I am shocked... Shocked I tell you!
Okay, maybe not. If you've been reading this blog, I've been saying since February that Boston was a paper tiger that stood no chance against Miami in the playoffs. Everyone has rushed to bury the Heat at every juncture possible, with every minor struggle, hoping that they don't win the whole thing.
You know why?
Miami winning the title this year is a doomsday scenario for the league
Ignore the fact that everyone hates them, and the whole world is rooting against them. Ignore the decision and the way the team came together.
We don't want Miami to win, because over the next 4-5 years, this might be the worst team that they put on the floor. It's not going to ever get easier to beat this team than it is right now, and it's already too difficult.
You see, all the lessons about playing together that they had to go through with this season? Not required next year. Trying to build depth for the team? Well, they'll have another MLE (pending new CBA) this off-season to add a big piece and Udanis Haslem isn't likely to miss the entire NBA season next year making them soft in the front court.
We don't want Miami to win because their arrow is pointing up, and if they win now, good luck for the rest of us in the future. Regardless of how distasteful their seven championship speech was (and unlikely as age will catch them before seven titles does), they certainly have an extremely good chance of running off three or four straight titles and sucking the fun out of the league for that period.
Our beloved Bulls will be on the wrong side of the bracket too. The West is becoming less and less competitive because the only quality young teams are the Thunder and possibly the Clippers. The top 3 seeds this season are all teams in heavy decline, and the West will be an easier gauntlet to run than the East for the foreseeable future.
Will Boston blow things up?
Boston, like San Antonio, is not going to win another title with their current group. The Lakers are still good/young enough that they could come back hungrier next season and have a chance.
If you're Danny Ainge do you blow this thing up now and get some draft picks for Pierce, Allen, and Garnett? You already sold off Kendrick Perkins for financial reasons in one of the dumbest mid season moves in history (granted, Perkins probably couldn't have changed the outcome of the series, but they had a chance with him in there and none once he was gone). Why not sell off Allen, Pierce, or Garnett?
The Celtics could likely get under the luxury tax and save 30-40 million in payroll. They could also likely continue to sell out their stadium given their storied history without reducing ticket prices. It might be a financial win even after loss playoff revenue, and they have no chance of winning it all next year.
Do you bring back the big 3 and run it one more time, or do you figure
that you can save 30-40 million in payroll + luxury tax payments as well
as collect maybe 6-7 1st round draft picks to spread out over the next
couple seasons. I take the money and the picks once I know my hope of winning is zero.
If they do sell, I'm buying
Ray Allen makes 10 million. A deal of Ronnie Brewer (expiring) + non guaranteed contracts (Bogans, Pargo, Lucas) is enough to swing a deal for him. Toss in a couple of draft picks, and it's a move with a lot of potential for Boston.
I'm game to give up the Bulls two 1st rounders this year and their 2013 1st + the aforementioned players for Ray Allen. Allen is exactly what this team needs, and imagine a Rose, Allen, Korver, Deng, Noah lineup offensively. I can't imagine how opposing teams would even hope to defend that.
I wouldn't mind picking up Garnett either, but the Bulls have no real hope of matching salaries that high unless Boston wants to take back Boozer (seems unlikely).
I'm not sure how scared I am of Miami right now. I've always had them as the favorite to win the East, so nothing has really changed. However, their series win against Boston doesn't strike me as all that impressive, so all hope is not lost.
Of course watching the Bulls play Atlanta, it's clear that we're not exactly at the top of our game either. Here's hoping to a successful game six tonight.