Another Sonics win. Without Rashard. This is some March Madness ish, and I don't know how I feel about it.

Despite the Pistons' trouncing of the Lakers last year (incidentally, did anyone notice that the Pistons promptly became a league powerhouse?), you still expect the juggernaut to take a seven game series. Provided, of course, they don't get exposed, which at this point couldn't/shouldn't really happen to the Spurs.

I'm all about the future. Maybe this spices up the second round a little, but at some point it's going to come back to haunt us the audience. The fewer serieses there are going on, the more important it is that they're competitive, and so it is that the conference finals damn well better be competitive.

We all want Heat/Pistons and Spurs/Suns. A Cinderella story would be a minor miracle, but one that would come at the expense of the next two weeks of viewing pleasure.

Then again, this all but obliterates the possibility of Cinderella victories: no eighth or seventh seeds win; a fifth over a fourth isn't a Cinderella win. That leavs only sixth and third, which, given how the teams have broken down the last few years, is still long odds. And then we're in the second round, where numerically, upsets aren't dramatic anymore. They're only as dramatic as they are improbable; when the higher seed's terrible, it would be a tremendous upset. And, according to my theory, that's exactly the kind of thing we should be rooting against.

So pray either for a ridiculously deep conference or a horrendously thin one. That's the only way you can have your upset and your conference finals, too.


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