I could be talking about a lot of things tonight. Like the fact that the First Round actually turned out kind of decent---well, not Bulls-76ers, which is going to be used in one of those Scared Straight videos for particularly bad offenders, or really any Eastern Conference series, none of which actually matter—but who saw Memphis-LA or Denver-LA coming?
I could be talking about the fact that Corey Brewer, to many eyes a round hole in a round peg for a Mavericks team in need of youth, defense and athleticism, went 8-12 in 18 minutes for Denver tonight, for 18. I don’t have to look. I know no Mavs scrub went 8-12 in 18 minutes for the Mavericks.
But I’m not talking about either of those things. No. I am talking about illness.
Kobe Bryant had the flu last night. His team lost its second playoff game in a row, dropping to 3-3 from 3-1. He's not the only one who's been sick this playoffs. Coincidence?
Let me ask you guys this. How many games has Dirk Nowitzki had an illness that you’ve known about? Oh, just the one? A crucial game four of the NBA Finals, when the Mavericks were down 1-2? Yeah, sure. I remember that.
And Tyson Chandler has been well known over the years, not for ankle injuries or a totally sweet beard, but being susceptible to very cough or cold around, right? No? Just the first three games of the playoffs this year?
Delonte West? Kobe Bryant?
Okay, just like think about it for a minute. Okay?
If you’re wondering where they played tonight’s Lakers Nuggets game, it was in Denver. If you’re wondering where they played the first games of the Knicks-Heat series, it was in Miami. If you’re wondering where the Mavs played their first playoff games this year, you probably weren’t paying attention. In fact, if you’re wondering where Michael Jordan’s flu game was, it was in Utah.
Sure, maybe, the travails of a long season wore down our heroes such that even these physical marvels were susceptible to human illness, at the end of a long journey. Sure. Maybe. If you’re simple.
Or maybe, there’s a huge conspiracy going on. Maybe the fact that all these games are away games (except for Dirk’s illness, I mean, exception that proves the rule right?) speaks not of random chance, but of brutally bold hotel staffers serving undercooked room service to opposing stars when it seemed to suit, when it was most crucial.
Game 1-2 of Knicks-Heat and Mavs-Thunder. Game 6 of Lakers-Nuggets, Lakers up 3-2. Game 5 of Utah-Chicago, series tied 2-2. Game 4 of the NBA Finals, 2011, Mavs down 1-2.
Just think about it, okay?
(P.S: Maybe Delonte West was more important than we realized? Maybe the hotel staffers got confused between players whose names began with D? Maybe Dirk again would have been just too obvious? I mean...Right? Obviously.)