Monday February 28 2011 – 11:14pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
It was around this time last night that the Academy Awards were just about wrapping up and “The King’s Speech” was walking home with a lot of the major hardware.
But after a long day of being lulled to sleep by the NHL Trade Deadline — and before heading out to London, England after tomorrow night’s Raptors/Hornets game — I thought I’d have a little fun this evening and bring you a hybrid version of the Oscars …
NBA style …
BEST PICTURE (“The King’s Speech” — but for the NBA we’ll call it BEST TEAM):
Los Angeles Lakers
I expect there’ll be some discussion over this selection by the voting committee looked at a number of factors. The recent trade involving Kendrick Perkins (and, thus, the added pressure that’s now on Shaquille O’Neal) has cast some doubt regarding the Celtics. The Heat can barely fill out a starting 5 … let alone go deep into their bench (and they’ve struggled mightily against elite teams this season). Chicago is good — but they’re not yet ready to be great, and Dallas is dangerous but they seem like a classic example of a team that is good enough to get 50+ wins in the regular season and make noise in the playoffs … but not quite good enough to win the TITLE. That leaves San Antonio. They’re deep. They’re balanced. They have experience. They own the best record in the league. But to be the champs you have to beat the champs and the committee (okay, ME) decided that if there was a 7-game series today, LA would be the favourites due to one man; the game-changer, Kobe Bryant.
BEST ACTOR (Colin Firth — but for the NBA, we’ll call it BEST PLAYER/MVP):
The best player in the game is Bryant. LeBron James is #2 (well, maybe they should be 1A and 1B). But if we’re talking about an MVP this season, Rose gets the nod. He showed a ton of signs of being that ‘future star’ while running the show for the Bulls LAST season. But Chicago was still on the bubble and came THAT CLOSE to missing the post-season. However, this year, with a whack of new players around him and his versatile big-man (Joakim Noah) missing 30+ games (with Carlos Boozer banged up for a while as well), Rose had brought the air of confidence back to the Windy City. The Bulls are 3rd in the East and they have the 5th best winning percentage in the NBA. And Rose is the reason.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (Christian Bale — but for the NBA, we’ll call it BEST SUPPORTING PLAYER)
I feel like I should explain this one a little further before making the selection.
I’m thinking “best player on a team that is maybe in the shadows of another superstar” … or … “best player who is an All Star himself but not quite an MVP candidate” … something like that. Thus, my call is:
LeBron James will get the MVP vote for a ton of people, but it’s not quite far to call Dwyane Wade a “support player” for the Heat. Bryant is having another great season with the Lakers but Pau Gasol, this year, has been equally as important. And how do you truly say who the lead is and who the back-ups are in Boston with Kevin Garnette, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen?
Westbrook is the perfect compliment to Kevin Durant. He’s a dynamic point guard that plays well on both ends of the floor … and he can run you out of the gym. Plus, when Durant has it cookin’, Westbrook knows it’s his duty to feed the fire … but if scoring is need, he can fill it up as well. Whatever you need/want … the young PG will give it to you.
BEST DIRECTOR (Tom Hooper – but for the NBA, we’ll call it BEST COACH)
The coach ‘directs’ the players on the floor — during games and in practice. Just like in Hollywood — where it may be ‘difficult’ to manage the egos of big stars, but it’s certainly easier to bank on their clout and cache — coaching in the NBA is easier with talent. Star talent. Phil Jackson may have a difficult time keeping Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O’Neal in-line, but at the end of the day he’d rather be coaching those guys than dealing with the headaches of a 20-30 win team.
The committee (ME), again, had a difficult time deciding on this selection. Jackson has more talent than Williams. Ditto for Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich, and Stan Van Gundy. And while Erik Spoelstra may have a roster that’s thing on depth, his still has a ridiculously powerful 3-headed monster.
Some will look at Rick Carlisle and Scott Brooks and those guys should be given credit … but at the end of the day … New Orleans is playing fantastic basketball under a rookie head coach. With a boat-load of issues off the floor and a community that maybe ‘needs’ its team more-so than any other, the pressure of winning for the Hornets isn’t just on the court. There have been questions about Chris Paul’s future, how good David West really is, if Emeka Okafor can provide anything on the offensive end, and whether or not the team can keep this pace up with a serious (offensive) threat on the 2 and 3. Yet while the naysayers continue to roll with those theories and claims, Williams has guided to the Hornets to 6th in the mighty West.
Tom Thibodeau was a VERRRY close 2nd.
Feel free to weigh-in with your NBA Oscars below.
Have a good one folks