We knew it was coming but I don’t think anyone would have imagined it happening so quickly. The end to the veteran teams is here, whether you like it or not. We have already seen the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers crash out of the playoffs in the first two rounds.
Of the remaining teams there are two true veteran sides left, the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics and they are doing everything they can to prolong their stay at the top of the NBA food chain.
But there will come a time where the younger sides catch up and overtake them, it may have already happened. The part after that is the most frightening because you don’t know when your team will have a legitimate chance to compete for a championship again. It is evident that the Spurs – Lakers era has come to an end (that is if the Lakers don’t get Dwight Howard) Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant cannot put up the numbers they used to when they carried their teams.
It’s sad and depressing to think that sooner rather than later we will see our favorite players taking a back seat to younger talent. As their numbers decline, playing time gets reduced and if they chose not to retire we will be able to find them in another uniform sitting on the end of the bench like Shaquille O’Neal.
But there is a light to this, with all these old guys stepping aside there will be room for new and upcoming talent to fill that void and for current stars to win some silverware that may be the only thing missing from their trophy collection. Yes that’s directed specifically to LeBron, but I would love to Dwight and Kevin Durant to win the MVP and a championship during the next ten years while they are still in their primes.
There are very bright days ahead for the NBA, I wish I could say the same for the veteran teams mentioned as it is win now or possibly lose your chance for a long time.
Until next time..
I wrote yesterday that LA would come out firing in Game 4 behind their fearless superstar and leader Kobe Bryant. How wrong was I? Expecting to see the Kobe of the past, the one that averaged 30+ points, showed the will and determination to raise his team to the next level and carry them when the rest of his teammates were performing poorly.
That Kobe never showed up, as a matter of fact he didn’t make much of an appearance during these playoffs. An average of 23.3 points is impressive, but if your name is Kobe Bryant this number is disappointing. Coincidentally that is Kobe’s point’s average for the second round against the Dallas Mavericks, his first round average wasn’t better at 22.5 points per game.
We know that scoring the basketball isn’t the only positive thing you can do to help your team win, however not to go into much detail, his assists and rebounding numbers were both bellow 4 per game. Which is saying that he is not sacrificing his scoring for another part of his game, he is just not being productive as he once was.
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I am being very critical of Kobe because he is the leader of that team and by being that guy his actions should have spoken louder than the statements in the post game press room, especially what he had to say after Game 3.
Now it’s time for the Lakers to go on summer vacation and think long and hard about how they stank it up in the second round. Is it an end of an era? Well yes, if Phil Jackson retires then it will be, but don’t discount the Lakers from a championship in the next couple of years when Kobe is assuming the position of role player behind Dwight Howard.
Not to take anything away from Dallas, they played flawless series and were by far the better team that had the best player on the floor in Dirk Nowitzki. There is no certainty of who they will be playing in the conference finals but whoever it is they will make it a far more competitive series than this one was.
Until next time..
If we have learned anything from these playoffs it is that no team is safe. The Los Angeles Lakers are yet another “favorite” on the brink of elimination down 3-0 to the Dallas Mavericks. I say “favorite” because basically every sports writer outside of Texas has picked them to win. Yes, the Lakers are the two time defending champions, however the Spurs’ resume was also far more impressive than the Grizzlies, and we already know the result of that series.
The Mavs also have a reputation, although unlike the Lakers, it isn’t a good one. Soft is the term that we hear the most when people describe the play of Dallas. Their ability to throw away commanding leads, early exits from the playoffs in previous years and most of all the play of the face of their franchise, Dirk Nowitzki, has attributed to this tag.
But the Mavericks aren’t who we thought they were, tipped to be the most likely top seed to be upset in the first round, they got through the Trail Blazers pretty convincingly and weren’t given a chance against the defending champs. Softness is no longer a factor, they have been grinding it out all playoffs. Games 1 and 3 against LA could have gone either way, it could easily be 2-1 in favor of the Lakers but the Mavs were the ones making plays, limiting mistakes down the stretch and most of all the outstanding play by Dirk.
Now that they are up 3-0 there is still no time to relax, they haven’t actually won the series yet and it would be a shame to be known as the first team in NBA history to drop a three game lead in the playoffs.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant told the media yesterday that he is confident that they will still win this series. It is highly doubtful but Kobe will more than likely try to take over every game that follows in an effort of desperation to stay in these playoffs and win his sixth ring. If he does achieve this then he could possibly have an argument of being as good as MJ, However Michael never let his team go down 0-3 in a series.
I find it hard to believe that the Lakers won’t win a single game this series, but the way the Mavs have been playing a sweep is on the cards.
Until next time..
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