Story by Mike Patton (yes, THAT Mike Patton)
Ahhhh sports. You either love them or ignore them. For me, in my busy life, sports provide me with an outlet for passion and anger and a means to escape, something to pull me out of the studio, off the road, away from my computer or off the phone. When it comes to sports, for me the National Basketball Association is where it is at. I do love baseball (hoping for another Giants vs A's Bay Bridge series), but NBA basketball is IT!
The regular season is over, and so the post season begins. For most teams, you can forget about your mediocrity and dream of a stunning upset in the first or second round. For a few other teams a season of disappointment is thankfully over with focus on off season trades and the lottery/draft.
Let me give you my background. I am a Laker fan, plain and simple - always have been, always will be. No apologies. Hate all you want. I grew up in Northern California in a house passionately divided into two camps. Half Los Angeles Lakers fans, the other, inferior half Sacramento Kings fans. Oh the fun! Sure I miss Shaq and fondly dream of what could have been, but I still bleed purple and gold. Having said that, I was a Golden State Warrior season ticket holder this year. Ouch! There I said it.
I chuckle as I watch Isiah Thomas destroy the once powerful and prestigious New York Knicks. When oh when will they get rid of him?
The Warriors are a sad lot. This was going to be the year that the league's longest non-playoff drought was going to end! Baron Davis would lead us to the promise land! Chris Mullin was our GM who would get us the missing parts! Coach Montgomery was....... A great college coach! Nope. Another season to crash and burn for the long-suffering Warrior faithful. Ouch. No playoffs. Baron Davis was injured and did not seem to be in shape all year. The Warriors made NO moves, missing out on the Ron Artest sweepstakes when it seemed they had the most to offer. They did not even fire the college coach, and to add insult, insist he will be back!!!!! AND they raised ticket prices 15% !!!! That's all I needed to hear. We will not be renewing our season tickets for next year. Not with this coach and a stable of overpriced, under talented players with long term contracts like Baron Davis, Troy Murphy, Adonal Foyle and Mike Dunleavy. I'm outta there!
So where were we? Oh yeah, the rest of the NBA. I chuckle as I watch Isiah Thomas destroy the once powerful and prestigious New York Knicks. When oh when will they get rid of him? Never thought that the Garden would be the haven of booing the home team as it has become. I do miss not having Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers) and Kevin Garnett (Minnesota Timberwolves) in the playoffs. Those two guys flat out ball and you can tell they enjoy doing it. I'd take either of them on my squad in a heartbeat. However, if you surround them with malcontent losers like Chris Webber and Trenton Hassel for chrissakes, what do you expect. The Houston Rockets got killed by the injury bug and Toronto is in Canada, they have hockey, so they get over missing the playoffs easily. New Orleans/OkC was a fun Cinderella team that did not quite make it and it pleases me to see those Boston Celtic fans crying in their green beer. So enough of the losers, let's take a look at the playoffs.
First off, I'm really hoping we don't have another Spurs-Pistons finals. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz! It would be nice to add some life to the finals, but regardless, the first couple rounds will be interesting. Let's start in the least...errrr East.
Detroit - Milwaukee: Of all the first round series' this is the one that seems like a four game sweep is inevitable. However, Detroit can freeze up on offense from time to time so let's say Pistons in 5. Go Bucks!
Miami - Chicago: I know a lot of people are going to call this one a sweep but da Bulls have actually been pretty damn hot. The Heat are still not gelling yet. But Shaq + Wade = victory. Once again let's say this ends in 5, but possibly 6.
New Jersey - Indiana: I would love to pick the Pacers, but it looks like Ron Artest ended up costing this team two seasons. They would have been title contenders but were plagued by bad injuries as well. Jason Kidd rules, but I hate Vince Carter. Could be interesting but the Nets are the hottest team in the NBA. Nets in 6.
Cleveland - Washington: Lebron in the playoffs!!! I know that is what everyone wanted, but I got news for you. The Wizards can score. Rebounding will be key but I'm going with the Wiz in 7.
In round 2, I have Detroit beating Washington in 6 or 7 and Miami beating New Jersey in a great series in 7 games.
Unfortunately, Chauncey Billups and the rebounding will be too much for the Heat so the Pissstons are going back to the finals.
Out West it could be more interesting.
San Antonio - Sacramento: My two most disliked teams. Although Ron Artest predicted his Kings, I gotta think San Antonio will win this in 6..... maybe 7.
Phoenix - Lakers: Go Lake show!!! A very tough matchup, but without Amare out, it could be fun. Kobe needs Odom and Kwame to show up. That is scary. It pains me and I'm not so sure, but Suns in 7. I think Kobe can win a couple by himself.
Denver - Clippers: Hmmmm. Might be fun. The Clips show life from time to time and are pretty damn athletic, but Denver is determined and will play D when it matters. The Nuggets in 7. A good series.
Dallas - Memphis: Don't get too cocky yet Dallas. You always fold in the playoffs. I'll give you this one, but not easily. Mavs in 6. Maybe 5 close ones.
In round 2 thankfully Dallas will put me out of my misery by upsetting the Spurs in 7. I hope!!!! Phoenix won't have too much trouble with Denver, beating the Nuggets in 5.
And the winner of the 2006 NBA Finals is........ . I'll let you know after I reenact it in the NBA Live 06 videogame on my Playstation!!!!
Dallas and Phoenix should be good but Dallas breaks down and Phoenix wins in 6 to head to the finals for a matchup with Detroit.
And the winner of the 2006 NBA Finals is........ . I'll let you know after I reenact it in the NBA Live 06 videogame on my Playstation!!!! I love this game!
Mike Patton - 4/20/06 (on a European tour, at this moment in Austria)
(my new record, PEEPING TOM comes out on May 30th on my IPECAC RECORDINGS record label)
Mike Patton first gained worldwide fame as the frontman for Faith No More, whose song, "Epic," became a major smash in the early '90s. Since, the prolific and multi-dimensional Patton has gone on to form a seemingly endless stream of creative and unique projects, including Mr. Bungle (which was actually formed before he became a member of Faith No More), Fantomas, Tomahawk, Lovage (w/ Dan The Automator) and Peeping Tom, to name a few. As he mentions above, Patton also formed his own label, Ipecac Recordings, which is home to The Locust, The Young Gods, Dalek, and many more.