28 May 2008

NBA Conference Finals, Humiliating Update . . .

Detroit-Boston are in the middle of game 5 as I type, and the San Antonio-Los Angeles series completed game 4 last night.

I got some things right, and some things wrong with my picks.

In the East, I expected Detroit to steal one in Boston, and they did, and I expected Boston to steal both games in Detroit, and they didn't. Just before halftime looks like my prediction of a 3-2 Boston lead at this point is looking pretty good (but that would mean I was wrong about Detroit winning tonight).

My revised picks for the rest of this series is as follows, homecourt matters. Boston will continue to play well in the second half tonight and win, Detroit will gut out a tough victory in Detroit on Friday, and Boston will manage to win another game seven at home Sunday, but mainly because Chauncy Billups isn't at 100%. David Stern's prayers will be answered, and instead of another ratings killing Detroit-San Antonio finals he gets his dream match-up of Boston-Los Angeles.

In the West, I did better. I picked the victor in each game (though the how was a bit mixed up, did call a 2 point victory in game 4 though, and was only off by 2 points on final total, Kobe didn't go for 50 though), and I expect Los Angeles to wrap up the series tomorrow, just like they're supposed to. The Lakers deserved to lose last night, they mishandled the last 56 seconds and Fisher's foul on Barry could have easily been called, but the Spurs have shown class and maturity by not blaming the refs, and clearly stating that they agreed that no call was the right call in that situation. Ought to keep San Antonio area sports talk guys busy ranting for weeks, if not years, to come.

There's at least five moments in every Laker game where I feel compelled to yell at the screen and admonish Gasol to go up and grab the ball with both hands on rebounds. The Lakers managed to dominate the offensive boards, even with Gasol's weak-sauce technique, but he's going to get eaten up alive on the boards by Garnett or Perkins against Boston. The Odom v Garnett show should be pretty amazing, as will the Pierce v Kobe show. Lakers still have the deeper bench, younger legs, and more potent offense, and they've improved defensively throughout the playoffs, so the team that got blown out twice by Boston in the regular season isn't the team that Boston will be facing in the Finals. Ought to be a good show, but first both teams got to get there, and the Spurs aren't dead yet, if they can win at Staples on Thursday, the young Lakers might start getting a bit nervous, and Detroit won't give up easily, even with a limited Billups, but Lakers-Celtics is still the most likely scenario.

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