Around the Margin – 2012 NBA Season Recap / Playoff Preview

Brought to you by: Across the Margin

Tonight the 2012 NBA season comes to a close, the door shutting on a shortened blink-of-an-eye season (b.o.a.e. for fans of the league that is). Although the season was condensed the drama was not. In a mere 66 games we experienced the rise (and fall) of Linsanity, saw the Timberwolves rise to respectability (and fall) behind Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, witnessed Lebron James and Kevin Durant’s continued dominance and MVP battle, scrutinized Kobe’s defiance of age, and were rocked to the core by Metta World Peace’s antics yet once again. Here to discuss the 2012 NBA season, including a look ahead to this years playoffs, are a few of the voices of Across the Margin you are familiar with, luckily joined today by Jack Nicolaus of Blernsball Prospectus……

MCS: Let’s talk some hoops kids.

Jack: I just want to say, as a Metta World Peace apologist, “It was unintentional.”

Rau: Just bad timing really.

PG: Looks like Harden will be just fine.

Jack: “Bad Timing, The Metta World Peace Story.”

MCS: As awful as it looked I can’t believe he meant that. But I went to the MWP apologist seminar as well. Thinking of him with that Wheaties box at the chamionship press conference still brings me much joy. “I got Wheaties, I got Wheaties!”

Rau: Let’s all pray to David Stern that we get a MWP vs. Thunder in Round 2 of the playoffs.

Jack: I think the Lakers should stretch their round one matchup just so he’s back, throw a few games to make it interesting.

Rau: If they go up 3-0, they should take a strike.

MCS: In other news, If you want to see the second unit of every NBA team fight like it is all on the line….this is your week!

Rau: I watched the Heat Celtics game the other night.

PG: Yikes – sasha!!!!!

Rau: It was all scrubs, except somehow Eddy Curry still didn’t get any burn.

Jack: Ouch. Poor Eddy Curry

PG: Gotta keep him fresh!

Rau: But it was a pretty fun game to watch. Marquis Daniels looked like the 2nd coming.

MCS: The starting lineup of the Spurs last night was Diaw, Leonard, Blair, Green, and Patrick Mills (Australian from St. Mary’s College), who put up 27.

Rau: Wow.

MCS: Tiago with 26 off the bench.

Rau: The Bulls are still going with Boozer, Noah, Rose, Rip, and Deng, but they are one of the few teams with a legit excuse to run their starters as much as possible right now since they haven’t really played together all year.

MCS: They have their eye on the prize. I like teams that go strong into the playoffs.

PG: Coach Tibs, COY again correct?

Jack: No doubt


Rau: Coach of the year.

MCS: I was unfamiliar with that acronym. FML!

PG: Smh.

Jack: Unless its SVG, just as a sign of solidarity

MCS: I was hoping to keep Dwight Howard out of this but that will be impossible I suppose.

Jack: The SVG-Dwight press conference was one of the most memorable moments of the season, probably the most memorable moment in the NBA since The Decision.

Rau: How was that not rigged? It was so perfect.

Rau: I think at this point, I might take Bynum or Howard. But in two years hopefully Greg Monroe is better than both of them without being a headcase.

PG: Greg Monroe = sleepy Sam Perkins.

Jack: So, who’s the least head-casey bigman?, because with Javale Mcgee out there…..

MCS: Hasheem Thabeet?

Rau: Nikola Pekovic, does he count? He has a tattoo of a knight standing over a pile of dead bodies though.

Jack: Does Tim Duncan just balance the scale in the NBA? He’s the most rational man alive, so all other big-men are insane?

Rau: I think DeMarcus Cousins would be considered clinically insane even if he were standing next to Andy Dick.

PG: DMC just wants love.

MCS: I cannot believe how long Pop, Duncan, and the Spurs stay consistently excellent. Pop is a candidate for COY.

Rau: He has a good shot also.

Jack: DMC looked really good early before the Kings lost the will to live.

MCS: I think he can be somebody if he doesn’t get in his own way.

PG: Is it weird that I think Widespread Perkins is somehow strangely grounded?

Rau: Yeah, unfortunately I think he sleeps under the tires of his SUV. Gortat probably isn’t insane, he just looks like a maniacal overlord.

MCS: I think I saw Gortat in Game of Thrones this week.

PG: Speaking of GOT……I’m pretty sure the dude who hangs with calisis is Matt Benninger from The National.

Jack: Definitely, and not to correct your Dothraki….but its spelled Kaleesi.

MCS: I was going to say something. Thanks Jack.

Jack: When Paul said GOT, I thought he was making an awkward segue into the MVP debate

MCS: Excelling at awkward segues is still excelling! So, Who gets it?

Jack: Lebron, right?

PG: J. R. Smith.

MCS: Durant must be discussed. But I too think Bron Bron.

Rau: Yeah Bron, no question. makes me want to cry though.

Jack: I think the real question is, who rounds out the top 5? That’s where we get to talk about how amazing Kevin Love and Tony Parker have been (and the obligatory “Kobe is gonna win the scoring title” reminder).

MCS: Love looks 13 without the beard. He has been amazing and Parker’s year should not be overlooked. The Spurs are a squad to watch. They will roll over Utah then who knows…..

Jack: Not to get all statisticy, but did anyone else know that the Spurs lead the NBA in blowout victories? I read that yesterday and it blew my mind.

PG: They are like Nazis, cold blooded.

MCS: The Spurs have 21 wins on the road, that follows only Chi-town. They are balling. 9-1 in their last 10 too.

Jack: The article was about how the Knicks were 3rd, (Paul, that’s your Knicks segue)….

PG: Pop looks like an SS officer who kills Judan children and doesn’t blink.

PG: OK, Knicks….

MCS: The amount of drama the Knicks gave the world this year would make Josh Schwartz proud.

Jack: Just curious, how many of the people in this chat own Lin gear?

MCS: Does a bumper sticker count. I couldn’t resist in line at Duane Reade? But, I think we have done enough regular season talk, not too much else to say except never forget that Budinger dressed up like Woody Harrleson in White Men Can’t Jump and rubbed his nuts over Diddy’s head on the way to the rim. Lets talk some playoffs. Any first round match ups you are looking forward to?

Jack: Clips-Grizz.

MCS: Oh yeah.

Jack: The grizzlies are going to eviscerate the clippers, but it’s gonna go 7.

PG: The Grizz move me, I see strength in them.

Rau: I think there big men have the fattest arms in the league, and that’s gonna be the difference maker.

MCS: Interesting point. I am seeing everywhere that the Grizz are the “trendy pick” (even saw it on one site as the “hipsters pick”) but if liking the Grizz is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I’ve been gay for Gay for years. Lets not forget what they did last year in the playoffs.

PG: I love old ass Sam Young, even if he doesn’t get burn.

Rau: I think the Spurs kill them round 2, I don’t think they will let last year repeat itself.

Jack: Last year it was a Spurs team without Manu, and he makes the honey flow for them.

MCS: So true.

Jack: But we can all agree that the Clippers redemption tour is going to end in round 1? CP3 will end up exactly where he left NO.

Rau: Yup. And if I may….I’d like to talk about something playoff related very dear to my heart – The Bulls.

MCS: Chicago and Philly, if that happens (not determined when this went to press), is unique to me in the way that those teams are the two deepest teams I have seen in a minute going at it.

Rau: I feel like a lot of people are saying the Bulls should be the favorite to win it right now and that freaks me out.

PG: Wow, I feel like people are giving them no respect, maybe it’s NYC-centric but many are saying Knicks should tank to play them.

Rau: Dear God, please let that happen.

MCS: Philly wants them too.

Rau: My concerns are that Rose has been basically shelved the last 1/3 of the season and Rip is just getting up to speed for the first time.

MCS: Valid concerns indeed. The other two first rounders which are amazing (the strength of the league is highlighted through how amazing some of these first round games are) are Knicks v Heat (of course) and OKC vs. Dallas.

Jack: Poor Dallas. They’re gonna get exposed.

MCS: Dirk will fight but to little avail.

PG: I do worry about crafty old fucks in these situations.

Jack: Just a quick sidenote….just want to say I met Mark Cuban this weekend. He walked into Think Coffee on union square, I pitched him a few ideas, he said no thank you and sipped his latte.

MCS: At least you went for it! The aged teams is a great storyline right now. Celts playing strong, Kobe of course, and the Spurs doing their thing.

Rau: I want a Celts vs. Bulls rematch from 2010.

PG: Boston vs. Hotlanta (who are playing in the first round) has been exciting last few years.

Jack: I have $20 riding on Atlanta to beat the Celtics, I’m afraid I’m going to lose my money.

Rau: I think so, but who knows.

MCS: “Anything is possibleeeeeeeeeee” – KG

Jack: BIG! To take it back to the regular season, did anyone else think the BIG campaign was gonna turn into something cooler?

MCS: I love watching Rondo go after that lose ball with all his heart.

Rau: To Primus!

PG: The big head campaign is quite near to my heart. It seemed to peak with Partridge family, never got heightened.

Rau: Worst first round match-up? I wonder if we have a consensus – Orlando, Indiana?

Jack: Yeah, although I’m hoping Orlando pulls themselves together.

Rau: It’s interesting, cause if Orlando somehow makes it a series, that story will be amazing.

MCS: Makes me thing of shooting 3’s with Nick Anderson’s in NBA JAM. Indiana is mad interesting. I didn’t even realize they were in the 3 slot. They are a team to watch moving forward. Hibbert can dominate if he puts his heart to it (another not insane big man?) and the amount of cap room they have is substantial. But not this year……

Jack: Who closes for Indiana? Granger?

MCS: George?

Jack: I love them a lot, but aren’t they kinda suffering from the same problem Denver has?

Rau: Exactly.

PG: I don’t trust Paul George in a game of consequence.

Jack: Or a Game of……Thrones?

Rau: I’d trust Granger with game on the line vs Peter Dinklage, not sure that shit translates to playoff stones.

MCS: Peter Dinklage is my favorite actor on TV right now, including John Slattery.

PG: Love ‘The Station Agent’.

Rau: It’s hilarious, and he was in both Death at a Funeral movies, the white one and the black one.

MCS: His role as a wedding coordinator in ‘The Baxter’ is brilliant.

PG: I could see Kobe surviving a fire with dragons on his back.

Jack: Kobe could easily tame and raise those dragons as well. Kobe could fight the night walkers. Kobe could lead the night walkers. Kobe could out night walker the night walkers.

MCS: I will never count Kobe out. I have seen to much. His Dothraki is seamless.

Jack: Guys, listen to me for a moment: The Lakers could win this thing.

PG: For sure, Bynum is a boss.

Jack: And hilarious, I’m so glad he’s decided to shoot 3’s.

PG: A mans gotta live.

Rau: That was one of my favorite parts of the season. He said he was going to keep shooting them, because it was going to be part of his game now. Incredible.

MCS: So Jack, you are saying Lakers or……..????? Who you guys got to take it all?

Jack: I’m saying Lakers, I have to believe.

Rau: I’m taking the Bulls.

PG: I think this is the year OKC breaks thru.

MCS: I have the Heat taking it.

PG: You all know I’m no god man, but i believe in the mystical powers of Harden’s beard.

Rau: Paul, Isn’t this where you say something about the Knicks?

PG: The will lose in 6 to heat? J.R. Smith will carry them for quarters at a time?

Rau: I was hoping for some irrational overconfidence.

PG (cont’d): Melo will have a few 35+ games, Fields will be non factor, Baron explodes for one brilliant game, discount double check will light up the Garden but shoot poorly in American Airlines Center, Black Jesus will try – try so hard he presses, maybe has a 25 12 game but will get dunked on by Joel Anthony in game 6, and I will cry. How’s that?

MCS: Sounds good by me. Any final thoughts gentlemen?

Jack: I think my final thought is the Whoopi Goldberg’s EDDIE is the greatest basketball movie of all time.

MCS: Funny jack. I woulda thought you a ‘Forget Paris’ kind of guy.

PG: My final thought is that I hope spike gets mono and cant attend any games – increasing the Knicks chances to win exponentially.

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