I thought I'd throw some 'ledge your way about the NBA, a sport that I have watched maybe a handful of games of so far this season. Does this make me qualified to write about the sport? I say yes, as long as the regular season remains as long and pointless as is. I do always enjoy the playoffs though, and expect this year to be no exception. I even enjoy the debate of which atrocity of play is more costly to the game, the lack of calling a clearly defined rule like traveling, or the flopping that makes it impossible to referee about half of the games. But, I'll appreciate it for what it is, a flawed game of skill that is being played at a really high level right now, forcing an incredible nucleus of young superstars to square off with great pressure to perform each night for their team to emerge victorious.
Let's take a look at some teams making noise in my head...
Cleveland Cavaliers- This could be the biggest postseason, with the most ramifications riding on it, that we've seen from a team in my lifetime. I believe LeBaron's fate may very well rest on the shoulders of a championship. Think about it, something will be blamed for their loss, and it won't be him. He then contemplates that reason while trying to make his decision, and considers taking his chances elsewhere. And I don't think they will win it all. If you give me the choices of the Cavs, Lakers, or the field, I'm putting my money on the Lakers or the field over the Cavaliers. That means that I think, at the most, they have a 33% chance of winning it all. Which means I think there is at least a 67% chances that The LeBrontosaurus considers leaving. If they win the title he is staying.
New York Knicks- This might mean good news for the Knickerbockers. I think they have the best chance of catching LeBronchitis, aside from Cleveland. There's a good chance that Steve Nash will leave Phoenix and look at rejoining Mike D'Antoni in New York. They could get by giving him the special veteran exemption. They would still have room to sign two more players at or near the max level, let's say they get Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson. Throw in Steve Nash as well as Tracy McGrady, who is just glad to be playing the game and willing to play cheaply fresh off a max deal. That's a pretty good team there. I'd say things are looking up for the Knicks. And the outside shots of LeBronx, Nash, McGrady, and Wade are always fun. Or Dirk reuniting with Nash. Something crazy will happen though, mark my words, and the Knicks will be the most exciting team to watch next season.
Boston Celtics- Too old. They make me think of this Happy Gilmore quote, "But she's an old lady. I mean, look at her. She's old. You can't just take her stuff. She's too old." They just lost to the New Jersey Nets. That marks the end of a season. This leaves only the Magic and Hawks as challengers to Cleveland's conquest to keep LeBronco Nagurski.
Orlando Magic- Exchanged out Hedu Turkoglu (their best player in last year's playoffs) for Vince Carter. Some people saw this as an improvement, but I think they completely downgraded. However, I would support his revivalist party, if it comes to that, because I like players that can prove people wrong (including me). Also, I remain totally underwhelmed with Dwight Howard, who I'm convinced is too happy of a person to truly dominate. He should be evolving into Shaq, but I don't see it happening.
Atlanta Hawks- I predict them to be joining the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. I like how all five of their starters all contribute pretty evenly and compliment each other's skills well. Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, and Al Horford (only missed one start amongst all five). Their style reminds me of KU's Championship team, which immediately became my favorite style of a team after they won it all.
Milwaukee Bucks- Just wanted to talk about how cool it is what Andrew Bogut is doing for Milwaukee. He bought one hundred court side seats for every home game of the season and gave them away to wild and crazy fans to enhance the atmosphere for home games. He literally had auditions for the tickets and people lose their seats if they miss games or don't stand and cheer from start to finish. This is such a great idea that I would support Bogut on just about any venture in life now. My first move as a sports owner would be to create a grading system of fans, and have the best fans sit closer for each game, and have only the best for the biggest games.
Dallas Mavericks- Back to contendership with the acquisitions of Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler, and my bearded mate, DeShawn Stevenson. Plus, the added bonus of addition by subtraction of Josh Howard. They have not lost since the trade, going 8-0, with wins over the Lakers and Hawks). Suddenly have a top 7 of Dirk, J-Kidd, Caron, Shawn Marion, Haywood, Jet Terry, and DeShawn (not to mention Lil' J.J. Barea). Mark Cuban remains the best owner in sports in terms of wanting to win (which is what I want out of an owner). I think we see the Mavericks take on the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, dependant on Dirk's choice of hairstyle come playoff time. Don't let me down. Random Dirk fact of the post: He now ranks 32nd on the all-time scoring list. Who saw that coming from this guy...
Los Angeles Lakers- In my eyes, the overwhelming favorite, which pains me to say. With a title this year, it suddenly seems very possible for Kobe to equal and possibly even surpass Jordan's six. I don't see any way he could surpass him in my mind though, due to Kobe gaining extra years by coming straight from high school, and Jordan exiting the league for two years while in his prime (obviously because he was suspended for gambling). Kobe will have way better stats when it is all said and done though, and he took away the easiest evidence for Kobe haters to use by winning a title without Shaq.
OKC Thunder- Probably my second favorite team in the league right now, despite their obvious error in choice of colors (Thunder= Black and Yellow). After seeing Kevin Durant in college, I thought that he would be the best player in the NBA in five years. We are 2 years away from that. I think he will win an NBA title before LeBronius. The Thunda have the best young nucleus in the league, beginning with the Durantula (21!!!!!!!), swinging towards Russell Westbrook (21) and Jeff Green (23), and finishing with James Harden (20) and Serge Ibaka (20). I envision them to be competing for a title come 2010-11.
Eastern: Hawks over LeBronze
Western: Lakers over Dirks
Finals: Lakers over Hawks