If you missed the Eastern Conference Roundtable, this is its Western Conference counterpart. Below is a breakdown of each series, with exclusive insight from various experts, including the shady AAU guy, the 12th man on your school team and that Laker fan who wears $400 sunglasses. Again, we recommend using this information to place large bets on your hometown team, unless you live somewhere other than Texas or California.
The Grizzlies’ final push into the playoffs unfolded with the grace and tact of a Chris Dudley free throw. With the sixth seed in play, and a chance to face a Mavericks team that they matched up well with, Memphis morphed into the Washington Generals. In their blind panic to avoid the Lakers, the Grizzlies sank into the eighth seed and were paired with the Spurs. For their part, San Antonio has once again rolled into the playoffs with virtually no fanfare. This can likely be attributed to Tiago Splitter losing his highlighted tips, which were outstanding.
Seasonal Lakers fan: This is Hollywood, baby! (Puts on $400 shades, rides bus) Timmy Duncan? Ahhight. We give him props. But we have the Mamba, suckas! Do you see that thing where he puts his bottom teeth out? Timmy Duncan don’t have a face like that.
Shady AAU guy: I’ll take the Grizzlies and the points. Hmmmm. Yeah. (Pulls toothpick out of gold case, puts in mouth) Have I ever told you that you remind me of a young Keyon Dooling? Hmmmm. Let’s get together sometime, you and me. I think with the right direction, you know, you could go places.
12th man on your school team: Woo! Good hustle, guys! (Sees on-court fight, forms human shield to hold back teammates) DE-FENSE! (Clap clap clapclapclap) This series? Wow. That’s an interesting one. I’d have to say that—SCREEN! SCREEN RIGHT! FIGHT THROUGH!
L.A. Lakers–New Orleans
The Lakers arrive in the postseason in the throes of their annual regular season swoon. This should not be cause for concern, no more than the threat of a pack of ninjas attacking Pau Gasol in the locker room. And you know they’d go for Gasol first. (Probably Shannon Brown after that.)
Things are slightly less optimistic for New Orleans. David West is out and Chris Paul is on one leg, though Chris Paul on one leg can still get to the hole against the L.A. point guards. Other than that, the Hornets have nice uniforms.
Mavericks fan: Let’s not underestimate the hunger of Chris Paul. I like the Hornets in six. What? I’m serious!
Irrational Jordan fan: Don’t talk to me about Kobe. WEAK. MJ had less talent around him than any champion in the history of the NBA—Pippen was nothing but a poor man’s Shawn Marion. Kobe couldn’t carry MJ’s kicks. (Polishes VHS copy of Space Jam) Here’s another thing about Jordan—he would never have lost in the playoffs like Kobe has! (Blocks out 1984-90, ’94)
Seasonal Lakers fan: You can’t beat a champion, baby! WE’VE GOT JACK! Kobe is a killer, a stone cold killer. No one takes tougher contested fadeaways than my man Bryant! DENZEL! SANDLER! (Takes cell phone picture of Laker Girls)