Catch n' Shoot: April 13, 2011 -- Pruiti's Playoff Previews, Kobe & the Homophobic F-Word, Why LeBron is MVP

Catch n' Shoot: April 13, 2011 -- Pruiti's Playoff Previews, Kobe & the Homophobic F-Word, Why LeBron is MVP
  • For the best NBA playoff previews, go to NBAPlaybook.com. Sebastian Pruiti posted his complete Bulls-Pacers preview -- which I reviewed -- and is currently working on Heat-76ers and Celtics-Knicks.
  • The West is shaping a bit more, as all NBA teams play on Wednesday, the final night of the season (Zach Lowe, The Point Forward):

    1.) Spurs - 61-19 (top seed clinched; tied with Bulls for #1 NBA record)
    2.) Lakers - 56-25 (own head-to-head tiebreaker over DAL and OKC)
    3.) Mavs - 56-25 (own tiebreaker over OKC)
    4.) Thunder - 55-26 (locked)
    5.) Nuggets - 50-31 (locked)
    6.) Blazers - 48-33 (locked)
    7.) Hornets - 46-35 (own tiebreaker with MEM)
    8.) Grizzlies - 46-35

  • Andrew Bynum hyperextended his surgically-repaired knee on Tuesday, further fueling rest-or-play arguments (NBA.com). He's expected to be back in the playoffs, but knowing the fragility, the Lakers' title hopes hang with Bynum.
  • Kobe dropped the F-word during his whiny bitch-fest and he crossed a line, I agree with (openly gay, if that matters) LZ Granderson (ESPN). Is it expected that these slurs slip in passion? Sure. Am I guilty of doing so? Sure. Does passion excuse being shameless about that? Absolutely not. Can it be a term of endearment, legitimately used in jest, depending on the atmosphere? That's arguable. But that's a violent word in many forms of its usage and Kobe used it in a violent manner without any implication of jest.

    As a man of color, I reject -- and am offended by -- the excuse of homophobia being cultural. Even if that's valid, it's a clear illegitimacy of cultural relativism because reasonably offensive is still reasonably offensive. Fuck culture.

    John Krolik wrote (ProBasketballTalk): "The belief that we are a post-homophobia society is foolish and arrogant. Some people will say that making a 'big deal' out of incidents like this reveals that the real problem with our society is that it has become too 'politically correct.' Tell that to the teens who have to endure physical and verbal abuse at school because of their sexual orientation, or the families of the teens who couldn't take the abuse anymore. Maybe the day when it's okay to use the word that Kobe used and have everybody know that you have no problem with homosexuals or homosexual behavior at all will come someday. I don't think it will, and I know that that day is not today."

    Kobe said sorry and he isn't a homophobe, as expected. Here's Kobe when he went and done loss his damn mine on Tuesday:

  • My hypothetical MVP is LeBron James, as I've said elsewhere, along similar reasoning as Ethan Sherwood Strauss'. "Lovers of the objective choose Dwight over Derrick, but they choose Dwight over LeBron based on the subjective," Strauss wrote (HoopSpeak.com). "This is the irony of a clear MVP battle line, our generational war between metrics and Maudlin: Stat-hurling Howard backers might be taking D12 for some of the same reasons pundits pick Rose."

    My reasoning for D12 as #2 in front of Rose is defensive dominance. This doesn't place him ahead of LeBron for me, simply because a similar case can be made for LeBron as the only great high-volume defensive player on one of the most efficient team defenses in the NBA, Strauss added.

    Never forget: LeBron is the best high-volume non-big defender since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen -- better than Kobe Bryant ever has been. All LeBron lacked coming into this season was a consistent 3-point shot and a post-game -- both negated by being amazing at everything else. This season, he's been more efficient than Kobe and Carmelo Anthony in the low post -- though in lower volume (Couper Moorhead, HEAT.com). He's the best player in the NBA who had the undisputed best season; nothing more valuable than that, sorry.

    That said, D12 was the winner of the TrueHoop Network MVP over #2 D-Rose; the other awards were pretty predictable (TrueHoop). And the problem with defining why someone ought to be MVP is the NBA refuses to define the award itself, therefore, arguments become futile as there are no answers, Danny Savitzky, noted (Hardwood Paroxysm). Very Nietzschean.

    I'm a bit peeved over the Tony Allen love, only because Ronnie Brewer was ignored in DPOY voting and only received one vote for All-NBA Defense. Brewer's played more MPG and is largely comparable to Allen's production without fouling. Also, Brewer's defense ignites more offense than Allen's with an equally low risk. If people feel the need to put a token perimeter player over Andrew Bogut or Tyson Chandler, why not Andre Iguodala?

  • "Dwight Howard is the least of Orlando's free throw problems," as Brian Serra found the whole team is shooting worse while D12's slightly improved -- though still bad (MagicBasketballOnline.com; h/t: Evan Dunlap)
  • LeBron passed Kobe in jersey sales this 2010-11 season. Kobe fell to #2, followed -- in order -- by Rajon Rondo (LOL?), Amar'e Stoudemire, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and John Wall (Tom Haberstroh, ESPN).
  • Joel Anthony's been a hell of a lot more valuable to the Heat than for which he's credited, statgeek-who-never-watches-games [sic] Haberstoh writes in a phenomenal feature on the center (ESPN).
  • The NBA Summer League has been cancelled (Dashiell Bennett, Business Insider). Yes, the lockout is looming.
  • David West is gone until at least October and is hungry (Hornets 24/7; h/t: Kelly Dwyer). Unfortunately for NOLA, so are the Hornets, no matter how they act on their hunger.
  • Steve Nash wants to plays at least another three years, he says (SportsRadioInterviews.com). This season is the first since 2000-01 Nash's team hasn't lead the league in offense (John Schuhmann, NBA.com).
  • Chris Webber expressed he's hellbent on keeping the Kings in Sacramento on "Inside the NBA" and he isn't playing. He's "made overtures about buying into the Maloofs' majority ownership, but has been rebuffed," Ailene Voison wrote (SacBee.com).
  • JaVale McGee has an astonishing 1:3.7 assist-to-turnover ratio this season (Trey Kerby, The Basketball Jones).

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