Sunday, May 07, 2006

First Round in the Books

The NBA looked somewhat smart for making the first round of the playoffs a 7-game suaree thanks to all the excitement it generated. Still, they should stick with the 5-game set. Look at the second round matchups, my point exactly. They are exactly what everyone predicted. No upsets. No cinderella teams. If it had been 5 games, maybe the Lakers sneak through or the Kings find a way.

With that said, LeBron and Arenas conducted a classic 1 on 1 battle throughout the series. There have not been many individual performers opposite each other that played at this high a level, especially with their teams relying on them this much. It had everything, game-winners, highlight reel plays, big stat sheets, etc. But before we go too far, LeBron is not becoming the next Jordan just based on this series. It was the first round, it was the Wizards, another words it is not enough.

Out West, the Lakers and Suns went at it, and it got nasty. Should Raja Bell have been suspended? Tough call, but I would have liked to see the league suspend him if the foul was on someone other than Kobe. Glad the Suns pulled it out though. Kobe showed his true colors in Game 6 and 7, being an individualist in the first then downright failing his team in the 7th. And whose Lakers team was that a few years ago? That's right, Shaq!

Some words of wisdom, watch out for Detroit. They flew under the radar (a 6:30 start time one night) while LeBron got the pub. Now the well-oiled machine will take charge. They have to be the favorites without a doubt. Rest assured LeBron will not put up the numbers he did against Washington without an insane effort. The Pistons can D-up and Prince is a tough matchup. Out west, San Antonio looked extremely vulnerable against a game Kings team. But, like the Yankees of the late '90's, don't count them out until they are dead. They are great on their own court, have a bunch of proven PLAYOFF performers, a great coach, all the ingredients. One way or another look for the winner of that series with Dallas to head to the Finals.
Now it may be time to pay attention...Round 2.


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