Thursday, April 26, 2007

The saga continues...


No fuckin doubt about it, the NBA playoffs are great.

Last night, the Nuggets lost to the Spurs in a game that was slightly closer than the score indicated, the Warriors got sa-moked by the Mavericks, and the Wizards lost a close one to the LeCavs. All in all, nothing to call home about, in my view.

The Warriors probably weren't going to win two in Dallas, and their only chance was Old Dirty Bastard, I mean Big Baby Jesus, I mean Baron Davis, who got ejected at the end of the third quarter. The Wizards suck and Lebron does not. The Spurs don't generally lose two home playoff games in a row. Whoop dee fuckin do, right?

Well, I think there were some things of note last night:

-The Spurs continue to look shit-tay. The Nuggets got it to within three points late in the fourth despite shooting a terrible 38.6% for the game, and despite the Spurs' superlative 43.8%/42.9%/91.3% (great FT% for a team with Tim Duncan) shooting percentages. This can't bode well for the Spurs, for a number of reasons: They're probably not going to hold the Nuggets under 40% at home; They're probably not going to get a combined 31 points out of Finley and Ginobili again; They literally do not have a center; and, above all Brent Barry is not fucking playing. What the hell? Has Popovic lost his mind? He really wants to trot out Jacque Vaughn for twice as long as Brent Barry? It makes no sense, especially when your team only hits 6 three pointers, half of which are hit by Bruce "I suck at basketball but I am an asshole" Bowen. The only explanation for this can be the "ace-up-my-sleeve" strategy; if Popovic is doing this and then plays Barry, ripping the hearts out of the Nuggets in their own town like a deadly rocky mountain avalanche, I will acknowledge what a terrible human being I am. Otherwise, I think it's a mistake.

-Great production from Tim Duncan: 22 points, 7 boards, 5 assists, 5 blocks, and perhaps most impressively, no turnovers (he averages a robust 2.5 a game).

-Denver played three players from its bench for 16:12, 13:45 and 11:49. The 11 minutes and 49 seconds went to J.R. Smith, who averaged 13.0 points this season and who is a 44%/39%/81% shooter. The only thing more strange than playing JR Smith for 11 minutes is that he played six minutes less in game one. The guy's a baller! Get him out there, coach!.

-Iverson and Carmelo both played poorly. I doubt San Antonio will be able to count on both of these guys having bad games in the same game for the rest of the series.

-I know I touched on this before, but Baron, what the fuck are you doing out there? If you get mad, dunk on that big German guy's head and yell some shit about Nazis or something, but for god sakes, don't get thrown out. Jesus!

-Last night, Jason Richardson and Stephen Jackson started at forward, and Al Harrington started at center. Dirk Nowitzki only scored 23 points. Had it not been for the excellent play of Devin Harris and Jason Terry (who got a lot of his points while Baron was still in, by the way), Dallas would have had a tough time pulling a win out. Where is Dirk at?

-Great night from Josh Howard. 22 points on only 13 shots along with 11 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocks. I also love how Jerry Stackhouse can take 9 shots, miss two-thirds of them, and still finish with 17 points. He's the best guard in NBA history at getting to the free throw line. Yeah, I said it. (For the record, I'm not sure if statistics bear this out, but it doesn't matter, because it's the truth.) [UPDATE: The statistics do not bear this out. Maybe I'll supplement my thought with "other than Michael Jordan". (6.8 fta/g vs. 8.2 fta/g)] {I guess he might be worse than Kobe, too...shit...}

-I couldn't feel less emotional about the Wiz/Cavs series. I think Larry Hughes is playing better than anybody expected, which is nice to see, considering how awful he's played this year. Can someone explain to me why this team doesn't have a point guard, though? It seems like a recipe for disaster.

-The Wizards are for shit. Roger Mason outscored 3 starters. So did Brendan Haywood. So did Darius Songaila. I'm fairly disappointed with DeShawn Stevenson, who I think is quite good, but who is just not getting it done. He went 3-12 in game 1 and 3-12 in game 2. He's playing good defense but he's guarding Alexander freaking Pavlovic. It would not hurt if he could step it up, hit a couple of long shots, and drive to the hole and try to dunk on Ilgauskas's head (and then yell something about Lithuania's submission to Russia for good measure).

Tonight we'll get Pistons/Magic, Rockets/Jazz, and Suns/Lakers.


I have maintained all along that the Magic should be able to take one (especially considering they've now lost 6 in a row to the Pistons this season), and if there's ever a game they'll do it, it will be this one.

The Rockets are just too good, and this is going to be a hugely important game that the Jazz must win, so the NBA decided, "Hey, let's broadcast this on NBATV! It's not like Houston is the fourth-biggest city in the country or anything, we need the Detroit game!" Nice fucking job, NBA/ABC/ESPN/TNT. Houston will dominate despite Utah's best efforts. Jerry Sloan may deliver a tirade that causes Dee Brown and C.J. Miles to bawl openly.

Phoenix should dominate LA, which is just about the only team that will still have no chance even if they do manage to get the series to 2-1. I can only imagine how low team morale in L.A. is right now. There Lakers can expect some angry stares from His Royal Jackness on the sidelines.

The NBDL championship is tonight! (Teams and Rosters here) The Colorado 14ers will be taking on the Dakota Wizards. I know a grand total of one player who will be involved, Darius Rice, who apparently is a minor-league version of Darius Miles and is requisitioned to the bench.. (The 14ers used to have Julius Hodge, and I can guarantee if he was still on the team, this one would be a foregone conclusion. I love that guy.)

I'm picking Dakota, because I figure if Darius Rice, who I always thought was a pretty good player and an excellent athlete, is stuck on the bench, they must have something going. Oh, and because I realized they just have a player who played for Jerry Tarkanian, Renaldo Major. Anyone coached by the Shark will not lose (he's averaging 29.0 ppg in the playoffs).

That's all I've got. As always, e-mail me at dontgiveupthebasketballblog@gmail.com

5 comments:

Jayinee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jayinee said...

great blog...you are too hard on the spurs...i hope it blows up in your face but since I'm behind you on most of your other analytic tracts i might have to resign myself to having no team come round two

Prolow said...

the other thing to take into account for the first time i can remember in any iverson playoff game he did get to the line at all. Frankly this is some nba b.s keeping the series close. If iverson takes his usual amount of free throws the series 2-0 going to Denver. I feel like with the way Iverson plays he should get to the line all the time. If I'm not mistaken i believe he leads the league in attempts per game at around 8.5 a game. Also stephen Jackson reminded everyone why he is so crazy. If there ever was a team for him to be on the Warriors is by far the most appropriate.

MattG21 said...

Was that a Sprewell jab?
OUCH!

Even with my school's supreme cable package I am unable to watch a National Basketball Association Playoff game. How stupid is this?

In regards to the NBDL Championship...I remember Rick Rickert being good in college, so they'll probably win. There is my expert analysis. You're welcome.

JimmyValente said...

Rick Rickert. Imagine what kind of parents that guy had. "Well, our last name's Rickert, so Rick seems like a good first name..."

Also, regarding the Warriors: nobody wants some pansy-ass son of a coach to be a Warrior. They want the kind of modern Spartan motherfucker who wins NBA championships, gets hit by cars without getting hurt, and shoots guns in the air.