Here we are boys and girls, springtime.
That means the baseball season is well underway, the Stanley Cup playoffs are heating up, the NFL Draft is almost here, and what promises to be the most memorable NBA playoffs in quite some time is on our doorstep.
Yes David Stern is one happy man. And why shouldn't he be after the regular season we just saw? This year saw so many story lines the Stephen A. Smith may never stop talking. This year we witnessed the most competitive conference ever out in the West (every playoff team won 50 games), the most hotly debated MVP race in quite some time, and the reemergence of one of the NBA's most storied franchises, the Boston Celtics. Not to mention all of the trades, Gasol to the Lakers, The Diesel to the Desert, Jason Kidd to Dallas, etc. All of this has made for one of the most compelling seasons ever in the NBA, assuring everyone that we are now fully out of the Jordan Era.
I am surprised that David Stern hasn't hired somebody to carry around a handkerchief to wipe away the drool from his mouth. What could make Mr. Stern happier? What on Earth could possibly top that? A Suns-Lakers Western Finals and a Celtics-Pistons Eastern Finals could top it. And you know what, he's going to get it.
Somebody up there must really like David Stern to have the seedings fall where they did. The West is set up for the Lakers (the No. 1 seed) and the Suns (the No. 6 seed) to meet in the finals. What about the Spurs, Hornets, Jazz and everyone else in the West you ask?
Simple, they'll lose.
The Spurs are not what they once were and cannot keep pace with the Suns offense to win the series. From there they will be matched up with the winner of the Hornets-Mavs series. Now the likely winner out of that matchup is the Hornets, but neither team will beat the Suns. The Hornets are too inexperienced to beat the Suns and Dallas simply does not want it as much as Phoenix does. While over in L.A. the Lakers will easily take care of the inconsistent Nuggets and will face either the Rockets or the Jazz. Houston is hot right now, maybe the hottest in the league, but do they have enough to keep it up in the playoffs? I think not. The Jazz dominate at home, but struggle on the road and you have to win on the road to win in the playoffs, which they won't.
Over in the East, it's much simpler. The Celtics face the Hawks, who may as well not show up for the series. Sorry Atlanta, but you are not stopping KG from reaching round two. From there they face the Cavs or the Wizards. The Wizards talk a lot but simply do not have the defense to stop the Celtics, while the Cavs have not fared as well as they would have liked since trading for Ben Wallace and are to dependent on LeBron to beat the Celtics in a seven game series. The Pistons face the Sixers and should easily take care of them. They'll either face Chris Bosh and the Raptors or Dwight Howard and the Magic. Either way Chauncey Billups and the seasoned Pistons come out on top.
Call it destiny, call it divine intervention, call it what ever you'd like but David Stern is going to get his way.
The two best teams in the East will slug it out in an epic duel and Shaq and Kobe reignite the NBA's top rivalry in a seven game series to see who gets a shot at the ring.
The only thing that could make it better is if both the Lakers and the Celtics advance to revitalize the NBA's greatest rivalry in what would be one of the best Finals of all time.
You can go ahead and wipe your mouth off Commissioner.
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