This NBA playoffs haven’t had any huge upsets that have captured my attention. The Lakers, easily handled the Jazz, while Ron Artest gave the Houston Rockets the boost that they needed to go into the second round. Even without Dwight Howard, the Magic left the Sixers behind, the Nuggests finally got to Round 2 by dismantling the Hornets, the Mavs beat up on the old Spurs and the Cavs easily cruised in their series. Only two series left in the first round. By far one of the best series in the playoffs have been the Bulls vs. Celtics. They have played 7 overtimes so far, and I’m sure game 7 won’t disappoint. Tonight, D-Wade and company must win against a younger, athletic, more talented Hawks to force a Game 7 or they will be playing golf by tomorrow morning. With those two series in action, it is clear why teams that have moved on and are about to move on, have made it to Round 2.
By definition, the two teams that should have been battling and winning easily should have been the teams from last year, the Celtics and Lakers. Both team had their core guys back and were experienced on how to grind out the season and win in the playoffs. But plagued with injuries and depleted bench, the Celtics look like they have already passed their prime and are just trying to hold on and not fade into history. The Lakers, seem to be clicking on all cylinders, with their bench pouring in points and their superstar, well is finally a true superstar, not just a great basketball player.
Many experts have picked the Cavs and Lakers to be the two teams that are left standing at the end of the day. To me, no surprise there. They have similar teams which, I think in my expert opinion, should be what other NBA teams model themselves after. They have one core guy, one superstar, one leader, one man to build a franchise around, that stands out. Then they have tier 2 guys, who are superstars in their own right, if they were playing for the Grizzles or Timberwolves but not guys to build franchises around. And they both have a deep bench. If you have two lines of guys who can play, bring you energy, get stops, outscore the starting 5 of the other team, how do you stop this? For many players who want the money and fame, they take the easy and hard route. They land themselves to a horrible team to get their money. But with no help, how can they expect to playing June?
One thing that we’ve all learned and I’ve finally given some repect to Kobe because of this, is that he, FINALLY, understood that basketball is a team game and not a one man sport. He realizes that if he has help, not only will his game come easier, but he could actually win. Hmm. It’s almost as simple as math.
I’m wondering if the Warriors have started to remodel their team after a disappointing season. We have a nice group of young guys, but no one to build it on. Rumors were flying around that Baron Davis might come back, but we can’t count on what we don’t have. What we do have is guys who are ready to give up some part of the game for the greater good. I hope that this season, the Warriors are watching the Lakers and Cavs and hope that the front office is doing something about it to bring back basketball to the Bay Area.