Yes, it was only a week ago that I pretty much dismissed Phoenix and Orlando’s chances for getting by the Lakers and Celtics. I mean, both teams looked pretty bad during the early parts of their respective series. Now, I wasn’t the only person to put the nail in coffin for both teams. However, like I’ve always said, just because everyone was fired from their job, doesn’t mean you should take solace in getting canned. I was WRONG! WAY WRONG! Like thinking T.O. was the answer to the Bills prayers wrong. Like thinking that Raffi Torres was going to make an impact for the Sabres wrong.
My biggest problem with the Western Conference Finals was that I didn’t give any respect to the Suns before the series started. I thought the reason for their team getting this far were about their opponents being ripe for the pickings. The Spurs were just too old, while Portland was just too young. I thought they were just the same old Suns team that couldn’t play defense and would fall to pieces once things got physical. Well, I was wrong. The Suns zone defense have been the answer to the Lakers big men upfront. Steve Nash can ball and will go down as one of the best point guards to play at the NBA level.
The Suns should have had the right to go to overtime in game five. However, the problem is that the Lakers have just too many weapons at their disposal. Just when you stop one bullet, you still have to deal with the other five chambers. I’m not sure if this series will make it back to LA (I’m leaning towards yes), but I still believe the end result will be the Lakers in the Finals.
Besides Phoenix’s play, LA’s other problems consist of themselves being their own worst enemy. They lack focus at times and play a little too complacent. If LA shows focus, they are unbeatable. Just like game five, they lost focus, but when they were pushed against the wall, they started waking up and panicking. It’s kind of like when a Lion knows that they are in danger of getting killed, however, that’s when the King of the Jungle becomes their most dangerous.
As for the Celtics/Magic series, you have to wonder if the Celtics are just too tired. They are an older team that don’t have the legs that Orlando has. I think in order to beat Boston, you really need to up the tempo of the game. Sorry, but older players don’t love running up and down the court as much as the youngsters do. That’s why Orlando is back in this series. They are pushing the ball up court and are making the Celtics work from line to line.
BTW, don’t ever discount home court advantage in the playoffs. If the Celtics lose game 6, there is no way they make it to The Finals. The pressure is on Boston right now. They are an aging team that may be on their last legs as a core group. However, just like the animal reference from before, I think the Celtics know that they are in trouble and will turn up the intensity. This series will end in Boston.
PS- I’m so loving all the hockey fans on twitter enjoying the NBA playoffs. You see what you all have been missing? Like I’ve said earlier, you can’t beat the NBA Final Four. Somewhere, Jerry Sullivan must be smiling or he may have just watched Sex and the City 2.