Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tuesday 05/05 A.M. Quickie:
Zack, Rockets, Magic, LeBron, More

Two words: Zack. Greinke. The best story in baseball this season had his best game ever.

It was almost -- almost -- enough to knock the NBA's double-trouble last night from the lead of today's SN column.

I will only say this once: If you look back to November, in the NBA preseason picks, I predicted Rockets-Magic in the NBA Finals. This morning may be as close as I get.

The Rockets were one of a very very short list of teams actually competing for a championship this year, and they seem to have the ingredients to hang with the Lakers: Yao as the hub, Ron-Ron as the X-factor, Battier as the defensive glue, Brooks as the backcourt scoring punch. Anyone else think the Rockets were sunk when Yao went out with 5 minutes to play? Houston was still ahead, but you could see the Lakers coming -- especially if the Rockets didn't have Yao. His return and subsequent contributions (8 pts in the final minutes)... let's just say that if that happened with KG in Boston or LeBron in NY, the hype would never stop.

The Celtics are another matter: Who DIDN'T see the Magic winning in Boston last night coming a mile away? The Celtics probably thought the first two quarters were a few more stanzas of OT against the Bulls -- of course, the Bulls weren't as good as the Magic.

As predictable as the Celtics' Game 1 loss was the notion that the Magic nearly let an umpteen-point lead slip away in the 2nd half. I almost thought they would throw the game away entirely -- but even the psychologically challenged Magic couldn't blow THAT big of a lead.

LeBron as MVP: Really, it was no contest. Statistically, he put together one of the greatest individual seasons of all time. And he led his team to the best record in the NBA, including the 40-win season at home. He makes everyone better and is, himself, unstoppable.

I asked this in the column: At what point does LeBron get the "Anyone But You" effect on his MVP votes? Presumably, he will be the best player in the NBA every year for the next, say, decade. Like they did with Jordan, the MVP voters will want some variety: Maybe Dwight Howard one year, maybe Wade, maybe Durant...eventually.

But let's not kid ourselves: LeBron is the best player in the game. He will remain the best player in the game. He may very well be the best player ever. Without a ring, it is all meaningless.

Complete SN column here. More later.

-- D.S.


Unknown said...

How do you leave out Ovie and Crosby?

Unknown said...

"He may very well be the best player ever."

Two words. Michael Jordan.

Oberon said...

Hey, Dan - LeBron is 11 wins away from a title, not 7.

Also, as a Packer fan, I can't wait for the Favre-to-Vikings move. I think it'll be great for the NFL. I live about 30 minutes southeast of Green Bay and listen to 107.5 (the FAN - local sports radio station) every day. The fans are about 70-30 hating on Favre for this. But the 30% who want him back are very level headed (IMO) about it. Basically, we understand this isn't HS sports, where there is an actual connection to the players. I root for players above all, as the ones who gave me the best memories are the ones I wish well. Favre is at the top of my list and I'll continue to root for him as a Viking.

As for some mythical double-standard: that flew out the windown when free agency started. You can root against players b/c they are on the "other" team, but only short-sighted fans would be unable to root for said player if he joined "their" team.