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Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:07

A shot in the dark

An uninformed look at the NBA Finals

Every sports fan has his or her preferences. Some sports capture a lot of our interest, while others are regulated to once-in-a-while status. For me, the NBA is a league to which I only occasionally pay attention.

However, that changes a little during playoff time. The postseason in any sport is by definition more engaging each game carries more meaning than in the regular season. Every time out, you come a little closer to your season's end. A team has only one real goal in the playoffs win their last game.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 15:34

An ambivalent NBA Finals prediction

A look ahead from someone who doesn't really care

I've long had a lukewarm relationship with the NBA. As a fan of sports in general and New England teams specifically, I check in with the Celtics from time to time throughout the season, but I rarely pay any real attention until the playoffs start and only then when the Celtics are in contention.

The 2012 Celtics took us on quite a ride, but they ultimately came up short, leaving us with a Miami Heat/Oklahoma City Thunder matchup in the finals. While this is admittedly the dream outcome for the NBA powers that be, most of my personal interest ticked away along with the final seconds of Celtics/Heat Game 7.

Still, it would be remiss of me not to engage my exceedingly inaccurate powers of prediction for this series, and so here's how I see it:

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 13:17

Sports something something

I am no fool. I am a believer. I love the Boston Celtics. All of those things have been keeping me up nights for the past few weeks, watching what will likely be the last run for the Celtics as we currently know them. Not being a fool yet still being a believer are things that contrast quite frequently. Here's why.

I love a good conspiracy theory. I am constantly thinking I could possibly be a part of one, a la 'The Truman Show' (not much proof to back that one upyet). JFK assassination? Go rent Oliver Stone's movie and watch the last 45 minutes while Kevin Costner breaks it all down in court. If you didn't believe, you will. Did aliens land in Roswell back in 1947? Absolutely. Do they live among us? Um, no. Is Bigfoot real? No. Is 'Harry and the Hendersons' still a great movie? Yes.  Like I said, I'm no fool. Here's the rub: The NBA is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Don't let them.

Watching the Celtics from 2007-2008 on has been wonderful. The Cs have been a fixture late in the playoffs ever since the big three was assembled. It has made the start of summer extra special for half a decade, but sadly they don't have a chance to win it all this year. Because the NBA doesn't want them to win. There it is: The NBA is a fake.

I'm not saying that the players are doing anything dastardly like shaving points to affect the outcome of gamesbut the officials, now, that's a different story. I'm not even going to mention Tim Donaghy and the fact he was betting on games - oh wait, I just did. I'm talking about the refs in this year's playoffs. Are they doing a horrible job of calling the Heat and Celtics Eastern Conference Finals? Yes. Are they doing it because they are bad referees? No. They are doing it because the NBA officials are telling them to! Am I crazy? I would say no, you may say otherwise. That's your right. But I'm telling you it's a conspiracy.

Paul Pierce fouls out of two consecutive games. Lebron James shoots 24 foul shots one game, the same game the Celtics shoot 29. Rajon Rondo gets decapitated in overtime of Game 2; no call. The league wants the Heat in the finals. They want the Heat against the Thunder. They want to crown a new champion; they are tired of old stars winning titles. The Spurs and Celtics? That's not sexy. Been there done that, says the NBA. There is a new crop of marquee names that the league wants to push, to sell tickets and jerseys. Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Lebron just to name a few. None of them are champions, but the league desperately wants that to change. Why didn't they allow Chris Paul to go to the Lakers? I'll tell you why. The Lakers are getting old. They don't have many more runs in them. Conspiracy.

Let's go back through the last few champions. Starting in 1999 it goes Spurs, Lakers, Lakers, Lakers, Spurs, Pistons, Heat, Spurs, Celtics, Lakers, Lakers and Mavericks. The Spurs and Lakers weren't old when they started winning, but they are now. Shaq was the reason for the first three, Kobe the last two. Shaq was also the reason Miami won in 2006, with a lot of help from Dwyane Wade. Look at that list: all old teams. Last year the Mavericks had the oldest roster in the league. The NBA caters to younger fans; they want kids watching these games. They want to put a hip product out there. They don't want to see the Celtics and Spurs walking it up the court like your dad on open gym on a Sunday afternoon. They want Lebron fast breaking with D-Wade and Kevin Durant making it rain from down town. Not Ray Allen rubbing icy hot all over himself pre- and post-game.

I want the Celtics to win. I will watch and cheer. I can honestly say that I think they are the better team. Too bad they don't have a chance. The series may go seven, because that makes the NBA more money, but Boston won't be raising another banner. Big Brother is watching and won't allow it to happen.

Published in The Sports Edge

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