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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Foretelling the Inevitable

Posted by Tariq al Haydar

by Tariq al Haydar


Back in December 2007, when the New England Patriots had just completed their undefeated regular season, I turned to my friend, the Ant and said: "The New York Giants are a stupid team."

"Why?" he asked.

"I just don't trust them. In fact, I'll bet you 2000 riyals that the New York Giants will not win the Super Bowl."

I'm blessed. The Ant didn't take my bet.

And speaking of improbable Super Bowl scenarios, remember when we all thought the Arizona Cardinals would play in Super Bowl 43? Yeah, me neither.

Conversely, we all know that the Lakers will make it to the NBA Finals, unless the Spurs manage to pull off a massive upset in the West. And we know either the Celtics or the Cavs will be there as well.

I was watching some show on NBA TV last night. I wasn't really watching, but a statement caught my attention:

"I think we can all agree that the Portland Trail Blazers are true contenders."

And then four panelists nodded and muttered, "Absolutely."

Really? Portland is a contender?

Yeah, they may win a series. They may even somehow manage to get to the WCF, but I will be shocked if they get to the Finals. And all those other teams that look like they're in such good shape right now... your Orlando Magics and Denver Nuggets...Does anybody really give them a shot?

You shouldn't.

When was the last time a real Cinderella team made it all the way to the NBA Finals?

Let's look at the Finalists this decade:

2000- Lakers v Pacers
2001- Lakers v Sixers
2002- Lakers v Nets
2003- Spurs v Nets
2004- Lakers v Pistons
2005- Spurs v Pistons
2006- Mavs v Heat
2007- Spurs v Cavs
2008- Lakers v Celtics

Since the turn of the century, the only team whose presence in the Finals was even mildly surprising was the Cleveland Cavs in 2007. Cleveland had already taken the Pistons, the team they beat in the conference finals, to seven games the previous season. And in 2007, they won 50 games and were the #2 seed in the East.

Point being, we already know who will play in the 2009 NBA Finals. And that's kinda sad.

But then again, there's something comforting in knowing that the strongest teams will inevitably collide. I'd like nothing more than to see Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in the Finals. And that's probably how it's going to play out.

The problem is that it's more difficult to get excited about earlier rounds. A potential series between, say, the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz would pit two pretty good, well-balanced teams against each other. And yet, as you watch, you already know that both teams are doomed.

Enjoy the Playoffs, kids! :)

And yet, there is one team that gives me hope:





The 1999 New York Knicks!

15 comments:

Tariq al Hayder said...

Dang I'm prolific!

(Suck it, Cheryl!)

(just kidding)

TADOne said...

Arizona Cardinals.

Eboy said...

I have something in the works that will change the face of SKO posting for years to come.

Moose said...

I'm excited, E. Get that out!

Eboy said...

Well......the content is going to be off the charts controversial...but in a way that all of us who love ball will relate to in some way. And no, there's nothing related to Kobe in it.

Moose said...

Uh oh. But I'm still excited, with that kind of hype. As Homer Simpson once said, "It's gonna be bigger than ten Super Bowls!" When is it coming?

Eboy said...

I may drop it in parts. Part 1 may be up by Friday.

Moose said...

Can't wait.

BET said...

i am going with a Cavs-Nuggets finals this year, just like i have been predicting ever since the Billups trade. The Nuggets are the most balanced team in the west, and the Cavs are the most balanced in the east. Its gonna happen.

AR said...

"Eboy in not fond of Kobe shocka!"

Tariq al Hayder said...

BET, if the Nugs get to the Finals this year, I'll call you Uncle BET for one calendar year.

Hursty said...

What about the Houston Rockets! They are a miracle team. At least, the 86 version was.

TADOne said...

Ya'll suck. I'll give you a true sleeper team: The Atlanta Hawks.

Moose said...

Blazers!

Hursty said...

blazers can go light a spliff. They aren't going anywhere this year moose. They'll be lucky to make it to the top 5 in the playoffs with the stretch they've got coming up....
Also, Utah is going to catch them and force the seeding even LOWER. So maybe a 6th seed?