Tomorrow night play finally resumes in the Eastern Conference Finals. Since Game 2 on Tuesday night, the Finals have already been decided. It looks like we’ll have another Boston vs. L.A. battle. In reality, as bad as it looks right now for Orlando, the series isn’t over. National writers are getting ahead of themselves, dismissing the Magic and Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson and joining cocky Lakers fans as they cry for Boston in the finals. To them I say be careful what you wish for, it’s more than likely to come true.
It’s clear that Boston and L.A. are playing the best basketball right now, but to say the Lakers are favorites would be discounting their inability to matchup with a tough, physical, experienced team. Derek Fisher, the least talented starting point guard in all these playoffs, looks five years younger guarding Steve Nash, but against Rondo he’ll surely come back to Earth. Their bigs, Pau Gasol and the hobbling Bynum, will face their first legitimate defense with Boston’s stacked front line and those wide open three pointers the Suns choose to allow just won’t happen in the finals. Ask Orlando.
The Celtics are the best team in basketball which is why they will eventually beat Orlando and then, whether it be Phoenix or L.A., take care of business in the finals. Thanks to a poor regular season that slotted them as a fourth seed, they’re currently venturing through the most difficult road since Viggo Mortensen on their way to a championship. What doesn’t kill them, is making them stronger. More confident.
L.A.? They’ve avoided everybody who could match up against them. Denver and Dallas both disappointed leaving the sickly Jazz and defensively retarded Suns to be slaughtered at the troth. Hopefully we get a 2008 rematch that more than likely would have happened last year had Garnett been healthy. Ever since that championship run of a year ago, people have been saying the Lakers were tough, that they leaned from their 2008 Finals spanking. I say this is not true, specifically against the Boston Celtics who are the sport’s toughest team. Time will tell. It should be wonderful theatre.
With that, we’ll leave you with the epitomizing play that differentiates which franchise is the tough one.