Wednesday, June 18, 2008

You're 2008 NBA Champions....

There was never any doubt. The Lakers just didn't show up. It was actually quite embarrassing.

The Boston Celtics captured their 17th NBA Championship last night with a 131-92 drubbing of the Los Angeles Lakers. The worst loss in NBA history in a deciding Finals contest.

Paul Pierce was named MVP of the Finals, but I have to tell you - I would have been equally impressed with Kendrick Perkins picking up the honor. It's insane how much of a difference this guy made in the game. He missed Game 5 with a shoulder injury and Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom went off. He returns for Game 6, with his shoulder wrapped, and completely dominated the paint. It was amazing.

I guess technically there was no true MVP. The entire Boston roster at some point during the playoffs stepped up and performed. But, I guess the real honor would have to go to Kevin Garnett. As soon as the 'Big Three' were brought together it was him that truly brought the team together as one. He helped everyone embrace the defensive end (which is technically where they won the title) and shelve their egos.

Another tidbit: I don't want to hear the comparisons of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan again. Jordan would never have allowed a team of his to be blown out in a game of this magnitude. Across the board, Kobe is no where near the player that Jordan was. In Jordan's day the game was much more physical - in today's game any bump is a foul. Kobe would have never made it in '80s or early '90s.

Of course, I didn't get to see the celebration live last night. I went to bed at halftime in order to wake up for work this morning. But, again, those on the West Coast enjoyed the game - I am sure. As long as they're happy. There is still a way to fix this, I know it. Someone needs to get working on it.

Finally, the Celtics made the greatest turnaround in a single season. The year before they won a measly 24 games and captured the title this season. The previous largest turnaround was the Blazers, who won 35 games the year before they won the title.

My main question is this: Is this good for the NBA?

Each team is allowed to carry 15 players on it's roster. The Celtics currently have just six players from last year's 24-win team (Pierce, Perkins, Rondo, Scalabrine, Tony Allen, Powe). So, they totally revamped the roster.

Granted, every team likes to go out and find a steal in free agency or in trades. But Boston shredded its entire team. Basketball, like football, has always been about building a contender through the draft and picking up small pieces to complete what you need (the San Antonio Spurs are perfect examples of this).

Baseball, however, for most teams has been about buying championships. You buy the best player for the right price to plug into your lineup and propel you to a title (Yankees, Red Sox, etc.).

But basketball has always been different. The Lakers tried this a few years ago with Karl Malone and Gary Payton (not to the Celtics extent, but still), but it didn't work. I just hope that teams don't start thinking they are a huge trade away from winning tomorrow, because the league shouldn't be like that.

A few perfect examples of how the league should work are the New Orleans Hornets and Atlanta Hawks. They have built their teams through the draft and picking up a few free agents - and are now on the brink of excellence. It's something you can be proud of - watch them mature in front of your eyes.

But, I am still very happy for the Celtics. For Garnett, Allen and Pierce. And that the Lakers and Bryant didn't capture the title.

It's great to see good people succeed. And Garnett and Allen have always been excellent human beings. People Bryant should try and model himself after.

No comments:

Post a Comment