Monday, June 30, 2008

Jemele Hill has different definition for 'good' than rest of world

So Jemele Hill is back after a little suspension for some Hitler name-dropping (hey, it happens).

Her newest claims that the West is totally overrated. The whole thing actually boils down to the sports-writer axiom "defense wins championships." Yawn.

The West (the bad conference) has totally unexciting 110-109 wins, that often involve creative offense, big name players going back and forth and generally pleasing basketball.

The East, meanwhile, has battles of will, grinding out 80-79 wins, where both teams shoot 30 percent and shoot 40 free throws. *300 voice* This. Is. Basketball!!!!!!!

Understand, this isn't an argument about which conference is deeper. Clearly the West wins that argument. Every Western playoff team won more than 50 games,

That's nuts.

while just three teams in the East accomplished that.

That's poopy.

Only four Western teams had a losing record against the East -- the SuperSonics, Clippers, Timberwolves and Grizzlies.

Who were like, all last place teams.

Just four Eastern teams managed a winning record against the West.

East: 50 win teams - three
West: 50 win teams - eight

Top five scoring teams
East: zero
West: five

Top five in points allowed
East: two (including numbers one and two)
West: three

But despite those gaudy, imbalanced numbers, the East's recent dominance in the NBA Finals has earned its teams the right to tell everyone to be quiet about how great the West is.

Dominance is winning three out of the past five trophies. Actually seems pretty balanced to me ... except when you look at the past ten seasons and see that seven out of ten were West teams.

The past few Western Conference teams in the Finals have had one very obvious character flaw:

Bad match-ups? Getting jobbed by refs? Simply playing poorly for a 4-7 game stretch, which could happen to anyone?

They've been softer than John Daly's midsection.

Ahhh, softness. Not being tough. Baskets are worth two points (sometimes three!), but body checks or punching the backstop after a dunk is worth five points.

The Mavericks mentally shrunk against the Heat in 2006.

Wade shot 97 free throws in six games. 16 per game. Again: that's nuts. It wasn't some wizard shrinking the minds of the Mavs - the Heat shot like sixty times as many free throws in the series.

The Mavs were also outscored this series by a total of six points. One game went to OT. Could it be *gasp* luck? No, mental shrinkage.

The Lakers were completely undressed by the Pistons in '04.


And this year, reigning MVP Kobe Bryant and his sidekick, Pau Gau-soft, were punk'd by the Celtics.

Call 911, we got a buuuuuurrrrn victim.

It's often been argued that if you entered Western Team A into the Eastern Conference, it'd either win the conference outright or at least be among the the East's top teams. But after watching how the Celtics annihilated the Lakers, how can that possibly be true?

Math. It's because of math.

The freakin' Golden State Warriors, who won 48 freakin' damn games, missed the freakin' playoffs in the freakin' overrated West!

They would have been the four-seed in the East, assuming they wouldn't blow out shitty teams like the Knicks, Bucks and Bobcats and get to 53+ wins. Hell, the damn Trailblazers, at 41-41, would be better than the Sixers, Hawks and Raptors - all East playoff teams.

The fact that teams get to 40+ wins in the deep-as-all-Hell West is a testament to how good these teams are at winning basketball games. I would argue that they would get many, many more wins in the East - where 37 wins gets you a spot in the playoffs.

At least in the East, there's no pretending. When Eastern Conference teams stink, they make it obvious (see: the 76ers', Nets' and Cavaliers' Finals appearances).

I've never been on a debate team, but I am pretty sure they teach you not to totally deflate your own argument.

"The East is better because when their teams are bad, they're bad. They aren't like 'we got 50 wins, but we secretly stink!'"

Summation: West teams = good, but not really good. East teams = sucky.

Bravas, Hill, bravas.

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