My Big, Fat, Girthy Sports Weekend Recap
Lebron's "breakthrough," Thursday's performance was unbelievable, and during Saturday's Game 7 there was no doubt as to who was leading that team to the Finals, and as a result, the narrative seems to have shifted a bit in Lebron's favor. I mean, you can't blame a guy for 'not closing' when he closes the game out by halftime, a la Game 6. The truth, however, is that Lebron has only made it as far as he did last year, and should he prove ineffective in the Finals yet again, this is going to be last year, amplified. It might could get ugly. He's gotten them here, and now he needs to close.
The Big Three goes out swinging, I'm guessing that this really is the end for the Celtics as we have come to know them these past four years. Just today, this headline was scrolling across the bottom line on ESPN. It's happening already. Now I, being a huge New York fan, have never, ever rooted for Boston sports. That being said, I was incredibly impressed with the heart and character of this Celtics team, and that's putting it lightly. Everytime they were too old, too slow, too injured, they dug deep and shocked us time and time again. This team was under .500 at one point in the season. This team was down to the Hawks, in a Game 7 with the Sixers, and in a 2-0 hole to the Heat. In the four years the Big Three was together they won one world championship and one Eastern Conference championship. I think that if you asked any diehard Celtics fan their biggest regret during their run, or any of the Big Three for that matter, they might point to Game 6, up 3-2 against the Lakers in the 2010 Finals. That, more than the ensuing Game 7, was their chance to win their second title, and almost as important, to deny the Lakers their repeat.
The Celtics will now have the opportunity to build around Rondo, who may be one of the easiest players in the NBA to accommodate. Just put talent around him, and he will find you with the basketball. I think that Rajon Rondo proved to be one of the best players in the NBA throughout these playoffs, just behind Kevin Durant and, arguably, Lebron James.
The 2012 European Football tournament kicks off. Now I don't know if you care about this, and I'm not going to tell you that you should, but I, as the casual fan, am having a good time thus far. There's always one "Group of Death," and this year it is without a doubt Group B, with Holland, Portugal, Germany, and Denmark. This group played on Saturday, and of course, it is the one team whose elimination from the group stage seemed to be the given that sits atop the standings after day one. Denmark, with a 1-0 win over Holland is on top.
The "Group of Debt" kicked off Sunday, beginning with Spain vs. Italy followed by Croatia vs. Ireland. Again, wouldn't you know it, if you watched both games I think it was safe to say that Ireland and Croatia put on a far more exciting show than the early game which featured the two previous world cup winners. Heck, the Irish fans were enough to make the game interesting. Everytime they were on screen they seemed to be facing away from the pitch, jumping up and down. Perhaps that's the best way to get into soccer. They seemed to be having a blast, regardless of getting beat 3-1.