Monday, May 21

After The Storm Has Died Down

Let me rephrase: after the tiny droplets have stopped dripping from the sky.

Game 1 results:
Utah Jazz 100 @ San Antonio Spurs 108
Cleveland Cavaliers 76 @ Detroit Pistons 79

Looks like the higher seeded teams won, as expected. We are right on course.

I'm not going to write recaps for the games, not exactly. I think everyone has grown tired of recaps, especially after reading a thousand recaps; then arriving here to find more recaps. Let's do something new: I'm going to write about the one biggest thing that caught my attention from each of the four teams in the NBA's Final Four. Let's get started.

San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan's dark knights. Yes, you got it right, I'm talking about the guards of San Antonio: Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. I understand these guys have been great all season long, but I guess the world has a tendency to overlook the San Antonio Spurs; it could have something to do with their team color, maybe we could see them sport apple green and baby blue next season (That would snatch some viewers). However, now that there are only four teams remaining in play, it's time for the Spurs' guards to take the spotlight. Sure, the Spurs could be called boring, but isn't it awesome to watch Tony and Manu when they're on the court together? Tony alone is awesome to watch but pairing him with Manu is just great, especially the way Manu is stepping up his game as of late. You'll see what I mean here. Those guys are remarkable together. They are a highlight-tandem. Tony Parker has been in the league for a long time and has been through so much. Here's the scary part: he's only going to get better for the next SEVEN or EIGHT years. Why? He just turned 25 years old 5 days ago. Talk about hitting the jackpot for the Spurs. Look for these two guys to put on more show for the following games, it'll pacify everyone's rage about the outcome of a disappointing playoffs.

Tony Parker: 21 points, 6 assists, 3 steals
Manu Ginobili: 23 points, 4 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 block, 1 steal

Utah Jazz

Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer need help. Deron Williams needs to continue his breakout playoff performance to have a fighting chance against the Spurs, but take note, they'll only have a fighting chance. What do the Jazz need to do then? The rest of the team needs to contribute. It would be unlikely for Deron Williams to continue his dominance for the rest of the series, especially if he is worn down by Bruce Bowen. Carlos Boozer will also be meeting the toughest challenge he has ever faced this playoffs: the San Antonio big men. Carlos will have to work harder than ever down low in order to deliver a punch to the Spurs. Where does this leave the other 3 starters of Utah then? This leaves them wondering what they can do for the team. Utah WILL NOT win if their other 3 starters shoot 7/27 FGs, and 21 total points in 98 total minutes. If Utah can play the way they did in the 10 games prior to the last loss to the Spurs, they might have a chance of winning. By the way, that dunk by Deron was reminiscent of the Baron Davis dunk against them last series.

Deron Williams: 34 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists

Detroit Pistons

When the Detroit Pistons said that they have a plan to stop LeBron, they meant it. How did they do it? When the ball is in the King's hands, marvelous things happen. Here's how: do not let the ball go to the King's hands, and marvelous things do not happen. Props to Tayshaun Prince, that guy can lock anyone down. If ever LeBron did have the ball in his hands, throw the whole damn team at him. Anyway, even though the Pistons did contain LeBron, they still dodged a bullet there. Actually, they didn't dodge it, the shooter missed. Talk about a lucky break. Mr. Big Shot kind of bailed them out of that one. The Pistons need to execute much better on offense; one of these games, LeBron will light it up and explode and the Pistons need to be prepared to counter that. Actually, the Pistons overall didn't really miss too many shots, it only looked that way because Tayshaun Prince missed 10 of his 11 attempts and Chauncey only attempted 6 shots, I'm expecting Billups to produce a whole lot more next game and Tayshaun to just stick with defending LeBron. Who needs Ben Wallace if you've got Rasheed Wallace? Personally, I'd prefer to use my strategy against LeBron, but maybe that's why Flip is coaching and I'm here writing about him.

Rasheed Wallace: 15 points, 12 rebounds, 7 blocks

Cleveland Cavaliers

Here's an overused understatement that should be overused more and more but with no intentions of undermining anybody: LeBron James is a one-man-team. If he doesn't produce, no one else will. If he doesn't score, no one else will. If he doesn't play, no one else will. Okay, those are exaggerations but I think I made my point. The Cavs can't rely on LeBron to do everything for them, some of them have to step up and take charge at times when LeBron James is unavailable. It isn't every night that the Pistons will be turning the ball over 9 times more than them, and it isn't every night that the Pistons will give up so much offensive rebounds. This was probably the best chance the Cavs had of winning a game with both teams not really playing good basketball. Once again, the OTHER Cavaliers need to step up. The Pistons will be all over LeBron the whole series and this could be the best chance for any one of the Cavaliers to step up his game and be the hero of the series. Too bad Donyell Marshall missed the wide-open potential game-winning three-pointer. Maybe next time. Anyway, despite the Pistons' plan of slowing down LeBron was quite effective tonight, the one-man-team was still quite productive no matter what people say.

LeBron James: 5/15 FGs, 10 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals, 1 block

Here's the rest of the Cavaliers:
Larry Hughes: 4/13 FGs
Aleksandar Pavlovic: 4/14 FGs
Eric Snow: 0/4 FGs
Daniel Gibson: 0/4 FGs

You get what I mean.

Series Previews:
Pistons To Face Cleveland in Conference Finals
Conference Finals Preview: It's Looking A Lot Like 2005

Other Recaps:
That Didn't Go So Well
Playoff Musings: Spurs v. Jazz
The Bad Pistons Jump Out Infront

Stay tuned for more Playoff ACTION! See you next time.

1 comment:

Andy W said...

i agree, definately!

manu should have won finals MVP two years ago, how can such a dominant player be boring?!