by Brett Edwards and Craig Kwasniewski
In case you missed it, here's a photo of the end of "The Sopranos." Yeah, exactly.
Craig and I discuss the Finals and "The Sopranos," which have both been disappointments.
Craig: Got back from a trip to Wyoming last night, and here's how I know that the Finals suck: I haven't watched a single solitary minute of games 1 and 2 (because of media blackout in Wyoming). So the big news is how the Cavs rallied from a 27 point deficit to cut the game to 8 points last night? Unless you're the 1998 Utah Jazz, every team rallies from a big lead in the playoffs. Channeling Hacksaw.... "WOW!"
This is SO the 1999 NBA Finals.
Brett: This series is way too predictable. I said while watching Game 1 that the Spurs would pull away from CLE by the beginning of the 4th (which they did), and that the 20-point lead was coming in Game 2 (which it did). All that's left is for my sweep prediction to come true, which is very likely.
Mike Brown: Awful coach. His decision to sit LeBron for the rest of the first quarter after picking up two quick fouls cost them any chance at that game. As I said last night while live blogging, (that's right, I'm block quoting myself):
Some might say that Brown was "damned if he did, damned if he didn't" take LeBron out once he got that second foul, but I disagree. If you're the coach, you put it on your superstar to play smart and not pick up that early third foul. If he does, then you can sit him. Instead, the coach will now have to take all of the heat for this lame decision, as LeBron played the entire second quarter and never picked up that third foul.
And yes, EVERY team rallies when they're down 20+ in the fourth, because the leading team has packed it in already. Utah did that too against SA, and look how that turned out. Such a non-story.
Craig: I agree with your take on LeBron. In the playoffs Phil Jackson used to keep Shaq in the game in whenever he got three fouls in the second quarter. Two things happened: he knew Shaq would normally play smarter and not commit a dumb foul and that the refs would most likely NOT call the fourth foul on a superstar. Only once did it backfire (the 2004 playoffs against Houston).
There's no way LeBron fouls out of a game... ever! This will never happen for the rest of his career. Brown needs to realize that Stern has banked the future of the NBA on the burgeoning Wade-LeBron rivarly and that they'll always get the calls (even if Steve Javie is reffing in Cleveland).
What's the deal with Larry Hughes? I know he has "plantar faciitis" (which is the alternative to tendonitis. Translation, "Hung over from too many lap-dances." I believe the Lakers flipped a coin with Devean George (heads pf, tails tendonitits) for every missed game in 2005-06.) Back in 2000, he was supposed to be a version of A.I. lite. Now he's hitting more strip clubs than playoff jumpers and the Cavs are stuck with him till 2020. (God I hope Kupchak isn't on his cell phone right now offering Farmar, Bynum and Brown for Hughes and Ilgauskus.)
Brett: Alright, so the Finals blow. what about "The Sopranos?" I hope the picture I used for the post didn't spoil anything for you.
Craig: The series was originally supposed to last 5 seasons and it really lost me during that coma in the first part of the 6th season. (BTW - This trend of HBO calling it Part 1 and Part 2 of a season over the span of 24 months is retarted. Just call it "Season 6 - our writers can't come up with 12 storylines and the lead actor is making Larry Hughes-type of money per episode so we'll just crap out 10 scripts.")
ANYWAY, the Sopranos should have ended after 5 seasons and lost a lot of momentum when they took 18 months between seasons. They had a Sopranos marathon on A&E over Memorial Day weekend and you can really see just how much the show has dropped from say the 4th season to today. The episodes had a better pace to them and were fresh. To use a much-overused phrase, The Sopranos "jumped the shark" after they killed off the greatest butterface in the history of television, Drea DeMatteo.
I didn't watch the finale last night because I was traveling back from Jackson, WY. I'm about 4 episodes behind, but I'll watch it later tonight just to keep up with the talk.
Brett: If you haven't heard and don't want the ending ruined for you, stop reading now. Otherwise ... Sorry, but the last episode totally sucked. The last one was WAY better, which ended when you had Tony and his crew holed up in a safe house with him going to sleep holding a shotgun, waiting for all hell to break loose. And in this episode... nothing happened! They brokered a boring meeting with Phil's number two guy that somehow put an end to the war? Then they wack Phil (which was cool, BTW), but the ending "cut to black" was a total copout. Two possibilities: 1- Tony got wacked, because he has said in the past that he thinks "everything goes black" when it happens. 2- Nothing happened, and life goes "on and on and on" like the song lyrics for "Don't Stop Believin'" say it does.
Either way, since when is it okay to just fail to show an end to a movie, television show, or sporting event? If that's now acceptable, I expect David Stern to follow this not-so-brilliant example and just air a blank screen for the next two games of the Finals. At least with the Spurs and the Cavs, there would be no dispute about how it was going to turn out.