Westbrook Slams The Spurs, a.k.a. Can You Hear The Thunder Roll?

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder

This year, more than any other year in recent memory, the NBA Playoffs are as unpredictable and un-scriptable and unforeseeable and undeterminable as could be. I mean, the twists and turns and bumps and bends in the road are enough to throw anybody off of their game. And that’s just like life. That’s why you play hard and play smart and trust and believe that all things will work together and work out for good (Romans 8:28).

Sometimes and oft times and most times you think the ball is going to bounce your way and you think that things are going to go your way and all of a sudden, out of the blue, you’re injured and break your hand or bust your knee and everything changes. Just like that. On the other hand, you could win when no one gave you a chance and you could defeat the favorite when they were supposed to blow you away, and just like that, you’re contending for a title.

Yes, King James is going to play in the Eastern Conference Finals, and yes, Stephen Curry is going to defend in the Western Conference Finals, but all in between we’ve had unbelievable and unpredictable results.

In the East, the Raptors and the Heat are playing Game 7 in Toronto tomorrow. And it’s anybody’s guess who will come out on top, as the Raptors look like champs one minute and chumps the next. So, if they get by Dwayne Wade and his band of boys from South Beach, there’s no tellin’ how they’ll fare against King James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the next round. But the gift we really want to see under the tree is Wade and LeBron going head to head. But this year’s playoffs don’t seem to be in the giving mood.

More importantly, the LA Clippers are as snakebit as they come. I felt really bad for Chris Paul. I did. He and the Clippers just can’t seem to win in the playoffs. And the amount of injuries the Clippers dealt with in just one series was almost unthinkable; losing Chris Paul (hand) and Blake Griffin (quad) in Game 4, they could’ve phoned it in when their stars went down. Instead, the banged-up, beat up, severely depleted Clippers fought and scraped for every loose ball and every long rebound in an elimination Game 6 against the Portland Trailblazers, before eventually falling just short in the game, the series and the season in a 106-103 loss.

Then, to top it all off, the San Antonio Spurs lose in six games to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Who saw that comin’? The favored and fundamental Spurs fell from grace in six games, losing two games AT HOME, as Russell Westbrook and the 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant wouldn’t go down without a fight. And it turns out they were determined not to go down at all. The Spurs were supposed to win going away and set up a showdown with Curry and the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Oh well; there goes the script.

So who ya got? Can Curry carry his comrades past the plucky, perky, chirpy duo from the dustbowl destined to derail the destiny of the boy wonder? We all want Curry to win another title. It would be a shame to waste a record setting 73-wins season and not win another Championship, right?

But who could argue against a Kevin Durant/LeBron James Finals? Steph Curry could. So this is a tough one. If Curry loses, the basketball world will be voting and pulling and cheering for Durant to finally win the NBA Championship he so clearly and dearly desires and deserves. That’s why we play the games and keep score.

So tell me again – why aren’t you watching the NBA playoffs?

The Best Player vs. The Best Team = Road Kill

Spurs Team 2014Spurs 2014 ChampionshipDid the Miami Heat catch the license plate of that truck that just ran over their face? I mean, really? Seriously, who saw this one comin’? Not the Heat, that’s for sure. On the Spurs side, Tim Duncan and Parker and Ginobli and MVP Kawhi Leonard and the entire Spurs team were certainly spurred on by that awful and painful, forgettable and yet memorable Game 6 Six loss in last year’s Finals. The Spurs were up by SEVENTEEN in the third quarter, only to lose in overtime. Go figure. Since then, the Heat have been in the Spurs crosshairs for revenge.

Did the Miami Heat actually think that this was going to be seven game series? After winning Game 2 on the Road in San Antonio, it seemed possible, even probable. However, after two horrific losses AT HOME, where they lost by double digits, it was clear that this series would be over almost before it began. So much for all that expected TV revenue and all those lost ticket sales.

Did the Miami Heat underestimate the Spurs and did they overestimate themselves? Ya think? Yuper. For anyone and everyone, that’s a recipe for disaster. Spiritually speaking, when we overestimate our ability and underestimate God’s ability, we will lose every time.

So, what can we learn from the Spurs? More importantly, what can the Heat learn from the Spurs? Is it that one man, even if he is the “best player,” can’t beat the best team? Is it that you can’t play 3 on 5 and win? Or is it that LeBron needs more help? Maybe it’s all of the above. My buddy, Dr. Bill Wright, may have said it best:

“Just a thought. The San Antonio Spurs demonstrated what working together as a team can accomplish. Even though Miami had the best player in the world, he was no match for a team. The combination of good front office people, great coaching and working together made this happen for them. For us, having the Lord God as front office and the Holy Spirit as coach and us working together as a team can change the world (that could preach!) Miami went back to school during this championship series.” Boy, did they ever.

So, do the Spurs have another one in them? Can we expect to see this celebration again next year? Will the Spurs retool and refuel and recharge for another championship run? Do they, will they, can they? Who knows, but the Spurs style of team play was poetry in motion, and thing a beauty to watch.

So hats off and hail to the Spurs! And Kudos to Leonard who averaged 17.8 points on 61 percent shooting in the series, becoming the youngest Finals MVP since Tim Duncan won it in 1999.

Kevin Durant: “Mom, You’re The Real MVP”

kevin-durant-nba-kevin-durant-mvp-press-conference1

Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball star, won the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player Award. It was well deserved. In sports, a Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is an honor typically bestowed upon the best-performing player or players on a specific team, in an entire league, or for a particular contest or series of contests.

Kevin Durant was the league’s scoring leader and is one of the most exciting and exhilarating and electrifying players ever to play the game. He is leading his team through the playoffs and has his sights set on a higher goal: The NBA Championship. While the team has a tough hoe to roe en route to winning the title, Durant’s individual accomplishments as a player are not in dispute.

Kevin Durant loves the game. But not only that, it is apparent that he loves his teammates even more. And the love he has for his mother is even more heartwarming and tear-jerking. His MVP speech is a must see. In the speech he praises his mother, Wanda Pratt: “And last my mom. We weren’t supposed to be here. You made us believe. You kept us off the street. You put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”

Kevin Durant got it right. Tina Turner didn’t. In her smash hit “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” Tina Turner didn’t quite get it right. Love, for her, was a “second-hand emotion.” Ummmmm, no. If we love the games of basketball and football and baseball and hockey and soccer and the sports of gymnastics and track and field and swimming and everything else in between, then it’s clearly more than a second hand emotion. It’s a primary emotion. And our emotion or emotions have EVERYTHING to do with our love, and our love is inextricably tied to our emotions.

Kevin Durant reminded us that our moms are the love of our life, and they have done more for us than we’ll ever know. The love of a mother is emblematic of the love God has for us. The “Mother’s Day” song Shirley Caesar popularized says is all:

“For the 9 months I carried you holding you inside me, $ NO CHARGE

For the nights I sat up with doctored you and prayed for you, $ NO CHARGE

For the time and tears and the costs through the years there is NO CHARGE

When you add it all up the full cost of my love is $ NO CHARGE “

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/05/07/kevin-durant-praises-the-real-mvp/ 

God’s love comes with a price, but not at a cost to us. Love is a fact and a feeling. It is first a fact. God loves us: fact. His love compels Him to do for us and to care for us; to console and to correct; to comfort and to cajole. Love “made” God do for us what He did for us and does for us. God so loved the world that he gave, and He cared enough for us that He sent His best, His only begotten Son. Jesus, loved us and cared for us so much that he lived and died for us.