The Championship Rounds

By: 05.31.10

Rajon Rondo (photo. Gary Land)

The NBA is off until Thursday, when Round 12 of Lakers vs. Celtics (Championship Edition) tips off. It’s kind of strange that as much as we’ve been trained to view this as the League’s greatest rivalry, it’s actually overwhelmingly one-sided. In the 11 times the Lake Show and Celts have met in the NBA Finals before, Boston has a 9-2 lead. So basically it’s a “rivalry” in the same way Notre Dame vs. Navy or Scott Steiner vs. Urine Test (he beats it every time) is a “rivalry” … That said, the voting has been pretty close in our poll asking who will win this year’s matchup. Most would agree that L.A. has the best player in Kobe Bryant, Boston has the better starting five, L.A. has the better coach, Boston (arguably) has more momentum right now, and the benches can go either way depending on who’s hot on any given night. The Lakers have home court, but the Celtics may have a bigger chip on their shoulder from being written off for months. Who do you got? … Meanwhile, the New Orleans Hornets are reportedly already negotiating with Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau‘s people for their head coaching vacancy. Assuming Thibodeau gets the job, watch out for Rajon Rondo vs. Chris Paul to become the most intriguing head-to-head point guard battle of the next few years (or second-place behind Deron Williams vs. Derrick Rose). Who knows every part of Rondo’s game more than Thibodeau? And if you remember, CP and Rondo already had that little spat last year when Rondo talked smack to CP for not having any rings … After LeBron (of course), Amar’e Stoudemire was the 2010 free agent getting the most attention over the weekend. Amar’e hasn’t changed his stance that he’s 50-50 on coming back to Phoenix, but said it would be “ideal” to remain with the Suns. He also said it’s “very important to have a sense of security.” So in other words, the Suns can have Amar’e if they give him a lot of years and a lot of money. If Amar’e opts out of his deal and you’re running the Suns, do you make him your top priority, or use that money to chase another big man like Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer or Dirk Nowitzki? Reuniting Steve Nash and Dirk would be fun, but we might have to mute their national TV games because every announcer is going to beat it into our skulls that Nash and Dirk are boys … This Sasha Vujacic vs. Goran Dragic thing is headed the way of a soccer feud. Asked about his elbow-to-face flagrant foul, Vujacic said it was “great acting” by Dragic, claims Dragic pulled the family card in his trash-talking (maybe Goran just said “motherf*****” in Slovenian and Sasha misheard him), and The Machine called his rival a “low human being.” Next time they play, somebody is gonna head-butt somebody square in the chest … Congrats to Manu Ginobili, whose wife just gave birth to twin boys. When the doctor went to slap the older one, the baby started crying before contact. Then the younger one put his hands in the air and looked around the room real confused, thinking he’d been blamed for the slap … We’re out like Dragic vs. Vujacic …

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