Monday, May 09, 2005


MVP of the First Round
The first round of the NBA Playoffs are officially in the books and we're down to eight teams. Unfortunately, the entertainment value is about to go way down. With the exception of an exciting Mavs-Suns series, we are probably looking at three blowouts. The Heat are on their way to crushing the Wizards, the Sonics have like four players left to try to prevent a sweep at the hand of the Spurs, and even if the Pacers make it competitive against the Pistons, it's going to be ugly.

That said, I'm still going to talk about it.

*To read the rest of this entry, click on the "comment" link below or the "Semi-Entertaining" link on the right side of the page.


Adam Hoff said...

*Continued from above

Best Player of the First Round - Tracy McGrady. He struggled with his shot while things came crashing down in Game 7, but that doesn't take anything away from a remarkable series. He did everything there was too do and evolved into a complete player on the big stage.

MVP of the First Round - Jason Terry. Same series, different player. There is no way the Mavs win this series without Terry's 18.3 ppg and absolutely incredible 20-for-33 shooting from downtown. Did you ever think someone would jack up 5 treys a game and shoot 61% in a playoff series? Incredible. Terry's eyes must be as wide as saucers knowing that he's going to have Nash guarding him starting tonight.

Luckiest Team - Washington Wizards. They got lucky when the Bulls lost Deng and Curry, they got lucky when they got away with shanking like 90 straight free throws in the fourth quarter of Game 5, and they got really lucky when Chris Duhon tried to catch an inbounds pass with his back in the closing seconds of the clincher. The Wizards had more talent than the Bulls, but their shot selection was so poor and basketball IQ so low that they wound up needing to be extremely lucky to advance. Unfortunately for them, their luck has run out in the second round.

Biggest Pressure Player - Stephen Jackson. This makes sense, since he "makes love to pressure." But seriously, his whole team piles on him after a Game 6 loss, he pours his soul out to the media and gets ridiculed for that decision ... then he goes out and drops 24 while shooting 5-of-6 from three. I think it's safe to say that he does indeed make love to pressure. He will need to make sweet, sweet love (as my buddy Tyson likes to say) four times if the Pacers are going to beat Detroit.

Worst Coaching Job - Jeff Van Gundy. Doc Rivers was horrible (where was Al Jefferson? He should have been playing 40 minutes a night), but Van Gundy takes the cake. He played David Wesley all game despite the fact that Wesley's only strength (perimeter defense) was complete wiped out by Jerry Stackhouse's size and post game. He stubbornly played Bobby Sura at point despite the fact that Mike James was approximately 450 times more effective. And he absolutely killed Houston with his decision to double on every pick and roll. Every time down the court, Yao was chasing around the likes of Terry. Not only was this putting him in untenable situations in regard to picking up fouls, but it also left the Rockets undermanned on the boards. When you are playing three guards and Yao is 30 feet from the basket, who exactly is going to get the rebound? It was T-Mac going 1-on-3 every time. Terrible, terrible coaching job by Van Gundy. Forget the now infamous comment and the drama with Stern, he just sucked at the basics.

That's all for now. Be sure to weigh on all of the excitement (boredom?) of the second round.

Tim said...

Yawn. Worst round of playoffs in years.

Chris said...

What team is least likely to get swept? Right now it looks like no series is going past 5 games, if that.

Anonymous said...

Safe to say that you will be seeking more Battle of the Gridiron Stars to fill in for the blowouts. Speaking of reality tv challenges, did you see your boy Brad lose a heartbreaking Inferno Challange to Abe? It was intense.

Adam Hoff said...

I actually think the Mavs will win at least two games in the series and that the Pacers will also be sure to avoid a sweep. The Wizards might win a game and Seattle could get lucky, but those series seem destined for the broom treatment.

The Mavs are the best candidate to make this a long series because they are playing the team most prone to suffer lapses. Phoenix was awesome last night, but it was a rare game for them in that they never had a big letdown. Every time I saw the Suns play this year they would have long periods of shoddy defense and cold shooting, allowing opponents to get back in the game. Obviously, that wasn't the case last night. The Mavs are explosive enough to exploit those lapses and steal a few wins.

And let's not forget, the Mavericks, Pacers, and Wizards were all coming off grueling first round wins and had tired legs. Throw in that they were on the road against top flight competition and they were bound to look horrible. I don't think the openers were a reflection of how close the games will be from here on out. Make no mistake though, this round is still going to incredibly boring. Queue up the Curb Your Enthusiasm DVD's!