Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Monday Night Wrap-Up

So someone explain to me, how is it that Deron Williams didn't win the Most Improved Player award?

Bulls Embarrass Themselves, Part II

I'm not even going to dignify this with a recap. So much for Ben Gordon and Luol Deng being superstars.

Jazz Fend Off Warriors

What a great opener in the Jazz-Warriors series. Of course, for those of us clinging to the hope that the NBA Playoffs will remain exciting, the outcome wasn't good. I hope everyone realizes that all the good times and thrilling play is about to come to a grinding halt. I mentioned this yesterday, but the following teams are now 5-0: Utah, San Antonio, Detroit, and Cleveland. We are headed for Utah-San Antonio and Detroit-Cleveland and then for a San Antonio-Detroit Finals. People, are we prepared for this? I know I'm not. I feel a little sick just thinking about it.

That aside, this was an exciting game. I know everyone is looking at Utah's +18 rebounding advantage and assuming they've got this in hand, but Golden State has plenty to feel good about. Their quickness advantage is possibly even more pronounced than it was against Dallas and with that amazing home court, they have to feel like they just need to steal one game. And on a night when they didn't even play well and Deron Williams had a career game, they still almost won, and, in fact, probably should have won. So while I fear a Utah win (for the reason mentioned above), I don't think anything is in the bag.

The Warriors will need to do a better job on the defensive boards, yes, but many of those Utah offensive boards were impossible to prevent. The last one was the result of such a horrible brick by Okur that you almost can't expect a defensive player to get it. Boozer just happened to be standing at the high post after setting a pick, so he was in perfect position to grab the ball. Sometimes that happens.

All in all, there were strong performances from Boozer, Williams (obviously), Kirilenko, Okur (mostly), Dee Brown, Harpring, Richardson, Baron, Barnes (who was a beast), and Harrington. That's a lot of guys playing well. In fact, the only players in the entire contest who didn't have good games were Stephen Jackson (just one of those nights were Jackson is totally out of sorts) and Gordon Giricek (who sucks). Can't ask for much more than that.

And for night, Utah can feel good about the way they played and even better about the fact that the NBA doesn't re-seed after the first round (they would be playing San Antonio right now).


DDD said...

Many thanks, just threw up your link as well.

btw, San Antonio is vulnerable. GS or the Jazz would have a shot.

Adam Hoff said...

I wish I could see the Spurs as vulnerable, but between the anti-aging cream they are obviously rubbing all over Horry and Finley, the favorable officiating (I'm still trying to figure out WHY), the continued emergence of Parker, and Duncan's second wind, I don't know that anyone can beat them.

That said, Utah appears to be the team that matches up the best. Now that AK-47 has somehow pulled out of his tailspin, they have the ideal help defender to put on Bowen and then use to flank Duncan and protect the rim (Phoenix should use Marion this way). Boozer is Nene to the second power, so I think he can give Duncan fits, especially on the offensive end (provided the refs will ever call a foul on TD - sorry to harp on this, but it is true). The Kingpin is obviously anyone's equal right now at the point. Okur is tall enough to get his threes regardless of San Antonio's efforts to guard the line. Plus, Utah has depth. I really, really like them matching up with the Spurs.

Jeff said...

Why wasn't Mehmet Okur in the three-point contest? Does anyone else feel like he hits 75 of his 3s? It seems like he gets more open shots on the perimeter than anyone, and he knocks them down. Most big defenders are slow getting out, leaving him a steady stream of clean looks. Plus, when the defenders do come out, it leaves the middle open and drags out a key defensive rebounder. What an underrated weapon.