It's been long enough.
So, there's an annoying trend in the NBA postseason this year of "turning it on for the playoffs". A handful of teams had mediocre regular seasons, leading many to believe that they would be done early in the playoffs.
Well, someone forgot to tell the Spurs, Lakers, and Celtics. We're headed for another Lakers/Celtics finals which should be a good one this time. Basically the Lakers are just tougher now, and won't be as easy for the Celts as they were in 2008.
But, back to the point. . . . this just shows that we need a shorter regular season. I like some of the recent ideas I've heard of a 60 game regular season, with a play-in tournament for the 8 seed in each conference, and equal "back to backs".
This would eliminate tanking for the bad teams in the league, becauase they'd be trying to play-in to the playoffs and the extra revenue therein. Also, teams couldn't hide like the Celts/Lakers this year and shlog through the season, because there'd be less games to do so. And, most importantly, there'd be no more of the terrible back to backs (or both teams would be participating in a back to back, so as to make it equal) which cause the most blowouts, no shows, and awful games during the season.
Yes, some of this is my own pride. . . I thought I had a pretty good read on this season, and didn't see the Lakers or Celtics making it as far as they have. I was wrong, but I was also right because neither team showed us anything in the regular season that would make us think they had this run in them.
(side note: Some of you know that I am a big Shaq fan. So, for years I followed the Lakers very closely. They perfected the "turn on switch for the playoffs" to an art form. Especially in 2001 when they went 58-22 or something and then went 15-1 in the playoffs (the one loss being in the finals when Allen Iverson beat them in overtime). They were absolutely unstoppable, they swept 3 50 win teams in those playoffs, the Spurs, Blazers and Kings. I didn't like the "switch" then, and I don't like it now. It's just too much for any athletes to handle. . . 82 games plus playoffs, plus back to backs. I heard Commissioner Stern say in a podcast that the teams "have 12 players last I checked" and so they should just play more guys more minutes to help with rest, etc. . . This is bad reasoning. If the league will continue to expand, (which is already has too many teams, we need some contraction), there will be even more of a watered down talent pool. I don't want to see the 11th and 12th man on the court in crunch time, . . this is the NBA. . . . alas)
All that to say, it will be a great Finals, because both of these teams are great defensive teams. I think the Lakers have the edge because of home court, and because Gasol, Odom, Bynum, etc. . will not be bullied by the Celtics as Lebron, Vince Carter, and Dwight Howard have been. Wow, those teams in the East need to turn in their man card. This is getting ridiculous. It's not like the Celts are the 90's bad boys or anything. No one is throwing anyone to the ground or adopting a "no layup rule". Man up Orlando! It's too late, though. Boston broke their will.