Chances Are ………………………
There’s no denying that there’s nothing more that the NBA hierarchy would like to see than a ratings’ behemoth , bonanza and viewers’ choice of seeing a Kobe Bryant ___ LeBron James __ NBA Finals’ matchup. And most definitely for NBA Commissioner David Stern and his Exec. Vice President of Basketball Operations , in, Stu Jackson , this would be the ultimate god-send. Well suffice to say , nothing at this juncture would be more joyous than to see that fulfilled and come to fruition for the NBA’s hierarchy. There’s gold them there Celtics Lakers boys . And there’s nothing more that the money hungry NBA love “than coin” hitting the bottom of their coffers in gargantuan proportions .
Slide-show for your perusal .
Now with the perception that the series between Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers would be the coming out parade and adulation befitting the LeBron James _ Shaquille O’Neal “combo” ‘. This contest has proven anything but that. Instead of the Cavaliers being be able to outplay and dictate the flow and pace of the series. The Cavaliers have now found themselves in the midst of a dog-fight that I doubt even James and his teammates really want to be a part of. Never-mind knowing that at the end of it all the winner of the series will have a fresh and well rested Orlando Magic ______ team waiting for them in the Eastern Conference Finals . And if anyone is any doubt as to how good the Magic are , then look no further than their postseason results. Both teams faced have been “swept” with unimaginable ease and “this team (Magic) has been playing as great a brand of ‘team basketball” as anyone could ever wish to see. Presumptive favorites to win it all ? I’ll let you be the judge of that !
With the Cavaliers __ Celtics’ series now tied at 2-2 and now becoming a best of three game series. Whoever wins game 5 will most certainly have the upper hand in the remainder series. And one can be of the opinion that neither coach wants to be the one looking to stave off a series’ defeat. I’ve heard it mention that Cavaliers’ coach Mike Brown has become more of an impediment to his team rather than asset. If that’s the case then it certainly isn’t being reflected in any postgame statements being made by any of his Cavaliers’ players. For Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers he now knows that apart from his “Big Three” of Ray Allen , Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce _ he now has an “ace in the hole” with Rajon Rondo . And for those who are of the opinion that the Utah Jazz’s Deron Williams is the best point guard currently playing in the NBA . I’d like for them all to revisit and rethink that whole issue. Anyone who has witnessed Rondo’s play throughout the playoffs will have seen that he has been the difference between the Celtics quite possibly being down 3-1 , rather than the series being tied at two games apiece. If anything he’s been the best player throughout this series , thus far. He has matched wits with LeBron James and more than held his own against the league’s two-time regular season MVP .
Now one would be hard pressed to suggest that the Cavaliers now are in the driving seat for the remainder of the series. As I alluded to earlier , this matchup now becomes the best of three and even with home-court advantage that is by no means a certainty that they will be able to defend that successfully. The inconsistency of the Cavaliers has been the mere fact their bench hasn’t been as resolute as some thought they ought to have been. And other than James and Antawn Jamison , we’ve seen little to suggest that without the prolific scoring of LeBron , that the Cavaliers are capable of winning this series outright. It has essentially become about LeBron and his traveling cavalcade of performers. And granted, a Celtics’ _ Orlando Magic conference finals’ match-up might have about as much appeal as a naked centerfold expose’ of Cindy Lauper or Sharon Osbourne . That could very well be the matchup that no one really wants but we could all end up seeing. Some of us like like pizazz , while others are merely about the meat and potatoes with a morsel of gravy thrown in just to add some flavor to the main course.
Now for those of you who haven’t read an earlier piece written by me entitled ‘Shaq’s Legacy’ , wherein I surmise that the Cavaliers’ center is now not only with the team to try and garner safe passage for the franchise to an NBA Finals appearance but also to secure the Cavaliers their first NBA title . I went so far as to suggest that Shaq now in the twilight of his career , is now merely riding on the coat-tails of LeBron James. It’s not that Shaq hasn’t contributed to the team but in all honesty the center is no longer the player he once was. We now only see smatterings of his prowess on the court , if only sparingly. If he’s now out to prove himself throughout the remainder of this series. Then he’s going to have to show a great deal more than what he’s exhibited so far. The Celtics aren’t going to roll over and die merely because it’s Shaq and LeBron opposing them. And the Cavaliers’ fans should wake up to that fact and not expect the series to be handed to them on a silver platter. That’s not how it works in the NBA and they ought to remember that fact !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
The Western Conference Finals pits the reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers against a rather “surprising finalist” in the Phoenix Suns . And with both of these teams being able to play an up-tempo brand of basketball. It may well come down to not only the ‘star power on each roster but also down the coaching abilities of Alvin Gentry of the Suns and his far more experienced counterpart in, Phil Jackson of the Lakers. And if you’re under the impression that this series will be something of a “walkover” for the Lakers . Then I’d like for you to seriously reconsider your thoughts on the matter ! On paper it may look that way but this Suns’ team isn’t the “Suns of old” , as they can now play defense very adeptly and with a sense of purpose. Don’t for one minute underestimate their bench either as they more than made a San Antonio team regret their indecision in overlooking their athleticism and zeal to prove themselves in their conference semi-finals’ match-up.
And for the Lakers no doubt, they will have to prove to the ” NBA fans” in general that their dousing of the Jazz in the conference semi-finals are a sign of things to come and merely not just an aberration.
For myself as an ardent admirer of the NBA and the sport in general . I can only hope that this series continues to be as exhilarating and thrilling as we’ve witnessed so far. We’ve had blowouts and we’ve had a number of teams that have grossly underperformed. Now we’re actually getting a series that is about as exciting as it can get. And in all probability many of us didn’t expect this to be the series to be the one that is now turning out the way that it now is . Stranger things have happened and will continue to happen throughout the remainder of the NBA Playoffs and who would want it to be any other way ?
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………………….
50 Cent ……………………..”Many Men” (Wish Death)
Shay looks as if she’s got everything firmly under control and well covered. So there’s no need to worry at all ! Those “assets” are bound to appreciate over time and are more than welcomed in any establishment where there happens to be a large group of males.