I'm feeling I should put something up today, seeing as the future is nearly upon us and all. Truthfully I'm almost too amped up to write... in his series preview (which is outstanding, by the way) Simmons mentions not having eaten a solid meal in four days and I actually believe him. I'm going to keep this relatively short; Tim might throw up his own take later if he can extricate himself from the affectionate headlock that Dwyane Wade's got him in.
This should be a fabulous series... two great teams, a handful of simply outstanding players, one great coach, and two cities that stretch the boundaries of antithesis. You've heard it all before and you'll hear it all again (absolutely fucking constantly, I'd add, for the next two weeks), but there will at least be a few hours later tonight when it'll all just be about basketball, Gatorade commercials and more basketball. Then that will happen again on Sunday, then on Tuesday, and follow that loose pattern for at least a little while longer, we hope.
I have no idea what to expect from this series, and truthfully I doubt anyone does. Both teams are capable of absolutely slaughtering the other if certain pieces fall into place, which probably means it'll be the tight series that everyone's hoping for. It's unclear how Kobe will react on the biggest stage of all with the spotlight finally his, although the same obviously holds for Garnett. Paul Pierce is happy to be spending some time in LA and will most likely light shit up; Pau Gasol can't believe he's in the Finals after being on the Grizzlies a few months ago and will show up to play at the least. Ray Allen is... complicated. But so's Lamar. And around and around we go.
Few people are picking the Celtics to win this series; Tim Legler is the only ESPN "expert" going Green, a discouraging sign on a number of levels. Kobe's astonishing dismantling of the vaunted Spurs has led some to wonder if this is just a coronation. I don't think so, although I can't really formulate why, and while many would take this as a bad sign to me it feels comforting: there's something about this team that's beyond logic at this point. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they were the best team in basketball for the entire regular season, and the fact that they're still here now might be seen as supporting the apparently taboo assessment that perhaps they still are.
Let's play some basketball. C's in six, motherfuckers.