For 3 series I have not picked the Boston Celtics. Each time doing it thinking they would regress back to the team that I saw in the regular season. It seems safe to say.... that is not going to happen. While everyone has been hyping the Magic to the moon, I have said not so fast. The Magic lost their first playoff game to those Boston Celtics, they got behind early and never could climb back in the game. In reality, this is the best team the Magic have faced the entire playoffs and it showed yesterday. Dwight Howard was held down for the majority of the game and Magic's not so secret weapon of the 3 point shot was firing blanks at times.
The Celtics have shown the pride and experience of a former champion that they are. Rajon Rondo has taken it to a whole other level. Rondo is without question the best point guard left in the playoffs. Yes even better than Canada's own Steve Nash. Rondo has just been off the charts and it has been amazing to watch. It is funny to think that there were people that thought the Celtics overpaid for Rondo. No one is saying that now.
Speaking of Steve Nash thought, he faces the challenge of beating the L.A Lakers. Not the easiest task in the world. Nash is likely the only match-up advantage that the Suns have advantage in this series. Everywhere else it favours the Lakers especially in the low post. Amare Stoudemire is in for a battle with Gasol and Bynum in the post. Not to mention the rest that Kobe Bryant has got, it could prove to be to much for the Suns.
If the Suns can not pull off a miracle, we are in for a finals re-match with Lakers vs Magic or Celtics. Much like the Magic, the Suns will be depending on the 3 point shot to fall. The Suns have been given praise for finally finding some defense in these playoffs. However, the Lakers and their Triangle Offense is a much different animal. My heart says Suns and my head says Lakers. Normally the head is right and the heart is wrong.
Heart is not something you put in a sentence with Vince Carter. I find it kind of funny how Vince is being hyped up. Here is the Vince Carter reality for folks. Vinsanity is much like Hulkamania. What is meant by that is for brief minutes of time you get excited and see flashes of the guy that amazed you. But then the reality comes back and you realize that Vinsanity as Hulkamania lives in your mind more than it does in actual reality.
I am actually very conflicted should the Magic be successful. On the one hand, Stan Van Gundy was robbed out of a championship by Pat Riley. I like Stan Van Gundy and think he is likely my favourite coach in the league at the moment. However to see Vince Carter rewarded for a career in which he never truly made the most of his talent turns my stomach. It makes me think of guys like Barkley, Ewing and others that never won a ring. They busted their butts for their entire careers and seem far more deserving of a ring than V.C.
For the Raptors get out those lucky charms cause you will need them. The odds of the Raptors getting a top pick in the Draft Lottery on Tuesday are very long indeed. That being said it does not exactly disappoint me. I am not as sold on John Wall and Evan Turner as the rest of the world seem to be. The New Jersey Nets are the team with the best odds to take home the top pick and end up with likely the consensus number 1 pick in John Wall.
I could be wrong on Wall, but I just am not convinced he has a winning attitude and despite his talent think this will be an issue on the next level. Not that he got to experience losing that much with Wildcats. If the Nets bomb out in free agency he will learn about losing in a hurry. Turner will be a good to great NBA player but not a difference maker for a franchise. The guy I like at the top of the draft board is DeMarcus Cousins. He has some of the same question marks in terms of character as Wall. But there is just something I like about this kid. If he can figure out how to stay out of foul trouble he can be a very good one in this draft. The reality is thought, Blake Griffin is next year's rookie of the year unless someone in this draft class surprises me. I am not a Blake Griffin fan either, but he is better than anyone in this class, and that includes Wall.
Just because Evans, Curry and Jennings were a success does not guarantee that Wall will be. I don't expect anyone to agree with me on Wall. But not many agreed with me when I said that Kevin Durant should have been the first pick over Oden. In the end the draft is about being right more than you are wrong and so far so good for me.
I will likely set up something to get together for the Draft Lottery depending on my schedule. So look for details tomorrow. Have a better Monday than Garfield and see you tomorrow.