June 19, 2008

Boston T(itle) party

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Note: Due to server errors, this post is a bit late…

It all came down to the age-old sports adage, a good defence will always beat a good offence. It’s actually ridiculous that most people didn’t see this coming. The Lakers with their high powered offence, fuelled by MVP Kobe Bryant and their middle-of-the-road D just could not get it done against Boston’s top ranked defence. It was all just too much for Los Angeles and the Celts surely deserved to win not only Game 6, but the series.
So, before we get all fired up about the Celtics absolutely destroying the Lakers in Game 6 and taking the championship, there are a few things that should be stated:

— Kevin McHale pretty much gave away Kevin Garnett to the Celts — a team McHale once played for. I don’t care what you think of Al Jefferson but he will never be as good as KG.
— David Stern handed the Celts the title. KG should have been suspended for his altercation with Zaza Pachulia in the first round. If he had been forced to miss (at least) a game, the Celts would have surely lost. KG stayed in, the Celts advanced.
— The refs were clearly in the Celtics favour for the first two games. Had the Lakers taken one of or even both of the games, needless to say, this series would have been different.
 — Even though Kobe Bryant won the MVP and guided his team to the finals, he’s still a guy playing a torn ligament in his hand. While you could say he’s adapted, it hasn’t healed and he still needs surgery. Playing through that injury is tougher than anything a Boston player did – from Pierce’s fake out “knee pop” to Rondo’s sprained ankle to Kendrick Perkins’ shoulder. Nothing matches what Kobe did.
— This might be it for Boston. They mortgaged their future to get the Big Three and if you think they can carry on and play this level again next year, you’re nuts. LeBron will be another year better, Chicago and Miami could be forces with the right offseason moves. If you expect KG-Pierce-Allen to play the way they did for 100 games next year, well I’ll gladly accept your money in a bet.
And finally, in the same way that many things that have been built up go, the NBA final wasn’t as good or interesting as I expected. Some of the games were unwatchable at times. I’m actually kind of glad it’s over. Now, we can all look forward to the NBA draft and free agent season. Maybe a team will make an earth-shattering Ray Allen-like trade a la last summer and 2009’s version of an emergent Big Three will be more entertaining — and dominant — than Boston’s boring Three.

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