Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Thursday, May 21, 2015



The NBA Playoffs are in full swing, and we here at the DUNER BLOG are glued to our TVs and laptops in eager excitement. It seems every game has a 20 point comeback capped with an insane buzzer-beat as time expires. However, there are a few items that just drive us crazy...

HACK-A-SHAQ. In every sports, there is always some way a coach can tinker with the rules to their advantage. In soccer, players fake injuries to stop play. In football, coaches call a timeout the split second a kicker approaches the ball. In basketball, a coach will intentionally foul a poor free throw shooter. The logic is: He misses 70% of the time, thus turning the ball over. (It was famously done to Shaquille O'Neil, hence the term.) It's an effective...but boring...way to win a game. There were 96 combined free throws in the LA - Houston Game Two. Stop it!

OFFICIAL REVIEWS  In the last two minutes of NBA games, the officials can consult a TV monitor, and examine the instant replay to insure they got the call right. This sounds like a great idea, but it needs some fine tuning. The last two minutes is the best part of the game. But then...suddenly...everything stops. Instead of watching amazing slam dunks, all eyes are watching three old men huddle around a monitor. Sometimes, it just better to let the human eye determine when a basketball hits the rim. Just ask Washington's Paul Pierce! His game-winner was overturned on the slimmest of margins.

COACHES BEHAVING BADLY. In America's celebrity-driven culture, the role of an NBA Head Coach has expanded beyond control. Gone are the sweat-shirts and visors. Today, Armani suits are the norm. Gone are the calm, collective coach who sits during action. Today, coaches strut up and down the sidelines, verbally abusing players and refs alike. When these egomaniacs don't get enough attention, the stroll on to the floor during play. This is a clear violation...but the refs are likely too intimidated to call it.

MOUTHGAURDS COVERED IN SPIT. For the first 100 years of basketball, no one used a mouthguard; a plastic piece designed to protect your teeth and tongue. However, with all the flying elbows, it's a good chance your chin could get smacked, so wearing one is a safe and sound plan. Fair enough. But when the ball is not in play... What do you do with your mouthguard? A basketball jersey has no pockets. Hence, most players just have it hang off their lower lip, dripping saliva all over their chin. Yuck!

NO SMILES AFTER WINNING SHOTS. Of the twenty eight playoff games so far, an astounding 18% have ended with a buzzer-beating shot. Like the walk-off home run in baseball, the hero is often jubilantly mobbed by teammates immediately afterwards. But don't expect to see a bright, Magic Johnson ear-to-ear smile from today's NBA stars. Just like Kanye West, these guys think smiling is UNCOOL. LeBron just looked menacing after his game winner against the Bulls. Derrick Rose had an expression on his face like he'd just stepped in dog poo. C'mon guys! Celebrate good times!

NOTE: This blog has been forwarded to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Expect instant changes.

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