Who will win, or even be in, the NBA Finals? It’s Anybody’s Guess. Durant? DeRozan? LeBron? Curry? Take your pick. Which star will outshine the others in the NBA galaxy of stars this year? Who knows? And who will win, or even be in, the Finals is as wide open as the future of every year’s No. 1 Draft Pick.
We’re down to the NBA’s version of the Final Four: the Warriors and Thunder in the West and the Cavaliers and Raptors in the East. At one point this postseason, plenty of the pundits predicted and portended a Warriors/Cavaliers rematch. Given the events of the past 48 hours, that scenario seems far from certain right now.
The Warriors are falling apart, the Thunder are coming together and LeBron and the Cavaliers have to figure out how to put away the pesky Raptors in order to keep their date with destiny. But it’s not time for any of the four teams playing to throw in the towel. Not even Curry and the Warriors.
So who ya got? My money (even though I don’t bet) is on Durant. But Curry could come back. It’s unlikely, but it is possible. My Sixers were up 3-1 way back in the 1981 Eastern Conference Finals, and our arch rivals, the Boston Celtics, rattled off three straight wins to win the East. And in order to do it they had to have a plan. So they adopted a motto: “Win one.” That’s it. It sounds so simple yet it’s so profound.
Bird and the Celtics knew that they couldn’t win three in a row all at once, so they decided to take it one win at a time. And it worked. Bird, Parrish and McHale went on to win the 1981 NBA Championship. It was painful for us Philly fans to watch, but coming back from a 1-3 deficit is doable. It has happened. And it can happen again.
So I hope that the Warriors are watching the tape of the Celtics coming back from a 1-3 deficit in the Conference Finals from so many years gone by. They’re going to need more than a shot in the arm to gather some steam and garner some strength to mount this climb in front of them. And that’s what we need to do in our everyday lives. We need to remember yesterday’s triumphs as we face today’s tragedies.
We need to do like David did and remember how, with God’s help, we defeated the lions and the bears of our lives. Then we need to say to ourselves that Goliath can be beat too. Looking back at victories is better than looking back at defeats. Looking at what you can do is better that complaining about what you can’t do. And it’s so much better than whining and whimpering and withering and weltering away.
Because you can come back from way back.