Thursday, May 14

NBA Playoff Hodgepodge

While the Nuggets dispatching the Mavericks in five games, it could be a carry-over from this series that ultimately short circuits Denver's chances at a championship. With the Kenyon Martin - Mark Cuban feud in the rearview mirror, will the NBA not have a hairline trigger with the Mr. Blue Light Special? I don't think so. The first time Kenyon and Kobe exchange barbs or the first time he puts Gasol on his ass, Stu Jackson is going to suspend K-Mart for a game and potentially cost Denver a game. The remaining series are too tight to give a game away, but thanks to an owner Martin finds himself in a position where either a) he can't play with abandon or b) he risks missing a game. Not an enviable position and one that could cost the Nuggets.

The Lakers will finish off the 13th seeded Rockets tonight. After the Rockets pulled off a March Madness-esque upset in game four, the Lakers took them seriously in game five and without Aaron Brooks and Shane Battier shooting lights out while Jeff Teague Kobe Bryant struggled, Houston had no chance. Tonight will prove no different.

Orlando has allowed two straight games to slip through their fingers and while Superman wants to pin it on coaching, the players are just as much if not more responsible. Repeatedly ignoring Rashard Lewis's mismatch on the offensive end is a failure by both the guards and particularly, Hedo Turkeyglue. For the Magic, the answer isn't to get it to the Big Offensive Ineptitude in the middle, it's to not settle for jump shots, something they've failed to do in crunch time for two straight games. Turkeyglue, I know the step back three worked in crunch time before, but that doesn't make it a good shot. Boston will likely close this series out tonight, because good teams don't force their opponents to go scoreless for nine minutes in the fourth quarter and lose at home. Mediocre teams that rode officials to several regular season wins do.

Finally, the LeBron championship discussion. First answer these questions, would it surprise you if Kobe Bryant didn't win another title? Steve Nash never got one? Dirk never got one? How about Shaq, KG, Iverson, or Duncan? What about DWade? That's every MVP from the last decade (and the best player on the Redeem Team) not named the Chosen 1. If no one expects these players to win again or wouldn't be surprised if they didn't get to the mountain top again, how many rings will the King get? More than Kobe(3)? More than Duncan (4)? More than Jordan (6)? Or dare I ask, Russell (11)? Going after Russell would be an incredible longshot, but for a guy that is on the cusp of winning (and leading his team to) his first title at 24, chasing Russell, like Tiger chasing Jack, may be the only chance we get to seeing LBJ's full potential. If he gets a couple and gets complacent (think Shaq), we may never get to see the full extent of the King's greatness. Looking around the league, I don't see how he doesn't get in at least Jordan's neighborhood with 5, but everything will change in 2010. Even after 2010, playing with LeBron has to remain the best show in town for role players and aging veterans in search of a ring, doesn't it? Personally, I'd like for everyone to start taunting him with you'll never win as many as Russell, just to see how he responds and hope and pray his response is to prove us all wrong. He's the hybrid of Shaq and Jordan, with the speed of a track star thrown in. Dwight Howard might be Superman (and Clark Kent on the offensive end), but LeBron is part Hulk, Flash, Iron Man, and MJ (from Space Jam).

1 comment:

Cleet said...

I'm pretty sure MJ tagged Lola Bunny at some point.