Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NBA Finals predictions revisited

Cherry picking from my previous post on the Celtics' championship, I found an article from June 5 in the Boston Sports Blog rounding-up finals predictions by the experts.

Most in the national media have glommed on to the Lakers machine in predicting the outcome of this series, lauding Kobe Bryant as the difference-maker, Phil Jackson's Zen more powerful than Red Auerbach's ghost. The most talked-about prognosis this week came from ESPN, where nine out of 10 experts picked the Lakers.

The only non-Boston-affiliated writer listed brave enough to pick the Celtics was Steve Dilbeck, of the Los Angeles Daily News (!!) who wrote, "The Lakers are this oddly popular pick. People are so worked up about them it's over the top. All this local gushing has spilled onto the national stage."

He seems to have accurately sized up Pau Gasol, the heralded big man the Lakers aquired from the Memphis Grizlies in a trade steal earlier this year.
"And although Gasol has helped the Lakers develop into a better team," Dilbeck wrote, "He is not such a dramatic upgrade over Bynum that his arrival assures things will be different now."

He even accurately targeted Paul Pierce, who would go on to become finals MVP, as "the one player the Lakers have no answer for."

Dilbeck then wrapped things up by saying the Celtics were hungrier, better, and possessed home court advantage.
"Despite all this, most talking heads seem to favor the Lakers. They seem swept up by the Lakers' impressive playoff run."

I'm sick of seeing Boston win, or even almost win. But the only thing that makes it enjoyable is when they sweep away the swept up crowd.

1 comment:

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