The End of a Trend in the NBA Conference Finals? Never.

“There can be no true beauty without decay.”—Uncle Monty in Withnail & I

Bruce Robinson may not any longer be a name known only by cinema’s greater purists with his bringing to life the Hunter S. Thompson novel in film form featuring Johnny Depp entitled The Rum Diary last year, but before that moment occurred on the silver screen, he was knowledgeable only in the circles of devout cinephiles for his writer/director duties on Withnail & I.

[caption id="attachment_1058" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo Credit: Jay LaPrete/AP"][/caption]

That quote came to my attention when trying to find words to describe what happened on Sunday while the Memorial Tournament ended. Sure Tiger Woods won—and history repeated itself (a specific theme for this column) as Spencer Levin imploded after a 54-houl lead just as he did during the Waste Management Open—yet the real story is the Tiger glare coming back in full force.

Ricky Fowler not only had the worst round of all the players to make the cut, an 84, while being paired with Tiger, and he had a shot of capturing his second PGA Tour win of the year, as well, coming into his outing with Tiger for his final round in Dublin, Ohio; he tied the worst round of the entire weekend. The other 84? Bill Hurley.

Tiger’s back my friends—and golf fans have been waiting long enough for this resurrection. I’ll go with the British Open being a more likely Tiger over the Field prop bet to be certain; although, nothing from this man, at this point, as well as ever, could surprise me.

Now, for that basketball talk that this is supposed to be all about…

The Mirror

If you thought you had the NBA Conference Finals all figured out (I honestly did, several times)—think again. In a good way however.

Where it looked like only home teams would win, the Thunder put a stop to that in Game Five of their little affair with the Spurs, by beating San Antonio in the Lone Star State. Then, the Celtics followed suit in Game Five of their own in Miami.

So then it hit me: These two series are mirror images of each other, in many ways. But not all.

One team (the higher seed) jumps out to a 2-0 lead, looks unbeatable, and then yields two games on the road, leveling each contest to an even keel. Yet, as fate would have it, the respective fifth ballgames don’t go as planned for the victors of the first two meetings, looking to regain their once-held upper hand at home.

The difference, however, stands on the side of rhythm.

My Picks Are Still Alive…Yet I Only Still Believe in One of Them

When did I lose my faith in the Spurs…?


The dramatic music even fits, and even if I didn’t notice at the time, I jotted a thought down in my notes that leaps from the page like a slap to the face: “Thunder establishing themselves.” And that’s what I wrote at half-time of Game Three!

Imagine still being a believer in SAS and watching Kevin Durant in Game Four score half his 36 points in the fourth quarter; then, Durant dropped 22-of-his-27 points in the second half of Game Five; furthermore, my confidence in the Spurs almost dried up as I recalled that stat at which I laughed as the series began: No team to sweep the first two rounds in this playoff format has won their Conference Final, yet it got worse, for the Spurs have done this before.

For Laker fan’s enjoyment, recall with me this moment: Up 2-0 in 2004, during the Western Conference Finals, against the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio lost four-straight games giving LAL the right to play in the NBA Finals.

There’s more than numbers going against the Heat, too; pure momentum appears to be reigning supreme in these two matchups.

Game Four in Boston comes to mind, right off the bat, and the Miami Heat had a real shot to win that one—until LeBron James fouled out for the first time in a Heat jersey in the middle of overtime. Translation: Miami goes back to the Sunshine State tied at 2-2 and not up 3-1, a staggering difference.

But there was hope on Miami’s return home: Chris Bosh coming back. Bosh did indeed light a much-needed fire under the Heat, to which Boston responded to their first-half lead: “Don’t call it a comeback; we’ve been here for years.”

I had Boston in Six; SAS in Seven; however, only one will happen, I presume.


Lord Stanley’s Cup will be in Los Angeles tonight, and while the LA Kings may be making history in more ways than one—being the lowest seed hockey’s history to win the whole thing—half of the lowest pairing of seeds in the Stanley Cup Finals—the first title for the franchise (not even the Great One good do that)—they’re capable of doing it in a bloody sweep.

Yes, that’s right: A Sweep.

Two 2-1 Overtime victories in New Jersey (that’s right; I forgot to mention that LAK hasn’t even lost a road game in the playoffs; that can’t have happened before), one 4-0 defeat of the Devils in LipStick City, and now the Kings are set to close the thing out at home and kiss the cup.

“Most beauty I’ve seen, you come from a dream—but I can’t close my eyes anymore.”—Ween

They just had a way with words, so here’s a song…


Back to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed