For those of us that grew up around the 916 area code, come playoff time, we begin to worship at the temple of Mike Bibby. When the games really start to count, the Sacramento Kings’ floor general seemingly performs divine intervention during the playoffs.
Now he looks like he has defied religion and been infused by the Devil.
The one-time playoff hero is now the playoff chump.
Sure, Bibby followed up his worst shooting night as a professional, scoring 16 points and adding eight assists after his dismal 1-16 shooting night, but the Kings still lost — again.
This time, it was an entirely different facet of his game that haunted the Kings all night. He shot a respectable 7-14 from the field, but he followed up the mantra of past Kings squads by neglecting to play defense with any noticeable tenacity. Like the rest of the starters, Bibby failed to rotate efficiently on pick-and-rolls, forcing Head Coach Rick Adelman to bench the starting five for the entire fourth quarter.
Bibby is the undoubted catalyst and leader of the revamped Kings squad, and thus, should be to blame. In years past, Bibby has looked like a god during the playoffs; now he’s playing like he stepped on one too many priests’ toes.
Bibby may have defied the laws of religion, but anyone who watched Monday night’s Rockets/Mavericks game saw Rockets guard Tracy McGrady defy the laws of physics.
Putting the ball on the floor and driving the baseline, the 6’8″ T-Mac took the escalator up to the basket and threw down a vicious facial on 7’6″ Mavericks center Shawn Bradley. Bradley, shamed, looked as if he had just passed gas in a quiet room, trying to find some form of solace.
Those who felt bad for Bradley shouldn’t. The man has been overpaid his entire career just because general managers continually think a skinny, slow, uncoordinated 7’6″ man would be an asset.
And they continually pay the price for their mistakes (literally) while Bradley reaps the dividends.
That, and Bradley doesn’t care about defying physics. The devout Mormon would probably be much more upset about defying religion than science.
And while on the topic of defying conventional wisdom, Reggie Miller continues to dazzle during the playoffs. In the words of hall of famer Bill Walton, “Reggie Miller is no longer a young man.” With that said, the 39 years-young Miller still defies any notions of being too old and torched Boston on Monday night when it counted the most. Miller had 28 points, but perhaps his two biggest came with 37 seconds left when he made a difficult running shot in-between two Celtic defenders to essentially put the game away for Indiana.
Though he may have lost a step since his days of slapping around the Knicks and breaking Spike Lee’s heart, the long-limbed guard from UCLA has adapted his game to stay proficient. Miller uses screens away from the ball better than any other guard in recent memory, at times utilizing three back screens just to find an open look. And when he’s open in the playoffs, no shooter is more dangerous than Miller.
Props, old man.