Was anyone surprised the Lakers ran over the Rockets in LA for Game 7? I felt that this was a game that the Lakers would assert themselves and their superstars would play like superstars and get those types of calls. Rockets just didn't have the firepower to overcome. And you know what? I couldn't be prouder of that team. They had more heart this series then any other team in the League. I challenge anyone to point out another team the past 10 years that could lose not one but both their superstars and still push the Championship favorites to 7 games. Gutsy stuff. Sadly, I can't help but think that this series would be over sooner if Tracy McGrady was playing. Good to know that he finally got out of the 1st round though.
The real shocker for me was seeing Orlando (Orlando?!) go into Boston and run them off their own court. Live by the 3, die by the 3, and boy, was Orlando living! Not much you can do when they are hitting contested and uncontested threes and jumpers. Boston also played with the heart of the champion this series, especially considering no one in their right mind even picked them to get o the conference finals. They just ran out of gas, and didn't have their emotional leader in KG. Hope this isn't the last we see of them. So now we have Orlando and Cleveland, I'm picking Cleveland in 6, 5 if they really get going. Looking at the matchups makes me think that Orlando's chances are directly predicated on how they defend Lebron's supporting cast, foul trouble and dominant play from Howard, and how well Orlando shoots at home and on the road. I'd love to see the series go 7 because as great as Lebron is, he gets better when he is challenged and the stakes are higher.
In the West, I see the Lakers taking the series but dealing with some serious heat from Denver. I find it completely possible that Denver wins this series if a perfect storm forms. That Perfect Storm would take several ingredients: Denver shoots the ball incredibly well. LA plays like they played against Houston. Denver is able to defend Kobe Bryant and turn him into a volume shooter. Denver is able to take 1 or 2 on LA's floor. If these things happen, we may have a next generation finals matchup between Melo and Lebron, and the Kobe naysaying chatter will only grow louder.
Either way, I'm happy that the Playoffs are progressing and hope that the good basketball continues.