Tuesday, May 18, 2010
TWTWTNBA: Western Conference Finals Preview
Finally, out of the rubble, two teams left standing in the West. Let's break them down.
Los Angeles Lakers
How they got here: Survived a scare from the Thunder before sweeping the Jazz off the floor.
2nd Round Assessment: Kobe and Pau were A-List against the Jazz, with Derek Fisher hooked up to what Ray Allen was taking so far. The Tru Warier even played well in Game 3.
Key players: All eyes are on Andrew Bynum's knee (again). The three guard triumvirate of Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown need to be adequate and/or at least be at the level of the Phoenix guards not named Steve.
How they got here: Withstood the M*A*S*H Unit based in Portland, then finally ended what could be the great Spurs run in NBA history.
2nd Round Assessment: I am pretty much dumbfounded as to how they did it. They pretty much made sure Pop's boys played old. They abused George Hill (who ended up being a bad matchup for the Spurs) and realized that Richard Jefferson is not who he used to be. They also took advantage of Tim Duncan's newfound deficiencies (due to Father Time catching up to him).
Key players: Tempo will be important, and if the Suns were to win the West, they need to control it. How the likes of Barbosa and Dragic push up the pace will be essential. Also, if Sideshow Mel is ready to play for this series, that would free up Amar'e to do what he does best, which is posterizing people with reckless abandon. He, along with Channing Frye, will provide the foil to the Laker bigs.
Prediction: The Suns win in 6. The reason why I chose the Suns is that there is so much good things going on with Phoenix. I believe that this is the year that they will be able to extinguish all their ills from their entire NBA History. So far, they have been able to finally overcome the Spurs. Then, they will then overcome the Lakers, whose Showtime era overshadowed a good period of Phoenix basketball. And then, let's revive the memories of that memorable Finals match with Boston, extracting revenge for the likes of Gar Heard, Paul Westphal, Alvan Adams and all those who played in the 1976 Finals (which is why I picked Boston to advance against Orlando, to ensure a complete karmic reversal).