Monthly Archives: May 2010

Doin MLB Power Rankings

We had some very nice weather for Memorial Day weekend in California, which is probably why we didn’t get anything posted on the blog. As the ever so powerful NBA marketing campaign has taught me, we need to get back to the top of our game. So I’m back at the computer to dish out some MLB power rankings. San Diego, Cincy, and Oakland are by far the biggest surprises in the MLB as they all hold their respective divisional leads, and nobody saw that coming. If you did, you’re a liar! It was quite an eventful weekend, and maybe if you were camping you might not have known that Roy Halladay threw a perfect game or that the Lakers and Celtics are squaring off in the NBA Finals for another classic, yippee… Anyways, here’s who I see as the top 16 teams in the league.

#1 Tampa Bay Rays (34-17)

They may have struggled a little lately. Being swept by Boston and going 4-6 over their last ten isn’t encouraging, but they have to be tested sooner or later to see if they are indeed for real. It’s a long season, and that three game lead they have in the division could disappear quickly with everyone in the AL East playing well. I think they need Pena to hit a little better than .177, and the rest of their lineup has been in a little bit of a lull. I’m sure they will start hitting again. I don’t see any Phillies like slumps coming on.

#2 New York Yankees (31-20)

The Yankees are starting to put up some runs and wins in bunches. They’ve only lost one series this whole season, and whenever you see them on your teams schedule, you are worried. I almost put them atop my rankings, but just couldn’t talk myself into it since they are three games back. The Yankees have a cakewalk in June, so don’t be surprised to see them atop the AL East by the end of the month.

#3 Minnesota Twins (31-20)

I dismissed the Twins in our predictions for the season, but when fantasy drafts came around I was all in on guys like Morneau, Mauer, and Span for all my leagues. Seems like they love their new digs. They are 19-9 in their brand new Target Field. Nick Blackburn just finished off an amazing month going 5-0 with a 2.49 era. Twins are finally liking that extension they gave him. I still can’t figure out why I didn’t see them as this good when the year started.

#4 San Diego Padres (31-20)

How do the Padres have the best record in the NL going into June? It’s a loaded question. Are they a $38 million team, built for now!?! I’ll go out on a limb and say no, but the future is as bright as the sunshine in SD. What’s amazing is they could conceivable take on some big names around the trade deadline instead of shopping AGon and Heath Bell around like we all thought they would be doing. Matt Latos went 4-1 in May with a ridiculous 1.49 ERA. Looks like they got a pretty good pitcher from Chicago in the Peavy deal. Continue reading

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Clipper Fans Make Play for Lebron

There’s not much to do in May if you’re a Clippers fan. But having a rally devoted to a player who has, and probably never will, don your team’s uniform is mostly unheard of. I can appreciate the cause, because let’s be honest, any Warriors or Kings fan can relate to our cousins from the South. It’s always good to see some enthusiasm from the Clipper Nation. I still can’t help but have a slightly uncomfortable feeling though, as I watch a couple dozen Clipper fans parade outside the Staples Center while the Lakers are busy sewing up their third straight NBA Finals berth. It’s kind of like being a Senior in high school watching the JV team play.


Russell’s Iced Out Necklace is in Jeopardy

Our favorite Raiders quarterback of all-time is being sued/had a grievance filed against him by the Raiders for $9 million of the $39 million they wasted on him today. It’s a rough break for Russell, now he might have to return some of that ice he layered himself with. I think he might lose a little resale value on anything he put himself on, like this awesome diamond encrusted Jamarcus jersey. Before you know it he will be back to wearing his hippy cloak, and be on the huge list of athletes who have gone broke. It’s okay though, I hear McDonald’s doesn’t mind if you have a lazy work ethic, and occasionally fumble things in to the deep fryers. Too bad Al can’t devise some kind of lawsuit that would take back a million for every game he lost for them (7-18). I’d say he lost at least 15 of them. If you want to know about his highlights as a Raider yous can check out this post. For some reason I find this comical, because Al stood by the marshmellow man for so long, firing Kiffin, and making Cable play him, but now, Al decides to sue his ass! I’m sure there’s some warrant to the lawsuit or Al wouldn’t waste his time. This is one of the main reasons the NFL needs to change up the rookie pay scale for the first round draft picks. Maybe the new CBA will bring that for us. Anyways, one thing Al has been bad at lately is winning, except when it comes to court cases. He will drag them out, and whether the lawsuit is against a city or the NFL, or a player, he usually wins. My advice to Jamarcus, just give  it back or you’re going to spend more fighting to get it back, and have to pay Al at the end of the day anyways! Actually, maybe he doesn’t even have $9 million to give back…


Jack vs. Tiger

Jack Nicklaus is still golf’s record holder for most majors won (18). It was thought for years that Tiger would destroy Nicklaus’s record when he was racking up Majors championships at the same rate he was picking out mistresses, and honestly, I still think he will break 19 major wins. Over the years I’ve felt that Jack was slightly bitter that he knew his record of 18 championships would fall to the hands of Tiger. I even remember him saying something to the extent of I should’ve won more to make it harder for him. Today Jack had some comments about Tiger that I found pretty interesting.

Nicklaus says if Woods, with 14 major wins, doesn’t win the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach or the British Open at St. Andrews — two of Woods’ favorite courses — this year he will have a hard time catching him.

“If he does he will probably go ahead and break my record,” he said. “If he doesn’t win this year he has a tougher road to go. He will be 36 next year and time starts to go. He has to win five majors. Phil Mickelson won his fourth at the Masters, but prior to that three was the next closest (active) guy. So Tiger has to win almost two careers (of a ‘regular’ player) in the next five or six years to do that and that is a pretty big chore.”

While I agree with Jack’s thought that Tiger would dominate this year since the majors are at his favorite courses/courses he dominates, I don’t buy that it’s his last chance to get close to the record. It’s probably either head games or a reminder that it’s pretty damn hard to do what Jack did regardless of how talented you are. Jack isn’t rooting for Tiger to break his record or ever has. I know for a fact that Jack wouldn’t have said this a year ago before all the scandals broke out, because lets face it, Tiger was untouchable, and Jack would’ve just come off looking like he was a grumpy old bitter man. Now he can publicly challenge Tiger without the whole golf world going into a frenzy. I’m sure it felt good for Jack to get those thoughts off his chest!


Phoenix Suns? More Like Phoenix Brothers

While the Suns continue to fight for the lives against the Los Angeles Lakers, few people have noticed that this Phoenix squad is really just a collection of less talented brothers. You may know about Robin Lopez and Taylor Griffin, brothers of better players Brook and Blake, respectively.  But few people realize that all of the players on the team have more talented brothers. Let’s take a look at this….

Jason Richardson – Brother of Four-time All-Star Michael Ray Richardson.  Sure, he’s about 20 years older, but they’re brothers. Michael Ray led the league in steals four times and assists once. He may not have as many DUIs or DVs as J-Rich, but he could take him in a dunk contest.

Amare Stoudemire – Brother of former Arizona standout Salim Stoudemire. Salim may not have the NBA resume that Amare has, but we all know who the greatest Stoudemire to play in Arizona is.

Channing Frye – Brother of NFL quarterback Charlie Frye. They may not look related based on their skin color, but once you hear Channing talk, you’ll see the resemblance.

Jared Dudley – Brother of former NBA great, Chris Dudley. Jared’s making a name for himself this postseason, but Chris is the one who paved the way for Dudleys in the NBA.

Grant Hill – Brother of Thomas. Grant has the NBA credentials, but Thomas will always be the king of the Hill as far as Duke fans are concerned.

Alondo Tucker – Brother of former USF standout Darrell Tucker. Unfortunately, Alondo plays like a power forward in a guard’s body, while Darrell played like a guard in a power forward’s body.

Steve Nash – Brother of Graham Nash. Steve may be a better baller, but Richardson, Hill, and Stoudemire have nothing on Crosby, Stills and Young.


Does Anyone Care Where the Super Bowl Is Played?

Is this a big deal? Rodger Goodell, and every media outlet seems to be making it a top story. Whoopity do, the NFL has never had a snow/cold Super Bowl! I’ve talked to a few people since I heard the news and heard pretty much the same reaction: huh, who gives a f***. That was pretty much my reaction to hearing that the new billion dollar stadium in New Jersey won the sweepstakes to host the 2014 Super Bowl beating out Tampa Bay. I mean, it’s probably exciting for that city and all, but why is this a top story? As a fan, I could care less if the Super Bowl is held in a good market or a warm place. Is it really going to make it more or less watchable? Sure, I’d like to see a snow game, but the only important thing about the Super Bowl for 99.9% of fans (I think), is that the game is close and competitive (or winning their bets). There’s only going to be two teams in there regardless, so most fans will have seen their team exit either before or during the playoffs.One other reason I think that this has been such a big deal in the media is because all of them have to go to the Super Bowl to cover it. Cry me a river media members, I’d go to the Super Bowl in a second wherever it is if I had the opportunity!


Early US Open Storlines

You may remember back in my first edition of Pebble Beach Stories, I wrote how much I despise the Fijian Bastard, Vijay Singh. Today I saw that Vijay missing the cut at the Byron Nelson Championship last Friday dropped him from the 51st ranked player to the 59th ranked player. That’s not all that exciting in itself, but it has forced him to play in a 36-hole playoff to try and qualify for the US Open at Pebble Beach. It could be the first time he has missed the US Open since 1994, and I hope he chokes in the qualifier so this does in fact happen. Not just to see him struggle, but so he’s not at Pebble creating hell for my former co-workers on the driving range! The part that I find most entertaining is Tony Romo could actually be in the US Open and Vijay could be a spectator. Couldn’t have drawn this up any better myself!

It’s been all over the newswires the last couple days that Phil Mikelson could be the #1 ranked player with a win at the Colonial this weekend. He would only be only the third player since 1998 to be ranked number 1, that isn’t named Tiger (David Duval and Vijay are the only other two to hold the #1 spot). If Phil doesn’t do very well, he will most likely still be #2, but if Lee Westwood, currently #3 pulls out a victory, he could conceivable jump Phil in the rankings. Tiger is supposed to play again next weekend, but no matter who ends up being in first come June it could set up to be a great storyline for the US Open. Despite it being a great major tournament, adding in the question of who will be the #1 golfer adds that much more drama. A non-US Open related story, Tiger might not be invited to the Ryder Cup according to captain Corey Pavin. I’m not buying it, but he is the 11th ranked American this year, so there’s a chance, but I’d say that’s a slim one since golf will want him to be in there for the ratings if he’s healthy. I think Pavin is just trying to pull in a little attention while he can!


Who Had These Guys Leading the Way….

It’s always fun to watch the League Leaders in various statistical categories early on.  You have to take everything with a grain of salt, but we’re now over a quarter of the way through the season. It’s still to early to mean anything long-term, but over here at Doin Work, it’s time to play with the numbers and see where some of these under the radar guys may end up at the end of the year (but probably not). Some notable statistical leaders through 44 games….

AMERICAN LEAGUE

  • ERA – 1. Doug Fister, SEA   1.96 (on pace for…. 12 Wins, 100 Ks. Not very exciting)
  • Wins – 1. David Price, TB   7-1  (on pace for 28-4 record, 184 Ks)
  • Strikeouts – 1. Jered Weaver, ANA   68 Ks  (on pace for 272. would be the highest season total since Randy Johnson’s 290 in 2004)
  • Home Runs – 1t. Jose Bautista, TOR and Paul Konerko, CHW   14  (on pace for 56 each. not very likely)
  • RBI – 1. Miguel Cabrera, DET   40  (on pace for 160. hasn’t been done since Sammy Sosa in 2001)
  • Stolen Bases – 1. Juan Pierre, CHW   18  (on pace for 72. *yawn* remember when guys would break 100?)

NATIONAL LEAGUE

  • ERA – 1. Ubaldo Jimenez, COL   0.99  (on pace for definitely not that)
  • Wins – 1. Ubaldo Jimenez, COL   8-1  (on pace for an incredible 32-4. some throwback numbers)
  • Strikeouts – 1. Tim Lincecum, SF   75  (on pace for 300. would be the first to do so since 2002)
  • Home Runs – 1. Kelly Johnson, ARI and Dan Uggla, FLA   12   (on pace for 48 each. i’d love to see a couple 2Bs lead the NL in HR)
  • RBI – 1. Casey McGehee, MIL   39  (on pace for 156. just seeing someone other than Fielder or Braun leading the team would be crazy enough)
  • Stolen Bases – 1. Michael Bourn, HOU   15  (on pace for 60. Rickey Henderson stole 60 bases in his sleep in 1988)

Suns Are Keeping Me Interested

A couple weeks ago, I wrote how the playoffs have been a snoozefest, and was hoping the Conference Finals would bring a little drama. So far, not so much. After watching about two and a half quarters of the Boston-Orlando game 3 Saturday, it was clear that the Magic didn’t have any Chris Angel in them. It felt like they didn’t even care that they were losing. I guess they decided that they only wanted to sweep or be swept, and as AP wrote, they don’t have a backbone and would rather be at Disneyland. Superman disappeared, and looked powerless against a big baby. Pretty much the whole team decided to lay down, even Jameer, who I always thought was a gamer. Vince was probably the only one that looked like he was even trying to compete, and that’s a really bad sign for a team, when he looks like the only guy that cares!! I think we can safely say Rondo is Boston’s best player now, and will give any opposing guard fits on offense and defense. All those other guys they have aren’t too shabby themselves, and know what their roles are. I’m hoping that the Celtics can wrap it up in game four so they have plenty of time to rest before the finals. They should give the Lakers one tough battle in a wet dream matchup for the NBA with Lebron out of the picture (here’s to hoping that will jinx the Lakers with that comment).

The Suns are who I’ve been pulling for all along, and tonight, they at least showed that they weren’t going to lay down to an obviously better Lakers team. The thing I found so strange about this game is I thought that Phoenix’s bench would be the reason they’d win a game. This wasn’t the case, as the bench was held to minimal production, and if it weren’t for Amare getting back into his game (42 points, 11 rebounds), the sun would’ve set on their season tonight. Robin Lopez played well, and on this rare occasion the Lakers bigs weren’t the story of the night.  I’m not sure if the Suns really won this game as much as the Lakers lost it. Odom, who had huge games in the first two made his usual disappearing act following a couple big performances. Hopefully that will last for a couple games. Bynum was just a big guy handing out fouls as offensive players streaked by him to the rim. Fischer might have been their third best player on the court. I don’t think I’ve said that about him since he was on the Jazz! Kobe will always be Kobe, and just missed a triple double by a rebound. Doug Collins and Marv Alberts seemed to think that the zone D the Suns were playing was slowing Kobe down, but they must not have looked at his stat line (36pts, 9 rebs, 11 assists).

All in all, this game has me feeling like the Suns have a good shot to even this series up on Tuesday. I still wouldn’t bet on them to win, but the most promising part about tonight’s game is that they didn’t really play their best. Nash wasn’t spectacular, their bench didn’t help out, they shot the three ball horribly, and the barometer of the Suns success, J-Rich, didn’t score 20! Looking down the need to do list before the game, I figured they would need to do a combo of all of these things for them to win, and even though none of them panned out, they still pulled out victory. I think the real question now becomes is Amare satisfied with putting up his one big game or will he come back for more? If he is done, the Suns will have a tough road ahead. If he isn’t, we could be in for a great series! I hope tonight doesn’t make him feel like he showed us he can do it, and he disappears like he did in LA for the first two games. The Suns won’t win another game if that’s the case. I’m hoping he wasn’t just “lucky” tonight!


Free Roy Oswalt

I’m not usually a fan of public trade demands, but this one was neither public, nor a demand.  Oswalt, or his agent to be exact, asked Astros owner, Drayton McLane to be traded recently. This isn’t your typical problem child trying to pass blame on his organization.  We’re talking about a standup guy, a real quality player here. Oswalt is in his 10th big league season with the Astros and has done nothing but anchor their rotation for the entire decade. He has a career record of 139-76 and a 3.21 ERA.  He’s got an NLCS MVP under his belt, is a three-time All-Star, and has finished in the top 5 in Cy Young voting 5 of his 10 seasons. You don’t hear much from him, which is a good thing.  But the guy’s 32, and his team is clearly on the fast track to nowhere. It’s time for Houston to let him go to a contender for the latter part of his career. GM Ed Wade says he wants to win with Oswalt on the team. Clearly that isn’t going to happen this year. Houston has the second worst record in baseball, and the worst in the National League. When a veteran who is your best player wants out, it’s time to honor that request. Oswalt ranks 5th in strikeouts, 7th in innings pitched, and 10th in ERA in the National League. All nine of his starts have been quality starts, yet he has a 2-6 record, thanks to the lowest run support in the NL. Memo to McLane and Wade….. your team isn’t going anywhere this year, or the next to be precise. Don’t hold the guy hostage.  Again, this is very atypical coming from me, but I think Oswalt has kept himself in line for a solid decade and has done nothing but go out and play the game. If he wants to be somewhere else, you’ve got to honor that request. I swear none of this has to do with Oswalt being on my fantasy team. I’d love to see a few more W’s to go with his otherwise stellar numbers – don’t get me wrong. I just think some solid prospects would be a lot more beneficial to the Astros’ future than Oswalt is. Poor Roy is getting Munsoned down there in Houston and he really deserves to be somewhere else…. like, say,…. Oakland.


Are you Waiting for Your Team’s June Prospect to Get Called Up? The Super-2 Rule is Holding it Up!

With the A’s sputtering over the last couple weeks, I’ve wondered why they haven’t called up their big hitting prospects Michael Taylor and Chris Carter to inject some power and life into the lineup, alas, I keep hearing wait until June. Same goes for fantasy enthusiasts wondering why the hell Strasburg isn’t called up to the MLB yet, since he’s been dominating the lower levels, and has looked ready since the first pitch he threw in AA ball. Maybe you’re wondering when your Pirates prospect Pedro Alvarez is getting called to the show. The answer keeps being June. Why June? Simply put, money. I’m not buying the argument that the Nats are bringing Strasburg along slowly; it’s a big load of BS. What teams are truly concerned about, is their bottom line, and if these players make an impact and never go back down to the minors they will have to pay them. Teams don’t want their “top prospects” being good enough to earn the “Super 2” status. What is the difference between being a super 2 and a normal player you may wonder? The ESPN’s and MLBTV’s of the world have failed to clarify it for me, so I had to do a little research to find what it truly means, and now that we have a blog I figured I should clear it up for our readers as well. Continue reading


Mikhail Prokhorov Says The Right Things

I have to say that Mikhail has grown on me. I didn’t know a whole lot about him when he bought the Nets, but over the past few weeks he’s shown me his great personality that many spoke of when they dubbed him the Russian Mark Cuban. He might not be the best speaker, but maybe now that he’s around Jay-Z more he can pick up some cool slang terms, and will make them sound funny in his accent. If I were an NJ fan, I’m sure I’d be in love with the guy. I WANT to know what his secrets are, and that’s probably the way he wants it…

If he really wants to be a winner, here’s a little scenario that would make them an instant contender. Phil Jackson is reportedly supposed to take a paycut next year, and it made me wonder if the billionaire can do the impossible. Lure Lebron, and pay Phil whatever he wants next season to come to NJ. It’s a slightly far fetched idea at the moment, but we know Lebron wants to be a global icon, maybe not in Russia, but that does make him global. And we also know that Phil isn’t taking a discount for coaching, especially if he wins back to back championships this year, shouldn’t that mean he gets a raise instead of a pay cut? I know I wouldn’t take a pay cut!


Rondon’t You Wish Your Point Guard Was Hot Like Me?

Looks like he's holding a peach.

Ladies and gentlemen, if I were to ask you who the MVP of the 2010 NBA Playoffs would be heading into the Conference Finals, who would you assume?

  • Kobe Bryant?  Good choice, he’s definitely in the discussion, but no.
  • LeBron James?  Numbers wise, perhaps, but he won’t be getting any more numbers anytime soon now will he?
  • Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade?  You kidding me –

People, the answer is RAJON RONDO.  Yes, I didn’t stutter.  Rajon Rondo.  The BEST point guard in the NBA now.  He’s moved up big-time.  Move over Deron Williams, move over Chris Paul, move over Steve Nash.  Rondo is top dog.

It’s amazing how the point guard nobody wanted two years ago is now the man in Boston.  When the Celtics won it all in 2008, Rondo’s job was to not mess up.  Now Rondo carries this team on his wide-set shoulders, and because of him, and the newly re-established defensive team prowess, the Celtics strike fear into their opponents.  If the Lakers win tonight, I can’t help but think they’ll be paying attention to Boston in their rear-view mirror, because they must know they’ll be in for a real fight.  Things ’bout to get physical real soon for them.

But back to Rondo, because he’s quickly developed into one of my favorite players in the league, if not the favorite behind Stephen Curry.  No one controls a team like Rondo, and all of a sudden he’s hitting free-throws and jump shots.  If you think about it, those two things were the only holes in his game, and it seems he’s got them plugged now.  What that means is, he’s essentially perfect on the floor.  He’s unguardable, and he’s a defensive menace, as he led the league in steals this season.

Lastly, Rondo is doing this during money time.  You create your legacy during the post-season, and right now he’s finally garnering a lot of the attention he deserves.  I was a Rondo critic, but now he’s turned me.  As Magic Johnson’s been saying during this post-season, there’s no longer a “Big Three” in Boston.  It’s now the “Big One, and the Little Three.”  The Celtics leave their future in good hands once Pierce, Garnett and Allen retire.  Very good, huge hands.


Quickest NBA Mock Draft Up on the Web

Well, another rigged NBA Lottery is in the books. To no one’s surprise, two East Coast franchises leapfrogged the likes of Minnesota, Sacramento, and Golden State. Fans across those three cities are moaning and groaning while Wizards and Sixers fans are wondering how they got such good luck. Fortunately, the two best rookies from last year’s draft ended up in Northern California despite David Stern’s best (or worst, depending on how you look at) efforts. No need to worry Kings and Warriors fans. The two best players came at picks number 4 and 7…. No reason to think they can’t come at the 5th and 6th position.  Let’s break down how this year’s draft is going to pan out….

1. Washington Wizards – John Wall – Part of me thinks that the late Abe Pollin made this happen from up above. The other part of me thinks Stern did this from down below. At any rate, the Wizards will win the John Wall sweepstakes, but it’s not going to change their fortunes. This franchise has found a way to lose under any circumstance. They had a solid core with Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler and still managed to be a lottery team. This year, they’ll try to ease Wall along, if only to keep Arenas happy. John Wall will go on to have an Antonio Daniels like career and the Wizards will be back in Secaucus next year….and the year after that….and the year after that.

2. Philadelphia Sixers – Evan Turner – Evan Turner is the consensus #2 pick, but his game is strikingly similar to Andre Iguodala. He’ll also fight for playing time on the wing with Thaddeus Young. In the end, the Sixers will keep Turner on the court to try and prove that they drafted better than last year with Jrue Holiday, and they’ll miss the playoffs once again. I’m setting the over/under on Evan Turner’s rookie season right at, let’s say, Corey Brewer.

3. New Jersey Nets – Derrick Favors – The Nets have a solid 1-2 in Devin Harris and Brook Lopez. Therefore, they look to the wing and select Derrick Favors. Problem is, no one’s really sure that Favors really likes playing basketball. Prediction: Favors and Terrence Williams still make little to no impact on the Nets in 2010-11.

Continue reading


Lakers – Celtics Inevitable

We’re only one game into each series. Technically, game one isn’t even over in Los Angeles, but watching Jason Richardson and Louis Amundson fight with each other for a rebound en route to a 26 point deficit five minutes into the fourth doesn’t really spark much optimism. The Lakers are headed to dominant defeat of the Suns in the opening game of the Western Conference Finals, and we all know what happened in the first game of the Boston-Orlando series. The Conference Finals look like nothing more than a formality at this point. Sure, a lot of people are convinced that the Magic made proper adjustments in the second half against the Celtics and appear poised to strike back in game two, but I’m not convinced. Granted, I didn’t catch game one due to my watching the Amgen Tour of California ride down the Auburn streets that I used to stomp on in my younger days, but it’s clear the Magic just can’t  match up with a more driven Celtics team. Everyone thinks the Magic will adjust their game plan, but what’s to say the Celtics won’t. The Big Three know that the window is closing; meanwhile, Rajon Rondo is busy establishing himself as one of the premier players in the league. I’ll be the first to admit I was a huge Rondo doubter coming out of Kentucky. I thought he’d be nothing more than a role player at best. But four years later, I’m ready to give the kid his due. I’m sorry, but 29, 18, and 13 in any game, let alone a pivotal postseason game, is enough to convince me that he’s for real. I was all but ready to post about Rondo last Sunday had it not been for Dallas Braden’s perfect game. As stacked as the Magic are, they simply won’t be able to outlast the Celtics this time.

Back to the West Coast, it seemed like Phoenix would at least be able to hang with the Lake Show. After watching this debacle tonight, I’m not so sure. The Suns have the same problem they seem to have every year. They’re talented, they can run, and they have plenty of firepower, but they just don’t have the drive and competitiveness. The Lakers are simply to big and even too fast. There’s no debating that Amare Stoudamire is a beast down low, but no combination of Suns can stop the trio of Gasol, Bynum, and Odom. It might be a different game in Phoenix, but they’ll likely be down 0-2, so they’ll be lucky to head back to Southern California with anything better than a 3-1 deficit. Thus, it seems pretty much inevitable that we’re going to see a Boston-LA rematch of the 2008 NBA Finals. Boston got the best of LA last time, but the Lakers are clearly better. Can we really say the same about the Celtics? I’m not so sure.