A Cheese Substitute

Boston's Kevin Garnett (5) pushes aside Luis Scola and the Rockets, ending Houston's 22-game win streak.
Boston's Kevin Garnett (5) pushes aside Luis Scola and the Rockets, ending Houston's 22-game win streak. (By David J. Phillip -- Associated Press)
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By Talking Points Tony Kornheiser
Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'm some sort of substitute for the Cheeseboy. . . . When he's going away to do military service, or whatever he does when he goes out and does a game, then they just take old Tony and stick him in the Cheeseboy spot. That's great to know. That's why they wanted me to take the buyout.

Importance of Streaking

Do you know how many teams in the history of the NBA had more than a 22-game winning streak? One. I believe they won the title. My position would be anytime you can get a 22-game winning streak, it's okay. Because without the 22-game winning streak, the Rockets wouldn't be in the playoffs. And they're not even guaranteed to be in the playoffs now. They could conceivably lose at New Orleans, lose at Golden State, lose at Phoenix and be in sixth place by a week from today. I think it's the old slogan, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. You won 22 in a row and you won 11 of 12 without Yao Ming. That's really good. I don't think you ever look at that and say it didn't come at the right time.

Thinking Green

[Michael Wilbon] wrote one of the longest columns I've ever seen. He wrote what appeared to be a 50-inch column. And today on "PTI" he talked through the bell for another two minutes. He is so jacked about being someplace and watching something, he's just so hyper about it, it's really amazing.

He's in love with Doc Rivers. Doc Rivers -- South Side of Chicago. Mike Wilbon -- South Side of Chicago. He also likes Kevin Garnett a lot. He said when Doc took that job, Wilbon went on television and said, "Don't you dare take that job. Boston's a terrible city. It's gonna fail, it's going to ruin you. Why would you do this? Why would you give up television?" I said, "How could you not take the Celtics job?" Of all the great franchises in the league, the Celtics and the Lakers, it seems to me, stand out over some period of 40 to 50 years.

I said that the Pistons from one through 10 were the best team in the league and the Celtics from one through three might have been the best team in the East. Adding Sam Cassell makes a real big difference. Sam Cassell has a bunch of rings.

What Boston has done, they've gone on the road, back-to-back games, and beaten San Antonio, the defending champions, and the Houston Rockets, the hottest team in the league. Their record on winning the second part of back-to-backs is phenomenal. It's 14-2. I was sure that Houston would win that game till I found out that particular statistic.

I think that Boston has established itself right now as clearly the best team in the East. And maybe because of the fratricidal nature of the West, maybe the favorite to win the NBA title. I hope people can spell fratricidal. It may turn out as fraternity.

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