Tuesday, June 15, 2004

NBA FINALS, GAME FIVE: I kinda had that feeling tonight like when I was watching the Cubs in Game Six last year, thinking, "All right--time to watch a little history." Thankfully, the history actually occurred tonight.

That was as dominant a series as any of the previous West over East conferences. Except the East team one and they really weren't suppoed to. I mean, no way, absolutely not. But I guess the signs were there that the Lakers were ripe for the loss:

--Escaping against the Rockets. A few people pointed out the Rockets could have reasonably been up 3-1 in that series.
--Getting the miracle win over the Spurs.
--Letting the Wolves come back against them more than a few times.

Plus all the Lakers' injuries. Still, they were absolutely flattened, and regardless of how obvious the signs were against the Lakers, nobody could have predicted this kind of mauling. Shoot, the Nets took the Pistons to seven--which I guess was the de facto NBA Championship we all thought Lakers-Spurs was.

Would the Pistons have mauled whichever team came out of the West this year? Looking at the way they played tonight it certainly seems that way. But it seems like the tired, injured old collapsing dynasty known as the Lakers were particularly susceptible to the Pistons' pressure. I think the Spurs, or the Wolves, or whoever, would have lasted at least six. This weird Lakers team, though, not dramatically different from what had come before, had no answer for a driven, well-coached team.

And Chauncey Billups, mister six franchises himself, is your MVP. It could've gone to Ben Wallace or Rip, but Chauncey really outplayed the Lakers' point guards, which you can't say about the other two, so it makes logical sense. I mean, you have to pick a MVP, and it has to be from the winning team--right? Otherwise Shaq would be the clear choice.

Darko, Darko, Darko.....Larry puts you in and you can't make two foul shots to get yourself on the box score. Well, Dumars wanted to win right now. And Carmelo would've sat on the bench most of the time too, though not that much. Carmelo would've made those free throws, though.

Whew. I'm almost disappointed--it's anticlimatic when any team gets crushed like this. Almost disappointed, of course; it's still
the Lakers.

So....yeah. The Pistons are your NBA champions. It's one of the bigger sports upsets ever. You just saw that NBA rarity, the team greater than the sum of its parts, win the title. How about that?

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