Simons Says...




Thursday, May 5, 2011

OK. I believe I’m wrong. A few of the series in this great NBA playoffs have brought me to my knees. I’m talking about the Miami-Boston series. And yes, the Dallas-Lakers as well.

For months, I’ve been “squawking” (as e-mailed Brent from White Bear Lake called it) about how the C’s were going to be the team to beat in the East. The Heat have been tough, v e r y tough and yes, I was yapping about a potential match-up.

It ain’t over, well, you know, ‘til it’s over but it doesn’t look good for the guys in green. It’s safe to say that when this series is over and Miami moves on to the Eastern finals, the Celtics will look back at how they played as the season ended for clues to their demise. You have to secure home court advantage and Boston failed to do that. They are down two games to none and a rally is not likely. I saw a stat today that tells this story. In 9-of the last best-of-7 series in which they went down 0h-2, Boston lost eight of the nine.

And, barring a miracle on hardwood, the Lakers are toast as they head back to Texas down oh-two to the Mavs. Dallas is putting it together at the right time and you gotta’ love the defense they are playing. Short of spinning through the media guide, I can’t remember the last time Los Angeles, under Phil Jackson, lost the first two games of a series, at home. If you are a Lakers fan, this is bad stuff for sure.

Even though e-mailer Brent didn’t hammer me for my Lakers take (of getting to the finals), I will “squawk” no more forever. Brent, thanks for pointing out the Heat/Boston point.

Meantime, I was impressed with Wednesday’s Bulls victory over Atlanta, on the same night that Derrick Rose is handed the MVP award. I was also impressed by the NBA Commissioner’s words of praise for Rose. "I do know that he's the youngest MVP, that he deserves the award he's getting. He had a heck of a season. ... You can check it all. He's a heck of a player, and if we can keep him healthy, he's going to have some career." David Stern is delighted because Rose is one of the league’s bright and shining stars. It’s also good for the league to have a winner in the city with big shoulders.

By the way, have you noticed how the young, athletic teams are seriously stepping up this post season?

Chicago, Memphis, OKC, Dallas has a shot of youth mixed with talented veterans and yes, Atlanta too.

E-mailer Molly, a loyal and longtime Wolves fan asked me at a recent gameON! taping, “don’t you see Memphis as a blueprint for the Wolves in some way?”

I kinda’ do. For the Griz, their game starts with former Buckeye Michael Conley at the point. He is a player and I didn’t think he’d translate from college to the NBA. Wrong again. Just as its hard to take your eyes off the Bulls, the same can be said for the young Grizzlies.

Zach Randolph is shining after less than stellar runs in Portland and New York. Marc Gasol is a load in the middle and even OJ Mayo is playing well.

Talking with a few NBA friends on the left coast, they are lamenting the OKC-Memphis match-up. That’s the old Vancouver-Seattle rivalry and now lots of water under the bridge. Some people never forget. Just as Twins fans will never forgive for “Contraction” efforts a few years ago.

Fan feedback:
I love talking Wolves in their off-season. Keep the notes and thoughts coming. Thumbing through the e-mail, long time fan Robbie M. from Minneapolis wrote me regarding Ricky Rubio:

“It’s back in the news. Do you think Rubio is coming this next season.”

I just believe that if Rubio plays in the NBA, he’s gonna’ start in Minnesota. David Kahn knows he has to deliver and Rubio is a defining draft choice. Just as Kahn is headed back to Spain, the Wolves will keep the pressure on Rubio to sign and finally commit to playing here next season.

Rubio is playing in the Spanish League and has to exercise a $1 million buyout with Regal Barcelona and sign his current rookie deal by May 31 if he wants to avoid risk losing money with a new NBA collective bargaining agreement. The Timberwolves can contribute $500,000 toward that buyout.

Labor Pains:
Just as the league celebrates Rose’s MVP honor, the Commish also made it clear than basketball wants nothing to do with Pro Football’s very public and painful Labor pains.

Stern not only wants the NBA to avoid copycatting the NFL, he wants to steer clear of lock-outs, courtrooms and public fighting. The NBA's current collective bargaining agreement expires June 30. Regardless of his posturing, Stern says owners will lock out the players if they can’t agree on a pact.

Let’s get it done.

Lynx Time:
Is this going to be a championship summer for the Lynx? They will open the team’s 2011 Training Camp on Sunday, May 15. All players are expected back from overseas leagues and ready to go. By the way, The Lynx will be well represented on the USA Basketball Women's National Team. There’s Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Candice Wiggins among the 22 WNBA players participating in the camp.

Lingerie Legit!
On GameON! this Sunday, you’ll meet some of the members of the new Women’s Pro Football league, the Lingerie Football League.

The ladies bristled when I passed along the thought that the league might, just might, be more cosmetic than crusher. Just a bit soft and not serious.

Upon hearing my question, one of the defensive line members told me she “was gonna’ take me out”. We laughed but the Minnesota VALKYRIE are serous and expect to have fun and win some games when they play at Target Center late this summer.

The VALKYRIE is already working out in preparation for their LFL opener in August. They will be guests along with Vikings all pro Defensive Tackle Pat Williams this Sunday. Keep your GameON! See you Sunday morning at 11AM on FOX9. And Happy Mother’s day to all of you Mom’s out there!!

AND WATCH FOR:
Thanks for the e-mails and the uptick in communication from you out there. I very much enjoy getting those and next week, we’ll share some more of your FAN thoughts in our SimonsSays mailbag. Until then, keep your chin up and see you Sunday on GameON! I’d love to have you out to one of our live GameON! Tapings this next Tuesday at Courtside Bar and Grill in Anoka on Jackson Street. More details and guest listings on our redesigned show website (www.GameOnTvMn.com)