Friday, May 30, 2008

LA Lakers lie in wait for Eastern Conf winner

Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to say it but the Los Angeles Lakers are on a roll. They advanced to the NBA Finals after finishing-off the San Antonio Spurs last night and now can rest up for the winner of the Pistons vs. Celtics series. The Lakers outplayed the defending NBA champs (beating them 4-1) and have been playing the best of any team so far in the playoffs.

If they had their choice, Lakers' fans would like to face the Celtics in the Finals. Many think a Boston vs. LA match-up would be a return to the NBA glory days, but I just don't feel the series would be all that good for the league. The Lakers are just playing too good right now and the Celts are still struggling to find their playoff mojo.

Plus the Celts don't match up well with the Lakers. Who could guard Kobe? Who can keep up with Odom along the baseline? Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are already exhausted from guarding the likes of Joe Johnson, LeBron James, and Rip Hamilton this post season. Also, Doc Rivers hasn't managed his bench well in the playoffs, so the team isn't playing the same stellar team defense as it did during the regular season and the Lakers' have the best offense in the league! In contrast, Phil Jackson has gone to the same rotation he did during the regular season and as a result everyone knows their role and the Lakers have been humming like a well-oiled machine.

Believe it or not, the Detroit Pistons probably match-up better with the Lakers than the Celts. They have cagey veterans who have played together for years, they play more a more intense, pressing defense, and their offensive movement could cause a lot of problems for the Lakers.

Don't get me wrong. I would love to see the Celts in the Finals again, but not if they're going to get rolled! It's one thing if a young, Cinderella team like the Cleveland Cavs makes it to NBA Finals and then gets swept by a dominant team like Spurs last year. But an uncompetitive series between the two top historical franchises only dilutes the entertainment value of the league. If a top rival doesn't even stand a chance against the best team in a league, then why bother to watch the sport? Then again, that's why they play the games...because anything can happen in sports.

1 comment:

Doug said...

There are many ironies at work for this series: 1) The Celtics are the NBA's #1 seed and dominated the Lakers in the regular season yet are the underdogs; 2) Having survived two hotly contested rounds agains the Hawks and Cavs, the Celtics seem to be peaking late in the playoffs against better competition; 3) The pundits are actually citing Kobe, the MVP with 3 titles, hungrier for this title than the Celtic Big 3, who haven't a title between them; 4)RA was a vocal critic of Kobe during the Shaq/Kobe spat, and now will be defended by the the guy who
"plays angry" better than anyone in the league;