As you can probably tell, I was not all that interested in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. But now, I'm in. The Nuggets and Rockets look much, much better than I expected, the Lakers look beatable, and Dallas handled San Antonio in the first round.
I've decided I'm rooting for Houston and Denver. While the Rockets have players I dislike (Scola, Artest) and the Nuggets have players I dislike (J.R. Smith, K-Mart), I really, really dislike Dirk and Kobe.
As the Jazz decided to be terrible this year and underachieve like me in my freshman year of college, the best way for me to find fulfillment in this year's playoffs is the Lakers failing to win it all. Again. And to be honest, it doesn't look good for fans of the purple and gold. I don't think they can beat the Rockets, Nuggets AND Cavs (and make no mistake, the Cavs are rolling through the East). It's a tough road for them, and the tougher it gets, the more Kobe decides to take over, and as we all know, Kobe the Chucker = lost games.
What sold me on Denver was this: last night I was watching the Nuggets/Mavs game and realized I had forgotten Carmelo Anthony is on this team. I have been spending a lot of time reading about Chris Anderson, Chauncy Billups, J.R. Smith, Nene and K-Mart, and being impressed with the depth of the team, and then suddenly I remembered they have Melo. You're a good team when a talent like him is almost an afterthought.
And as far as the Rockets go, the tag-team of Artest and Battier with Yao roaming down low with Scola = great defensive team. The Jazz may have actually hurt the Lakers in that first round series, in that L.A. may have become adjusted to playing against a non-existent defense (thanks for the memories, Boozer) and now are not ready for an elite one. So good work, Jazz!
As I mentioned earlier, no one in the East can touch the Cavs. I've toyed with the idea that they may actually sweep every playoff series in the East. The odds of that happening are low, but LeBron is on a mission right now, and the other three teams all have major flaws.
It will be an interesting next couple of weeks.
1 year ago