Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brief Advisory: Root for the Underdogs!

The first four games of the NBA Conference Championships have given us all two strong underdogs to get behind. Denver, though tied at 2-2, is the underdog in the Western Championships because the Lakers have the home advantage, and, of course, they're the Lakers. Though the Nuggets have disappointed on occasion, they have shown they have the potential to beat LA, and thus are worthy of our fervent support.

As for Cleveland, now down 3-1 to Orlando, I don't think they're beaten yet. I expect the next game, in Cleveland, to be a blowout or close to it for the home team. It will come down to a tense Game 6 then, because Game 7 back in Cleveland would likely be another one.

The other event that has me on edge is tomorrow's Champions Cup Final in Europe between Manchester United and Barcelona. The appeal of this game is massive--both teams have supercharged offenses filled with marquee players. Man U. has a better defense, by far, but if the game becomes a scoring competition it won't matter. That is why one has to expect that Sir Alec will try to put the clamps down: he will gladly take the opprobrium with the trophy. If the Red Devils get behind, though, he won't be able to do that, so look for an early score by Barcelona. If they haven't scored in 30 minutes, though, better turn the channel, because it could get very frustrating.


Chin Shih Tang said...

June 1--F.A. Cup final was a satisfying 2-1 win for Chelsea, after they gave up the fastest goal in F.A. Final history in 25 seconds.

The winning goal was made by Frank Lampard on a great solo effort. Coverage of the game focused on the slow reactions of the defense and the goalie, but I think they miss the point: it was Lampard's extra effort, to get up and take the shot after he had slipped and fallen, which left the defense unprepared. There was also a beautiful Drogba goal.

NBA Conference Championships gave no satisfaction. Now my only hope is that the Orlando Magic will not be overwhelmed by their success in getting to the finals. They do match up better against the Lakers than the Cavaliers, but I am not optimistic: teams don't usually win the Championship the first time they get there.


June 4--Hello! I wrote about the FA Final (not in the original post), but I forgot to discuss the Champions Cup final. The 2-0 win by Barcelona was definitive and cemented Leonel Messi's claim as international player of the year. Yes, there was an early Barcelona goal (Eto'o), and it was critical--surprisingly, ManU was unable to dominate the midfield and apply pressure effectively afterwards. Salute to Barca, and its young coach, Pep Guardiola, who has risen to Mourinho-esque heights of esteem with his triple cup win this year!