Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's Kobe's world and we're all just living in it: Western Finals preview

Not to brag but so far I have correctly picked the series winner in 4 of my 5 series predictions and even nailed two of them perfectly. So obviously this means I know more about the NBA than Dr. Jack Ramsey, Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy combined. With this false bravado in mind, lets pick the the West Finals.

I don't find the Spurs as boring as most do. It is not because I am a purist who loves Tim Duncan's fundamental approach to the game. Rather, I actually think the Spurs play a fairly exciting brand of ball. Ginobli is a thrill a minute and Tony "Mr. Langoria" Parker is the fastest guy with the ball west or east of New Orleans. Finally, it is very exciting to watch Bruce Bowen defend the leagues best players like Kobe Bryant. Yea, he is the dirtiest player in the assocation by far but he plays intense and hard defense and he does it better than any guard in this league.
However, this, as the title of this piece suggests, is indeed Kobe's world. It must be tough having to buy 11 9,000 dollar rolex watches as a thank you gift to your teammates for your first MVP trophy. It also must be tough being the best player in the league by far and being the toast of the 2nd most celebrated city in the country. Kobe is living the dream right now and, despite San Antonio's championship pedigree, I don't expect that to stop anytime soon. Kobe is about to enter that Michael Jordan territory of carrying a team to a title as a shooting guard. He plays Jordan like defense and has Jordan's killer instinct. The only thing that was missing from his game was the willingness to trust his teammates that Jordan displayed in title clinching assists to John Paxon and Steve Kerr. Well now that Kobe has a legitimate star in Pau "White Boy don't call me Paul" Gasol, on his side; Kobe has started to be a complete team player. Unlike, other sports, if you have the best player by far in a series, you have a really good chance to win. The reason why this didn't apply to the Cavs last round is simply because his supporting cast was so exceptionally shitty. Kobe has 2 top guns by his side with Gasol and Odom. The Spurs are a truly great club but I just think Kobe is about to become the 2nd best guard in the game's history.

Pick: Lakers in 7

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