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I would have liked to blog about game 6 of the Finals a little closer to the day it was played, but there were a few reasons I didn’t get round to that. Firstly, everyone was reading way too much into Boston’s inability to win on the road (me included).
I asked Shooba early in the 07-08 season about Boston’s championship window, following the promising acquisitions of KG and Ray. I’ve heard a lot of people say that the hunger from guys like KG and Ray Allen will fade next season, because they’ve already achieved what they strived to achieve their whole career. New England’s second-ranked passing defense gets its chance Sunday afternoon when Manning and the Denver Broncos (6-1) travel to Gillette Stadium for a midseason showdown with the Patriots (6-2). Just ask the Chargers, 49ers, Jets or Cardinals, Manning’s last four victims since his only loss of the year in the third game of the season. Since then, he’s thrown 14 touchdown passes and sits near the top of league in almost every major passing category.
The 16-year veteran, who two weeks ago set the new standard for passing touchdowns in a career, has thrown for 2,134 yards and 22 touchdowns, tied with Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck for the league lead.
He faces perhaps his stiffest test of the season this week, though, as New England’s defense is yielding just 211 passing yards per game and is the only unit in the league not to allow a completion of more than 40 yards. It helps that he has one of the league’s most dangerous receiving corps with Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Wes Welker and tight end Julius Thomas. Mix in running back Ronnie Hillman and the Patriots defense is in for one of its tallest tasks of the year. Manning most definitely will make his checks at the line of scrimmage, reading the defense and screaming out audibles before almost every snap, but don’t expect McCourty or Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis to enter into a guessing game with the chess master.
McCourty knows that Manning will try and replicate what worked in that first half and change what didn’t in the second.
Two men are largely responsible for ushering in a new standard of excellence and a new era of the NFL.
If you can't find the clipart your looking for then please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will gladly help. 1) I only watched the first and last quarter of that game and didn’t watch the full game till a week later.
One week into the playoffs the Lakers were steamrolling the Denver Nuggets with Kobe playing out of his mind, while the Celtics were struggling to beat the Atlanta Hawks. The fact is, at home the Celtics were pretty much invincible and playing as well as they had all season long. The expectation was that it would take a year or so before the Boston team fully gelled, before three superstars could adjust their game and egos accordingly, and before Boston’s young role players would mature. Over the next five years I don’t think any team in the league will win more games than the Lakers. What started as the quest for the Spurs first back-to-back title ended with the NBA’s two most storied franchises battling it out like old times. He has completed 69 percent of his passes, the second-best rate in the league, and has been intercepted just three times while guiding the league’s highest-scoring offense at 32 points per game. Please download the latest version of the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Windows Internet Explorer browser.

They face only two 2013 playoff teams in the first half of the season, including a Week 6 home date against the defending AFC East champion Patriots. 2) I was busy writing some stuff for Hoopcity magazine, and 3) I thought I’d let the dust settle a bit so I can reflect on the Finals as a whole and where the Celtics seventeenth championship fits in the scheme of things.
It was the most emphatic end to a Finals series I can recall, and it fundamentally shifted the perception of the entire series. Since I saw the Celtics first game of the season all those months ago I’ve had a gut feel they would win the championship. Two weeks later the Lakers were pounding the Jazz (whom I regarded as the 4th best team behind LA, Celtics, and Spurs) while the Celtics were struggling against the Cavs. On the road they sucked, yes, but because they played more games at home than they did on the road their confidence never dropped to dangerous levels. Winning the title this year was an absolute bonus for this Boston team, because they will be no worse next season.
Barring a miracle trade by Detroit (and from following rumors in the Pistons camp, you can bet your ass there will be a big trade), the Celtics will be #1 East favorite for next season, by a long way.
For months now I’ve been telling my friends semi-seriously that the Lakers could win 75 games next season.
One year ago I told myself I would savour the upcoming season for all it’s worth and that I didn’t want to let it slip me by.
In Denver’s only loss, Seattle held Manning to 303 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Things tighten up considerably in the back end, with December matchups against the Broncos, Packers and Patriots. The Bills have beaten the Pats twice at Orchard Park since the start of the Tom Brady era in 2001. The Boston Patriots were one of the original eight American Football League, and the Pats beat the Buffalo Bills in the league’s first-ever preseason game. You probably got that impression when I was writing all those Celtics blogs (here, here and here).
And while Boston regained some credibility by handling the Pistons in 6 games (and finally winning on the road), the Lakers dismantled the Spurs in only 5 games and Kobe stepped up his game even further. They pulled out big wins at home when they needed to (notably those two game 7s), but everyone was blinded to this because they kept losing on the road.
The decline of KG, Pierce and Allen will be made up for by the growing experience and confidence of guys like Rondo, Powe, House and Davis.
He spent most of this season huffing and puffing and basically hyperventilating for 48 minutes for every game, from the season opener right up to game 6.
If Bynum is healthy and Kobe’s post-Olympics surgery has no complications, then next season LA will be ridiculously good. Yes MJ never lost a Finals, but people have selective memory if they think MJ didn’t go through what Kobe is experiencing right now.
If you followed me along the eight-month journey that is the NBA season, you probably got the idea I was savoring every second.
Watching the Celtics toy with the Lakers in the last quarter, seeing guys like Eddie House, Tony Allen, Powe and Davis running the floor like the Harlem Globetrotters was downright embarrassing for the Lakers. When the buzzer sounded at the end of Game 6 there were two thoughts that immediately went through my mind: 1) “Man I’m so happy for KG and Pierce right now” (Ray too, but less so), and 2) “I saw this coming”. You didn’t have to be Einstein to see that the Lakers were peaking at the perfect time of the season, losing only three games through the first three rounds while the Celtics had lost eight (even after winning the title, the Celtics lost ten games this post season compared to the Lakers seven – how often does the Championship team lose more playoff games than anyone?).
By the time they got to Detroit and stole game 3 in Auburn Hills the Lakers were already looking too irresistible to ignore. A couple of weeks back I wrote that every champion team needs to suffer the sting of playoff defeat, the humility of an early playoff exit. That year, Boston knocked off the Bills in the divisional round before suffering a 51-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers in the championship game.After moving to the NFL during the merger in 1970, the team became the New England Patriots to coincide with their move to a new stadium for the 1971 season.

The Lakers gave no reasons for us to doubt they were title-worthy, whereas the Celtics were giving us plenty of reasons.
Yeah it wasn’t the Finals, but the Pistons were undoubtedly the league’s best team that season, so the Eastern Finals were effectively The Finals.
The team originally wanted to change its name to the Bay City Patriots, but it was rejected by the league.The Pats would only make three playoff appearances from 1964-1984, the first of which came in 1976.
Apart from their suckiness on the road there was Ray Allen’s horrific shooting slump, there was KG’s unwillingness to dominate against a rookie (Horford) and two old men (Big Ben, Ilgauskas), and their inability to defend perimeter players like Joe Johnson and Lebron did not bode well for a Kobe encounter. After the game 6 loss I guarantee you Phil Jackson told his players “remember this feeling”. I feel like the guy in high-school bragging about his hot date, telling his mates “man I so knew I was going to score with that chick, didn’t I tell you that? Plus, now you’re dealing with a guy who just tore a monkey off his back the size of bigfoot. In 1985, the Patriots went 11-5, won the AFC East title, and trounced the Miami Dolphins in the AFC title game to earn their first Super Bowl berth. If Game 6 went down to the wire this Finals series would be hailed as an evenly-matched classic, and even Celtics fans would have recognised that the Lakers were just a few points away from potentially winning it all. For once in KG’s career he’ll be able to just play basketball without worrying about proving the doubters, without worrying about shrinking in big games, without questioning his will to win. After falling to the Pistons for the third straight year everyone started to believe that the game’s greatest talent couldn’t lead his team to glory. The Patriots would prove to be little more than a sacrificial lamb for the Chicago Bears, who hammered the Pats, 46-10, in Super Bowl XX.New England wouldn’t win another playoff game until head coach Bill Parcells and quarterback Drew Bledsoe led the team to Super Bowl XXXI. Instead Game 6 is a blow out, people start calling it the “six-game sweep” (I’ve heard of five-game sweep, see Detroit in ‘04, but never six before), and most NBA fans are still wondering how the Lakers ever convinced us they could win.
It was three rounds of unconvincing basketball and mounting evidence versus three rounds of flawless basketball from the Lakers. For the first time in KG’s career, he’ll be able to play with the arrogance of a champion, and that could be a scary prospect for the rest of the league.
When they release the 2008 Championship DVD with that awesome NBA voice-over guy (you’re not the champions until you’re in a DVD with that guy) go and watch it every weekend.
I’m not writing all this to make excuses for Kobe, I don’t need to, it’s not like he had a terrible Finals series. Once again, the Pats failed in their bid to hoist the Lombardi Trophy as they fell to the Green Bay Packers.After an ugly situation that included a resignation, an antitrust lawsuit and a compensation package, Bill Belichick was allowed out of his contract with the New York Jets to become the new head coach of the Patriots in 2000. She wants me bad!”, except the night of the date you’re shitting yourself because you know she’s not gonna fall for a loser like you, that she’s way above your league, and that your latest haircut makes you look like McLovin (this analogy is by no shape or form resemblant of my adolescent youth). Go put up that Boston wallpaper I made and just stare at your computer screen (I thought my house mate would be impressed, but the first thing he said was “there’s not much Ray Allen in it”). All I’ll say is that true champions of the game know how to respond to adversity and how to use it as fuel. While the high-school kid can put his last-minute doubts down to nervousness and a stupid haircut, the educated NBA fan like myself is left a little more perturbed. The injury opened the door to the emergence of Tom Brady and was the first event in what later became a dynasty.The Patriots went on to win beat the heavily-favored St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI in what would be the first of three Super Bowl titles in four years. The Pats also appeared in Super Bowl XLII and XLVI, but suffered losses to the New York Giants in each game. What we do know, is that I will not be making Kobe-MJ comparisons until he wins another title.

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