Thursday, May 25, 2006
Picking favorites in NBA play
If these NBA playoffs were interesting before, they have become downright enthralling this past weekend. Of course, the number of games played have decreased, as they logically do, to give the hype time to really set in. Some of that is jest, but you have to appreciate how the feelings of favor seem to swing in the breeze.
I haven’t, or didn’t, give the Cleveland Cavaliers much of a chance against the number one team in the NBA this season but those Cavaliers made a real bout out of it. My thinking all along was that Cleveland had one terrific player, a brand new coach, and little playoff experience. However, they stretched it to game seven, and it might be a safe bet to say that the Detroit Pistons wanted to move the final game back home.
The Pistons used a simple formula to take over the game in the second half: they doubled and tripled LeBron James. And while the young man. well on his way to becoming a superstar, acquitted himself admirably well against such odds, he didn’t have the necessary backup.
And don’t believe that the Pistons didn’t have a message in there somewhere for the Miami Heat. The Heat, which has been dormant since May 16, is still smoldering with vengeance. Miami is determined that the Pistons won’t escape this season.
You have to love the way that the Spurs and Mavericks have handled their series. And this would probably be a good time to remark that these series have been very “cool.” Just one suspension which I know of. No, they aren’t over yet and there is still plenty of time for a meltdown, but so far they have been pretty cool.
The Spurs seem to take their participation in the end of the season games as their duty; well, they do it so often. The Mavericks have been searching for years now. And the penchant to champion the underdog comes out of all of us, but I don’t believe that this is the year in which Duncan will hand over the control of the West.
Going into Sunday there were three series tied at 3-3. One was settled on Sunday and two more would be adjudicated on Monday evening. The Clippers, no more the frog under the toadstool, have been giving the Suns a run for their money. And the irony here is, no matter who wins, they won’t be a match for the Spurs.
I would like to point out that the oddsmakers and I have finally achieved parity. We have agreed on the favorites for the current series – Detroit by 8.5 (done), San Antonio by 4 and Phoenix by 4.5.
Naturally, there is some disparity in our point spreads, but what the heck, one can’t have everything.
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