Thursday, May 14, 2009

NHL's Final Four offers more action and suspense

Who will have the most fantastic, amazing, stupendous Final Four?

The NBA or the NHL? Hockey is ahead so far. Three of its four conference semi-finals series went to a Game 7 and the road team won two of them. In fact, all four teams – the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes – trailed by at least one game in those best-of-seven series to rally to stay alive and advance in Lord Stanley’s tournament. The Blackhawks, who haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1961 and didn’t even make the playoffs in nine of the previous 10 seasons, would appear to be the sentimental favorites.

The basketball playoffs, meanwhile, haven’t produced as much suspense other than wondering what L.A. Lakers team is going to show up from game to game, quarter to quarter. Fortunately for David Stern’s Circus, the Boston Celtics-Chicago Bulls opening-round series created enough drama to last for awhile.

Kenyon Martin’s mom, a.k.a. Mrs. Thug, would have provided a better challenge than the Cleveland Cavaliers encountered in the first two series. LeBron James’ Cavs, who have never won an NBA title in their 38-year history, are the overwhelming favorites now because they will face either a weary Celtics team or an overachieving, one-trick pony Magic team in the conference finals before meeting the Lakers in the finals, assuming the Lakers eventually snap out of their trance brought on by watching Ron Artest’s  mesmerizing head.


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