Sunday, May 24, 2009

Everyone Needs To Enjoy These Conference Championships!!!!

When about a few weeks remained in the regular season, NBA fans and talking heads were basically in a holding pattern until we got to a Kobe-LeBron Finals. The rest of the postseason was just fodder (especially once the Celtics lost Kevin Garnett) and everyone had that "come on with it, already" attitude.

If that was your committment to the NBA Playoffs ... then you have missed out, brother!

Just take these Conference Finals. We've had five outstanding games with every one of them coming down to the wire. Aside from last night's six-point Lakers victory, every game has been decided by three points or less.

In the Magic-Cavaliers series, both games have come down the the final shot. In Game 1, both teams hit huge shots down the stretch, capped off by Rashard Lewis' three to take the lead for good (Delonte West and Mo Williams would miss as time ran out). In Game 2 ... well you have heard about LeBron's shot, haven't you?

The odd thing is that Cleveland ran out to huge first half leads in both games while Orlando just caught fire in the third quarter to close the gap. Amazing swings of emotions.

In the Lakers-Nuggets series, the team that gets off first has lost. The Nuggets led most of Games 1 and 3 ... but ended up losing both. The Lakers got off to a big lead in Game 2, which they lost. That series has hit the chippy section already as technical fouls were flying all over the Pepsi Center last night. Nothing out of hand, but there still was some chippiness.

Unlike the Eastern Finals, the West hasn't seen too many game winners at the buzzer. Oh, there have been some dagger shots so far ... but the story of this series is the mistakes being made late. Twice ... TWICE!!! .... the Nuggets threw a late inbounds pass to Trevor Ariza (he's a Laker) that all but sealed the win for Los Angeles. In Denver's win, Ariza turned the ball over after a jump ball that helped dig the Lakers' grave. Amazing swings of emotions.

With this going on and the Celtics-Bulls, Magic-Celtics, Lakers-Rockets and even Nuggets-Mavericks series being buzzworthy, we should embrace the journey to the NBA Finals. These are the greatest athletes in sport competiting for everything. Three of the four teams remaining have never won an NBA Championship. Only a few of the players left have gotten a ring.

Yeah, I'd love to see a Kobe-LeBron Finals as much as the next guy ... but the reason is to see some great basketball by some great players.

If you haven't been paying attention, you are missing out on some great basketball by some great players.

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