After a whole lot of work lost to greed on both ends, the NBAPA and the league owners came together and made it happen. We won't lose the whole season. In fact, the 66-game season starts tomorrow. Merry Christmas from the NBA right? Hell yes, I'd say! I've always said football was my first love. It's true, to humanize these sports, football's my wife. She's been with me since day one, always had my back.. but she knows about my secret on the side flame I see when I'm out of town. Basketball. Yeah, sports are that serious to me. So when the NBA lockout cost us about four months of sports, news, and ultimately happiness, I was PISSED. Now? I'm excited.. on the edge of my seat with misty eyes. That said, what am I looking for out of this season? I'll tell you.
I've been a Kevin Garnett fan since he was drafted. Now, he's an old ass man by NBA standards, but until he's traded or retired I'm screaming GO CELTICS! I know for a fact their window of opportunity slammed shut. KG can't hack it nearly as well anymore. Ray Allen's still killing it, legitimately the best shooter in the NBA. Paul Pierce is aging too. He can carry a team, and he's the heart and soul of the C's, but he's showing his age from doing exactly that until they picked up KG and Ray Allen. I understand the philosophy of picking up the aging vets that have proven themselves, but it's time the Celtics go young. That said.. my pick for the east is Miami (again). D-Wade, King James, and Chris Bosh together just serve to legitimize the fact that NBA teams need a three horse stable these days to compete, and these three young men are some of the best at what they do. I love my Celtics, and I have MAJOR respect for the Bulls, but Miami's going to the finals again.
The Western Conference is a whole different breed. There's so much parity in the West it makes the NFL look sloppy (Parity is why they moved Seattle to the NFC West, btw). The perennial powerhouses are still in tact: The Lakers look great. The Spurs are showing their age, but still getting the job done. Dallas is gonna be a tough team for anyone this year. Portland made some key pick-ups too, and they're my Home team. If you've never been to the Rose Garden for an important Western Conference match-up, you haven't LIVED. But there's upstarts.. Insurgents if you will. The perma-struggling Clippers now have that three horse stable I mentioned. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and DeShawn Jordan. That's two VERY good big fellas in the paint, and one of the most dangerous point guards in the NBA, along with Eric Gordon at the 2. I'm sold.. In fact, I think the Clippers will make the playoffs this year. However, I very strongly feel that the West is gonna come down to two teams. Dallas and (Drum roll please...) MINNESOTA! That's right. Our Lake Oswego native, Kevin Love, who showed stellar play last season, averaging a double-double (I think he was averaging 17 PPG and 15 RPG) and currently holds the longest streak of double-doubles in the NBA, got himself an amazing little Spaniard. Ricky Rubio's young, flashy, and absolutely brilliant in what I've seen of him. Even showboating like he's playing on the black top, Rubio's play looks fluid, effortless, and most importantly, EFFECTIVE. While my last NBA post mentioned wanting to see Kevin Love come home to Portland (I still wanna see that, by the way!) he's a great fit for the Timberwolves. Face of the franchise in the post-KG era. I wish him nothing but the best, and if Rubio keeps up the amazing level of play he showed in the preseason and in Spain, they'll have an amazing season.
This also gives me an idea for tomorrow's blog! Stay tuned.