That sound you hear is David Stern opening champagne bottles at NBA Headquarters.
Nielsen Co. reports that 28.2 million people watched the Lakers repeat as NBA champions in an ugly but entertaining Game 7. The last time that many people watched an NBA game Michael Jordan was pushing off Byron Russell to hit the game winner against the Jazz in 1998, ending that era of Phil Jackson titles.
And you wonder why the league wants those Lakers/Celtics matchups.
With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).
Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.
It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.
The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).
Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.
Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.
His swagger certainly remains intact.