Thursday, June 05, 2008

Basketball: Here we go!

Well, the Finals are finally here. It should be a great matchup, with two teams with such a history going head-to-head yet again. I don't really like either team, but it should still be an excellent series. As much as I hate the Lakers, I think they're probably going to win this one in six: they just have too much talent and too much depth, plus Kobe is playing out of his mind at the moment. Also, you can't back Boston in the coaching matchup of Doc Rivers against "The Zen Master" Phil Jackson.

One thing is for sure, though: the NBA has the NHL beat to shreds on cool pre-game ceremonies. The Boston one isn't quite as good as Detroit's, but it's still better than anything Bettman's league's done lately. Also, the NHL (and all other pro sports leagues) need to go to taping the coaches' pre-game speeches: very cool stuff! I've always wondered what they actually say in the locker room to get the pros fired up, and it's very interesting to see.

The one broadcasting thing I'll miss in this round is TNT's Inside the NBA panel, as the Finals are on ABC: those guys are the greatest halftime/postgame show I've ever seen (especially when they're playing Anchorman pranks or jumping over cars). Should be a great series.

Some good preview pieces:

- Bill Simmons has a nice column, sprinkled with quotes from Jackson's book The Last Season. Definitely worth a read to remember how dysfunctional the Lakers used to be and how bright a coach Phil Jackson is.

- Matt McHale of the excellent Basketbawful has a good preview up at Deadspin.

- Henry Abbott from TrueHoop points out that in many ways, the NBA's at least as good as it was back in the days of the heated Celtics-Lakers rivalry. He's also liveblogging the game: well worth a read.

No comments:

Post a Comment