While I’ve been caught up in March Madness for the past month, apparently a lot of changes have went down in the NBA. Changes in power. It finally hit me today when I saw the power rankings that my favorite team had fallen off and their rival was, once again, on top. Of course I’m talking about Boston and LA.
With the playoffs around the corner it doesn’t look like things will change much for either team. What you see is what you get. So does this mean Lakers will win the title again? No. Matter fact I’m not even sure the Lakers or Celtics are a lock to come out of their respective conferences. If you look at the power ranking there’s two teams on the list you’d probably didn’t expect to see on it nonetheless in the top five. Chicago and Oklahoma, two teams that everyone predicted to be good, are now looking title contenders themselves. And then you have the Heat and San Antonio to shake things up.
Well how does this effect Boston and LA? Despite their recent struggles and accomplishments post all-star break, both teams are still in the second place overall in their conference rankings. In theory they are still likely to meet up in the finals. If you think about it this says more for the Celtics have been good all year but playing horribly as of late. Lakers are just getting it together but all that really matters is how thing look right now.
Considering the up coming playoff season, Boston clearly has a steeper road to climb. Oklahoma and San Antonio are big obstacles for LA to overcome but they’re at least playing better than ever and have momentum going into the playoffs. Boston has two problems right now that (if they don’t solve) make it doubtful for them to win it all this year and perhaps less likely to even get pas the Bulls or Heat. One: the leader of the team, Rondo, is struggling and Two: their sudden loss of size in the front court.
For some reason Rondo has been playing like he’s afraid to score (not like he can even score much to begin with) and on top of that his assist numbers have dropped. Maybe hes trying compensate for the assist drop by taking less shots, but its only hurting the team. He needs to be more aggressive offensively because it can only lead to points by him or his teammates. Remember last week how he blew a lay up late in the game while the team was down by one? Where’s the Rondo that threw it down on Bosh earlier in the season? Moreover, where’s the 14 assists per game he was on track to average? Ok thats a lot to ask but when you don’t have a jumper at all and people claim your the best PG in the league you gotta make up for it somewhere, right?
Anyway, their problems are much deeper than Rondo. He’ll be fine, but what the Celtics should be worried about is their size. Last year they had Perkins and Sheed inside, now they have neither. Oh, I forgot, they have SHAQ now, but who knows when he will play again. I hope he returns healthy and plays like he did earlier in the season. That would be great but think about it, the Celtics could’ve had Shaq AND Perkins! Imagine that?
Now they have a bunch of new guys who, although great pickups, probably have no team chemistry. The Lakers, however, pretty much have the same team (empahsis on team) with a healthy Bynum’s this time around. They got like three 7 footers AND KOBE! There’s not much more to say about that.
All these changes occurred in the past month or so. Coincidentally Boston has gone 6-10 meanwhile the Lakers, in contrast have gone 14-1. So is it time to panic for Boston fans? Not really because they are still second in the East despite their troubles. Is it time to celebrate another title for Laker fans……well, when DON’T they think the Lakers will win it all really no matter the odds? Everyone NOT living in LA expected Boston to win it all not that long ago but this is now being said about Chicago if not LA. It’s funny how things change in a few weeks. So is the new finals preview today really CHICACO/LA? Only time will tell.