by Micah Hart
I was thinking about this in the wake of last week’s dust-up between the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi. Hawks beat writer (and friend of the podcast) Mike Cunningham mentioned in a blog post that it was interesting that Bianchi was so down on the Hawks at the time, especially given that after Game 5 of the series he wrote:
“The Magic are now down in this series 3-1 and it’s all but over. Does anybody out there really, honestly believe the Magic can rally back from 3-1 against a talented and athletic Hawks team?”
I come here not to bury Bianchi though, nor to praise him, but merely to point out that in the NBA Playoffs, the tide can turn very quickly. A team is left for dead (Dallas after blowing a 23-point lead in Portland), then suddenly they are unbeatable (topping the two-time defending champs on their home court — twice — will do that for you). It’s more volatile than the stock market.
So each day until the end of the NBA Finals, we’ll be taking a look at the conventional wisdom of the moment — which team is currently the favorite to win it all, and which team should be ashamed to still be putting on their jerseys.
Start planning the parade:
John Schuhmann pointed this out yesterday in a column on NBA.com – Celtics fans can complain about missing Kendrick Perkins all they want as they watch LeBron James and Dwyane Wade sashay to the basket, but in 240 minutes over the last four years the duo has shot 67% from within five feet of the basket with Perkins on the floor.
I know the Mavericks are up 2-0 on the Lakers, but they’ve still got some emotional baggage to overcome. If there’s a favorite today, it’s gotta be the Heat.
Give it up already:
In the history of the NBA, only three teams have ever rebounded from 0-2 where both losses came on their homecourt: Lakers over Warriors in 1969, Rockets over Suns in 1994, and Mavs over Rockets in 2005. So, it is doable, but if it’s to be done, it’s going to have to happen in part without Ron Artest, who was suspended for Game 3 for his hard foul on JJ Barea in the waning moments of Wednesday night’s Game 2.
Peace out, L.A.