Can you even BELIEVE the turns the Mavs' season has taken? I mean, two seven-game series, two Game Sevens in Dallas? They beat the Kings? They stole Game One from the Spurs in San Antone?
Saturday night was just electric. We saw some extraordinary basketball in the Kings-Mavs series, but on Saturday the Mavs grew up and became an outstanding team. Every time the Kings made a small run, the Mavs were right there to counter it and break their backs. It was a beautiful sight to see Vlade Divac realizing he was going to go home a loser again (he who was laughing and joking making "choking" motions on the sideline in Game One).
And then to come out here in Game One of the Conference Finals and rip a victory from the jaws of defeat. The Mavs were losing by 14 points halfway through the fourth quarter. BUT they never gave up. They gutted it out, they did what they had to do down the stretch. They stayed in there and didn't fall apart, didn't fall down. Like Rocky. They led the game for a minute and a half total, but they led it for the most important seconds. They won by 3.
They had a HISTORIC performance at the free-throw line. They missed their first free throw. They MADE their next forty-nine free throws, to go 49 of 50 for the game. The Spurs were 31 of 48. Lots of fouls, lots of inside driving.
It's amazing how fast this has all come. This team has a VERY legitimate chance to win the NBA Championship this year. Lakers are out of the way. They already handled the Kings. They STOLE Game One from the Spurs. They look poised to do it, seriously. The Eastern Conference is just crap. Detroit or New Jersey will most likely be swept by the Mavs or Spurs (Lakers easily manhandled the Nets last year). I think THIS is the championship right now (as it was last year, Kings vs. Lakers), and Mavs just took home court advantage away. Exciting!
--Matrix Reloaded is out, as I'm sure everyone knows. The series is being described as "this generation's Star Wars". I'm not going to see it. Maybe I'll rent the DVD trilogy when they're all out (put that down with the four Brosnan-era Bond movies I haven't seen and the four Next Gen-era Star Trek movies I haven't seen). I got a dose of it already, as my brother (Quentin) bought the game, Enter the Matrix. They did the whole "bullet time" and slowing down stuff well, but the game is pretty dull and poorly done (and shorter than Zone of Enders and ALOT more boring). Lotsa cut scenes, and I was really hoping the folks in those scenes weren't in the movie--but they are. What really sort of hacked me off was the Ebert & Roeper show, during which it became clear to me that alot of ideas from Tad Williams' Otherland have been stolen for use in the Matrix.
But then I thought many of the "action" scenes from the first movie were boring, amateurish, or ridiculously over-the-top. I liked the back story, the eerie atmosphere, the mystery. But I think they've exploded most of what I liked about the first movie. Screw em. I'd still like to see Bruce Almighty, Finding Nemo, and T3. Hulk looks like crap though.
--In addition to the CDs I ordered, I bought four used CDs at the store after getting rid of thirteen useless crap CDs. I got the Shins' Oh, Inverted World (excellent so far, but more Sloan than Three Mile Pilot--Caring is Creepy is kind of the oddball tune on the disc), Remy Zero's The Golden Hum (not as good as Villa Elaine, not unexpectedly), Sparklehorse's Good morning, Spider (it was cheap, there's nothing as good as the song Gold Day (from the latest album) here), and Echobelly's On (it was real cheap ($0.99) but I dig some of it). I also found out Doug Martsch (of Built to Spill) has a solo album out, and Remy Zero and the Shins both have albums due this Fall.
--Switzerland is doing something amazing. They're forcing mandatory speed limiting on ALL motorcycles, even existing ones! Okay, you say, some bikes can go 190+ mph, maybe they're putting a cap of 120 or something on them? Nope, they're limiting them to an astonishing 80 kph or about 50 mph! FIFTY!?! Does THAT sound safe to you? I'm sorry, but bikes need to be able to accelerate quickly to squirt away from trouble. Fifty? They're also making eighteen the earliest you can ride any two-wheeled motor vehicle, including 50cc scooters. This *could* spread to other parts of Europe, though I'm positive Italy and Germany would say 'no thanks' to that. So much for Switzerland being motorcycle heaven. You want an example of INTRUSIVE government? Look no further than the Suisse.
--E3 happened. Really, there weren't so many surprises. Those came in the weeks before the show. I hate that. In fact, I've already really talked about most of the cool things that were learned last week. What is it all, really? Just a bunch of games for PCs and consoles (and phones) I won't be playing until probably at least three years after their release.
--I guess I should mention all the terror attacks. Morocco and Saudi Arabia have been ROCKED by terrorist attacks repeatedly in the past week or two. Al Qaeda. These are called "soft" targets, while mainland USA is a "hard" target.
--That's really all there is to say. I'm working on getting a new bike. My brother (duo) is working on getting a job and a portable basketball backboard. This laptop is just about to croak. School starts in two weeks. I'm still looking for a job in this horrible job market (keeping in mind my transportation situation).