Seriously, why don’t they just go on to the NBA Finals?
Have you ever seen professional playoffs with less intrigue and more fait de compIet? The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors have not lost a playoff game yet as they methodically march toward their respective conference finals and a rubber match in the championship series for the NBA title.
The San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets are having a dramatic second round match-up, with Carolina’s Danny Green coming in to play 40 minutes off the bench and make four three-balls, as the Spurs, despite no Tony Parker and an injury to Kawhi Leonard, pulled out the crucial fifth game over James Harden and the Rockets. But it doesn’t matter because neither can beat the Warriors.
Over in the East, there is great drama in the Celtics-Wizards series about which team will get a chance to be swept by LeBron and the Cavaliers in that conference final. Boston has the biggest little man in the game in Isaiah Thomas, but no answer on defense to Washington’s fast break that has produced runs off 17-0, 22-0, 24-0 and 26-0 over the helpless Celtics. Yes, it’s fun to see Raleigh’s John Wall prove to the world he may be the third-best player in the NBA, but even if the Washington Wizards get by IT4, the little wizard from Washington state, they can’t compete with Cleveland.
This is not because James and Stephen Curry are the best players; they are the best players on the best teams with the best supporting casts playing the best basketball of the season. Even without coach Steve Kerr, the Warriors keep rolling with a team that was expected to win it all after Kevin Durant left the Thunder for the Bay Area. Even though the Cavaliers floundered around for some of the regular season and finished second in the East to the Celtics, they beat Boston three out of four and cannot lose to the Celtics over a seven-game series.
The only problem with such anticipation for the NBA Finals is that it better live up to the hype. Seven games, down to the wire, several in overtime; that’s what it will take to endure the long wait.