My favorite NBA player is Steve Nash, and my favorite NBA team is Phoenix. NBA coaches usually succumb to whatever the prevailing trend is. The Suns do not. They run the way teams did back when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird played. Their practices probably are more entertaining than the games that some teams play.
Although the Los Angeles Lakers are favored to beat them, I like the Suns. I think their speed offsets the size of the Lakers. They win in seven and the world becomes a better place to live.
Because the Showtime Lakers of Magic are my favorite team of all time, I can't pull for the Boston Celtics. Anybody that watched the Lakers tangle with the Celtics, Kurt Rambis versus Kevin McHale, Cornbread Maxwell on one side and James Worthy on the other, committed to one team and committed against one team.
Although I tire of Phil Jackson, and don't really cheer for Los Angeles, I have consistently cheered against Boston. You have to stand for something.
So I don't like the Celtics. But I admire them. I loved their work against Cleveland. Kevin Garnett is healthy again, and when he's healthy Garnett is the greatest complementary player of all time. He can never carry a team; he doesn't have the mentality or the skill. But what he does he does exceptionally. Give him Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, and he's a force.
The Celtics are a salute to old guys. But their experience won't be enough to beat Orlando.
I had no idea how good Orlando was, and specifically how good Jameer Nelson was, until I watched the Magic beat the Charlotte Bobcats.
Nelson is outstanding. He is as good in his understated point guard way as Rondo is in his flamboyant point guard way. A Magic official told me they had Nelson rated highly coming out of St. Joseph's. He said it is essential for teammates to like their leader, their point guard, and he asked me how anybody could dislike Nelson.
The Nelson-Rondo duel will be compelling. But the Magic are much more than Nelson and Dwight Howard. They are really well coached. Everybody buys into their philosophy, which is to post shooters around the three-point line and, when defenses sag on Howard, kick the ball to the shooters.
Everybody on that team, with the exception of Vince Carter, not only looks for the open shooter but is adept at finding him.
They have a plan when they have the ball. So did Cleveland. Let LeBron dribble except when Mo Williams has the ball, in which case Williams will go full-speed to the basket for no apparent reason.
I felt bad for Cleveland's Antawn Jamison. Jamison, of Charlotte and North Carolina, had no apparent role in that offense. Yes, Jamison was terrible in game six. But what was his assignment? Does Cleveland have assignments?
That was a dysfunctional team.
Orlando is not. The Magic win in six.
We get an Orlando-Phoenix championship. And everybody but the networks is thrilled. All right, that's not true.