get shared this much?
Well that just may be the secret of success?
The real test is dubbed next however in the Warriors last season in Golden State before they move across that Golden bridge to the Silicon Valley of a digital age in San Francisco. They will play the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks (probably…Giannis…MVP. Sorry Toronto but come on!) and Raptors series. But by then they should have some guy called Kevin back.
I mean come on. This has been getting crazy. This is just out of hand like said ball in Splash City.
Now Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics’ record of eight straight finals and wins doesn’t look far out of reach for Steph Curry and the player and team with the biggest range in the association over the gate of the Pacific.
Welcome to the Toronto Raptors’ Jurassic Park
“In Jurassic Park, Raptor fans wait until after dark. Even if the cold might eat them!”
Fans find a way.
An ace serve or two away from being as legendary as Wimbledon’s ‘Murray Mound’ or ‘Henman Hill’ outside the Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Raptors Maple Leaf Square’s “Jurassic Park” may just be the ticket for this sold out crowd.
Raptor Klaw, Kawhi Leonard ruled the earth last night. He and the T-Dot at the final tick beat the Sixers in The Six, as his shot bobbled like a beach ball on the surface of a swimming pool before making the biggest splash of these postseason playoffs. Taking longer to fall than Leonardo DiCaprio’s spinning top in ‘Inception’. But this was no dream.
And if you thought the Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto erupted last night, then outside in Maple Leaf Square it was like the volcanoes that killed the dinosaurs after that big ball dropped. An Armageddon even Bruce Willis couldn’t save like he wish he could his career.
Welcome to Jurassic World.
With all due respect to the Linsanity of Jeremy Lin, or pick your poison whoever is your flash card pick of the bench mob pack, but the Jurassic Park crowd fenced in outside of Scotia is the
Forget rain or shine. You see the slickers. These faithful fans will pitch a spot waiting for game time like the ball to drop in Times Square for New Year in New York, sleeping bag lining up all day in their hordes huddled for warmth. These beautiful fans will brave the harshest, most frigid temperatures to be the coldest fans in the game in more ways than one. Part of the ‘We The North’ community in the 6 that the Basketball God’s look down on with pride, whilst other armchair fans watch this game for the throne from home. Or leave early like those suit and tie corporate seats trying to catch that last red eye Matt Bonner home.
Can you imagine of they called game early before Kawhi last night?
I could imagine Drake taking in the CN Tower looking up views of the Jurassic
Well those in the park for recreation stayed until the beautiful end to a game Butler almost delivered bitter. And you could could phantom cam see every emotion in slow motion last night as Leonard’s buzzer beating ball toyed with the rim like three dots on messenger, or Damien Lillard even further downtown in Oklahoma City.
This is the spirit of the stadium and the soul of the squad, expanding the capacity arena and the Canadian ballclubs worldwide fanbase watching on their own Jumbotrons.
And the Toronto Raptors are going to need all the north they can get if they’re going to stop the Bucks in Milwaukee.
But this club has the claws to do it. And if you don’t think they can win in Wisconsin on their own road to being the first franchise outside of the United States to be NBA finalists and who knows what next against the Warriors(?), then just watch this Canadian cornerstone from the Jurassic era.
Extinct in six? Nah! Get ready to hear the North roar.