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NBA Finals Storylines and Prediction: What Really Matters

2013-nba-finals-miami-heat-vs-san-antonio-spurs_51adb6d94ab2f-p

It’s finally here, the NBA Finals! After an excruciatingly long playoffs that started in April and saw great series like the Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers, the rise of Steph Curry and the dominating backcourt that was Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock of the Los Angeles Lakers (J/K), we finally made it.  The two best teams in the NBA tip off in what should be the best NBA Finals in the past 10 years sans Lakers vs Celtics in 2010.

We could go over the X’s and O’s, the pick and rolls, the rotation help defense but that shit is boring. Let’s take a look at the real storylines of the 2013 NBA Finals:

The Stars:

LeBron James – LeBron is obviously the best player in this series and the world and he can and will take over games whenever he pleases. He’s like Will Smith, whenever he wants to come back and dominate the box office – he will. Oops, just saw the news about “After Earth”…I guess that’s what happens when you’re in a M. Night Shyamalan movie and your characters name is Cypher Raige. Guess I’ll have to come up with something else to name my first born son.

On the other side, Tony Parker is playing like the best point guard in the NBA and Tim Duncan had to have visited Germany to inject his whole body with what Kobe did for his knee.  If Parker remains unguardable, the Heat are in for a long series. Duncan is a better matchup for Bosh than he was against Hibbert, but going up against the greatest power forward in the NBA is never an easy task.

Former Stars:

Dwayne Wade & Chris Bosh – Let’s face it, LeBron is the only legitimate superstar on Miami now. I’m not saying that DWade and Bosh can’t be huge factors in this series – – they will be — but, if you had to rely solely on those guys then Wade wouldn’t be able to carry them like in ’06 and Bosh would bring you back to the days when he was a Raptor and looked like he was adopted out of Jurassic Park.

boshraptor

Manu Ginobli – Manu is a shell of his old self as well. He’s still a high-energy player that comes through whenever you need him. If Ginobli outplays Wade this series, the Spurs will win. The only problem is Ginobli is falling apart faster than Rob Stark’s peace offering in Game of Thrones. #RedWedding.

Fans: 

You know you’re a Spurs fan when…

  • Your team always “plays the right way” since, apparently, they are the only ones in the NBA that actually do play the “right way”.
  • You say, “It’s not boring basketball, it’s beautiful basketball”. If anyone ever says that they are a soccer fan. They are really into passes and not seeing a score. (BTW, the Spurs are definitely not boring, they are fun to watch…wait, what’s happening to me?!)
  • You are the most annoying lady in the building. #SceamingSpursLady

You know you’re a Heat fan when…

  • You became a fan in the past 3 years and call everyone a “hater” because they don’t like LeBron and the new Flo-Rida CD.
  • You can’t point out Miami on a map.
  • You’re a lady that flips off opposing teams and was once wanted for her husband’s murder.
  • You look like this:
#Swag

#Swag

Coaches:

Gregg Popovich – Arguably the best active coach in the NBA and one of the greatest coaches of all-time and creator of the greatest sideline interviews. Ever.

I want to see Popovich on Christmas morning as a child. I bet he hated it.

Popovich can cement his legacy with a win over the Heat and it may be the end of his prolific career (Duncan’s as well).

Erik Spoelstra – Spoelstra is an underrated coach, if you can be one with four hall-of-famers on your team. He is only 42, has a championship under his belt, and has kept this team together through a lot of adversity. And he takes a shoulder bump like a champ. Out maneuvering and out-coaching Popovich might be an impossible task, but if he can match him and find ways for “The Others” to contribute, it will be his greatest achievement as a coach and cement his legacy as one of the best coaches in the NBA. No pressure, Spoel.

Red Mamba / Birdman – 

I could write a whole 250 page manifesto on whether to love or hate Matt “Faux Red Mamba” Bonner. KOBE HOW COULD YOU?! One day, when Kobe and I become BFF4L and he reads my columns, he’s gonna totally regret that move then we’ll live happily ever after! But until then, I hate you, Matt Bonner. It also doesn’t help that announcers have latched on to this great nickname and call him it at every opportune moment. These NBA Finals are gonna force me to drink more than I actually do. Oh well.

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The Birdman is scary. So scary that I picked him to be the #10 athlete I’d love to see chase down Beiber. But, like I said before I’m pretty sure they are best buds and that when this season is over Beiber will invite The Birdman into his entourage and have him featured on one of his songs. As Americans, we can only hope that Birdman the Rapper is featured as well and they have a rap battle. Mind = Blown. That would probably go down as the worst song ever made and it’d probably win a Grammy.

Prediction: 

This series is tough to predict. I usually go with the best player in the world, but the Spurs are a different beast. LeBron will put up his points, but after a week and half off and the greatest coach in the NBA has that much time to prepare for an opponent, he will shut down “The Others” and the Spurs will take this series and solidify some of the greatest careers in NBA history.

Even if you aren’t a fan of these teams, this series has a chance to be epic and will be a joy to watch the two best teams faceoff.

SPURS IN 6. 

Follow Lance the real “Red Mamba” Cartelli on Twitter!

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Kobe Bryant Betrays Me, Gives Rightful Name to Another

In case you missed the awful NBA All-Star Saturday Night, you didn’t miss much other than missed dunks in the Slam Dunk Contest, but you did miss a betrayal for the ages.  In an effort to get San Antonio Spurs Forward Matt Bonner into the Three-Point Contest, Kobe Bryant bequeathed the nickname the “Red Mamba” to him.  Needless to say I was heartbroken.

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 11.07.08 AM

Let’s go over the facts:  Kobe Bryant is my second favorite basketball player of all-time behind Michael Jordan. The Lakers are my favorite team.  I have red hair.  Those three factors alone put me on the short list for greatest nickname ever, “The Red Mamba”.

470807e8d9df908f72ba852a435e6294Not only did Matt Bonner — whose name is really close to being Matt Boner — get the greatest nickname on Planet Earth and probably the Milky Way Galaxy, but he also got a shirt of a Red Mamba in attack mode?!

That is my shirt.  I understand your mistake Kobe, so I’ll take that shirt in Men’s Large, does it come as a tall tee? I am ready to terrify the little kid that was jumped over in the Slam Dunk Contest. 

Now after being bestowed the “Red Mamba” nickname and an equally awesome and horrifying shirt, the Red Mamba has to run away with the Three-Point Contest, right?  There’s no way the Red Mamba could lose!

At this point, I was torn.  Do I root for Mr. Red Mamba even though he stole my rightful name?  Us Gingers do have to stick together, you know.  Or…has this man become my mortal enemy — the Joker to my Batman, the receding hairline to my LeBron James — and I must destroy him to regain what is rightfully mine? I decide to go with the former seeing as he’s a big, white guy with red hair, he’s just too damn lovable.  Damn you Bonner!

The Red Mamba comes out nailing everything.  Maybe Kobe was right.  Bonner advances to the finals against Kyrie Irving.

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 11.22.19 AMI’m now on the #REDMAMBA bandwagon, if you can’t beat them join them.  And make it a #Hashtag, of course.

Unfortunately, being tall and white and a Ginger caught up to big Bonner in the Finals where he ran into the buzz-saw that is Kyrie Irving.

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 11.25.51 AMThe Red Mamba loses, which gets me thinking –  I lose all the time.  I could’ve lost at the Three-Point Contest, I could lose a lot of things for the right to be called the Red Mamba by Kobe Bean Bryant. Lance “Second Place” Cartelli doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Therefore, the twitter campaign #Lance4RedMamba begins, it shall be trending in no time.

At least Kobe still has his back right?  The guy that created the nickname and started the campaign to get Matt Bonner into the Three-Point Contest wouldn’t just turn his back on him would he?  Never turn your back on a Mamba!

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 11.28.55 AMOh.  Nevermind. Me and my Bonner feel betrayed again.

After being stabbed in the back by Kobe, I doubt Mr. Bonner wants to keep this nickname that is tainted by the 2013 NBA Three-Point Contest.  Which means the reign of Lance “Red Mamba” Cartelli is in full affect.  Hopefully the power doesn’t go to my head and I become Joffrey from Game of Thrones

I had to do more research on this Red Mamba.  Like a Method Actor, I had to do more research to get into the role of a lifetime.

First, a Google search.  The seventh thing on the list is a movie called “The Red Mamba” made in 2002.  I don’t even need to read the plot summary I know that this will be the best movie ever made (sorry, Highlander) and that if there is a God, it will be streaming on Netflix. But, I get sucked into the IMDb page.  A movie written and directed by James Jackson – whose other credits include: Actor – Aliens vs. A-Holes and he was also a Cinematographer for Blood, Guts, and Cleaning Supplies: The Making of “The Janitor” – well, that’s two more movies on my Netflix queue. Still perusing around the IMDb page, I get to the plot summary and it is everything I’ve ever wanted and more.

A bright sunny day in the deep wilderness fades to black for Oz and Lucy, two teens on a quest for a magical sex drug which grows wild in a mythical mushroom field known as Cloud 9. Oz assures her that the story about a man who claims to have seen a caveman in the woods was either a delusion caused from his eating a similar but poisonous variety of the sex drug known as the “Red Mamba”, or more likely a spook story to keep poachers clear of the treasured fungus in Cloud 9… Or is it?

Why did Christopher Nolan not write and direct this?  There’s always the sequel.  I am available, by the way.

Unfortunately, there are no reviews or even any message board comments.  How can this be true? But, from eight satisfied patrons it is rated 8.4 which would effectively put it as the 50th greatest movie of all-time according to IMDb. I’m sold.

But I digress, I finally return to my Google search to realize there is no Wikipedia page for the Red Mamba and that it doesn’t even exist! Time to genetically mate a Black Mamba with a Ladybug to create the #REDMAMBA.

Kobe – I know you will read this and I just want you to know I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.

#LANCE4REDMAMBA

– Lance Cartelli

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