Monday, May 18, 2009

Tale of two coasts

The Lakers kept their end of the deal by beating the Rockets in Game 7 Sunday to advance to the Western Conference finals against the Denver Nuggets. But the Boston Celtics, who led the series, 3-2, got bounced out of the playoffs by the Orlando Magic, losing Game 7 in Boston. It was the first time that the Celtics lost a Game 7 on their home court.
So, no Lakers-Celtics rematch this year. The best the NBA and TV networks can hope for is Lakers-Cavaliers, which wouldn't be bad--Kobe vs. LeBron is a nice match-up, but its not Boston vs. L.A. Suddenly, the league really needs the Lakers to keep winning. Can you imagine the letdown if its Cleveland-Denver or, heaven forbid, Orlando-Denver? The heads of NBA execs would explode. Upper Manhattan bar stools would spin out of control.
Actually, the Lakers should have an easier time against the Nuggets than they did against the gutty Rockets. The Nuggets play a game more in style with the Lakers, run-and-shoot, transition, and the Lakers defense is better. Also, the Lakers match up better against Denver. If they ever see Houston's Aaron Brooks again, it will be too soon. The Western Conference finals start Tuesday night at Staples. Lakers in five.

The Dodgers came home with four wins in six games against the Phillies and the Marlins, two of the NL East's better teams. Tonight L.A., which has the best record in baseball and a six-game lead over the Giants in the NL West, starts a home series against the New York Mets. Suddenly there's less talk about missing Manny Ramirez and more enthusiasm about winning without him.
The Dodgers got a nice pitching performance from southpaw Clayton Kershaw yesterday against the Marlins, striking out nine, and Dodger hitters scored 10 runs against one of the league's better young pitching staffs.
Now they play the Mets, a team that many picked to win the pennant at the start of the season, for three games, then open the Freeway Series against the Angels on Friday.

No comments:

Post a Comment