So perhaps my "Magic in 5" was wrong. I take comfort in the 1991 NBA Finals, when MJ and the Bulls lost Game 1 -- in Chicago, no less -- but went on to take 4 straight from the Lakers.
Couple differences: (1) Those Lakers were at the end of their run; these Lakers are mid-stride, even uber-motivated after last year, and (2) Kobe is the MJ in this scenario.
I can't help but think that the Magic can't possibly shoot as badly as they did last night (sub-30 percent) again -- progression to the mean? And don't forget nerves.
(I'm just rationalizing in the lead of today's SN column. I know it.)
Still: That was a throttling. But -- and I didn't do this research myself via Lexis-Nexis or anything -- I wonder what the newspaper columnists were saying back in '91 after Game 1 about the Bulls? Yeah, Game 1 was abdsurdly tense and could have gone either way -- unlike last night. But I'm sure there were more than a fair share of columnists ready to say "Bulls not ready."
*Randy Johnson wins No. 300. Not only will there never be another 300-game winner, I'm going to say that there won't be another 250-game winner. I look at the top contenders in the column today -- maybe Roy Halladay; he's "only" 32 and has to "only" win 15 games a season for the next 6 seasons. No sweat!
The upshot, really, is that the mythic plateau of "300" will quickly be discounted back to 250 -- good news for Mike Mussina, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris and -- most recently -- Jamie Moyer. The bigger question is whether I am not discounting ENOUGH -- will 200 eventually become the new 300?
Lots going on in the column today. Check it out here. More later.