#DaRundown Sports is back after a little time off from the podcast. A lot of good things have been going on behind the scenes but right now there is much to discuss. To continue our blogger discussion series, on this episode I have on Kris Willis (@Kris_Willis) of Peachtreehoops.com ,a SB Nation blog. Since the last podcast we have transitioned from March Madness to the NBA Playoffs. Kriss and I discuss the Atlanta Hawks chances in their series Indiana Pacers, and look forward to their off season whenever it begins. Then we get into some of the piercing story lines from the NBA playoffs as a whole. We wrap things up by taking about the Atlanta sports scene and why it is so overlooked by the national media.
As I am writing this Game 7 has yet to happen and the Atlanta Hawks fan base took a collective kick in the Musburgers Thursday night. From the descriptions of the people who attended Game 6, it had to been full of energy. The throwback logos on the shirts for the red out had fan base gassed up from the game, twitter, and the whole blogosphere. Being at home this was probably Atlanta’s best chance to win the series. Going back to Indiana with a Pacers team that is highly motivated not to get embarrassed on their home court and be a #1 seed that lost to an #8 seed that was under .500. Add that to the fact that the Hawks are 0-8 all time in Game 7 situations coupled by the generally accepted precedent that the best player usually wins an NBA series. The consensus is with Paul George from an overall stand point is the best player based on perception, body of work and notoriety. I would contest that Jeff Teague deserves strong consideration. Even though they won’t guard each other, I’m in the wheelhouse that whoever plays better between these two decides the game.
There are other series besides the Hawks and Pacers but generally don’t have the time to write about any off them. I will take this opportunity to bring up some the story lines that are intriguing to Kris and I. I’ll run through some questions I am personally pondering.
- WTF is up Kevin Durant? MVP of the league, second best player in the world and you can’t figure out how to get the ball? He’s being guarded by a guy who is 6 inches shorter than him (which is probably how deep Tony Allen got into his psyche), the point guard wants to shoot all the time and your coach doesn’t seem to be in the mood to run an actual offense.
- Is Mark Jackson’s job security really on the line when he has brought the Golden State Warriors sustained success for first time in a decade? Maybe it could be his preacher style of delivery but I think minus a serious religious undertone to his message, the team should buy in to what he says.
- Will Chis Paul finally make run? 9 years in, no conference finals and he’s the guy who I consider to be 3rd best in the league. I know he’s a little banged up but its getting to be that time when the First Take questions will get asked. Is he overrated? You know how they do.
Lastly during the podcast we scratched the surface on some of the dynamics that make up the Atlanta sports scene. Obviously this in not the smallest market. Its not like Atlanta doesn’t have a serious social scene and plenty to do hear after the game are over. So why does the national media sleep on story lines coming through Hotlanta? My theory that I will go in depth on at a later date, consist of 3 pivot points.
- Atlanta is the heart of SEC country.
The 3 professional teams (5 if you count the Dream and the new MLS team) are in a position where they own Georgia and and at least three nearby states that don’t have any teams. What the states do have are major SEC football programs. I think it defragments a potential fan base with regional allegiances.
2. Atlanta lacks championships and 3. Superstars
Atlanta teams can’t get it done in the playoffs. Other than that one chip in the 90’s during the Braves run, there’s nothing. Not much to be said after that. Lets go through the superstars that identify as fixture on the (wait for it) Atlanta Mount Rushmore or Kennesaw Mountain down here. Dominique Wilkens, Hank Aaron, Deion Sanders and Michael Vick? Notice anything about my list? The last 2 guys left and have went on to other teams for reason or another. That tells a lot about the expectations and what people get excited about. Deion has his jersey retired by the Falcons but did nothing to further the franchise. It’s not a knock on him. It’s more of a reflection of the low standards that are here for excellence.
Disclaimer: Be clear regardless of what I said on the podcast the website for Kris Willis is peachtreehoops.com
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