Here are my thoughts on the opening day of the 2011-2012 (technically 2012?) season:
Boston Celtics v. New York Knicks
I, thanks to my good friend Kris Kirk, had a chance to visit the famous Madison Square Garden this past March. The Knicks played the Pacers. I have never been one to hop on the Melo train, but, man, seeing him in person was a different story. He was something insane like 9/10 from the field in the first quarter. For some crazy reason, D'Antoni took him sat him until two minutes left in the half. Kris and I were both puzzled.
Why take your hot hand out in that situation? I guess there's a reason he couldn't win when it counted in Phoenix. Needless to say, Melo didn't score another bucket until the waning minutes of the fourth quarter and the Knicks lost by double digits. So, I said all of that to say this ... Melo is the real deal. Especially when he's on fire.
Take a defensive force in the middle like Tyson Chandler and the always explosive Amare Stoudamire, and you've got a pretty dang good team. For the C's, Rondo played as phenomenal as always. Without Pierce, the Celtics really struggled. KG had a chance to win it at the end, but couldn't come through. I'm not worried about the Celtics, I know they'll pick things back up once the Truth is back, but the Knicks really surprised me. If they can stay consistent, they may be a tough matchup for a lot of teams in the East.
Chicago Bulls v. Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant is and will always be my favorite player. Granted, that's my favorite player of my era. I don't count Jordan, if I did, he would win hands down. There's something that gets me totally jacked watching the Black Mamba play basketball. I also had a chance to see him play this past year. My friend Gio and I went to Staples and saw the Lakers play against the soon-to-be NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.
The team last year had a lot going for them, it doesn't look to be the case this year. Good Lord, the Lakers looked very weak. Gasol is the Vlade Divac of the new decade. Meta World Peace is just Meta World Peace. I don't think anyone that looks down while dribbling with their strong hand is worthy of being labeled as an NBA superstar. The Lakers were sloppy. I'm used to seeing a shootout almost every game, but this one was different.
Let me tell you, Derrick Rose's Bulls weren't killing it, either. The Bulls had a long drought in the second half that allowed the Laker's to pull ahead, and they fortunate to come back and win it. I was most shocked, though, to see Deng block Kobe clean and Kobe not argue in attempt to get a call. Shocking.
Miami Heat v. Dallas Mavericks
Finally, the moment you've all been waiting for. If you have a Mac, you might want to press Command, Shift, 3, and take a screenshot. The Miami Heat were the best team that played today. Lebron James was the most impressive player that played today. I now feel like crying.
If you know me at all, you know that I cannot stand Lebron James, but I'll give credit where it's due. Man, he tore it up today. D-Wade complimented him nicely. Until James proves himself when it really matters, I still will continue to call the Heat D-Wade's team. He definitely carried them through the Finals when James was pulling his annual choke-fest.
Dallas is not the same team, and I'm not sure they'll fare very well this season. Losing Chandler, Barea, and DeShawn Stevenson were complete blows to the heart of Dallas' identity. Chandler was a beast in the paint, Barea sparked the offense off the bench and even did excellent when he started, and Stevenson was a fiery defensive stopper that could nail a three when the d let their guard down. I just was not expecting the Mavs to look that sloppy. That first half was just putrid.
I hope you're all happy, the Heat looked great today. I'm going to go throw up now.