I've been on a bit of a wrestling kick recently. I sat here and watched Wrestlemania 18 with The Rock vs. "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan. Icon vs. Icon. Anyway, after watching Eddie House go off it made me thing of the Rock's theme music...
Do you smell-lllllllllll what the Rock is cooking?- The Rock
The Rock says, The Rock says, The Rock says, The Rock says
The Rock says, The Rock says know you damn role...
This is what makes teams that are perennially bad, to decent, to great. Its why teams get those cagey veterans in hopes for a ring, to fit a specific need for a team. Its why some teams have great chemistry and why some teams don't.
Know your damn role. Thank you Rock for clarifying that for us.
The playoffs help you notice the role players because its the reason that teams become great. For every Jordan there was a Steve Kerr, for every Isiah there was a "Microwave" Vinnie Johnson, for every Magic Johnson there was a Kurt Rambis, for every Hakeem, Shaq, and Tim Duncan there was a Robert Horry.
You get the point, that point is that those players were always ready and seems to make big plays for their teams in times when it was needed the most. In the 2009 playoffs, a couple of players come to the light and definitely "Know Their Role" and are helping pave the way for "The Rock" of their teams.
Chris “Birdman” Andersen - When this dude comes in the game, it seems like everything kicks up a notch. Denver is already pretty active as it is, but the defensive intensity picks up, people crash the boards, hands are in the passing lanes, and of course, the crowd goes nuts. If you think I’m lying, watch a Nuggets home game, and see the reaction when Birdman enters (they need to start playing The Clipse and Birdman’s hood smash, What Happened To That Boy when he gets in there).
Eddie House - "That's what happens when you start bustin' somebody's ass, they resort to bush league tactics." Well said Ed(die House). Dude went off tonight for 31 points, but in many ways he is the most dangerous when he steps on the court. As Eddie House's biggest fan J. McFly would say, "Eddie House is ready anytime he's on the court. He's excited. He's just happy to be on the court and shoot the 3." Point well made sir, he's a hired gun in a Celtics uniform, and as the Magic found out you have to account for him or he's going to end your night early.
Trevor Ariza - Play defense, shoot 3's, be an athlete on the floor. Check, check, and check. Who doesn't need a player on the court like that? Ariza definitely is a gamebreaker for the Lake Show because if he starts to get off then it becomes a long night for the opposition. Truth be told, he's probably getting the main defensive assignment ahead of Kobe (all Kobe supporters can send hate mail to email@example.com) and gets no plays run for him. Its okay though, I think Phil Jackson knows his real value.
Delonte West - Member of the ETSF All-Goon Squad as he (should be) was nominated for the missing member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Delonte Red-Bone? Ok, maybe not. However, at 6'4" he is the PG for the offense up in Cleveland, the long range threat LeBron looks for when he penetrates and kicks, and takes on all of the two guards defensively as well. Delonte takes a lot of pressure off of Mo Williams and LeBron by bringing up the ball and being a clutch player, thus becomes an integral part of the squad.
One thing you will notice is these players usually don't try to do more than what they are capable of. Why do you think people cringe when Tony Allen comes into the game for the Celtics. When Ricky Davis tries to get his own triple-double off his own backboard. When DeShawn Stevenson tries to battle against LeBron. These are all mistakes. Those 4 players listed above bring good energy and are usually great in the locker room. See how much impact each of them have in the rest of the playoffs.
Did we forget anybody, let us know your thoughts!
-Ed & Ken