So, LA swept Denver. New Orleans brushed aside Dallas, and what do you know.....San Antonio dismissed the undeserving Suns.
Over in the East, things got interesting...very interesting. Boston lost twice and now holds a slim 3-2 lead over the resurgent Hawks. Make no mistake.....LA could have made it 11 straight back in March but Kobe's final-second turnover made it difficult. Mr. Johnson's defence didn't help either! Atlanta's no slouch....n I figure Game 6 should be a cracker. If they do gate-crash this party, this will be the biggest upset in recent playoff history, even bigger than Dallas' crash down to earth last year against Baron Davis' Warriors.
What then of Cleveland-Washington? Down a game and with everything to play for in Game 6, how will LeBron and his team respond? Do Stevenson and Butler truly believe that James is overrated and his team too dependent on him, as the series has progressively shown? Tune into this for more drama on Friday evening!
What then of the ones who are already in the second round? What then of LA, NO, Orlando, SA?
And finally, what is to come out of the Utah-Houston series? Will McGrady and co. inspire a Game 6 revolution and tie it all up? or are they facing the end of the tunnel where another slow, dark tunnel of mental recuperation starts again?
The first round of the playoffs has come alive.....thanks to one man, and another one. The superlative Kobe Bryant and the young brat, Chris Paul, have energized the playoffs this round. Kobe has been a fearless leader and so has Paul. LeBron could have been the same, instead, it appears that his team's eternal hope and dependability on him saving their butts everytime is seemingly exhausting him. It is understandable.
The LA-Denver Game 2 was, to put it mildly, intoxicating......sheer joy because of that one man, Bryant, and his indisputable will to exhort himself to success. Poor AI must be ruiing why he said what he said before the series. Sorry bro, you were great before, you took your team single-handledly once to the very top, but this is Kobe's time.....at least till now.
I have no doubt that LA will crush any of the two-Utah or Houston-and reach the Conference Final. This is where it'll get tricky-will it be the Spurs' experience and team spirit to carry them through the red-hot Hornets, led by that awesome Paul?
I tell you, if Paul carries his Hornets through, it'll be a bigger achievement than Kobe doing the same for his team.
Whoever LA faces in the Conference Finals will be fun.....much like the Finals before the Finals. If it's the Spurs, then, we are in for a heck of a ride. If New Orleans, I'm afraid it won't take more than five or six for LA to scrape ahead. The way Kobe's got the team on his shoulders, believing in his team mates, and also stepping up whenever it is sorely needed, no one else in the league has his will and determination.
He will do all it'll take this season, this playoffs.....he believes it's his team, I believe so....but it's a fragile situation....get the Lakers down a desperate deficit and that should be the ultimate test of how they've grown this year.
For the East, it really doesn't matter......any of the Western teams alive, and I mean either LA or the Spurs, is going all the way....though it'd take a fool to bet against Boston reaching the Conference Finals....I still think it'll be very tough for them to get by Detroit.
And by the way, the regular season is over......does not matter, done with. Winning records or losing records......it's the past. What matters is now and right here.
Boston was by far the most impressive team in the regular season. This playoff, they have been just as unimpressive. If Joe Johnson and team of no-hoppers (and 45-37, mind you!) can make it 2-2, after being crushed the first two games, can do this to them, what won't Detroit and its resilience do?
I bet Kobe's just waiting for Boston....I don't think he's even contemplating any other team. He has a score to settle....a legacy to build....and it's his time. If not, it'll never be.
And lastly, for all the talk about Kobe not deserving the MVP because he had Gasol and Odom....get this.....Pau and Lamar are playing the way they are playing, because of Kobe....because Kobe believes in them and has given them their space and freedom, and still, it takes Kobe to step up and carry his team. Yes, KG also has Paul and Ray, but if you ask me, if it's La and Boston in the Finals, there's no doubt as to who is gonna come out tops.
It's Kobe's time....has to be....he doesn't have much left.
All the best for his opposition.....it's Hurricane Mamba time!