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The Mogul’s Insight: Then there were 4

By on May 23, 2010 in FanZone

“ …. The road to victory is 1 that requires you to reinvent yourself throughout the journey.  Champions don’t prepare for sprints; they stay ready for marathons …” Mogul

Larry OBrien_001It is amazing how time flies; I cannot believe that we are already at the NBA’s conference Finals.  Few people would have imagined that some of the teams that are still in the running would actually still be active at this time.  I think that it especially comes as a shock, perhaps, that the Cleveland Cavaliers have again failed to reach the NBA finals.  This has brought the basketball world to stand and pay close attention to LeBron’s offseason, as many people would like to know if he will move or stay with his hometown Cavaliers.  More on this later.

In the previous edition of the Mogul’s Insight, I talked about some of the players who are steadily making a great impact in the league.  This year’s rookie class had a number of good names who already promise to do well as they grow in the NBA.  Stephen Curry & Brandon Jennings are good examples of that, with Tyreke Evans, the eventual winner of the Rookie of the year honours also doing great for the Kings.  Perhaps the arrival of Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio and the return of Blake Griffin from injury will also add to the fire to this impressive class.

1 of the players that I have been proud to talk about this season has been Kevin Durant, who went on to be the youngest player in history to win the season’s scoring championship.  This, while charging his Oklahoma Thunder to the NBA playoffs.  I’m sure that a lot of people will agree that the Thunder have certainly moved themselves into the western conference’s power rankings.  It was perhaps unfortunate that they had to meet the Lakers in the first round, who eventually eliminated them in 6 games.  I think that they have a great nucleus in their team and would do better if they get themselves a big man or 2, maybe somebody like Erik Dampier.

Congratulations to LeBron James for repeating as the season’s MVP after leading the Cavs to the overall best record in the league for the 2nd straight season.  Then he met up with a great wall called Boston Celtics.  Before I could say anything about this, I first had to visit the best hoops discussion forum in the world (aka AWBOWhut!), to catch word from some of the clowns & veterans in there.  Some of the commentary or names I got in there were LeBeast & LeBum James.  I suppose that LeBum was the person we saw in the final 2 games of the series against Boston. The question now on everybody’s lip is, will he leave Cleveland or might he stay???  A lot of people are already talking about New York, who have made it no secret in the past 2 seasons that they are making cap space so that they can lure him to MSG.  Some people are talking about Chicago and a few are thinking about the Brooklyn Nets, where he would team up with his mate Jay-Z.  In reality though, I feel that it would be better for the King of Akron to remain with his hometown team.  There are obvious adjustments that need to take place, perhaps a more solid/veteran coach would be a good start, getting rid of Shaq & some of the role players would also do well.  If you look at Cleveland’s roster, there are perhaps 1 or 2 players, and then about 10 role players; there needs to be more solid players than role players on a championship team.  I hate doing this, but look at the Lakers roster, Phil Jackson can kill a lot of teams on an 8-man rotation; even when Kobe was injured WE still won games.  Either way, LeBron needs to still be patient and know that championships don’t come easy, it may have not taken him 6 seasons (like Jordan) to get his first chip, but once MJ got his 1st, it made way to 5 more.  He should just hope that Kobe retires soon.  It would be interesting to see what happens to some of the other players from the class of 2003.  DWade was once quoted as saying that he would love to play for his hometown Bulls, imagine what would happen if Carlos Boozer (who was rumoured to be interested in the Bulls before the start of this season), teams up with Derrick Rose & Wade in Chicago.  Chris Bosh looks good in Toronto.  Carmelo looks to be at home in Denver.  Has anybody heard or seen Darko Milicic lately?  It is still unbelievable to this day that Darko was a 2nd pick in that class and was the 1st of them to get a championship ring by keeping the bench warm for the Pistons.

A lot of people had forgotten about the Boston Celtics during the season, mainly because of their inconsistency due to injuries.  A lot of the instability with the Big 3 has seen the coming of age for Rajon Rondo, who is undoubtedly 1 of the premier point guards in the league.  The broad shoulders on his tiny frame seem to get bigger as he matures more into his role, so big that he has been able to carry the Big 3 & Boston all the way through to the Eastern Conference finals.  1 writer for the NBA says that “they’ve got that 2008 Championship swagger about them”.  They eliminated the Heat (DWade), the Cavs (LeBum) & now they look set to do like wise to the Magic (Dwight).  Might this justify the people talking that they can defeat the Lakers (Phil Jax & Kobe & Odom & Pau) in the finals?  Ray Allen certainly found his stroke early in these playoffs compared to their championship year, Pierce is also doing well (hopefully he won’t FAKE ANOTHER INJURY & WALK OUT THE CHANGE ROOM 2 SECONDS AFTER THAT LIKE HE DID THE LAST TIME), Garnett is healthy & Sheed has caught his range from the trey.  In reality, I don’t see the Orlando Magic coming back from the 2-0 deficit in Boston, especially because players seem to get lost for hope when Dwight Howard gets frustrated by Sheed, Perkins & Big Baby in the paint.  This would be a good time for guys like JJ Redick, Rashard Lewis & Michael Petris to find their shot and open space up for Dwight to do some work on the boards.

The Phoenix Suns started the season as 1 of the hottest teams in the league, burning a number of teams at an average of 110+ points per game and handed Boston their first loss of the season after their own good start.  The Suns’ streak came to a halt when they visited the staples and the Lakers clamped them down to score less than 100.  All of these little facts are in the past now, and their significance doesn’t count much bcoz the Suns have done more improvements since the beginning of the season.  Some of my concerns about the Suns are that Channing Frye seems to have misplaced the spark that he had on his arrival from New York.  Another is that, Amare Stoudemire has been rumoured to be in trade talks for the past 2 seasons and he continues to work his butt off for them, I think that the Steve Kerr needs to give him a good contract and get more players around him.  The Suns are 1 of my favorite teams in the league and I was happy for them for finally playing passed the Spurs in the second round.

From where we stand, it seems like the Boston Celtics and LA Lakers are on a collision course to the finals. Might the world be ready to see the Lakers repeat, or will the sound of “Beat LA” be enough to charge the Celtics to yet another victory over the Lake Show?  Time will tell, we will wait and see who still stands come the 3rd of June when the finals tips off.  For now, we continue to look with love (and hate) as the Final 4 continue to battle it out; both series currently stand at 2-0 with the Celtics over Magic & Lakers over Suns.  HAPPY CONFERENCE FINALS!!!!

PS:  I must confess though, the playoffs might have been very different had the Lakers met up with the Nuggets.  I think that it was evident from the 1st encounter between the teams that the Nuggets were tired of being eliminated by the Lakers and that they were ready to take theirs back.  After taking the regular season meetings to 3-1, I’m sure that Laker fans around the world were happy when the Jazz did the dirty work for us.  I’m certain though, that all our prayers go out to Coach George Karl for a steady recovery with his fight against cancer.

Stay tuned for the next Mogul’s Insight where we will be covering the NBA Finals, the SA Corporate Basketball League, as well as dip a bit into the soccer world cup.  I was at the SAPS’ “Show of Force” parade in Sandton the other day; it seems our police force is more ready for the world cup than Bafana Bafana.

My Life, My Game, My Word.

You know where to find me, -> stay tuned for the new look, DROPPING SOON!!

It’s your Boy!!!!!

Article by Juice

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