NBA Rooting Interests
By Jason Wojciechowski on April 21, 2007 at 11:42 PM
My rooting interests in this first round of the NBA playoffs:
- Orlando over Detroit. I've never really liked the Pistons, and I have a soft spot in my heart for Darko Milicic. Plus, who doesn't love Dwight Howard? I want to see him average 20 rebounds a game for the playoffs. EDIT: How did I forget Grant Hill? Such a sad career it's turned out to be, which only makes it easier to root for him.
- Chicago over Miami. I hate the Heat. Ugh. Dwyane Wade? He'd be a very good player, as opposed to the Next Jordan, if he didn't get so much referee love. Shaq? He's the reason everyone hates Kobe. On the other side, Luol Deng is fantastic, and while I'm neither a fan of Ben Gordon (shoots too much) nor Ben Wallace (Pistons taint), Deng + Kirk Hinrich is enough to overcome that. Plus, they're playing the Heat.
- Toronto over New Jersey. I like Jason Kidd (NoCal!) and Richard Jefferson, and Lawrence Frank is one of my favorite coaches. But the Vince Carter factor is just too much for me. I don't necessarily like the Raptors all that much, but I want them to send VC packing. (Unfortunately, after seeing Game 1, it looks like they're overmatched.)
- Washington over Cleveland. I know Gilbert Arenas isn't playing, but it's still his team, so I'll root for him. Plus Eddie Jordan = straight-up GQ. Also, I really don't like the idea of LeBron mailing in half a season and then winning anyway.
- Dallas over Golden State. I usually prefer underdogs, but not this time. I do like Mikael Pietrus, but I'm a Nowitzki fan, just for the sheer physical freakishness of watching him play.
- Houston over Utah. This is the hardest series for me to pick. In the end, though, I can't root against Yao very easily - see my above comment about Dirk. It's just so much fun watching him shoot.
- San Antonio over Denver. I hate David Robinson. Sanctimonious bastard. Austen and I agree wholeheartedly on this one. But, for all the games he spends sitting in the stands, he's not playing anymore, and his taint is finally beginning to wash away. And while Allen Iverson is truly a joy to watch, Carmelo is ... not. That silly slap-punch + backpedal (Stop Snitchin'!) just solidified it for me. I'm a 'Melo Hata. On the other hand, I'll always root for Marcus Camby (UMass!). But in the end, Tim Duncan's role in getting Joey Crawford booted out of the league and the idea that if Manu Ginobli hadn't been a basketball player, he'd have made a remarkable non-Euclidean geometer convince me that it's got to be the Spurs. Just so long as David Robinson doesn't show up on the TV more than twice per game.