Russell. I watched you in pain. I watched rooting for you. I watched and twisted in pain most of the Fourth Quarter. Here are my issues.
You AND your team played magnificently for the first three quarters (almost) in Game 2 against the Rockets. Most people wanted David to beat sniper Goliath. The devil’s advocate approach says “Well, Mark, the Rockets went on a HUGE run when Russell was on the bench at the end of the third quarter, so THERE.” Well, then the fourth quarter happened. Here is the deal. Russell had a magical first half. One of the best in playoff history. But, the downfall came at neglected heat checks. Fatigue played a part. Rocket personnel and shooting played a part. Hell, even Harden being on the bench made it more ironic. But, the fact is this. His assists in the second half plummeted. He seemed oblivious to it. Sure, shoot away when you are cruising to 50 points, but recognize two things. One, if the first few don’t go, you have to recognize that as a tired, negative heat check. It ain’t happening in storybook fashion, bro. Two, even though there are many teams in the NBA with limited offensive “options,” they are ALL in the league for a reason (yes, some of them are just tall, I get it). You have to trust your teammates (even if they are shoving the ball in your face). You have to USE the fact that everyone and their mother thinks you are shooting it as LEVERAGE to find the open man. Give them a reason to defend. Give them a reason to think that someone else COULD score. Utilize that first half in a way that IF your teammates can’t hit the shots, at least they had open looks and you TRIED to involve them.
Listen, Russell. We get it. You need help. We aren’t holding it against you. But 4-18 in the second half isn’t JUST about percentage. It is about the number EIGHTEEN. Eighteen freaking shots. Bro, give your boys a chance. I love what you did this season. NO one can deny it. Your company…is the Big O. But, this is playoff basketball, and the Rockets are better overall. Last time I checked, one guy can’t do it by himself. Michael couldn’t do it without Scottie. Charles ALMOST did it in 1993. And I know we are just talking about a FIRST round series and not the Finals. But, recognize. Your teammates might miss, but you are only human. You are of course the tires, the engine, and the steering wheel. You are the conductor AND the strings section. You are like five of the peeps on Eight is Enough. But. Find the different way, and take advantage of a scoring chance when it comes along. Kevin is gone, but you are playing a team you still can beat. I think you needed to steal one of the first two, but OKC fans might give you back some magic. Just be sure to SHARE that home town magic a little. Thanks.
Just official this week. Got recruited. I will be writing for an NBA site in June. I will keep writing this, of course, but look for me to be posting on the new #rotoden site upcoming. Very pumped and honored.
-More on the NFL schedule next time. It is just coming out today, so I will hold off.
-Please just make the rings now, I guess. A self declaration that DeShone Kizer is Tom Brady molded with Cam Newton. Hell, why even play his career if that is who he is, right?
-Got a friend who likes hot sauce? Get the Fuego Box for them. Got three more in my annual subscription and loving every minute of them…except for fact that I use three months of hot sauce in about a month.
-I live ten blocks from my work. My bad. Forgot today was 4/20. This means my five minute commute was about thirty. I am fine with the get together-we are Colorado where it is legal-but scares me to death the AMOUNT of people driving right after the get together.
-To some people in Colorado, today is just…Thursday.
-I wonder what Bill Walton is doing right now.
-Pretty soon we will need two hands to count Tiger’s back surgeries. Real shame to see him go out this way, and real shame to have his downfall occur coincidentally right after his marriage mess-up.
-Staircases, El Presidente? Come on. Stop tweeting, or tell your people to stop tweeting. The Pats win enough to send whatever amount of people they please.
-Serena is pregnant. Kind of an odd time to have your partner to slip one past the goalie. One shy of Margaret and you now have to deal with a long, end of career hiatus. Can it be done? Sure, Women have done it (Kim had THREE after getting a little one into the world), but certainly not optimal if you are planning on getting 24 or 25.
-As a guy who tried both Carry on my Wayward Sun AND More Than a Feeling for karaoke (don’t do it, people), I personally was sad to see that guy go this week off The Voice.
-I have a new line. If you are about to hear it, it is not good for you. Instead of getting angry at something, I am just going to say “I have an idea,” and then say something very not constructive or where you should go.
-Shaq’s kid committed to Zona. This brings on two items. How many nicknames with “sheriff” are we going to invent, and when exactly is Arizona going to win a title with all of these ridiculous recruiting classes?
-I think we all have heard enough Aaron Hernandez jokes for me to pile on. I will leave it alone.
-Well, all of that talk about the Celtics being the worst #1 seed ever aren’t going away quietly, are they? Sucks that Thomas has to play after his family loss, but sucks even more that they have a run in with a couple of guys very seasoned in the postseason.
-Yes, I am sad. Very, very sad. http://www.espn.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/119450/virginia-trying-to-find-its-way-after-losing-key-players
-I feel like AJ Hawk wasn’t even past age 30. Time flies.
-Saving my hockey hooks until after round 1. Sorry.
-Do we just copy and paste derogatory Adam Jones happenings?
-I admit to reading the LaLa-Melo story WAY too many times for the time I have in my day.
-I have decided it is more fun to have Grayson Allen in school one more year, before it takes HIM 5 years to establish himself as an NBA starter like Reddick. I have a whole new batch of trip jokes ALL READY.
That’s it for today. Just a couple more before I am offline for my international cruise. Will I blog before then? That is a CLOWN question (.389, 6, 18, .500), bro. Peace.