Another finals without the Suns and it looks like our shot at that glory has passed us by. The Suns will surely enter next season as a second tier team fighting for scraps place behind the resurgent Lakers and the upstart Hornets and Jazz. Consolation can be found in the Spurs riding the slide with us back to mediocrity .
Of course, hope can also be found in the two teams left standing. Both ended last season with dim prospects and both hit the NBA trade machine lottery to instantly propel them back to this match-up made in Stern's dreams.
Maybe Kerr can work out a deal that sends Diaw to the Knicks in return for their spot in the Eastern Conference.
As for the two finalists, it should be a great battle. Kobe and Phil against KG and Pierce.
Certainly it's understandable why the Lakers are the favorite with the greatest player on the planet and the Celtics haven't exactly impressed with their ability to score the ball consistently. Ray Allen's performance has cut the Big Three down by a third.
Despite that, I think the C's match-up well with Pierce giving Kobe some trouble on both ends and KG able to man up Gasol.
Where this one gets most interesting is the Odom/Perkins duel. The Celtics with KP followed by Powe and Davis are huge up front and the Lakers don't have an answer. If Doc can take advantage of that size on the glass and in the low post while still preventing the Lakers from running too much they have a shot.
Jax knows this of course, and is going to use what he learned from Mike D'Antoni and run the crap out of the ball and use his smaller, faster lineups to turn this into a track meet.
The only chance Boston has is if they can get 25 ppg out of the Perkins/Powe/Davis combo and keep Odom in foul trouble and absolutely dominate on the boards. If Doc Rivers is able to force DJ Mbenga on to the floor then things are looking up for the Bean Towner's.
Lakers in 6 to cap off a very painful season for Suns fans.