Thursday, January 08, 2009

70 Wins for Cavs or Lakers?

lebron james and kobe bryant 70 wins

Jerry Crowe in his recent LA Times Sports column mentions the tough milestone of winning 70 games during an NBA season. It was last accomplished by the unstopa-Bulls back in the 1995-96 season, lead by of course Michael Jordan. The Boston Celtics tried to hit the 70 win mark ten years earlier during the 1985-86 season. That was the Celtics team which featured Larry Legend and Kevin McHale. They lost just 1 game all season at home, yet failed to achieve a 70 win season.

Looking at the NBA standings, there's three teams that have been considered legitimate contenders for 70 games in 2008-09; the Los Angeles Lakers (currently 28-6), the Cleveland Cavaliers (currently 28-6), and the aforementioned Boston Celtics (currently 29-8). As the season was steamrolling ahead for the Celtics not long ago, the talk was that this team had that milestone all but achieved. For some reason, the Celtics have been having a miserable time since losing to the Lakers, then the Warriors, then the Blazers, Knicks and most recently the Houston Rockets. The Celtics would only be allowed two more losses for the rest of the season to hit the 70-win mark. The injury bug has hit them, and many analysts continue to say they need some more depth, such as the problematic New York Knick, Stephon Marbury.

The Cavs and Lakers are allowed 6 more losses each, and if they hit the halfway point on that pace, it's a realistic goal for the two teams to get 70 wins each. Each has a Jordan-esque superstar with Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. Both are considered lethal scorers capable of doing the other things needed to really take over a game. It's also been said each has vastly improved on their defense, especially Lebron who wanted to add to his repertoire. These are the sort of ingredients of a Jordan-type baller, hungry for MVP awards, NBA titles, and 70-win seasons. Judging by the competitive drive of both players to be the best in the league, and any team facing these two in the 2nd half of the season could be in for a rough game.

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