Tag:Paul Pierce
Posted on: May 31, 2009 9:54 pm
 

Will history continue to repeat itself?

History tends to repeat itself a lot; not only in sports but in all of life. However, here we're only interested in the sports history. One such thing that has been consistent in NBA history is defense winning championships. Almost every time, one of the best defensive teams will win the championship. Now of course there are a few exceptions here and there, but you have to look at the overall picture. This, however, is not about defense in NBA history, but instead great big men winning championships. The majority of NBA championships have been won by teams who are lead by a great big man (almost always one who has very good defense, if not great defense). You can go all the way back to Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to see that great big men have always been able to win championships with their great post play on both offense and defense (mainly defense though).

I only bring this up of course because of this year's NBA Finals matchup: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic . Now Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are both very good big men, but neither one could come close to being consider one of the best big men in the game (on both ends of the court). Of course I am talking about Dwight Howard , who most would agree is the best big man in the NBA right now. Howard has proved very worthy of that title thus far leading his Magic to the 3rd seed in the East, being a Top 5 defense in the NBA, winning the DPOY (well deserved), and getting his team past the favorites, the Cleveland Cavaliers led by LeBron James . Without a shadow of a doubt he has been the main reason for what has got the Magic into this year's NBA Finals. Of course there are always very important role players for every great team, so Rashard Lewis , Hedo Turkoglu , Rafer Alston , Courtney Lee , Mickael Pietrus , etc. have all contributed to the team's success as well.

The last 10 years in the NBA has been dominated by big men - as far as championships go. Shaquille O'Neal has four NBA titles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006), Tim Duncan has four titles (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007), Ben Wallace has a championship ((2004), and Kevin Garnett has a championships (2008). You can argue the Pistons were led by Chauncey Billups (but he couldn't get them one after Big Ben left) and Paul Pierce led the Celtics (although he couldn't get the Celtics one without KG), but regardless the last ten years of NBA champions have been dominated by big men (Shaq & Duncan combine for 8). Will Dwight Howard be next on the list of great big men to lead his team to a championship? Or will Kobe Bryant and the Lakers break the cycle?

There are some things to point toward a break in the dominance of big men. Howard is still very young and has never been in a situation like this before. Can he step up and rise above the pressure to prove he has what it takes at this young age to win his team a title? Kobe Bryant has contributed to three championships himself (although Shaq was with him too), and is the best player in the game. He has always been a great closer and clutch player that has gotten his teams deep into the playoffs almost every year. Phil Jackson is one of the all-time great coaches who knows them game just as good as anyone. Also, even when Shaq was young and first with the Magic, he led them to the only other Finals appearance for the Magic. He was swept 4-0 by the Rockets . However, they also had one of the best big men in the game with Hakeem Olajuwon (so Hakeem was just a better big man at that point in their careers).

There have been two all-time great players who have risen above dominate big men and led their team to championships: Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. Yes, both did have very good defensive big men who contributed to their teams' success, but it goes without saying that MJ and Bird were the ones who led the teams to the championships. Now Kobe has been an all time great player, but he is not in the class yet of MJ and Bird. However, if he can led his team this year and win a championships without any dominate big man (like Shaq), then I believe he could be entered into that group of the NBA's greatest wingmen (although it doesn't mean he is just as good or better). He might need to win another one to really solidify that, but I would be satisfied with just this year (but that's just me).

So this is definitely something to think about when watching this year's NBA Finals. Will we see history repeat itself again? Or will we see one of those exceptions when a great player rises above it? Will Dwight Howard be able to handle the pressure and be good enough to lead his team to the championship, or is he still too young and not enough developed offensive game? Can Kobe finally win a championship without Shaq and thus solidify his name on the list of the NBA's greatest wingmen? For me, I've always been a fan of defense and will always root for defense to come out on top. I'm a big Howard fan, but I also remain in a pact between Pistons and Lakers so I cannot officially root against the Lakers. I will be happy with who ever wins the championship this year to be honest, so I will just sit back and enjoy the NBA Finals while the rest of you argue over who is better and who will win. I just figured I'd give you all something more to add to your discussions.


Posted on: April 12, 2009 10:18 pm
 

Big B's Top 5 DPOY Candidates

Here are my Top 5 Defensive Player of the Year candidates. I don't really think anyone else could be in consideration for the award other than these five guys, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong:

1. Dwight Howard : 13.9 rpg (1st) 2.9 bpg (1st) Team Defense: 2nd

Howard has been a complete monster on defense this year for the Magic . He has owned the paint on defense and made it very difficult for any team to score there. He has made this team rise to the top of the NBA defensive rankings currently sitting at 2nd in total defense for the year. Considering they don't have much other good defense and Van Gundy isn't some defensive genius strategizer like Popovich, you know Howard has really been a huge impact on their defense. Anytime you have a big man that can own the paint and make the other team shoot jumpers, you have yourself a great defensive player. Howard is leading the league in rebounds with 13.9 rpg and also leading the league in blocks with 2.9 bpg. Hard to argue with his stats or the way he impacts his team; can't find any weakness to his case as the 2008-2009 DPOY.

2. Dwyane Wade : 2.2 spg (2nd)  1.35 bpg (1st for all guards) 5.0 rpg (8th amoung guards) Team Defense: 13th

Dwyane Wade has been unbelievably great this year on defense and it shouldn't go unnoticed. He has not only been effect on guarding ball handlers, but has also contributed in shot blocking and rebouding. Considering the Heat don't have any dominating big men defenders in the paint, Wade knew he had to step for this Heat on defense this year. However, no one would have expect him to be this great on defense. He knows how to stay in front his man and keep his hands up making the ball handling have a difficult time getting a shot off or passing it away. However the key for Wade's defense has been his help defense and his timing abilities. He has great awareness and is always watching the ball like a hawk ready to swoop down on it's prey. He read's the passes and can pick off the passes getting plenty of steals. He also has shown the ablility to get a good timing on when opponents will put up the shot being able to time his jump and block the ball. There's no question he has stepped up big time for the Heat on defense, but the problem is that hasn't made them a dominating defense or even one of the Top 10 defense. Wade is 2nd in the league steals with 2.2 spg, he is 1st amound all guards in blocked shots with 1.35 bpg, and is 8th amoung all guards in rebounds per game with 5.0 rpg. The Heat can't rely on Wade to anchor the defense like a big men could (like Howard) because a guard can only do so much for your defense.

3. LeBron James : 1.71 spg (7th) Team Defense: 3rd

LeBron doens't have a lot of impressive defensive statistics other than his team's overall defense. The Cavaliers have been one of the best defenses in the NBA, and it's no doubt LeBron is a big part of that. However, like Wade, he can't do it alone and can't be the anchor do a defense because he is a wingman. The only difference between Wade and LeBron is that LeBron's teammates and system make their overall team defense better. You switch Wade and LeBron and I don't the Cavaliers get worse or the Heat get better. But the biggest thing I've noticed about LeBron's defense this year is his man defense on the perimeter. He has done a very good job of staying in front of his man and keeping them out of the paint, but even if they do get in the paint the Cavs have good post defenders who make it very hard to score. LeBron has stepped up his D and done a good job on defending some of the league's best wingmen scorers (Carmelo Anthony , Paul Pierce , etc.). LeBron is one of the best defenders this year and has really stepped up, but like Wade, he isn't an anchor for his defense so you can't really make an argument for him being #1.

4. Tim Duncan : 10.5 rpg (4th) 1.71 bpg (13th) Team Defense: 4th

Timmy is still one of the best defenders in the game, and that is without question. However, his age is working against him and he is no longer the domianting post defender he once was. He is still great, but not great enough to make the Spurs defense at the top of the league anymore. But he is still anchoring his defense which is still one of the best in league, which still makes the Spurs one of the best teams in the league. He doesn't have the huge numbers of Howard, but has respectable numbers as well as making his defense and all the players on defense around him great. He is 4th in the league in rebounds with 10.5 and 13th in the league on blocked shots with 1.7 bpg. No doubt Timmy is still one of the best (one of the all time great defenders), but I don't think even he has outmatched Howard this year.

5. Chris Paul : 2.83 spg (1st)  5.5 rpg (4th amoung all guards) Team Defense: 11th

Paul, like Howard and Duncan, is the Hornets anchor on defense. The only difference is, it's much more difficult for a PG to do it than a big man. You'd have to be one of the best PG defenders in history to anchor your defense enough to make them one of the best (Gary Payton, Walt Frazier). Paul is great, and the best PG defender in the league, but he isn't at the level where he can make his defense one of the best. He still needs guys like Tyson Chandler in the paint and James Posey on the perimeter. Paul is 1st in the league in steals with 2.83 spg, and 4th amoung all guards in rebounds with 5.5 rpg. He has been great, no doubt, but you can't really argue him at #1 or even in the Top 3 for that matter.

 

Well there you guys have it. That's how I see this year's best defenders of the year. I believe Howard should get this award easily because he has had a combination of the best numbers and easily the most impact on his team's overall defense. Wade and LeBron are interchangeable at runner-up, and Timmy and Paul arenot just not quite good enough be this year's winner. Feel free to comment, critize, or make your own judgments if you wish.

 

Posted on: January 6, 2009 7:20 am
 

Best Perimeter Defenders in the NBA

When talking about the great defenders in the league, people tend to think of the great post defenders like Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, or they might even think about the great help defenders that put up good stats like Marcus Camby or Josh Smith. But the one group of defenders that seem to get the least love is the perimeter defenders. They are the ones that have to cover the best and most dangerous perimeter scorers in the league. They don't put up him great stats like some other defenders, but they always make their defense better by reducing scoring from the opposing team. I think it's about time they get some credit and respect, so I've decided to make my list of Top 10 best perimeter defenders in the league.

Top 10 Perimeter Defenders:


1. Shane Battier

One of the most underrated defenders in all of the NBA. Everyone recognizes him as a good defender, but not as a great one. However, his perimeter is definitely tops in the league and makes him of the Top 5 overall defenders in the entire NBA. He doesn't put up good numbers at all, but that doesn't mean he doesn't play good defense. Bruce Bowen does the same thing, but with dirty tactics, however he has gotten far more credit than Battier; there's something wrong with that. If Battier can do the same (or better) as Bowen without the dirty tactics, then how doesn't he get the same respect? Regardless of how underrated he is, that doesn't change the fact he slow down some of the NBA's best players out on the perimeter better than anyone.

2. Tayshaun Prince

The long armed Prince is a monster defender on the perimeter. Like a lot of other perimeter defenders, he doesn't put up a whole lot of good numbers (until this year), so people don't give him as much credit. He is a big part of the tough Pistons defense that has been so successful over the past few years. He usually has to cover the best perimeter scorer on the opposing team, and has done very well. He's played against Kobe, LeBron, Pierce, etc., and has had games where he slowed them down significantly. He uses his long arms and huge wingspan to block his opponents off from getting easy drives to the basket, and using those long arms to always have a hand in the shooter's face so they get no easy shots.

3. Kobe Bryant

Yes, Kobe can play some good defense and this is key for the Lakers. Not only does Kobe have to be the Laker's primary scorer, but he also has to be their best defender. To go along with scoring points for his team, he also has to prevent the opponent's best perimeter scorer from scoring as well. They don't put Kobe on the worst player either, he has to cover guys like Wade, Joe Johnson, etc. who are all good scorers. Kobe's incredible offense tends to overshadow his defense, but whether you notice it or not, Kobe is actually a very good defender (particularly out on the perimeter).

4. Paul Pierce

He is another guy that is more known for his offense than defense, but still has some very good perimeter defense. He has gotten more recognition for this lately because of how well he played on defense against Kobe in last year's NBA Finals. It may have some to do with Kevin Garnett's influence on defense, but Pierce has always been a good perimeter defender. He knows how to keep his man in front of him, and not get beat to the basket very often.

5. Ron Artest

Now Artest is an all around good defender, and if this were based on overall defense, he might be higher. However, this is only perimeter defense and that isn't his specialty (on ball defense is). He can still play very defense well on the perimeter though. He has tons of strength and uses his big body to stay in front his man, making it very difficult to get by from points in the paint. Artest might not been seen that highly because of his bad attitude in the past, but that doesn't change the fact that he is a very good defender. You can hate him all you want, but you can't deny he has great defense.

6. Caron Butler

Butler has always been a good perimeter defender, but no one knew about it until he started to become a better offensive player on the Wizards. He has the size, speed, and quickness which allow him to stay right with his man and make sure they don't get by him too easily. He is probably a better on ball defender than perimeter defender, but he still has some very good perimeter defense as well.

7. Ronnie Brewer

Probably the second most underrated defender (behind Battier). Like Battier and Prince, he doesn't put up high stat numbers that get him recognition. However, he is able to keep his man from doing a lot of scoring damage. He has tons of speed and athleticism which allow him to stay in front of his man. He has become a very important role player for the Jazz, and that role is slow down the opponent's most dangerous perimeter threat. He is still young and improving, so he could very easily rise higher on this list in a few years.

8. Shawn Marion

Marion, like Artest, is an all around good defender and perimeter defense is just part of his game. He is more of an on ball and help defender, but he can still play some very good perimeter defense. He is one of the most athletic players in the league and uses that to his advantage when playing defense. He may not be putting up the huge numbers he use to on the Suns, but he is still playing very good defense along side Wade which has been a big part of the Heat's success.

9. Andre Iguodala

Iggy is another one of those all around good defenders. He not particularly specialized at anything yet, but he can play any kind of defense very well. He uses his speed and athleticism to stay toe-to-toe with his man and never lets them get an easy shots off. He has kind of regressed this year for the 76ers, but he is still young and will improve (probably being higher on this list in a couple years as well).

10. James Posey

One of the best role players in the game knows how to play good defense. It's not luck that Posey has 2 rings now (from the Heat and Celtics) because he played a big part in both his team's success. Not only does he come off the bench for his 3 point shooting, but he comes in for his great perimeter defense. When they need him to, he will come in and cover the best perimeter scoring threat on the opposing team. He does very well at this, and has been huge for his team's defense and their success.

Honorable Mention (or 11th whatever suits you): Dwyane Wade



He has greatly improved his defense this year and he has the numbers (team stats not just individual stats) to prove it. The reason why I didn't put him on this list is because he's more of an on ball defender. He can cover the perimeter well, but he is more of an on ball defender. He is also a good help defender too, getting lots of steals and blocks to prove that.

Posted on: November 8, 2008 4:53 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2008 8:45 am
 

Detroit Pistons vs. Boston Celtics Preview

Round 1: Boston Celtics (5-1) at Detroit Pistons (4-1)


It's time for the first battle of the year between these two teams. Last year's Eastern Conference Finals teams and still the best two teams in the East. Anyone that watched these games last year knows how exciting and heated they were. Richard Hamilton and Ray Allen were always at each other’s throats, Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett battling in the post, Paul Pierce and Tayshaun Prince playing out on the perimeter, and Chauncey Billups and Rajon Rondo battling at the point. Not to mention watching bench players like Jason Maxiell and Glen "Big Baby" Davis coming in and making an impact. All the games were decided in the final minutes, and stay intense all throughout the entire game. These were some of best games out of all the games in the last NBA season. The rivalry from the 80s between Bird with the Celtics and Isaiah and the Bad Boys with the Pistons seems to be back in full force now.

This game has added a new and interesting element now. Newly acquired Allen Iverson (traded from Denver Nuggets for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, and Cheikh Samb) will be playing his second game for the Pistons. He looks to be the guy who can get the Pistons back to the Finals, and the Celtics will be the team standing in their way. AI played very well in his first game. He scored 24 points on 50% field goal shooting and 11 for 13 at the free throw line. He also added in 6 assists and 1 steal to complete is first game in Detroit. Despite his play, the Pistons weren't able to defeat the Nets and suffered their first loss of the season. He has shown that he is willing to adapt to the Pistons style. He only shot the ball 12 times, and was passing the ball a lot in trying to be more of a distributor. He also was playing defense. Now, Devin Harris did go score a lot, but he was scoring on everyone, not just AI.

The Pistons are 4-1 at the top of the Central Division so far. Their only loss came to the Nets where Devin Harris exploded for 38 points. They have got off to a good start this year. All their players are continuing to play very good, but a few players have stepped so far this year. Tayshaun Prince has been the best player for the Pistons so far. He has 16.4 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game, 1.2 blocks per game, 46.6% field goal percentage, and 58.3% 3-point percentage. He has continued to play very well on the defensive end, and is rebounding very well so far. He also is looking more consistent on the offensive end, being able to get to basket or hit the outside shot. Amir Johnson is the Pistons' starting center this year, and he has played very well so far. He has been contributing some on offense, but has mainly been a factor on defense. He has been able to use his athleticism to get rebounds and forcing turnovers. He won't be lighting up the stat sheet, but he will contribute a lot to this team.

The Celtics are leading the Atlantic Division at 5-1.Their only loss has come to the Pacers where they just seemed to an off game. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett continue to lead Boston with their great play. Pierce has 17.8 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game, 1.3 steals per game, and 4.3 assists per game. KG has 15.7 points per game, 9.7 rebounds per game, and 1.3 steals per game. Ray Allen has also chipped in 14.7 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game. Rajon Rondo, Leon Powe, and Kendrick Perkins have all been contributed very well to Boston as well.

Key Matchups of the game:

Leon Powe vs. Jason Maxiell

These two guys might not play head to head very much, but it will important to see which guy will come off the bench and contribute most to their team. Maxiell will be needed to provide tons of energy, rebounding, and defense. He needs to get a few highlight blocks and dunks to get his team pumped up. Powe will need to rebound and provide low post scoring. These will be the two key players coming off the bench for this game.

Allen Iverson vs. Rajon Rondo

Both have lots of speed and athleticism, and both will be at the point for their teams. It will be interesting to see if Rondo can keep AI from having a great game today. Even more interesting will be if AI can keep Rondo from scoring a lot as well.

Paul Pierce vs. Tayhaun Prince

The two wingmen will be battling all night long. Both will be their team's best perimeter defender, and it will be important to see who can slow down the other more. It will be fun to watch these guys battle outside and battle for rebounds. Very key matchup here.

Ray Allen vs. Richard Hamilton

This is probably the most fun matchup to watch. Former UConn guards will be in a tough battle with each all night. Every time these two play, they’re in each other's faces and fighting for position all throughout the game. There will be fouls called, and there will be 3-point shots made. It will be important to see which guy can impact their team the most.

Kevin Garnett vs. Rasheed Wallace

Battle of the big men. Sheed vs. KG is the most important matchup of the game. These two big men anchor their team in the post on offense and defense. They will fight for boards, they will battle for points, and they will see who can score the most points outside the paint.

 

It's going to be a great game to watch, so I suggest you drop change any plans you already have so you can watch this game. It's on at 6:00 pm ET Sunday, November 9th. Get ready for an Eastern Conference showdown at the Palace tomorrow night. And if everything goes right, my Pistons will win!

Posted on: May 19, 2008 3:18 pm
 

ECFs Pistons vs. Celtics: The Final Showdown

It's finally time for the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals. It's exactly what we've been waiting for all year long: Detroit Pistons vs. Boston Celtics. The #1 and #2 teams in the in the East, and in the regular season as well. Also, the two best defensive teams throughout this year. They played 3 times throughout the regular season, with the Pistons winning the first game in Boston, and the Celtics winning the next two games in Detroit and Boston. All 3 were very exciting and close games, and were some of the best games this season. These two teams were just destined to face each other in the ECFs this year, and now it's finally time to see them go at it.

This is the Pistons 6th straight ECF appearance, but it's the Celtics 1st since 2002. The Celtics and the Pistons have a lot of great player matchups that make the series even more entertaining:

Kevin Garnett vs. Rasheed Wallace - Both are their teams best player and have been been of the team's leaders and heart of the team. They can both post up in the paint very well, and both play good defense. Rasheed has the long range shot, but Garnett has the mid range shot. They have had had some good and bad games in this year's playoffs, and it will probably be the same in this series as well.

Rip Hamilton vs. Ray Allen - Battle of the UConn guards. These two played very physical on each other in each game this regular season. They are always keeping the game heated, and are both great shooters. Rip has been shooting great in the playoffs, but has been turning the ball over too much. Ray hasn't been all that great so far, but will definitely heat up when he goes against Rip.

Tayshaun Prince vs. Paul Pierce - This will be the most important and most interesting matchup of this series. They have both been the best and most consistent players for their teams so far this year in the playoffs. Pierce definitely has the edge on the offensive side of the ball, but Prince is the better defender. Both have stepped up their game on the opposite side of the ball that they are not known for being strong at (Pierce stepping up on D, and Prince stepping it up on O). Keep your eye on this one folks.

Jason Maxiell vs. Kevin Garnett - Not really one you would expect, but will definitely interesting to see what happens when these two face off. In the regular season games, Maxiell defended Garnett very well and got him frustrated a lot. Maxiell will be very physical with him all series long, and Garnett should be ready for it this time. I think in the regular season he was surprised a smaller defender good guard him so well, but now he will know what to expect from Maxiell.

Chauncey Billups, Rodney Stuckey, and Lindsey Hunter should be able to have their way with Rajon Rondo, Sam Cassell, and Eddie House at the point. This a matchup where the Pistons should be able to just dominate at, but all the other ones will be very close and great matchups.

I have been saying it all season long that the East will win the title this year, and I still stand by that. So (to me) this is the pre-battle for the NBA title this year. Whoever wins out of the Pistons/Celtics will be the NBA champions this year; I'm sure of that. The Celtic have been struggling big time on the road, going 0-6 thus far, but they have been dominant at home. No team has even won the title without winning at least 3 road games. The Pistons are one of the best road teams as well, and can easily win on the road just as well as at home. I know there is a first time for everything, but it's not looking good for the C's if they can't win on the road. They won't be able to play like they did against the Hawks and Cavaliers if they want to win this series. I'm sure they will step it up though because their "Boston 3 Party" really wants that title. I expect it to go no less than 6 games, and will most likely go 7.

I just can't wait for Game 1 tomorrow. It's the Final Showdown in the East!
Posted on: February 7, 2008 9:15 pm
 

Sorry Lakers and Suns; the East will still Win!

I am sorry to rain on your parade Lakers and Suns fans, but even though you guys just got done pulling off some major blockbuster deals; you still won't win the Title this year! Okay, before you get all bent out of shape on me let me explain myself.

Yes, we all know the West is much better than the East. Yes, the Lakers just got a heck of a lot better after trading Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, two 1st Round picks, and rights to Marc Gasol to the Grizzlies for Pau Gasol, and this definately makes you much better of a team. Most likely contenders for the championship as well. The Suns....well some people thinks it makes them better trading Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks for Shaquille O'Neal. I think they are kidding themselves. Of course the Suns will no longer be able to run their "run n gun" style of offense with Shaq. Any other style won't work for them. They don't have a whole lot of defense, and they don't have the rebounding to run any type of slower offense. It just won't work. Plus, no matter how much Shaq wants to win another title, it won't make up for the fact that he is not even close to being able to dominate again. He can be a good guy to plug up the middle with his size, and give you a little offense but nothing that's going to put you "over the edge" to win a championship. The Suns will become worse with this trade, but believe what you want you will see soon enough.

Now, the East may be weak and only have a few teams that can contend for the title, but this year they are the best in my opinion. The Celtics have been one of the favorites since they aquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the offseason. They still have the best record in the league, and still are allowing the fewest points per game in the league as well. This team can be dangerous. Yes, they are not the deepest team, and yes without KG or Paul Pierce they would be in a lot of trouble (see the recent games since KG has been out). As long as they have those guys though, then they could be in this years NBA Finals.

Now, onto my favorite team, the Detroit Pistons. Of course I expect them to go to the Finals and win it all this year (what other Pistons fan doesn't?). I have good reason though to believe it; not just my homer opinion. They are still one of the best, if no the best, defenses this year. They are currently 2nd in fewest points allowed per game (to the Celtics). They are have the 2nd best record in the East, and one of the top records in the entire NBA. Chauncey, Rip, Rasheed, Tay, McDyess, etc. are all playing great and just as good as usual. Their bench continues to shine with Jason Maxiell playing big this year. Also, rookies Aaron Afflalo and Rodney Stuckey are given some good production off the bench.

The reason why the Pistons and Celtics have a better chance to win than the Lakers, Suns, Spurs, etc. is because of what everyone already knows: the East is weaker than the West. The Pistons and Celtics don't have much other competition besides each other. The Cavaliers and Magic look like the only two other "real" threats in the East. I don't believe any other team will give either one much trouble. One of these two teams will be in the Finals. Once they get there, whatever Western team makes it will be so tired from fighting their way through the other teams that they won't be able to handle either the Pistons or Celtics.

Not to mention that I believe these two teams are still the best two teams in the league, but that's just my opinion; I'm bringing you the facts on this. People continue to say how weak the East is, but that will be the reason why either Celtics or Pistons (Pistons of course) will win the 2007-2008 NBA Finals. Sorry to break the bad news to you guys, but it's gonna happen. Maybe next year Western fans, but this year is the year of the EAST!

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com