One word for three of the four second-round series. Snore. After a rather predictable first round with only one game 7, the trend has continued for round 2. Mamba and the Lakers sweep the Jazz. Suns surprisingly sweep the Spurs. And the Magic embarrass the Hawks. The only series that has any sort of drama is Cavs-Celtics, with game 5 tonight at 8.
- After an inconsistent season marred by injury and his infamous wrapped finger, Kobe Bryant is starting to find his MVP form. He’s as driven and focused as I’ve ever seen. Shooting the ball at a 50 percent clip and hitting for at least 30 per game, Kobe and the champs suddenly look like the team to beat. I’m not sure you could have said that when the Thunder looked like they might pull off an upset in the first round. What they get out of their bigs for the rest of the playoffs should determine whether they repeat because Kobe will continue to be Kobe and Fish should continue to hit big shots.
- That being said, I am rooting for the Suns to knock off the Lakers. Maybe it is my subtle Canadian patriotism (isn’t it always subtle?) shining through but Steve Nash deserves a trip to the Finals. Knocking on the door numerous times, Nash doesn’t yet have a Finals appearance to go along with his two MVP awards. And he sure deserves one. The guy makes his teams go. He rarely makes a bad decision and he has an uncanny feel for the game. Not to mention Grant Hill, a consummate professional who you can’t help but root for. In a world of ball hogs where individual stats can be coveted more than team success, Hill and Nash are two good guys in the league who deserve the chance to play for a championship. But for Nash, success does seem to come at a cost. I mean, it seems like the guy gets beaten up. A lot.
- Out East, the Hawks did not soar. In fact, they never even left the ground. They got severely embarrassed by the versatile Magic. It was a historic beat-down. A little surprising because you’d think with all their individual talents, the Hawks should have won a game. Instead, here’s what happened: Magic by 43, 14, 30, and 14 in games one through four respectively. Ouch. Expect the Hawks to make some big changes and a lot of soul-searching over the off-season.
- To round out the teams, how does a 6’1″ point guard grab 18 rebounds? Are you kidding me? I’d have to look it up but I’d be curious if that has ever happened. Add in his 29 points and 13 assists and you have possibly the best game of the playoffs from any team. Rajon Rondo is the main reason why there is any drama in this second round and for that, he should be applauded.
Put me down for a Cavs win at home tonight. I’m gonna go with Cavs by 8 with over 30 from Lebron “my elbow hurts” James.