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NBA Playoffs: All Cats Everything

“…because we need to find that place and take it from them.”

So as I was thinking about which team to root for in the NBA Playoffs (because, like most Americans, I don’t really care), I tried to weigh the amount that UK players have a role in their lineup, against the likelihood that the team would do well.  After all, if I’m gonna be a bandwagon fan, it might as well be for a team that’s good, right?  I mean, there’s no such thing as a bandwagon Bengals fan, is there?  Of course not.

But as I started looking at the playoff teams with UK players, I realized that a TON of them have some sort of tie with our beloved University, though in varying degrees.  So, for those of you who don’t follow the NBA at all, here’s a little guide to help you pick which team is right for you, weighing both the UK ties, and the likelihood that the team will succeed.  Now you can at least pretend to have a rooting interest in the Playoffs when your friends also pretend to like it when they’re around you.

 

Boston Celtics

UK Rooting Factors:

Rajon Rondo has been the most successful UK pro since Jamal Mashburn, and is likely the most important piece on an aging Celtics squad.  His short time at Kentucky was tempered with attitude problems and a perpetual conflict with Tubby Smith, but it’s always good to see a UK guy excel in the NBA.

Payout Probability:

Moderately High.  They’re old, but disciplined, which is basically the opposite of their first round opponent, the Atlanta Hawks.  Expect to see them in the Eastern Conference Finals with the Heat, but probably not any further.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

UK Rooting Factors:

Jodie Meeks is probably the most underpaid player in the NBA right now, and the 76ers are really getting the most out of their money.  At a little over $800k, Jodie puts in 25 minutes, and almost 9 points per game.  We know what he’s capable of, and hopefully the people in Philly pick up on it, too, after he torches the Bulls for 54 tomorrow at 8pm. (Hey, we can hope, right?)

Payout Probability:

Fair.  Last week, it would have been very low.  They are on the worse end of an 8/1 seeding, and those rarely end well for the underdog.  However, after the unfortunate injury to Rose, things are looking better for the 76ers, who have evened the series at a game a piece.  Anything is possible for the quick, albeit undersized, guard-oriented Sixers.

 

Orlando Magic

UK Rooting Factors:

The Magic have both Daniel Orton and DeAndre Liggins on their roster, and both have been showing some promise this season.  Liggins has averaged seven minutes in seventeen games this season, but his last ten games have seen him double that to fourteen minutes.  Not to mention he’s shooting at 48%.  Who would’ve thought?  Orton is Orton, and either you dislike him or you don’t pay much attention to him.  But he’s averaged about twelve minutes in sixteen games this season.  Hopefully he can see that number continue to go up.

Payout Probability:

Average.  The Magic have a better roster than the Pacers, but are down 2-1.  They’ll need to do more to get out of the first round.

 

Utah Jazz

UK Rooting Factors:

Enes Kanter.  Yep, that’s about it.

Payout Probability:

Low.  Our own Rashawn Franklin thinks they should have lost on purpose just to get a better shot at Kendall Marshall, and forwent the Playoffs entirely.  In a completely basketball way, that makes perfect sense.  If I were playing 2k12, I’d do that in a heartbeat.  However, owners balk when the chance of getting a better player is weighed against guaranteed revenue from Playoff games, so I understand why they’d want to go get hammered by the Spurs.  Cause that’s what’s going to happen.

 

Dallas Mavericks

UK Rooting Factors:

Kelenna Azubuike has averaged six minutes in the three games he’s played so far.  It’s cool that they gave him a contract, but in a perfect world they’d use him a little more.

Payout Probability:

Low. If they weren’t playing the Thunder, it’d be fairly high.  But because they are, it’s gotta be the way it is.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

UK Rooting Factors:

Nazr Mohammed is endeared to those of us who watched Kentucky play in the 90s, and although he’s always sort of flown under the radar, he’s a very capable big man that has an established “veteran” role in the NBA.  Now, he’s a cog in a very capable Thunder squad that looks to dethrone the Mavericks as reigning Western Conference champs.

Payout Probability:

High.  The Thunder are my (non-expert) pick to come out of the West, and they’re a fun team to watch.  What the Lakers have in experience, the Thunder have in explosiveness and talent.  OKC is essentially the Kentucky of the NBA: really talented, but ridiculously young.  Maybe they should look at hiring Cal to work with that formula.

 

New York Knicks

UK Rooting Factors:

Jorts on Jorts on Jorts.  With NY’s big men getting felled by fire extinguishers, Harrellson could have a bigger role in the playoffs for their next few games.  However, as much as I like the rest of the Knicks, Amare’s cornrows have got to go.  You could also argue that their refusal to play defense is a factor in their being down in the series, but I think it’s those cornrows.

Payout Probability:

Very Low. For more on why, jump ahead to the section on the Miami Heat.

 

Los Angeles Clippers

UK Rooting Factors:

Eric Bledsoe has been a consistent contributor for the Clippers, playing twelve minutes in 40 of their 66 games.  He’s still behind a couple guys on the roster, but he’s got great guys to play against and learn from, and should benefit a lot from being on this Clippers team. (How many times has that been said in history? Like, three?)

Payout Probability:

Moderate.  The Clips need another year or two before they can expect their discipline to catch up with their talent.  They should follow the Thunder’s example from the last few years, and they should be a contender by 2014.

 

Miami Heat

UK Rooting Factors:

The Heat currently have no players on their roster that played for UK.  Nor are they geographically close to us.  What they do have is a strong tie on the “business” side, with UK legend Pat Riley calling a lot of the shots.  Riley is an unquestioned genius, pulling strings and getting results while others are scratching their heads.  Personally, I’ve liked the Heat since the 90s, when they had Mashburn, Mourning, and Hardaway, with Riley on the sidelines.  So, as a UK fan, you can rightfully stake a claim on the Miami Bandwagon.

Payout Probability:

Very high.  I’m biased, but these Heat look like the Monstars when they really set their minds on playing defense.  They held the Knicks to 67 points in their first game, which is almost half of what people expect to see out of Melo and Co. on a given night.  If the Heat don’t cut down nets, it’ll be a disappointment for them.  Jump on this bandwagon while there’s room.

Article written by Corey Nichols

43 Comments for NBA Playoffs: All Cats Everything



  1. Dickie Z
    9:07 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    In a perfect world they would use Azubuike more? He just came up from the D-league and you want him playing big minutes in the playoffs?

    Corey Nichols still sucks.



  2. Brent4UK
    9:15 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    What about the Pacers? I belive their head coach, Frank Vogel, used to be a student manager/video coordinator here at UK?



  3. Frank Vogel
    9:23 am May 3, 2012 Permalink


  4. Alan Badillion Trahern
    9:27 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    I’m rooting for everyone but the Miami Heat.



  5. John Ellis
    9:27 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Like the All-Star coaches you are forgetting about Prince, who has a ring and made the best defensive play (the block on Miller) in the history of the NBA playoffs. Mashburn was a scoring star but Prince the better NBA career.



  6. freda felcher
    9:31 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    “Average. The Magic have a better roster than the Pacers, but are down 2-1. They’ll need to do more to get out of the first round.”

    huh?



  7. chris
    9:31 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah the Heats outlook is very high until they get in clutch moments and LeQueen James chokes it away



  8. Walter Sobchak
    9:47 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    6) that make perfect sense to me. what is confusing about it?



  9. jwill
    9:47 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    rondo best since mashurn? you need to do better research. mr. prince for detroit for starters.



  10. Miguel
    9:51 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Corey Nichols must be either retarded or has never been to Cincinnati. From a lifelong Bengals fan, there are fair-weather fans in every fanbase, especially the Bengals fanbase, and they especially suck ass. Cincinnati sports fans in general are AWFUL. UC sold out 4 home bball games this year. Despite strong support going into the playoffs from all types of fair-weathers, and the same old Bengals talk after a playoff loss, the stadium sold out once! And thats because our nation is primarily filled with mindless obese people, which make up well over 95% of the steelers fanbase, so that game was easily sold out. The Reds fanbase has complained for years that the team doesnt spend enough $ to be competitive, and the attendance has shown that. This year the team spent some serious money. You would have no idea based on attendance. Cincy sports fans are awful and it’s funny because 90% of them will tell you they hate all UK fans because theyre obnoxious. Sometimes I feel like Bale’s character in American Psycho because I deal with both Bengals and UK fans. Such a different fanbase, there are bad fans in every fanbase, but it’s pretty disproportional in Cincinnati. And for that, Corey Nichols is an ass-hat



  11. corey two
    9:52 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    I think this is a great idea. Take a “blogger” who obviously doesn’t know anything about the NBA, doesn’t like the NBA, and doesn’t want anything to do with the NBA … and have him “write” a blog about the NBA. Come on guys – if he talks about PRETENDING to be interested in the NBA, you know you have a problem.

    Why not get someone who actually watches the NBA to write about the NBA playoffs? Have Corey write about what he knows best – the pizza joints of Lexington.



  12. silvereagle6
    9:53 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Concur #6. Pacers heavily favored with Dwight out for the season.



  13. eloy
    9:54 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    rabblerabblerabblerabbleyarrabbleyar…zzzzzz



  14. Hey man
    9:59 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Has this guy watched a playoff game??? Jodie is on chill mode at the end of the bench and Deandre is at home on his Ps3.



  15. theWilkman
    10:02 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    No bandwagon Bengals fans? Clearly you weren’t on UK’s campus during the NFL season of 2005. That 11 win season caused those ugly tiger-stripes to sprout up everywhere like weeds. When you hear sorority girls talking about TJ Houshmandzadeh, a bandwagon has been boarded.



  16. tim
    10:04 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    To quote Corey “I don’t really care.”

    That appears to be Corey’s philosophy to this whole writing thing. What a waste. He obviously knows nothing about NBA basketball, or the UK players on these teams. And what is worse, as he noted, he really doesn’t care.



  17. seventeen
    10:06 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Does Corey intentionally write stupid things just to get UK fans riled up?

    I think so.



  18. Semm
    10:09 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    I love Prince as much as any UK player, but there is no way he’s had a better pro career than Rondo. Rondo holds 3 Boston franchise records (most assists in a season, most steals in a season and assists in a single playoff game); he’s lead the league in steals, 3-time all-star. Both players have been on all-defensive teams, with Rondo making first team twice. Prince is more likeable and had the better college career, but Rondo has done some historic stuff at franchise filled with history. It’s not close.



  19. Smyrna_Cat
    10:11 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Once again, Corey comes across as uninterested, uninspired, and lazy. But, as he would say, “I don’t really care.”

    Corey, you could “at least pretend” (another classic Corey quote) to care whether this stuff stinks to high heaven. Oh wait … you already said you don’t care.

    Classic.



  20. D-Todd
    10:14 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    This is horrible.



  21. markky
    10:21 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    when Rondo is in the league as long as Prince, he’ll pass him. Until then, Prince has more bling- no argument…



  22. the truth
    10:29 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Stick to college bro. Do the fine folks at KSR even watch the NBA? This was one of the worst posts on KSR i’ve seen in a while.



  23. thenamerobdigity
    10:33 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Fire Corey Nichols



  24. Mkgistebow
    10:44 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Corey you started the article off by admitting that you knew nothing, and could care less, about the subject. I honestly think you try to suck. Jones and Franklin have to know your awful. This must be entertaining them.



  25. lafferty_daniel
    10:48 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    The magic roster better than the pacers???????



  26. davidt
    10:53 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    This article is beyond worthless. Why do any of us care when the author clearly says he doesn’t watch nba and doesn’t care anything about it, then goes on to take about how well each team with a UK player may do?

    This has to be a joke, right?



  27. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    10:55 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    I was with ya till you said the Magic have a better roster than the Pacers. That’s just not correct. You sir, obviously know nothing about the NBA. So, don’t write about it!



  28. Smyrna_Cat
    10:55 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    I have decided that Corey is actually Mark “Wrong on Purpose” Frosty Tips.



  29. wildcat813
    11:10 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    11. Couldn’t agree more. Why is this guy writing about the NBA? Please, make it stop.



  30. HOO HOO
    11:12 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    COREY NICHOLS = LOSER



  31. HicksPickSix
    11:19 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    “This post is great…
    FOR ME TO POOP ON!”



  32. BNClay
    11:37 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    I would have to say it is close between Rondo and Prince as far as better career.

    Scoring – Prince, he is a good shooter, Rondo can’t shoot a lick
    Distributing – Rondo no question
    Defense – Push, in his prime Prince was one of best defenders in NBA. He was the guy that guarded Kobe/Peirce/Miller/Lebron
    Rebounding – Rondo, for a guard Rondo is excellent rebounder
    Playoffs – Even, Each 1 Final win and 1 Finals loss.

    If Rondo’s 2nd half of his career is as good as first half he will be one of the best Cats in NBA ever, but the C’s will have to reload or him be traded to another good team for that to happen.



  33. Grammar King
    11:46 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    THANK YOU for knowing how to use gerunds properly!



  34. Grammar King
    11:48 am May 3, 2012 Permalink

    I mean, THANK YOU for your knowing how to use gerunds properly!



  35. C'mon man....
    12:02 pm May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Wow..let me drop some knowledge today.

    How do the Orlando Magic have a better roster than the Indiana Pacers? Remember they don’t have Dwight Howard’s defensive presence and are lucky the series isn’t 3-0.

    Also, take the Pacers Head Coach, Frank Vogel. Vogel graduated from KENTUCKY where he was a student manager and played for the JV team. When Pitino left he took Frank to Boston where he served under him as a video coordinator. Hard work + opportunity has seen Frank now become a head coach in the NBA.

    So there you have another Kentucky Wildcat connection.



  36. Zig Zigler
    12:17 pm May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Matt,

    This is pure brilliance. Hire an incompetent hack to write elementary level articles that are becoming addictive ego boosts to the insecure.

    I’m guessing Corey attracts more traffic than anyone. Corey, truly is a literary train wreck.



  37. BOOCAT
    12:29 pm May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Corey, you SUCK! I dont even read your blogs because I dont care. I just come to the comment section to see you get roasted. You do not have a future. Go ahead and end it all!



  38. NBA league pass
    12:37 pm May 3, 2012 Permalink

    I stopped after “Magic roster better than the Pacers”. Um..no.



  39. Wills dumb
    12:40 pm May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Magic roster better than the pacers??? Unbelievable ignorance. You are truly dumber than you look!



  40. Mkgistebow
    1:02 pm May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Hahaha i do the same thing BOOCAT.



  41. IWantJust"K"FootballHelmets
    2:08 pm May 3, 2012 Permalink

    Ridiculous filler.



  42. willyg
    2:55 pm May 3, 2012 Permalink

    “Dumb on Purpose.”



  43. Paul
    3:11 pm May 3, 2012 Permalink

    The Magic DO NOT have a better roster than the Pacers…