Image courtesy of ESPN
Boston should be in the
Hunger Games NBA Finals this year.
Unfortunately, my editor won’t allow me to simplify my explanation that easily, so I will expand. The eastern conference has turned into a pool of districts, fighting for playoff positions all year long, just to boast a winner who will eventually serve as the figurative sacrificial lamb to the Golden State Warriors.
After last night’s crushing game one defeat in Houston, I’m sure most of us are already looking ahead to next season because this one is looking like a collective failure. The all-time stacked Warriors have proved all of us wrong once again. They will inevitably gobble up another ring, and there is nothing even the mighty Lebron James can do about it.
So yeah, the Warriors owned 2017 and 2018.
No use in crying over spilled milk.
The eastern conference finals are interesting, but only if you can stay in the moment as my meditation teacher frequently says. The Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers are fighting for second place. As I watch the series, I can’t help but think: Are these guys aware of the hell that awaits them? Durant to the Warriors is simply too much firepower for any team this season to overcome.
Part of me wonders if King James wants any piece of that action.
I mean if you contextualize it, in The Hunger Games, when Katniss Everdeen took the place of her sister, there was immediate dread that ensued. There was a reason why not one other person decided to step in for little Prim Everdeen. They knew the terror that awaited. They knew that defeat was inevitable.
Same thing with the NBA.
The Celtics may be young enough to not care, and certainly, don’t carry the legacy and burden that James does. They play with reckless abandon, grit, and youthfulness.
The C’s would probably make for a better Finals in all honesty. Cleveland has just enough to inch past the Celtics but would be clobbered on the big stage.
Going back to my meditation instructor Andy, if I have to focus on the now: I have to objectively root for Boston to beat Cleveland this year.
Either my heart just skipped a beat, or my soul was crushed after saying that.
But it’s the truth. Because outside of James, this team does not have the requisite pieces to compete with the Warriors.
On the other side of the spectrum:
Jayson Tatum vs. Kevin Durant
Terry Rozier vs. Stephen Curry
Jaylen Brown/Al Horford vs. Klay Thompson/Draymond Green
Brad Stevens vs. Steve Kerr
Kind of dope, right??
Look, if one team has to serve as a probable lamb, I want a young lamb. Ready to fight and headstrong. They will lose, but it won’t be as nefarious as a King James loss.
Think about it. Tatum is a rookie sensation. Brown is a fearless up and coming star. Police reports say that Rozier just body-bagged Eric Bledsoe, and terrorized the Philadelphia 76ers. Horford is a solid veteran center. This team is so versatile and filled with lengthy 7-foot wingspans. They have given the Warriors legitimate trouble this year, splitting a series 1-1 in the regular season. Not only that, but their Game 1 blowout against Cleveland to me reminded me of a Golden State-style blowout because of the 25-2 first quarter run the Celtics embarked on all due to a flurry of mid-range jump-shots, and terrible Cleveland possessions.
Image courtesy of Mass Live
I love Cleveland, but I wouldn’t be mad at all if they lost to Boston this year. The best player of all time still plays for that team, so if he decides to take over and his teammates start hitting shots, the Cavaliers will win this series.
Sometimes, the best player can overcome the better team.
However, the best player of all time cannot beat the best team of all time.
That is why the better team (Boston) deserves the right to become a tribute play against the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
As much as it pains me to say.
*Follow me on twitter guys @mark_a_gilbert