Freeman Cebu Sports

Warriors via sweep

EVERY POUND COUNTS - Alan G. Choachuy - The Freeman

For the first time since 1979, both NBA conference finals have reached Game 7. In my book, it has made a stamp as one of the best conference finals ever.

My crystal ball has gone haywire as my prediction has gone South. First, I predicted a boring Eastern playoffs with the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers zooming to the conference finals. Instead, we were treated to an awesome showdown between the Cavs and Boston Celtics. The Celtics, who I wrote off as going nowhere without their injured superstars, almost pulled off an upset by pushing Lebron James and the Cavs to game seven. Over in the West finals I predicted a Game 7 win by Houston, but the Rockets suffered a monumental collapsed spotlighted by an NBA record of 27 straight missed 3-pointers.

Heading into the NBA Finals that will start today, the Social media went abuzz as real time game analysis are thrown against each other from Lebron to Steph Curry haters. One wrote that Curry and the Warriors are just lucky as injuries plagued their contenders just like what happened to Houston's Chris Paul. But in my view, it's purely bad luck for the opposing team and it boils down to preparation and proper conditioning.

Real time social media analysis are fun to read but some haters doesn't use common sense and post some far-fetched ideas. But who am I to judge?. That is their opinion and everyone has a right to put anything he wants to say or write. But one analysis has caught my attention.

Here is what Jose Francisco Gathchalian has to say for the West and East Finals.

“As an NBA fan, yes there were some bad non-calls that favored GSW, which robbed us from one of the best Game 7s in recent memory. 2 that stood out were bells moving screen and no foul on Eric Gordon's drive. But calling the game 'luto' only looks at one side of the story. For one, refereeing Harden's game is difficult when the guy is probably the greatest at selling fouls the game has seen. Someone as good as him should focus more on just playing the game than forcing up ugly shots just to get the foul. Curry had zero free throws in both Games 6 and 7 but still played great without looking for the refs to save him when he struggled. That's called making adjustments, which the Rockets didn't do after missing 27 straight 3s! Yes momentum is important, but not to the point where it results in shooting that bad. Too many missed opportunities right there. And if refs helped GSW so bad, why give Klay Thompston 3 fouls in the first 4 minutes and put Rockets on the penalty so early in the game? Plus call more fouls on GSW than Rockets and reward Rockets more free throws. If you think GSW winning sucks then fine, but what sucks more is making excuses when the numbers don't add up instead of giving credit to the team that played better and made more shots to win the game.

In a seperate post on the East finals:“Hate to be that guy, and I'd still admit what Lebron has done with this team is really impressive, but let's not act like he beat a team that had a superstar of their own. For how impressive LeBron's run is this year, I find the Celtics run more impressive for the fact that they got the job done (no excuses) with All Horford as their only All-Star and some unproven guys as their go to scorers. Literally relying on Rozier, Brown and Tatum for all of them to have this responsibility in the playoffs and to go against the best player in the world and a team full of experienced veterans. Not saying Celtics are weak but their inexperience showed in Game 7 by missing so many makeable shots. They're ahead of schedule though and I'm still hoping to see Kyrie vs LeBron in a playoffs. For now, giving credit to Cavs for a good series but not too much credit because I definitely don't think they should be underdogs against a young and inexperienced team.

No hate, but just want people to appreciate what Boston has accomplished the same way they give Lebron the praise he gets for being a basketball god.

Jose hits the nail right on the head with an objective analysis that reflects more on the knowledge of basketball and not 'palengke style na mga palaaway'. Incidentally, Jose is a classmate of my son Alan Carmichael from Sacred Heart-Ateneo de Cebu Batch 2013 who celebrated his 22nd birthday just two days ago.

And as the NBA Finals gets underway, here is my fearless forecast. Curry, Kevin Durant and the Warriors will finish the series with a sweep. The firepower of the Warriors is just too much for Lebron to handle. But again, the ball is round and this could be what James is looking for to further cement his brilliance and greatness. If ever he would pull this through, Lebron could be declared as the GOAT (greatest of all time). So in order for Cavs to win, James would need a lot of help. Clarkson and Nance has stepped up big time coming off the bench. Smith and Korver has to make their 3s. And Love has to be healthy and play more aggressive inside rather than shooting beyond the arc. Thompson is a work horse and rim protector. So what ever happens to the finals, may the best team win!


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