It's your worst nightmare Suns fans: Evil vs. The Black Mamba.
From a pure basketball standpoint there are some interesting match-ups.
- Can Odom or Gasol hope to stop Timmy? (nope)
- Can Derek Fisher keep Parker out of the lane? (nope)
- Can Manu attack Kobe off the dribble? (nope)
- Do Suns fan actually root for Bowen when he's locked tight on Kobe's jock? (nope)
- Can Pop out- coach Jax and get his team to the finals again? (nope)
But for Sun's fans it's a lose-lose series. Go Pistons.
For those who don't understand why this pairing is so painful for Suns faithful let me provide a little history. The Suns franchise has been to the playoffs 28 times in 40 seasons (and if you eliminate the first few years then its 27 playoff appearances out of the last 33 years).
Needless to say, each of those playoff runs have ended in defeat. 8 times it was the Lakers, our hated neighbors to the west, and 6 times it was the evil empire from Texas that ended our season.
That's a total of 14 playoff defeats at the hands of either the Spurs or Lakers.
For many like me that grew up with the 80's Suns teams, it was the Lakers 6 out of 8 times between 1979 and 1990 that started the hot summer early. For more recent Suns fans its been the Spurs responsible for 4 out the last 5 playoff defeats.
Hate my friends is born from defeat and Suns fans have plenty of reasons to hate both of these teams.
[Note by Phoenix Stan, 05/20/08 9:21 AM PDT ]
After a coffee cup's worth of careful consideration I have decided that I am pulling for the Lakers to win this one. It's a decision based purely on basketball style and the potential for a Lakers / Piston's or Celtics match-up.
For all of their machine-like efficiency and preternaturally precise rotations, I just can't bring myself to watch another year of Spurs finals basketball. At least I hope not to.
While my Lakers hate remains pure, I am pulling for ball movement and passing. I am pulling for role players named Farmar and Vujacic over Horry and Finley. I want more dagger three's from Fisher and none from Bowen. And mostly, I want to see Lamar Odom continue his great playoff run and dominate Oberto in the block or KT on the wing. Odom is the key to this series for LA and I think he's up to the task.
Mostly though, it's 2008 and I am voting for change even if that means backing a flawed team with some unique baggage that's the target of my long-time (undeserved) bias.