Saturday, October 25, 2008
The Clarion Content vigorously disputed this notion last night, only to awake this morning dispatch our crack research staff and find out the readers had been right and the editor wrong.
According to everywhere we checked today the Los Angeles Lakers are the oddsmakers favorite to win the 2009 NBA title. Truly we can't believe it. The Celtics, though the second choice, are getting no respect! Did people not see the dismantling the Celtics put on the Lakers in the Finals? Andrew Bynum, who has never started sixty games in a season and never averaged more than the 13pts, 10 boards he put together last year, is supposed to make that big a difference? Coming off of knee surgery? How will he, Gasol, and Odom all play at once? Sure, Odom's gonna be happy coming off of the bench in a contract year, right. And Kobe's gonna share the ball and be a better person. You will have to forgive us if we don't believe the hype.
We believe the Pistons are a better second choice than the Lakers. Kobe just went over the 1,000 games played mark for his career. He played 106 regular season and playoff games last year, then without a break headed on to the Olympics. No Olympics for the leaders of the real favorites Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajan Rondo.
The oddsmakers in one book have Hornets as the third choice and the Pistons as the fourth. The Clarion has heavy respect for Chris Paul, David West and the boys. We could easily see them knocking off the Lake show in the playoffs. We will tell you that we are pretty darn confident that the Spurs every other year thing finally comes to end. If Duncan and Pop can somehow pull it off with a banged up Ginobili and the aging cast off spare parts, it will be an amazing feat. Don't sleep on the Pistons, as Bill Simmons warns in his NBA fantasy preview, they need an in-season trade to avoid becoming the Atlanta Braves II, but they have a great core.
The oddsmakers in another book have the Houston Rockets as the third choice, which just goes to prove P.T. Barnum's old line, "There's a sucker born every minute."
Celtics coach Doc Rivers had the best answer for the lack of respect the defending champs are getting, "We pick us. We picked us last year, too."