Taylor's Thoughts, Cats in the NBA playoffs

The involvement of a number of former Kentucky Wildcats have made the NBA playoffs much more interesting than normal this season. KSR's Keith Taylor discusses how the former Cats have spiced up the playoffs in today's edition of Taylor's Thoughts

Considering that covering sports is my career calling, some athletic events are more appealing than others.

Basketball ranks near the top of the list when it comes to favorites, but it just depends on the type you are talking about. College basketball ranks at the top, followed by prep basketball. Admittedly, the NBA hasn't been one of my favorite leagues to follow.

However, major league baseball and the NFL rank in the upper tier of favorite sports. Professional basketball just didn't click here in University of Kentucky country. Go figure.

Despite a lack of interest in professional hoops, the playoffs always draw my attention, especially when the legendary Michael Jordan played both pre-retirement and post-retirement.

The playoffs are seemingly different than the rest of the regular season. It appears the players take the games more seriously, considering all the marbles involved when it comes to crunch time.

This season, these set of eyes and ears have been keeping up with former Kentucky standout Tayshaun Prince of the Pistons, not to mention former Rupp Runt Pat Riley and Miami forward Antoine Walker.

Prince has been carrying the Pistons and has evolved into one of the better players in the league, especially when it comes to winning the big games. The irony has been picking which team to pull for, considering both teams are in the Eastern Conference finals.

Prince already has a ring, while Riley is still trying to prove that he can still coach the game, not to mention make good on his promise to take the Heat to the top of the pinnacle in the postseason.

Considering that Miami has never been to the Finals, that makes it a little easier to put Miami in a list of favorites.

However, Detroit is another option if they can overcome Miami to win the series.

Riley has proven to be one of the better coaches to ever roam the sidelines in the professional game. One could only imagine what kind of college coach he could have been, considering he played for one of the greatest college coaches of all-time in Adolph Rupp while at Kentucky.

Still, Riley is getting the most from his team at the right time, including solid production from Walker, who has thrived under Riley's system in the postseason.

Walker has taken his game to another level and is beginning to understand the value of having teammates such as Shaq and Dwayne Wade. Walker is simply maturing and understanding that he can't carry the entire team on his shoulders.

One way of another, Kentucky will have at least one former player in the Finals, which speaks for the rich history and tradition of the program.

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