Russell Varner, WSOE Sports
Let me start off this week’s article by saying how great it is to have the NBA playoffs back, how much I missed it and how I’m still upset my Charlotte Bobcats didn’t make the playoffs this year. So close, and yet so far. Oh well, mark my words as you read this: if they can keep the core of their team together, they will be in the playoffs next year. And with a decent seed too…of course by decent I mean a 6 seed, but hey that would still be great.
Speaking of the playoffs, remember last year when barely any road teams won games? Even the powerful, can’t-be-stopped Celtics, who couldn’t beat a lowly, how-the-hell-did-they-even-make-the-playoffs Atlanta Hawks at their place. Or even win a road game until the Eastern Conference finals if my memory serves me correctly. All of the sudden, this year, the theme seems to be the exact opposite. Even though it is real early, road teams have won a surprising amount of games early on. The Mavs were able to take one from the Spurs, the Rockets at the Blazers, the Sixers somehow coming back against the Magic, and the Bulls beating the Celtics for the first time ever in the playoffs and nearly beating them again last night. What happened to defending your home court? This is what you fought all year for, in order to gain home court advantage in the playoffs. And surprisingly, teams aren’t defending it well lately. Why is that? Why the huge change from last year? And even more important, will it matter?
All the experts are calling for a Lakers-Cavs final, and right now it’s hard to see another outcome. Both teams are playing so well right now and no other team seems to be on the same level as these teams…or Kobe and LeBron, both of whom are playing on a completely different level than everyone else in the NBA, with the exception of Dwayne Wade. You know what, if we are doomed to see a Lakers-Cavs final, I’m perfectly fine with that, because it is the best final that the NBA and we as fans could ask for. The two best teams, the two best players in the game, two of the better coaches in the game today, it is exactly what we as fans want to see in the finals. So I say bring it on Lakers-Cavs championship matchup. I eagerly await Game 1 of your series.
Listen to Russell Varner and the Sports Time every Tuesday from 4:10-6:00pm.