The tyranny of Boston sports upon the rest of us is over. Glorious day!
The Celtics were smashed by 20 in a Game 7 in Boston by a team with laughable psychological fortitude. Don't use the "But there was no KG!" excuse -- this team is the epitome of one-and-done.
They won't return to the Finals next year, even if KG is totally healthy. The Cavs will only get better. The Magic apparently now own them -- and are only getting better.
And then, in 2010, Rajon Rondo will bolt as a free agent to one of the many teams with massive amounts of cap room that won't land LeBron or Wade or Bosh.
Oh, sure the Celtics should TRY to win it all next year -- they bet the farm before 08-09 on a title run; to their credit, they got it. And, to their credit, a title in '08 is worth more than contending without one for the next 20 years.
But the run is effectively over -- we all knew it was coming this postseason anyway.
(Meanwhile, the rest of Boston sports is a shambles: The Pats lost in the biggest upset in NFL history two years ago, then lost their QB, then missed the playoffs despite being the best team in the league heading into the playoffs. And the Red Sox, while fine, are about to have to do something drastic about David Ortiz, the heart and soul of the team's success this decade.)
Meanwhile, I don't think the Cavs will sweep the Magic. I don't even think they will win in 5, or even 6. I think the Magic broke through with these past two games against the Celtics -- they surely won't face more pressure against the Cavs than they did against Boston.
And while the Cavs might be an infinitely better team than the Celtics, the Magic are an infinitely better team than the Cavs have played so far in the playoffs -- the Pistons and the Hawks. How can you have a puncher's chance against the Cavs? 3s and a very very very good big man -- the Magic have both.
Meanwhile, I thought the Lakers would cruise to the West title -- they still might, but the Nuggets are the best team in the West they could face. Not only can the Nuggets score with the Lakers, but Kobe and Co. might still remember how Chauncey Billups tore 'em up in 2004.
There is tons in the SN column today -- including about 9 items on baseball from the weekend, along with what I think is the most accurate prediction of Urban Meyer's future at Notre Dame. Check it out here. More later.