Sooner or later, someone’s going to lose a home game… surely there’s a team (besides Detroit) that can win on the road.
For my money, I like LA in game 6 at Utah… and San Antonio in game 7 in New Orleans. Boston goes the distance.
A very good question. Nothing we’ve seen between San Antonio & New Orleans would indicate any reversal of fortune. And LA/Utah’s been very even.
With regards to the Spurs, I’m not sure I have anything beyond a gut-feeling… I could offer sound reasoning: they have won when they’ve needed to, and the Spurs are simply The Spurs, and historically have been able to win big games. Or that Gregg Popovich is one of only 2 or 3 truly great coaches in the NBA today… but any offered thought process would be to deny the truth: that it’s a visceral reaction.
And it’s not any more difficult than that – nothing can explain the massive turn-arounds thus far this series – home advantage does not equate to a 50 point differential from one court to another.
The Lakers are a different story.
I’m not sure why there’s the huge song-&-dance over Utah’s win in both games 3 and 4. Both were LA’s for the taking, and I’d even go so far as to say that (like game 5 for the Jazz) the Lakers lost them, rather than the Jazz won them.
Yes, the physicality that the Jazz bring to the court is a huge reason why they’ve been so successful over the years… but it’s also one of the main reasons that they won’t win a championship until they develop a little more finesse.
Kobe’s back was good enough to guide the Lakers to a victory in game 5, and the opportunity to get a little more rest prior to the Western Conference Finals will certainly help. In both game 3 & 4, Lakers not named Bryant were far more passive than I’ve seen them at any point this season. Game 5 saw those same Lakers win the game. Game 6 will be the same, and the main reason why the Lakers win their first on the road this series.
Or maybe it’s just bias.
Cleveland are excused – there is an obvious gap between them & Boston – when Boston’s at home.
Boston… talk about an enigma. At least with the Spurs/Hornets they were close in performance/results all year. Nothing can explain the difficulties that the Celtics are experiencing in opponent’s houses. Quite simply, it’s in their heads. But unless they figure it out, it’s a huge flaw in that team.
Why is this happening? Why are teams – good teams – struggling to win on the road?
The answer is that every team still in the competition is flawed. Every team has a hang-up that an opponent can at least attempt to exploit.
Who will win it all? The team that best exploits their opponent’s flaws whilst covering their own. Obvious?
But only once has any team’s managed to do it for an away game thus far in the Conference semi-finals.
Whether anyone can remains to be seen.