Sunday, May 31, 2009

NBA Finals

Well I hope the Magic enjoy it this year, because I see the Bulls repping the East in the Finals for the next decade.

This week sucks tho, as we go from Sunday to Wednesday with no playoffs to watch. You should definitely check out "World's Most Amazing Events" on Discovery, it's a bit slow-moving (each episode could have been 45 minutes rather than an hour), but phenominal to watch in HD.

As for the Finals this year, I have no idea what to expect - but I'm hoping for 7 games. The Magic won both games during the season, but not sure if that means anything at this point. Kobe needs to win this year (his window is closing) to establish/cement his legacy. If he doesn't win this year, he'll never win a title as THE MAN on a team, so he will basically be forgotten (or remembered only as the "placeholder" between MJ and LeBron). So I see Kobe's competitiveness taking over, and Kobe taking over any close game in the 4th. Lakers in 7.

JA Adande's first look -

And yet ... I'm still picking the Lakers over the Magic in seven games in the NBA Finals.

For starters, a couple of observations about those two regular-season games, which the Magic won 106-103 in Orlando on Dec. 20 and 109-103 in Los Angeles on Jan. 16.

One, Jameer Nelson was the leading scorer for Orlando in both games, torching the Lakers for a total of 55 points, another one of those quick point guards that have torn up L.A. throughout the season. But Nelson had a season-ending shoulder injury in February and won't be around to exploit the Lakers' biggest weakness. Mid-season pickup Rafer Alston has had some effective games in the playoffs, but he won't lead the Magic in scoring this series.

Two, the Magic shot 40 percent or better on 3-pointers in both games, exceeding even than their regular-season average of 38 percent. And they will have good shooting nights in the Finals. But will they have four of them?

Tarnished Rose: Allegations Could Prove Costly

Right from the start, the message was crisp and direct _ just like Derrick Rose's passes.

The Chicago Bulls were starting over and identifying their new leading man was as easy as flicking in a wide-open layup that afternoon in June. He was the guy slipping on jersey No. 1 after being drafted No. 1, the kid who grew up a few miles away and was now charged with turning around the franchise.

Rose delivered. But now, he's on the receiving end.

The explosive point guard who led the Bulls to the playoffs and won the Rookie of the Year award has come under a cloud cast by an NCAA investigation of major violations at Memphis during the only season he played there. That news was accompanied by media reports that someone at Chicago's Simeon Career Academy had temporarily changed a D to a C on his college transcript.

Yes, the past few days have been painful for Rose. And the sting might linger.

"This is going to be a multiyear story, and the problem for Derrick Rose is he's at the foundation of this," said Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based consulting company Sports Corp. Ltd.

In a letter to Memphis, the NCAA says an unknown person took the SAT for a player _ with his knowledge _ and that the player used it to get admitted. The governing body says the athlete played for the Tigers in the 2007-08 season and the 2008 NCAA tournament. Only one person fits that description _ Rose.

Things we learned -

A Franchise-Changing Collapse in Cleveland?

I guess you can call me a witness. Either that, or a sucker.

I was very skeptical of the Cleveland Cavaliers early in the season and kept predicting the team's demise at some point. It's not that I thought they wouldn't make it deep into the playoffs, but I just didn't think they were the best team in the East.

As the season progressed, though, the Cavs kept proving me wrong. Near the end of the season I really started becoming a believer. Watching the Cavs roll their first two opponents in the postseason only strengthened my believe in Cleveland. I didn't buy into any of the talk about not being tested in the first two rounds being a problem. I also didn't buy into the notion that the Magic winning the regular season series 2-1 would have any bearing on the playoff match-up.

I should have known better. The playoffs are about match-ups, and Orlando was a very tough one for Cleveland.

The question that Cleveland is left asking now is whether the Cavs just ran into a bad match-up or if the team has some real holes that were exposed late in the season.

Listen to Sir Charles at 0:44 -
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1 comment:

Unknown said...

I just came to BBS to post that vid of charles only to find it was posted already. Nice work-

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