Saturday, May 31

NBA Playoffs Non-Analysis: The Finals

Oh, goody, Lakers and Celtics, the Finals matchup that all of America (i.e. LA fans, Boston fans, those with financial interest in the league) has been waiting for. The Association will make a ton of money, the sport will maxmize its exposure, and hopefully some good basketball will be played. Boston's defensive prowess versus the Lakers' offensive flow will be an interesting matchup, and the series is packed with star players for both LA (Bryant, Odom, Gasol) and Boston (crazy Garnett, Pierce, sort-of Allen).

Here's the thing: I don't care that it's Boston and LA. I don't care that they played three times for the title about 20 years ago, and I even remember watching some of those games as a youth and rooting for the Celtics. The history here for me, as a Cavs fan, could not be less exciting. Frankly, I'd rather have fresh teams. I wish I could get a flashback-free broadcast of this finals; I wish even more that I could watch it in Francis-vision where you have the same players and everything, but one team is blue with no logo and one is red with no logo. Because for me, the Finals is one of two things:

1) Cavs vs. West champion (see 2007)
2) Not Cavs vs. West champion (see every other year)

In a case like this where scenario 2 is taking place, it's not entirely relevant if it's Boston-LA, Toronto-New Orleans, Charlotte-Sacramento, or Madrid-Bombay. I'll pick a horse to back for some arbitrary reason, of course, but I'm hoping for close-fought games - this present historical context doesn't do a thing for me. Onto the prediction:

The Finals

(1)Celtics vs (1)Lakers
Out of the 12 series I've picked so far, I've missed on four: twice I picked the Spurs to lose and they did not, twice I picked Boston to lose and they did not. Apparently I underestimated (more accurately, over-disliked) these two squads, especially Boston.

At the start, as you'll remember, I picked Detroit over LA in the Finals, and was thus quite impressed at how Boston handled Detroit, beating them twice in the Palace. Considering that the Celtics beat the team who I believed would topple the Lakers and claim the Larry O'Brien Trophy, transitive logic (and home-court logic) dictates that I go with the Celtics in this series, right? Right?

Likewise, I tend to pull for teams who have never won or haven't won for a long time, mostly to reward patient, loyal fan bases. Well, Boston hasn't won since 1986 and hasn't even been to the Finals since 1987, while LA is making their fifth Finals appearance this decade and seeking their fourth title over that span. My rule of thumb suggests I back the Celtics here, right?


I can't pick the Celtics, even if I thought they could win (I don't), even if my argument from two paragraphs actually held up (not really), and even if the franchise has been waiting 20 years to add their 17th title. Because, and let me be clear here: I hate Boston sports teams and am tiring of both their dominance and fans' prevalence. I did not like losing to the Red Socks in the ALCS. I did not like losing to the Celtics in these very playoffs. I do not like getting mauled by the Patriots every year. I do not like any fan base getting to see enjoy THREE Super Bowl winners and TWO World Series Championships while Cleveland, in best Judge Smails tradition, gets nothing and likes it. These people don't need a basketball title. Fortunately, I don't think they'll get it either.

Lakers in 6


Figgs said...

osuI was considering rooting for the Celtics in this series, because I don't like the Lakers. But this article just persuaded me to root for LA. I'm also tired of Boston. Thank you for bringing me to my senses.

Figgs said...

Don't mind that osu at the begining of my comment, I was trying to type my password in and apparently it didn't work and went to my comment instead.