Come Undone ……………… NBA Playoffs Are Here
Well it’s that time of year when the most ardent of NBA fans will be glued to almost every segment and minute of the NBA Playoffs . It may not elicit as much excitement as the NCAA tournament . To my mind the NBA Playoffs can’t hold a candle to “March Madness” . And that’s no matter how much that David Stern and the NBA hierarchy tries to spin it. You simply don’t compare Beluga caviar to plain old ordinary fish eggs at all !
Slideshow …….. covering some NBA moments .
The sixteen teams that makeup this year’s playoff scenario are all chasing after glory and a legacy. In the Western Conference , the belief is that the Los Angeles Lakers as the number one seeds should march right through the earlier rounds without breaking a sweat. Personally, I’d rather see a team find its rhythm right out of the gate even if it means their first round opponents are presumed to be a walkover. Which in this case for the Lakers , that won’t be the case. With all things being equal , if you were Phil Jackson as coach of the Lakers , would you honestly want to be facing a young and eager team such as the Oklahoma City Thunder ? But also what better way than to have your team tested in order to become overly complacent . This much we do know , Kevin Durant , Russell Westbrook and the rest of their Thunder teammates have nothing at all to lose in taking the Lakers and severely testing them to all of their encompassing limitations.
This series’ match-up between the #1 and # 8 seed has all the makings of becoming an instantaneous classic. And with Lakers’ guard Kobe Bryant wanting to successfully defend the title that he and his teammates won with some ease last year in defeating the Orlando Magic. There’s every reason to believe that he’ll be as determined as ever to prove that he’s amongst the best of the best in today’s NBA. I know that there’s “a…. new sheriff in town with Kevin Durant and that he’s had a stellar season. But this highly anticipated match-up will go a long way in telling us a great deal about both of these teams and where they are at – at this present moment in time. Thunder GM Sam Presti could not have envisaged that the team would have attained 50 wins much less have its coach being mentioned as a possible Coach of the Year candidate. But such has been the praise that has been heaped upon the team’s coach Scott Brooks , that it is completely warranted !
The outcome of the series may well rest with the determination of Durant and his teammates and whether or not their performances shown during the regular season is for real. Or could their inexperience become their Achilles’ heel in allowing the Lakers to derail their postseason ambitions ? These are just some of the plot-lines that make the NBA postseason so enjoyable and a great deal of fun to watch. Let’s just hope that the officiating can actually live up to those worthy goals ! The rest of the Western Conference playoffs’ schedule should be just as intriguing as the match-up between the Lakers and Thunder.
In the Eastern Conference the season as been encapsulated by the exploits of Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers . Coming off a 60 plus win season within the Central Division of the Eastern Conference . Coach Mike Brown and his team will be looking to make amends after last season’s rather unceremonious loss and dubious display against the Orlando Magic in the conference finals . While James came to play it appeared that his teammates were simply just prepared to watch the player display his vast array of skills, believing that as a one man wrecking crew ,he would be enough to beat the Stan Van Gundy coached team . James , himself, was of that believe as well. The complacency shown by the team , Brown and his coaching staff , was evident throughout the conference finals. Well, the Magic simply flipped the script and hoisted the Cavaliers on their own proverbial petards. And the downright petulance and unsportsmanlike conduct of LeBron James in defeat, was simply astounding !
This time around Cavaliers’ GM Danny Ferry has assembled a team he believes is resolute and good enough to get the job done. With the team having acquired veteran center Shaquille O’Neal via a trade and with the return of Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the roster. The sharp shooting Antawn Jamison has been an added bonus to an offense that can hold their own with the very best that the league has to offer. The time is now or never for the Cavaliers to finally show their mettle and prove their true worth . Should they fail once again with the roster that is now in place. Then in all likelihood they will never be able to win an NBA title .
Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics have had a rough and tumble season. And in what might well be Rivers’ last year with the team there’s the thought this will be “their last shot” with the roster as it now is. For Rivers having won an NBA title (2007-08) and guiding the Celtics back to prominence, he has said as much in the fact that he’d like to devote more time to his family. And with a young son now in college and an aspiring player , himself. What better time than now for the seasoned veteran to bow out than perhaps with a second title in hid grasp. Much of that however would be predicated upon their seasoned quartet of veterans in Kevin Garnett , Rasheed Wallace , Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are up to the task. Their combined NBA experience is over four decades and one would give them something of a distinct advantage. But that’s not the case , as mentally their games are still there to an extent but the physicality of it all has taken its toll on their aging bodies. And that could well be their undoing when they face the Dwyane Wade led Miami Heat in the first round of the Easter Conference playoffs, with the first game to be played at the TD Banknorth Garden Center in Boston , Massachusetts
Strangely enough although the Cavaliers are believed to be the prohibitive favorites to come out the East Conference as its representative. The common belief is now , that not everything will go as envisaged for the team. As good as their 61-21 NBA best record would suggest. The mark though impressive doesn’t bear out the fact they’ve had their struggles with their now closest rivals , the Orlando Magic. And with both Dwight Howard , Vince Carter having productive seasons and their bench now playing with a great deal of resolve. It will take a brave man to go against the team and the thought that they cannot repeat their conference finals’ triumph of last season.
Picture to view each frame just click to the picture in question.
So now with the action less than 24 hours away , are your distinct thoughts on these playoffs ? By all means chime on in with the pros and cons as you see it. I’ll look forward to responding to your comments in a timely manner. Thanks as always for the continued support.
NB NBA Playoffs Series match-ups. Click on links provided to view latest information
Western Conference ……. Higher Seeded Teams denoted by asterisk
*1 Los Angeles Laker vs 8 Oklahoma City Thunder
* 2 Dallas Mavericks vs 7 San Antonio Spurs
* 4 Phoenix Suns vs 5 Portland Trailblazers
* 3 Denver Nuggets vs 6 Utah Jazz
Easter Conference Higher Seeded Teams denoted by asterisk
* 1 Cleveland Cavaliers vs 8 Chicago Bulls
* 2 Orlando Magic vs 7 Charlotte Bobcats
* 3 Atlanta Hawks vs 6 Milwaukee Bucks
* 4 Boston Celtics vs 5 Miami Heat
Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………………
Duran Duran ………………..“Come Undone”