I give you two straight posts on basketball, and you’re now getting a third. In around two and a half weeks the NBA Finals will be starting. As every sport’s ending, basketball’s ending ends with a champion and is always ended with David Stern’s candy coated accent “your [insert year here] NBA “champeen” [insert team here]”. I haven’t been this excited since, well, last year’s NBA Finals (especially.)
With Cleveland looking to close out their series with New Jersey tonight, San Antonio will be looking to close out their’s with Phoenix. Both the Cavs and the Spurs hold 3-2 leads against their respective opponents, but the Spurs/Suns series has you thinking — what in the hell is going to happen tonight? Twisting this whole paragraph into the Spurs and Suns battle of the bizzare, we will all witness Amare Stoudemire returning to the floor with his teammate Boris Diaw. And seeing that their one game suspensions (see last article I wrote) are over, who in the hell doesn’t see them coming out playing with vengeance tonight?
How many points will Stoudemire score? A sub-10 point game? A blow-out-the-candles-on-our-birthday-cake 20-25 point game? Or will we see a monstrous proving-the-dumbshit-NBA-rule wrong 30-40 point performance? It’s all really hard to say isn’t it? With the Spurs playing their usual game that they have bee accustomed to the past 8-9 seasons that have helped them win 3 NBA titles, they will be playing the same tonight. Stacking men against Stoudemire, then trying to send Ginobili at him on the offensive side drawing some fouls since it’s been clear that Stat is too quick for the Spurs defense, and has he gradually progresses during games, it’s harder to be able to stop that quick spin that he brings to the low block.
Detroit is moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fifth consecutive year. Not like we should be surprised at how they’re playing, regardless of the more close than they’d like 4-2 series win over the Bulls. Their team basketball style of play has been the hard knock class of the Eastern Conference for the past four years. I as well as most people suspect them to return to the NBA Finals, only to lose to the team they lost to in 2005 — the San Antonio Spurs. All that aside, the Pistons are in the ECF again, and after they lost to the Heat in the ECF last year, they are eyeballing their third trip in 4 seasons to the NBA Finals, which they will most likely be fending off the Cavaliers to get there.
LeBron’s firepower is strong, but Detroit’s is stronger. I haven’t watched a whole lot of the Cavs this post-season because 1.) Their first round series versus Washington was less than intriguing to watch. When it’s LeBron versus a busted up Wizards team without one of the most exciting players in the league to watch (Agent 0, Gilbert Arenas), you know it’s going to be boring 2.) I haven’t even found the series against the Nets at all remotely entertaining. Besides Kidd’s triple doubles, what else do you look forward into a series where there isn’t any bad blood between the two? Get me some ice water, thanks.
Jerry Sloan and his Utah Jazz are worth mentioning, returning to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1998. Obviously either way between who they are playing between the Spurs or Suns, they will be watched as the underdogs, but the question is, should they be? The Jazz being one of the most surprising regular season teams (can’t say the playoffs, that belongs to the team they defeated — the Golden State Warriors) this year, it really vindicated them from having to listen to crap as they slowed down, during the stretch of the season, and it put them under the radar somewhat. As the Spurs and Suns batter each other, and as Utah rests, don’t be surprised to see a Jazz team that acts like they’re the yolk in the egg when the Western Conference Finals starts.