The series that looked pretty much over in LA has changed courses completely. After a trip to Phoenix, the Suns now have the upper hand with the Lakers on their toes. Led by three-point shooting, zone defense, and the recent resurgence of bench play, the Suns look geared for a possible upset. The Lakers have completely steered away from their comfort zone and winning formula, settling as a predominantly jump shot and three-point shooting team in Games 3 & 4. This would be okay if a) Ron Artest was Trevor Ariza (I said it once and I'll say it a thousand times: "Terrible trade Lakers! Let's take an almost equally good defender, lights out from 3, came up so clutch in our championship run last year with game-changing steals and threes, and replace him with a maayyybee marginally better defender, out of his prime, can't shoot for [expletive], and has never been a winner! It's the perfect trade! For the Rockets."). Or b) If the Lakers didn't have the best front court in basketball (Odom 6'10", Gasol 7'0", Bynum 8'11"). It's like playing the Mon-Stars for goodness sake. Without MJ, Bill Murray, or Newman running the show, the Suns shouldn't be able to compete with that front court. But instead, the Lakers are settling for jump shots, playing at the Suns pace, and running their almost unbeatable team into the ground. I don't see Jackson being fooled three times by Alvin Gentry, I don't see Gasol being a non-factor again, and I don't see the Lakers losing at home in the playoffs, well, ever. So I'll still give the Lakers an upper hand on this one. Especially since we all know David Stern will do whatever it takes to get a Lakers-Celtics Final again. But it would be nice to see the Suns put the pressure on LA and take Game 5 tonight. It would sure make Lebron's puppet happy.
P.s. Robin Lopez has established himself as the second biggest d-bag in the NBA this series, only trailing his brother Brook for the title. His histrionics on the bench make me wish someone would miss clipping Steve Nash in the face with an elbow for once and hit Lopez. He's so overdramatic, and I'm still befuddled how he road his brother into the NBA like that. Granted he's played really well this year, but that doesn't change the fact that him and his brother are still huge d-bags. And so is J.J. Redick. No relevance, he just is.
2. Magic climbing their way back
I will probably never live down, nor forgive the Yankees for blowing a 3-0 lead to the Boston Red Sox in 2004. I think the only thing that could ever make up for that would be for us (the Yankees, yes I pretend I'm apart of the organization) to do it to them twice. Or us just sweeping them for the rest of eternity. But until that happens, I gotta admit, it would feel pretty good right now to see Boston blow a 3-0 series lead after two weeks ago, the Boston Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers. Can you imagine? Something that's happened only four times in sport history, never once in basketball, happening twice in the same month to Boston? That...would...be...awesome! The Magic have all the momentum in the world too. Not only did they outplay them in Boston, grinding out an overtime victory. They also dominated them at home where they would play Game 7. And, in the real tough challenge, Game 6, Glen "Big Baby" Davis most likely won't play after going down like Frazier last night, and...
3. Kendrick Perkins is facing a suspension for Game 6 right now.
Well, actually, not anymore. I just learned that the NBA rescinded the second technical foul Perkins picked up last night, dropping his total for the playoffs to 6. This means Perkins won't be suspended for Game 6 and the Celtics can breathe a sigh of relief. Don't be mistaken, the loss of Big Baby, who's been playing great this series, will exceptionally hurt the C's chances of winning the game. But having Perkins is huge. He's one of the few people in the league that can disrupt Dwight Howard's offensive game, and without Perkins, the Celtics' Finals hopes would be in the hands of Rasheed Wallace. Nobody wants that responsibility in Rasheed's hands. Rasheed doesn't even want it. He'd much rather prefer drifting from three-point line to three-point line, keeping those legs fresh for the occasional open look, as opposed to battling Howard on every possession. Dropping one of the two questionable T's on Perkins may save the Celtics season. Unless he picks up another one tonight.
And lastly, in news completely unrelated to the playoffs that most people probably care more about...
4. Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson & now Chris Bosh plan to talk about free agency...
That's right. The "Axis of Powers" in this summer's free agency group plan to talk before they make their respective commitments. What has the NBA come to? It's literally run by Lebron, Wade, and David Stern's referees these days. This is collusion. It should be illegal. Unless of course, they all decide to come to the Knicks. One thing is for sure. The Bulls are kind of screwed. It seems D-Wade wants no part in that franchise, and he's really pushing for Miami. I could see Lebron in Miami, but I think it's a little far-fetched at this point. I can't imagine there's any way all four of these players can land on the same team, nor if it would make any sense for them all to be on the same team. But it should be really interesting to see what fate they decide for the NBA this summer. If they wanted to, they could basically say, "Ya know what? I think the Clippers should win the next 8 championships." Then, the most cursed franchise ever, could instantly have 8 titles - no thanks in part to Blake Griffin. Obviously, I'm pulling for the Knicks to get all four of these guys, throw in Danilo Gallinari and his hair gel, and the team I've seen fail so many times throughout my lifetime has 5-8 titles (assuming there's no injuries). My second vote would be for them to go to Dallas. Let's examine the lineup:
C - Dirk Nowitzki (not really because he'll be out on the perimeter the whole game, but whatever he's 7'0''). 2009-10 stats: 25.0 ppg 7.7 rpg
PF - Chris Bosh 2009-10 stats: 24.0 ppg 10.8 rpg (in Canada)
SF/PG - Lebron James 2009-10 stats: 29.7 ppg 7.3 rpg 8.6 apg 2.4 sttapg (Sportscenter Top Ten Appearances per game), MVP
SG/PG - Dwyane Wade 2009-10 stats: 26.6 ppg 6.5 apg 1.84 spg
PG/SG - Joe Johnson - 21.3 ppg 4.9 apg
This team would go 81-1. They would fool around so much they'd be bound to have one let down. Sure, they'd have to take enormous pay cuts, but I'm sure Mark Cuban could work something out under the table. Plus do they really need $15 million a year? That's chump change when it comes to their endorsements. I'm not saying it's gonna happen. But how ridiculous would it be if that happened? Maybe it could too. They are all talking. Let's hope they just don't fight about the decision and all go separate ways. Then the NBA would be competitive again.
Oh no wait.
Image taken from bing.com