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News » Lakers-Celtics would be nice, but not necessary

Lakers-Celtics would be nice, but not necessary

Lakers-Celtics would be nice, but not necessary
Despite Tim Donaghy's entrepreneurial spirit, the absence of a filter on Shaquille O'Neal's pie hole and whatever might be nesting inside Gregg Popovich's beard, the NBA remains fantastic.

It's especially compelling for followers like me who might sit through a 79-77 tractor pull and croon hosannas to the virtues of help-side defense.

The perfect matchups

  • Monday: Rivalry revived the NBA
  • Tuesday: How Boston can be beaten
  • Wednesday: Why L.A. might lose
  • Thursday: Are Celtics beasts of East?
  • Friday: Are Lakers best in West?
  • Saturday: Potential rivalry wreckers
  • Sunday: NBA power shift?
  • Monday: Who needs 'em?

Run-and-stun basketball may not follow the championship blueprint, but — for example — it certainly made friends and influenced observers of the Golden State Warriors. The Suns rebounded from the Stephon Marbury era to be redefined as one of the league's big tickets.

Team USA demonstrated how quickness and a commitment to defense can yield big-time offense. Despite having a 24-second clock to aid in such tactics, NBA coaches lack the nerve to attempt ball-pressure maneuvers against the league's one-on-one magicians.

But D'Antoni has helped plant a few seeds of offensive prosperity.

Go ahead and exhale now.

Mike, despite his genius for creating easy scoring opportunities, and his Knicks still wear the considerable burden of proof.

What else does the NBA have in its stable to withstand a Lakers or Celtics slippage?

Well, the Portland Trail Blazers are young, talented and should develop into keen rivals for the Lakers. Paul and the New Orleans Hornets like to wing it and should enjoy success for several years.

The star search has landed some interesting newcomers, with Derrick Rose looking capable of creating a desperately needed uprising in Chicago and Michael Beasley prepared to make life alternately lovely and perplexing for Pat Riley in Miami.

To the bad, the loaded high school class of 2007 has been followed with two classes that seemingly lack any transcendent talent. Amazing that even with an emphasis on structure at what passes as the grassroots level in America, so few overall great talents are emerging on a consistent basis.

Maybe lower-level coaches should step back and allow their players to evolve, such as D'Antoni has done (on offense, at least) at the highest level.

The NBA's future may require it. Well, at least until Stern is able to get things crackin' in China.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 28, 2008


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