I’ve often griped about the demise of the professional boxing’s heavyweight division. It’s a sport, on which many of us were raised, that is now virtually non-existent. After watching the slugfest that has taken place the first few games of these NBA Finals, I’ve recently come to another conclusion. Who needs boxing? The heavyweights are alive and well… in basketball.
We might as well have Michael Buffer perform the opening announcements…. “In this corner, wearing gold trunks with purple trim, the defending national champion, Los Aaaaaaaaaaang-eles Laaaaaaaaa-kers. And in this corner, in green trunks with white trim, …. Seventeen-time NBA Champion, Bos-tooooooooooon Ceeeeeeeeeel-tics Let’s get ready to driiiiiiiiiiii-ble!!!!”
Sports fans, rejoice! We are smack dab in the middle of a truly, delectable series that, even after four games played, still has the experts guessing.
Think about it. At this point, would any outcome in this series surprise you? Celtics in six? Lakers in seven? Despite having two home games remaining, it’s far-fetched to say the Lakers have any sort of advantage.
Every game in this series has been hard fought; every possession contested. We’ve seen pulverizing offense and suffocating defense. Derek Fisher running lay-up, Paul Pierce three-pointer, Kobe Bryant pump-fake, Kevin Garnett jump shot. Body blow after body blow. Doesn’t that sound like a heavyweight fight to you?
The last fifteen minutes of Game Three was nirvana to the basketball purist, a cerebral chess match between Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers, with neither team refusing to back down. Game Four was just as frenetic.
The final game scores in this series might not reflect closeness but the overall point differential after four games was only four points. After five games, it’s down to two. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Ali-Holmes.
In the NBA, the better team always win a seven-game series. Fluke teams don’t win NBA championships. In the NFL, a team can get hot in the playoffs and make a run at the Super Bowl. In the NHL, a team can ride a hot goalie all the way to the Stanley Cup. But in the NBA Finals, whether evenly matched between Eastern and Western Conferences, we always get two powerhouses duking it out. This year is no exception. With a minimum of five Hall of Famers on the floor, these Finals comes awfully close to rivaling Lakers-Celtics series of old. Bird, McHale, Magic, Kareem, Parish, Johnson, Scott, Worthy. Any basketball fan’s wet dream.
Once again, the better team will ultimately win this Finals. Who that is though, is still anyone’s guess.
So until the heavyweight division can get its ducks in a row (I’m not holding my breath), at least we have the NBA Finals to get us by. I’ll be watching. You should too.
“If you ain’t first, you’re last.”
As a NASCAR fan, PK, you should appreciate that.
The NBA Finals has now began to hit its stride. Game 5 becomes now all the more pivotal .
By the way the “hit” is still out on Bob Green. Too many Russian mobsters lost out big time in the UK. LOL,LOL,LOL !!!!
Can I get an “AAAAAAAWWWWW, YEAAAAAAH!”
…for the NBA Finals that is, not for killing that goalie…
If there’s one thing that we Brits take and talk about passionately it’s about soccer. As I’ve state in my piece Green has become persona-non-grata in the East End of London and members of his family have now gone into hiding following some very serious threats.
It’d appear that you weren’t heeding my warnings concerning the Rays ? Well now that they and the Yankees are tied for first place atop of the NL East . What are your thoughts going to be once the Yankees eke out a one three game lead over them ?
You’re absolutely correct, this series resembles a classic Heavyweight Boxing Bout! Despite Boston taking a 3-2 lead, it’s still anyone’s series to win.
I must say, I was correct about Boston wanting Kobe to try and win the game solo status, look what happened in Games 4 & 5. In order for LA to win, Kobe has to not only be the best individual player in the NBA, but the best team player.
Al… my thoughts will still be, as they’ve been all season, is that the Rays are a solid team, and weren’t expected to have the best record in the division.
As long as they keep their wits and confidence about them, and their fans do the same, they’ll be in the running until the very end.
Whether that means a playoff spot remains to be seen.
Thanks. The thought first dawned on me during the announcements of Game One. Dim the lights, announce the stars, all the hype and regalia. Seemed just like a heavyweight bout to me. Except better since we haven’t had a decent one in years.
Doc’s really got these guys listening to him. You’re right about him constantly reminding them to weather the Kobe storm. Eventually, Doc told them, it’ll run its course… and it did.
The Lakers are getting absolutely NO help.
I thought the turning point of the game last night was the Rondo put back over Odom. Bryant had his man (Ray Allen) boxed out.
Odom (6’10”) was supposed to put a body on the man closest to him: Rondo (6’1″). He didn’t. Rondo skied over him for the put back tip.
Kobe just turned his head in disgust to see what had happened and saw his useless teammate failing him once again.
HOW SWEET IT IS!!! There were just too many great plays in game 5 to choose just one, but a few come to mind. 1.Rondo over Odom.
2.KG to Pierce to Rondo.
3.Rondo barely touching Artest and the resulting flop.
Congrats on being one step away, Snake. Incredible job coaching by Doc.
Need I remind you that mid-season, you had written this team off.
I think the difference last night (in game 5) was the fact that the Celts kept out of foul trouble and of course, Pierce was hitting early. This kept their offense running smoothly. Pau was an idiot to challenge Garnett verbally after Game 1, b/c Garnett stepped up and has played really well for the whole series. I predict that if Lakers take Game 6, they will take it all – Go Lakers!
PJD… I just think in a relatively evenly matched series, the team who wants it more, the team who hustles more, the team who is more disciplined is that team that will bring home the crown. (Isn’t that true in any walk of life?)
L.A. was totally out-hustled last night. They seemed out of sync. If they don’t screw their heads on straight on this trip back to L.A., which I think they’re perfectly capable of doing, then this thing will be over.
Should be another epic game tomorrow night. Although old, the Celtics vets will be ready for battle. Look for Ray Allen to break out of his 0-87 three point slump (OK, maybe he hasn’t missed that many in a row but it’s close) and KG to continue playing well.
Also, Lamar Odom has to show up and give Kobe some help. If he doesn’t come to play Tues and Thurs then the Celtics can easily eke out a victory in one of the games.
I think we tend to forget Lamar Odom was a #4 draft pick. Why is this guy not better?
Ron Artest needs to be benched. He certainly isn’t helping on offense, and if Pierce is lighting him up, he’s useless. Start Bynum-Gasol-Odom on the front line and dare the Celtics to find anything on the interior.
You know when I write about boxing, I have to drop you a line.
The problem is, Jake, the Lakers don’t have anyone else on their bench to play instead of Ron Ron. He’s their best option, he just needs to prove it.
Look, Artest is a former defensive player of the year. He’s the guy they got to be the LeBron/Pierce/Carter stopper.
He needs to just show his ass up.
Wits and confidence concerning the Rays . Does that mean the pitchers not throwing in excess of 120 pitches through four innings ? Cause that’s what has been happening as of late with the pitchers or hadn’t you noticed ?
Remind me never to become an acquaintance of Vince Young. He throws down in a strip joint just because someone mentions that players on the Longhorns are fags ?
What’s he going to do if someone calls his teammates on the Titans wusses ? Shoot ’em ?
Another mess that Goodell has to deal with .
Ryan /Ravenation LLC of firstorderhistorians.wordpress.com and I are going to start to a number of point-to-point debates on a number of topics ranging from sports to social topics of our choice.
We hope to make it an entertaining series over its course.
Take A Walk On The Wild Side ……….
This will be the first topic of debate . How good will the Giant be this upcoming season in the NFL ?
Did you hear the one where Ben Roethlisberger and Vince Young walk into a bar?
With due respect to Lamar Odom if his wife isn’t fulfilling her conjugal duties that’s no excuse for him to go “AWOL” or “MIA” in the NBA Finals . Oh so did the rest of the team other than Kobe !
No but I can only surmise it went something like this. ‘I’m gonna get me some “tail” ‘ ! Ben Vince ‘I’m gonna fu_k somebody up who says I’m gay ……….I only like looking of pictures of naked men because Jeff Fisher’s playbook is way too hard’ .
Dana White the President of UFC says that Chuck Liddell won’t fight under UFC’s banner again. Well consider Chuck has lost five of his last six fights and four of them came via a KO. There’s not much else that can be said is there ?
At this point, if given the option to trade them, how many of his teammates to you think Kobe would actually keep?
I’m thinking Fish, Gasol and that’s it.
If you want to see something funny, Al, watch the Vince Young restroom video again and look at the girl that’s on the right of the screen when the melee begins.
As soon as she realizes what’s going on, she sneaks out of the way to avoid any problems. She heads out of the room for a split second, then pokes her head back into the room to watch what’s going on.
Guess that tells us a lot about human nature, huh?
Kind of like Kobe’s teammates just standing around and watching him do all the work.
Al… I’m kind of out of the loop when it comes to politics and the different arms of MMA.
But I do loo forward to seeing how the sport treats it veterans as it becomes more financially successful.
Let’s hope it doesn’t take a page out of the NFL’s book.
There’s money now to be made in MMA. And the guys at the top it’s not uncommon for them to be making in excess of $ 3 million a year. Couture has his own training academy and clothing line. Rich Franklin a high school teacher is now amongst the most popular guys on the circuit.
Rampage Jackson is in the new A-Team movie reprising Mr T’s role.
It’s a made multi-millionaire out of Dana White .
As for Kobe I think he’d reluctantly keep Fish out of friendship and the fact that they joined the Lakers at the same time. Bynum would remain and so too would Gasol. The rest are mere driftwood that’s best used on an open fire to keep warm.
It’s definitley a boxing match! Too bad I’ve missed the first five rounds being in China… Oh well, I get to see the decisive one at least! I hope the C’s can pull it out in six. If it goes seven, you have to give the Lakers the edge!
I agree we always do get the “true” powerhouses in the NBA finals. You can’t get lucky winning four games for four series!
I know they’re getting rich, Al. But what about guys like Liddell who will clearly be a vegetable in another ten to fifteen years, particularly after this last fight. Is the league going to take care of him, who helped put the sport on the map, when it’s all said and done?
And Al, what good is Bynum is he’s not 100%.
It was nice of Phil and Doc to wait on your return, huh?
Any guy who’s been away from the octagon for a prolonged period due to a beating in a fight has to undergo a battery of neurological tests before they re-enter a bout. Other promotional organizations such as Strikeforce and Bellator are now beginning to follow UFC’s lead on that score. As you may or may not know there are only handful of states around the country that legally allow UFC to promote their events.
To my mind Liddell wasn’t that great a fighter to begin with ! It was the hype that got him to where he was more than anything else.
The Lakers lose this series and how much of a disappointment do you think it’ll be to their fans ?
They might as well turn the Staples Center into a morgue or elephants’ graveyard should that scenario arise.
Ariza must now be laughing his a_s off as the situation unfolds. Artest has given the Lakers almost nothing in the postseason .
As for “Mr Kardashian” what more can one say ? Khloe must’ve sapped his nut-sack ’cause he’s showing that he’s got no balls whatsover !
Al… I have no doubt that the UFC monitors their athletes own physically before they get into the ring again.
I’m thinking bigger picture.
Now that the sport is established, will they pay for such things as medical bills down the road?
They’re all getting rich now but have they set up a reserve fund for league vets?
If the Lakers lose this series, then it might be back to the drawing board for them as it is for Cleveland.
Or better yet, LeBron moves to L.A. and Kobe and he wreak havoc on the the league for a few years.
Did you tweet search Ariza after Ron Ron missed those free throws last night? It almost shut down the site.
Bigger picture regarding UFC ’til there’s a conclusive agreement where the main promoters are all on the same tact then there’s bound to be guys who’ll fall between the cracks. Hence the reason why UFC is licensed to only operate in about dozen states around the country. The bread and butter of its operations however is in Las Vegas and California . Though internationally there’s a great deal of interest especially in Canada , Europe and in particular the Far East where it’s in direct competition with the traditional form of martial arts there.
As to the Lakers I doubt LeBron will come there. Not with a clash of egos ‘tween he and Kobe. I could see however LBJ with the Clippers if Geffen gets his way and buys the team. He’ll no doubt also pursue a top line coach as well. That’s unless you’re willing to throw your hat into the ring ?
Coach Chris Humpherys of the Los Angeles Clippers ? It has that ring of authority and superiority about it don’t you think ?
College football divisional realignment has more to do with money than anything else . It’s not about having competitive teams. But who can lure the guys with the deepest pockets in terms of their revenues. Bear in mind that the schools don’t all share in the spoils and the monies derived by each of the divisions isn’t at all shared out equally amongst the teams. Once again much as it is in baseball college football has become about the haves and have not’s ! Need one say anymore on the matter ?
I’m very interested to see what happens in both boxing and MMA over the next decade, Al. Think they’ll both be around?
I agree that LBJ to the Lakers is a stretch but what if he doesn’t want to be the alpha dog and would rather have someone to lean on. It happened with Vince. And let me say this. If LBJ plays with Wade, don’t you think that’s the same thing?
I’m telling you. I’d make contenders out of the Clippers in no time.
I don’t think there’s any denying that money is driving realignment.
I was just surprised how little money college basketball brought to the table in comparison.
With the momentum of a 2 game streak, the Celtics look very good to win it tonight. All of the talk is about what the Lakers need to do to win tonight but as usual, no one ever talks about the Celtic’s success. All the Celtics need to do to win it all tonight is to do NOTHING different. Just keep playing their game.
They’ll need to match the effort of the last two games. Their defense has totally busted up that triangle.
I’m guessing you don’t want a Game Seven.
MMA will definitely be around. But I’m not so sure the sport of boxing will ! No up and coming heavyweights on the horizon and five years from now neither Manny or Floyd will be around.
Females jello wrestling might be more appealing don’t you think ?
Our taxpaying dollars at work. $ 11 million plus spent on the Bonds’ case they’ve not even indicted a ham sandwich. However the hate-fest between Clemens and McNamee continues unabound .
Can I get wha’ wha’ ? No chance of Rocket McNamee ever having a Brokeback moment .
Hocus Pocus ……
Hocus Pocus …
Jello wrestling is already more appealing, Al. And considerably more competitive.
I can’t wait for the new SURVIVOR to come out featuring McNamee, Donaghy, Don King, Bud Selig and whoever else you want to throw on that island.
Well the Lakers laid the “wood” the Celtics last night . Now it’s all in the line with everything to play for at the Staples Center Thursday night. If the stars align right then they Lakers should win.
So Izzo has decided to stay at Michigan St. Can you blame him ? Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert is an idiot to think that he’d live the Spartans without an outright commitment from LeBron telling them that he wants to remain with the organization . What the hell are they thinking to begin with ? That duo of Gilbert and his new GM Chris Grant are dumber than a box of rocks !
College basket ball is one thing but the “fatted calf” is college football . Everything else pales into comparison. It’s like comparing Wal-Mart to Winn Dixie ! One has ideas of grandeur while the other is “grandeur” and looks to conquer the world as a retailer.
The NCAA brings us the basketball championships and for a month we’re all engrossed in “March Madness”. In college football it’s the entire year and then you have the relevant BCS Bowl games. There’s money to be had and is being made by the tens of millions. Texas Longhorns’ tv contract alone is worth upwards of $25 million a year. And that’s in-house so imagine what they’re getting from the networks ?
If I were a fan of the Celtics, I’d be very afraid. At least Sheed can finally burn that tech. I don’t think he’s too concerned about missing the first game of next year’s schedule. But the loss of Kendrick Perkins is really gonna hurt.
And I’m not sure what’s going on behind closed doors in Cleveland but Gilbert better re-sign the chosen one and that includes selling his soul to have to do so.
Texas, Al. The New York Yankees of the Big 12 (minus 2)
Man, Game 7 better not be a blowout, or I’m going to wish it just ended when I was in China!
The series has been really weird, Chap. While these teams have been evenly matched throughout, the final scores don’t reflect that.
I can’t see the Celtics rolling over in a Game Seven so hopefully, we’re in for a classic.
I hope you’re right, but Perkins is a HUGE loss… If it’s a blowout at halftime, I think I’ll watch some US Open highlights instead of the game…
I heard on the radio tonight that Perkins has the biggest +/- ratio of any Celtic.
His injury is a huge loss for Boston.
I didn’t as such see this series going seven games . But now that it has it seems to be affecting the Celtics more than the Lakers.
It Takes A Big Man To Admit When He’s Made A Mistake………. It Takes An Even Bigger Man To Apologize ……….
Again, Al, I’m hoping it’s competitive, considering we haven’t had a single competitive game yet.
I want an historic moment.