It’s even more certain now that both teams have exhibited their superiority in the Lakers game 1 rout against the Suns, and the Celtics taking two from the Magic on their home floor.
There is a strong consensus from NBA minds that LA presents a dominate mismatch with just their front court alone, with the three 7-footers. Never mind the fact that Kobe Bryant will not encounter any nags from the defense of the Phoenix Suns, except maybe the sight of Vigo from Ghostbusters.
What people seemed to forget though, including NBA minds (with the exception of TNT’s Kenny Smith, and the dubious Skip Bayless), is that Lebron and Orlando are not the Eastern Conference’s best to offer. Despite Boston not showing the aptitude in the regular season, this group of savvy veterans, a budding superstar, key role players, experienced coach, and a team with the desire to PLAY DEFENSE. They are far better than the 61 win Lebron, and 59 win Magic. What they really did was illuminate how inconsequential, and tedious an 82 game regular season really is. It’s beneath them sort of like the way Billy Madison walked into his first dodgeball game in 3rd grade all nonchalant, as soon he let those little motherfuckers get some confidence, he took it from them in an instance.
That’s how the Celtics have approached this postseason, Game 4 at home against Lebron was the point Garnett let everyone know they were in big trouble. And that’s when the rest of the team caught up to Rondo’s pace and began the run they are on now.
Their matchup with Orlando is plain and simple, they are far better and that was evident before this series even started, considering Orlando was a much better team last year with Hedo Turkaglu creating the matchup problem he did, in turn leading to Rashard Lewis’s mismatches he would be given. Dwight Howard, who was the third best player on that team last year, was given so much room to operate even him and his ‘dribble-dribble, right or left turn-hook-brick’ couldn’t fuck up (unless Perkins or Glen Davis were guarding him).
Replacing Hedo with Vince Carter is appealing on paper, but so is breast surgery until you see what the finished project is, and sometimes you end up with Heidi from ‘The Hills’ instead of Scarlett Johansson. Vince is not the go-to-guy they expected him to be, and he really hasn’t been since 2000 and 2001 in Toronto. So it was foolish for the Orlando front office to expect that anyway.
From what I’ve seen so far in this series has affirmed all of my notions, Dwight Howard is not the player the hype makes him out to be. He does a couple of things good, but he’s not the type of guy to win a team a big series. Unfortunately, for Orlando they don’t have a single guy who can do that. And instead of Scalabrine playing 25+ minutes like last year’s series between these two teams, Orlando has to deal with a healthy KG, a KG that is an exact replica of the KG in 2008.
The series was over before the opening tip of Game 1, Orlando is just kind enough to be Boston’s sparring partner for the upcoming bout with the Lakers, same goes for Phoenix. However unlike in ’08 when Pau Gasol was still flushing blood down the toilet once a month, and approving which dress was the best look for Lamar Odom. Things could be more interesting than the ass-whooping Boston laid down to put the Kobe-Jordan talks in perspective. Those three 7-footers are now a capable presence and a unique match-up problem.
But I see your 7-foot Cubed and raise you Rondo, and a pissed off Celtics team.