Contrary to the beliefs of some, especially the good folks who reside in the little Texas town of Houston, the NBA’s Western Conference champion is yet to be decided. If I were a fan of their Rockets, I’d hold back a bit in ordering the Champagne. The Laughing Man, Mr. “I-Am-The-Team”, the “Me” “Me” “Me” “Me” of Chris Broussard interviews, Deee-Wight Howard will find his new digs no more satisfying than his last. He was MR. BIG in Orlando, and he led them to one good season in his eight years as their number one guy. Put him on a team where someone else gets the glory, and the ball, like in LA with a guy named Kobe, or in Houston with a James Harden, and rising shooting star Chandler Parsons, and media darling Jeremy Lin, and whoa, Nellie, trouble is bound to follow.
In Brooklyn, the mighty Russian machine managed to snatch a whole bunch of old guys from out of the clutches of the Clippers, and they think they pulled off a coup. Again, not so fast. Last year, we saw the awkward, uneasy play of the “Old and Slow” Lakers, and
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|I frequently referred to the “Old and Slow” 2013-2014 Clippers, should they pull off that horrendous proposed deal with Boston. Instead, that bunch of old guys are now employed in Brooklyn, along with a lot of other old guys, all of whom are expected to not jut compete against but to overpower a bunch of strong, athletic young guys who populate most of the NBA. The Nets now feature maybe the oldest lineup I’ve ever seen on an NBA roster, a lineup that will “feature” 37-year-old Kevin Garnett, 36-year-old Paul Pierce, 36-year-old Jason Terry, 32-year-old Joe|
Johnson, and as key subs 32-year-old Andrei Kirilenko, and 33-year-old Reggie Evans. Get the oxygen tanks ready.
Finally, their NYC running mates, the Knicks, are destined to make their impressive 2012-2013 season a faint memory, rather than a precursor to greater things. First, they make a really stupid trade, giving up Steve Novak and Marcus Camby for Andrea Bargnani, who has played in a game about once a week for the past couple of seasons. Of course, that means he can keep Amar’e Stoudemire company on the bench for most of the upcoming season. But, the big one, the killer for their hopes and aspirations, is their signing of the meta tag artest psycho thingy. Good luck with that. Somehow, he managed to not explode and cause anyone grave injuries during his Laker tenure, but that streak of near-sanity cannot go on much longer, and in the fast-paced New York atmosphere, with raucous crowds and constant media intrusions, he will not last long before his next, inevitable blowup.
In sum, there is NOTHING any of these teams have done to make me think that next season’s NBA finals will not be a rematch of Miami and San Antonio.