May 19, 2009

Unlucky sevens

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Despite all the hyping, selling, and fretting for the two game sevens on Sunday night, they both really failed to live up to their billing. Sure, you can call Orlando beating Boston an upset, but it was fairly apparent that the Celtics were overmatched and it really seemed that they had given up towards the end.

Seriously, I always thought the Celtics were two things, a team with pride and a team that played some serious defence. Towards the end of Sunday’s game, it sure didn’t look like that. Even with Dwight Howard out of the game with five fouls in the fourth, the Celtics couldn’t keep Orlando from scoring. Sure, you can blame the KG injury all you want, but nobody was making these excuses when Big Baby, Scalabrine and Perkins were toughing it out for the first six games of the playoffs.

Well, good for the Magic, they may have unseated the champs, but now they’re destined to be humiliated by LeBron.

As for the Lakers-Rockets game, well, I really feel silly for fretting over the Lakers’ chances leading up to tip off. They dominated the game from the get-go and won it with overpowering offence and shut down defence. They truly showed that they should never be discounted and that really, the Nuggets should be trembling at the thought of having to face them next.

As for the Rockets, you could make a case that Ron Artest was both the most valuable player for the series and was the worst too. His defence against Kobe was great when Shane Battier wasn’t around, and for that he earns the MVP. But, for taking as many bad shots and, ergo, wasting possessions, he deserves the LVP. It really got to the point where somebody should have just told him to stop. Or, they could’ve just stopped passing him the ball entirely.

I’m surprised that Battier doesn’t pick up more fouls with his hand-in-the-face move whenever a guy shoots. I’m also surprised that he hasn’t either blinded somebody or gotten his ass kicked for doing it to the wrong opponent.

Well, at least one entertaining thing came out of Sunday night’s letdowns: the Nuggets and the WWE are now — pardon the pun — grappling over who gets to use the Pepsi Center next Monday night. My favourite part of that story has to be Vince McMahon talking smack about the team’s lack of confidence about making it to the Conference Finals.

As for my picks for the conference finals, I’ll take the Lakers in six and the Cavaliers in four. Orlando doesn’t stand a chance.

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