This Week in Sports
A Date With Lord Stanley
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are drawing to a close and, barring a major comeback by the Pittsburgh Penguins, the National Hockey League Champions will be the Detroit Red Wings. The Penguins are down three games to one, and they face elimination tonight in Detroit. The trouble for the Penguins started early when Detroit shut them out in two straight games to start the series. Pittsburgh grabbed a 3-2 victory in the next game on home ice, but lost game four, 2-1.
It won't be a battle of the borings (with a link here to my previous blog) this year in the NBA Finals. Instead, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers will fight for the NBA Championship. Beginning Thursday, June 5th the two winningest franchises in basketball history will square off to see who will add more metal to their trophy case. Here are some incredibly safe and un-ballsy predictions.
The Lakers will win if: The Celtics' Kevin Garnett can't perform in the clutch. Garnett has shown a knack for coming up short when it matters most, like when he missed two critical free throws late in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celts still won, but you can bet that unless Garnett is a big factor early and late in games, Boston will fall.
The Celtics will prevail if: The Lakers' Kobe Bryant gets shot-happy. During this year's playoffs, Bryant has been adept at figuring out when to take over a game. He gets his teammates involved early, and then in the fourth quarter or late in the second half, he puts the team on his back and slays his opponents. In the past, Bryant has sometimes tried to hog the ball, taking contested, low-percentage shots, and allowing the other team's defense to gang up on him. On his sport's biggest stage, Bryant can't afford to take-on the Celtics by himself.
Prediction: Lakers win in six games.