1. The Lakers look bad.
Yes, I know Chris Paul played out of his mind. And also yes, Pau Gasol played terrible. And yes, the Lakers have a history of playing like crap...they were pushed to the distance in the first round by the Rockets just two years ago.
However, I'm not getting the "vibe" I was a few years back. Even when Houston was pushing them, you had this feeling the Lakers were going to triumph in the end. That they were on a mission.
This team looks weak, and for some inexplicable reason....weak minded. I was very hopeful for a final 3peat for Phil, for the Lakers to tie the Celtics with 17 overall titles(And I'm tired of Celtics fans holding that over everyone else's heads... I was Born in 1970... the Celtics won 11 titles in the 13 years BEFORE I WAS BORN... I could really care less about your history) I was hoping the Lakers could tie them.
This team however, is NOT winning the finals. The way the ended the season was disgusting and it's carried over. They may beat NO in round one, in fact, I expect them to. But I don't see them beating younger, hungrier teams, who aren't afraid of them anymore.
It's disgusting, and makes me want to go play in traffic.
2. The Spurs are old.
Seriously, is there anyone, I repeat anyone outside of San Antonio that thinks the Spurs are even going to win the West? They have to be the most lightly regarded top seed in the history of the playoffs. I was watching them yesterday and I was fully expecting the young Grizzlies to win. And they did.
Here's how you know the Spurs are old. Tim Duncan, one of the greatest 10 players of all time, is not a dominating advantage over Marc Gasol. When you figure out this is true, you figure out the Spurs are old. And dead in the water. How Poppovich got that team the best record in the conference is all the reason I need to make him the coach of the year.
3. 3 thoughts on the Celtics ( a special 3 pack)
a. Why do I like Doc Rivers? No idea, yet I do. Even when the Celts beat the Lakers a few years ago in the finals, I lost alot of respect for Paul Pierce (wheelchair). Do I think the officials were swayed some by a once proud franchise's return to glory? (I do) When the Celtics fans began "coming out of the woodwork" with all the passion that bandwagoning can muster, I still liked Doc Rivers.
His son signed with Duke. And yet I still like the guy. Something is wrong here. Did Doc Rivers make some sort of deal with the devil? He coaches the Celtics, his kid is going to Duke, and I still like the guy, something is off here.
b. Things People Forgot About
When the Celtics beat the Lakers two years ago, Bynum was hurt, and Gasol had joined the Lakers just before the trade deadline. The Lakers had a TOTAL collapse in game 4, for the Celtics to win. The series went 6 games. Game 6 was a blow out, and so people think the NBA title was a blowout that year. The next year Garnett got hurt and the Celts couldn't make the finals... the next year they make the finals and go 7 games...but when Perkins gets hurt in game 6 they had an excuse. Cue Doc Rivers and his "no one has beat our starting five when they're all playing" line.
The general perception is that the Celtics blew the Lakers out two years ago (not true, and without Bynum). The Celtics lost the next year without Garnett, and lost last year because of Perk's injury.
c. Kevin Garnett is a dirty player.
He is, he is, he is. He always has been. I remember watching him play with Minnesota, and I thought the same thing. The problem was, Minnesota stunk forever, and everyone thought it was great and "cute" how hard Garnett fought and battled and played hard every night. The fact that he was celebrated for it, he started to croos the line. More and more often. And no one cared.
Then he was traded to Boston, and he was celebrated for bringing his "toughness" there. Again, plays he was making that other players are penalized for, he was rewarded. He started to be exposed a bit, when people saw him acting like a psycho on the bench the year he was out. Dude is crazy.
Finally this year, we start to hear rumbles from players around the league that KG is a "dirty player" and of course the apologists that follow around great players came out of the woodwork to defend him. I'm not saying he isn't a great player... he is. But he's dirty, and you've got to learn to deal with that. He's one of those guys when you're going to play pickup ball you want to play with him...but hate to play against him, so much so, that you'll probabably quit early and go home because it's not fun.