Friday, April 24, 2009

NBA Playoffs Round 1: Where you wanna be right now!

While only in the first round of the playoffs the NBA postseason is already offering up quite the spectacle for any fan or even casual fan to catch hold of. However it’s also further reinforcing the likely conclusion that the Finals matchup will once again be the one right at the top of Commissioner David Stern’s wish list: Kobe v. Lebron, Lakers v. Cavs, L.A. v…well, Cleveland, but hey nowadays that sounds pretty awe inspiring in basketball circles!

Sure the legitimately strong Denver Nuggets may feel like they have something to say about that, but realistically they’ll fall short in the Conference Finals. However while this article may sound quite pessimistic to start in all actuality it is not, for all this predictability is coming as a reult of complete unpredictability in the first round matchup’s that have not failed to deliver entertainment.

Disregard the obviousness of both Cleveland and L.A’s dominance for the time being (yes, even in spite of Utah’s last second win on homecourt last night the Jazz remain far from the team to unseat the Lakers in the West, they were pretty lucky to get one to be honest!). You can even let Denver off easy for their dismantling of the New Orleans Hornets - the Nuggets are a great team this year and deserve credit for their wins sure but then again Chris Paul is not leading the same unit he had last season. So maybe don’t go too crazy with that one either. It’s the other 5 pairings, the other 10 teams in the playoffs, that have made the first round so far!

The lopsided wins, on both sides of the spectrum, are silmuntaneously confusing and exciting. You can find one team blowing out their opponent only to have the favour returned the next game in the San Antonio-Dallas tilt, Atlanta-Miami melee, and the Portland-Houston...let's go with conflict. The favourites slipping can be seen in the Boston-Chicago showdown (last night the C’s reasserted themselves but will have to do it more than once for me, especially with Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe sidelined for the playoffs...not even going to start with Tony Allen!) and the Spurs-Mavs fiasco (and nothing short of a conflict either! can someone tell me what the hell is going on with San Antonion?? Was Manu Ginobli THAT important?? As with Detroit it seems the dynasty years may be fading fast in the heart of Texas). And suspected troublemakers entering the postseason have failed to live up to their billing, as all of the Orlando Magic, Portland Trailblazers and Atlanta Hawks appear dull and uninterested in the games they have to play right now. Yes it’s still early in each series but all three of these teams need an injection of something…maybe get them a Red Bull? Something that will help anyways.

All this leads to the belief that, in the end, the NBA will once again receive the final battle it’s yearning for with the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers. (NBA: where the predictable generally happens!). However while this prediction is further enhanced by these games that make the favourites seem not all that special, it's better than simply watching one sweep or near sweep after another. For anyone out there looking to tune in a little later on to Basketball playoffs do not pass this up my friends, for when the predictability does set in and the Cavs and Lakers show their dominance there's no guarantee that the matchup’s will be as entertaining as they are right now. I can see some potential for the Conference finals in each conference but the Second Round may be a bit hit or miss.

So the report card on the NBA playoffs right out the gate has been a good one. There's some interesting things going in with each series, and the back and forth nature a number of matchup's has taken has certainly kept things far from boring (especially if you're trying to pick winners of each game). The end result may be what everyone expects, but the road there may provide some entertainment!

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