Reflections on the Playoffs

Sat Apr 29, 2006

I don’t root for professional basketball teams out of some mere locality. North Carolina, during most of the time I lived there, did not have a pro team; and, while I detested Michael Jordan and UNC when I was very young, I gradually became a Bulls fan during his career. Aesthetically, perhaps, the Bulls were not the best team during the entirety of their championship era; but they certainly kicked the hell out of New York, Utah, and Miami in terms of watchability.

The Suns are the only NBA team I can pull for as a matter of general principle now, though I certainly prefer some teams over others (except in the case of this dreadful Bulls-Heat series–how is it that a team with such an exciting player as Wade be so consistently miserable to watch?). And as such, the last two games with the Lakers have been difficult. I don’t think it’s pedantic to note that the Bryant’s now-famous dunk was clearly a charge (and kudos to Greg Anthony last night for demythologizing and depersonalizing this play a bit).

Though the Lakers have momentum, I don’t think they can sustain it. Even if they win Sunday’s game, I predict that by Tuesday the following will happen: Bryant will deviate from their quite successful distribution game plan, and this will be precipitated by Phoenix opening up a substantial lead in the first half. I think this hasn’t happened in the first three games out of luck more than anything else, and all three could have gone either way. Thus, even if the Suns lose tomorrow, I think there’s a good chance they’ll end up winning the series. If Thomas’s knee injury is serious, this may change things.