Sometimes you're the dog, and sometimes you're the hydrant. Or in the language of the NBA playoffs, sometimes you're Michael Jordan against anyone. And sometimes you're Charles Smith against the Bulls.
The postseason has arrived, and for the first time in his career, Kevin Durant gets a shot (or more likely, 20-plus shots per game) to forge his own primetime reputation on the big stage. You know it's the big stage because Phil Jackson is already taking subtle swipes at Durant and either getting in his head or poking the bear, depending on your perspective.
In all honesty, the No. 1 seed's first-round series is usually only slightly more interesting than Duke playing Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but thanks to Durant's expected duel with Kobe Bryant, it appears all eyes this year will be on the Lakers and Thunder.
Not that every SportsNation blogger expects the series to be all that close.
Hey Chris. Just heard several analyst label the Cavs as "much better" than the Magic. This year's additions put them over the top. I feel like I'm watching last years comments. I'm not saying the Magic should even win. Just want to know if you think it'll be really competitive (around 50/50), or slightly competitve (Cavs's clear favorites)?
Right now I would pick the Cavs in 7 in that series, but I would not label them heavy favorites. Both teams are so much different than they were a year ago (Jamison, Shaq, Vince, Barnes) that it makes comparisons between last year's series and this year's somewhat irrelevant. What's relevant is whether Shaq will be able to contain Dwight and whether the Magic will still find the individual matchup they can exploit. And Stan Van Gundy is good at that. Full transcript