No, I’m not talking about the Habs making it to the final four. Although I must admit that I even surprised myself by watching a good chunk of game 7 against the Pens. I couldn’t believe it! It had been years since I actually watched a hockey game. Maybe it will lead to more. Who knows? I will say that given the awesome story that the Habs have become, it was temporarily spoiled by the small collection of idiotic fans who choose to celebrate a victory by looting Foot Locker and the liquor store. Not down with that.
Digression aside, here’s some thoughts on the NBA.
- Watching Lebron last night remove his Cavs jersey while walking through the tunnel made me wonder if that would be his last time. LBJ’s Cavs, who most thought would win it all, were knocked out in 6 games by the deeper Boston Celtics. It’s been suggested by many that if Lebron didn’t go all the way this year, his career in Cleveland will end. There are no certainties but it was clear that the supporting cast for Lebron didn’t get it done for him in this series. Lebron (and every other NBA player) wants to win. Winning comes from a team effort and the early exit of the Cavs last night points to the fact that one man can’t do it all; but maybe one woman can. Some telling stats: Jamison gets 5 points, AP gets 7, and Shaq gets 11. The entire bench got 13! This may (should?) not be enough to keep Lebron a Cav.
- Everyone used to talk about the big three of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen. But Rondo has quietly become more valuable than any of them. I know I mentioned it already but his game 4 numbers were off the charts: 29 points, 18 rebounds, and 13 assists. Are you kidding me? With an aging roster brimming with experience and playoff savvy, Rondo has become the most reliable playmaker on the team. While the big three are icing their old-er bones on the bench, Rondo can do his thing all night.
- I think that Toronto’s public enemy number 1, Vince Carter, may be the X-factor for the Boston-Orlando series. If he is assertive, aggressive, and channels the Vince of old, this series should go Orlando’s way. Boston has some bigs they can throw at Howard but none can really guard him. They should get consistent production out of Nelson and Lewis. If you’re a Raptors fan, you know that this is no guarantee but if Vince shows up, I give the nod to Orlando. And when I say show up, I don’t mean attend. Unless he has another ill-timed graduation ceremony.
- If you visit these parts, you’ll know that Steve Nash is god! I love his hockey attitude that he brings to the court. Saying that his hockey friends back home would have ribbed him had he not returned to play with a swollen eye was priceless. Not only is he the best facilitator in the game but it seems like he is the heart and soul of that team. He leads by example by showing up and leaving it all on the floor. And he’s directing a Terry Fox documentary for ESPN! Gotta love a guy who doesn’t forget his roots. Lakers-Suns should be an epic series. Suns have had the upper hand recently, knocking out LA the last two times they met. But as always, fear the guy out for revenge. Kobe has apparently not forgotten about those defeats and the last thing this guy needs is more motivation. A re-enactment:
REPORTER: Will it be extra special to play against the Suns, a team who has eliminated you the last two meetings?
KOBE: (long pause, blank stare) What do you think? (pause, look of frustration) You already know.
Predictions are fun, right? I’ve been wrong recently so maybe I’m due. A lot of this is based on guts and thinking with my heart rather than my brain but I’ll say that Phoenix move on in 6 and Orlando and Wince win in 7.
Oh, and the Habs have already beaten the top 2 teams in the East. Let’s go with Montreal in 6, ending their run of game 7s. Less stress for Montrealers. And hopefully less broken windows.
One more Steve Nash tidbit. Just found this. Know that the other guy is supposed to be Tim Duncan. Took me awhile. Enjoy!