by Micah Hart
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.
Here’s how it looks on the morning of Sunday, May 8.
Start planning the parade:
The only team with a 3-0 lead, the Mavericks will look to close out the Lakers in Game 4 today at American Airlines Center, where they’ve yet to lose this postseason. Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki is playing so well, he even has ESPN’s Sports Guy starting to mention him in the same space as Larry Bird, praise normally reserved for deities and superheroes.
If the Mavs can close it out, they look to have the opportunity to get several days of rest for their veterans, as the Thunder-Grizzlies series is definitely giving off a seven-game vibe.
Give it up already:
Dynasties rarely bow out gracefully — they often go down in spectacular and embarrassing fashion. The Lakers won back-to-back titles in 1987-88, then were swept by the Pistons in the 1989 Finals. The Pistons took the same route, winning two championships before getting swept themselves by the Chicago Bulls in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals.
The Rockets of the mid-90’s? Two straight in 1994-95, and unceremoniously bounced by the SuperSonics in a sweep in the 1996 conference semis. And then of course there was the end of the Shaq-Kobe Lakers, dumped by the Pistons in five games in 2004.
We already saw what happened to the Spurs earlier this postseason, and the same fate appears to await the Lakers later on today.