Today's SN column lead was the follow-up to Wednesday's column that the entire NBA season was all about LeBron. The playoffs are no different -- perhaps even more so.
Because it's "Title or Fail" for Mr. James. Not unlike Florida football in 2009 -- even the Colts in 2009 -- anything less than a national championship is a failed season. I think that goes even more for LeBron than Florida, if only because of its weight on the pending Summer of LeBron.
And so one's playoff predictions come down to this: Where do you think LeBron's season ends?
*With a championship?
*Losing in the Finals, say to the Lakers?
*Losing in the East finals, say to the Magic?
It's that last scenario that we've seen before -- LeBron's Cavs were the favorite in the East (if not the entire NBA) a year ago. That dream collapsed in 6 games -- in large part due to Cleveland's inability to stop Orlando's "stretch-4," Rashard Lewis. So the Cavs went out and got Antawn Jamison. The Magic, of course, did their work in the summer, getting Vince Carter (losing Turkoglu), Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson, and re-signing Marcin Gortat. On paper, it was unmatched depth. On the court, they have "hand" (in Costanzan terms) over the Cavs.
Considering I'm a leading "instant historian," I'm a sucker for believing too much in what happened last year as forecast for what will happen this year. It remains my biggest weakness as a prognosticator of seasons or playoffs (or brackets).
But I think the Cavs fall short again -- losing to the Magic in the East finals, before the Lakers beat the Magic again in the NBA Finals.
What are your NBA playoff picks? Put them in the comments.
Tons more in the column today, including a reaction to Big Ben (yikes), yawning at the Browns' play for Bradford, celebrating Jorge Cantu and anticipating the reception for Tiger Woods at Quail Hollow, plus a lot more.