A suspension, technical fouls, intentional fouls, buzzer beaters, upsets and sweeps have been comprising the court, all for an NBA championship that has not even reached the finals yet.
With each set of playoffs, heroes are made, giants can fall, and as Kevin Garnett in the Adidas commercials would say, “Impossible is Nothing.”
This year is no different. We have witnessed the emergence of players who are normally overlooked but have found themselves thrust into the spotlight: Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics and Jameer Nelson of the Orlando Magic, for example.
We have seen the best team in the league out-smarted by a group of crafty veterans (the Cavaliers debacle at the hand of the Boston Celtics) and some young guns tear apart an older team (Suns dismantling the Spurs in four games), but more than anything we have witnessed teams fight for a shot at a championship.
This time at the playoffs we have seen four teams come in with no regard to the regular season overall record and fight for every win. The Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics all come into the conference finals playing their best basketball.
The Los Angeles Lakers have surprised no one this post season by achieving yet another opportunity to win another conference championship, and with a player of Kobe Bryant’s capability and leadership, they always have a shot to win.
It is true that they beat a short-handed Utah Jazz team and a young, inexperienced Oklahoma City team to get to the Conference finals, but easy road or not, the Lakers are a team that will be difficult to take down by their sheer size alone. According to ESPN.com, the average height of an LA Lakers player is an astounding 6-foot-7-inches.
On the other hand, the Phoenix Suns come into the conference finals after dismantling the Spurs in four games. This includes the amazing game-four heroics of Steve Nash, two-time Most Valuable Player, who took over the game with four minutes left, willing his team to victory with only one capable eye (the other one was swollen shut.)
If any team were to take down the Los Angeles Lakers this post season, it would be the Phoenix Suns. With their run-and-gun offense and new focus on defense, they have the capability of beating the defending champs if they put all of their strengths together.
In the Eastern Conference we find the Orlando Magic, who has so far swept through the playoffs in dominating fashion. Orlando’s three-point arsenal, which averages 11 three-pointers made per game in the post season, and control of the paint has been daunting for their first two opponents this playoffs season.
However, in regards to their opponent the Boston Celtics, one has to look in awe at their performance thus far. Now with the emergence of a soon-to-be superstar with MVP-like numbers, this group of crafty veterans was led by Rajon Rondo to dismantle the Cleveland Cavaliers, who owned the league’s best record.
This post season, Rondo is averaging 17 points and 10 assists with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.25 compared to his regular season averages of 13 points and 9 assists. The Celtics has shown the world with the series wrap-up of the Cavs that basketball is a team sport and that LeBron “King” James could not do it by himself.
The Conference Finals will be nothing short of spectacular. It is hard to believe that we are seeing such good basketball that has everyone talking. This will prove to be the year in which they talk about the free agents and draft, but they will also talk about the NBA Playoffs.