May 20, 2005

The Picture is getting Clearer : day by day.Who is gunna take it home?Will there be a repeat in Detroit?Will the Heat sweep again?Are the Spurs the fav's despite being 2nd in the West?Will the Suns wreck shop on Dallas tonight and take it home for PHX? Only time will tell

posted by HOE.O.K. to basketball at 01:27 PM - 24 comments

My opinion is that the West will win be it S.A. or PHX.I think the Spurs will beat the Suns(if Dallas doesn't) then take out the Pistons.It would be great to see a Texas team beat a team from Michigan for a Championship twice in one year. Roses are a redish/burnt orange color you wolverqueens.Sorry couldn't resist, go Horns...oh i meant Spurs.

posted by HOE.O.K. at 02:04 PM on May 20, 2005

Well despite the cow-poke homophobia - I agree. Spurs are too much for anyone save a great showing by Detroit. They're like the Pistons defensively, but with crazy better shooting.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:36 PM on May 20, 2005

I can't think of a worst championship series than the Spurs and Pistons. Talk about boring teams . . .

posted by bperk at 03:33 PM on May 20, 2005

Agreed, bperk, but I'm not too worried about it. The Heat are in trouble without Shaq (and maybe even with him), but I think Phoenix is going all the way. Supposing that Miami is beaten: Suns versus Pistons could be a great series. They represent two totally opposite philosophies on how to play the game. It would be interesting to see which team would be able to force the game to fit their tempo. Although to be honest, I really hope the Pistons don't make it. They have the most annoying, grind-it-out style, and I'd hate for that to be validated once again as "the only way to win."

posted by dusted at 04:47 PM on May 20, 2005

The Suns success in the playoffs has surprised me, although I do think they had a lucky draw to this point. For once I'm more interested in the Western Conference series, although I'm sticking with my guns and saying the Spurs will prevail. The main thing I don't get is that the Suns seem to be outlasting teams to get their 110+ points - they set a fast pace and never stop. Where is all this stamina coming from? They have a tiny bench. Their physicality reminds me of Detriot last year. Detroit's still the easy pick in the East, they were sleeping for half the series against my Pacers and still won easily. They're a whole level higher than the Heat in my opinion. I've predicted Pistons over Spurs, and I'm gonna stick to it too, but Ginobli has been absolutely outstanding. I love watching that dude play. I had no idea how good he was. I wonder if the Pistons will put Prince on him, and if so how he'd do.

posted by chmurray at 04:47 PM on May 20, 2005

Wow, I can't believe how many people are A) dismissing the Heat against the Pistons... the Heat, who are 8-0 without a healthy Shaq so far; if Shaq comes back with even 80% strength, and with Wade playing like he is... scary stuff. The Pistons wouldn't even be in the Conference Finals if Stern hadn't made the outrageous full season plus playoffs suspension of Ron Artest. B) Talking up the Spurs. After rooting for the hometown Sonics right up until that last second hail mary from Ray Allen hit the front of the rim (I still say the Spurs only won because the refs called too many flop calls! The Spurs are flop artists, led by Leonardo da Flopsi himself, Ginobli... he's got a good game, but this flopping "Aye, he touch me, meester Ref!" bullshit has got to stop- or be stopped), I can't hardly see how a Spurs team nearly pushed to game 7 by a severely undermanned Sonics is a serious competition for a team like the Suns or even the Mavericks, much less the Heat if they should miraculously make the Finals.

posted by hincandenza at 05:07 PM on May 20, 2005

Hal, Shaq will likely not be available at least for the beginning of the series. The Heat have beaten the Nets and the Wizards - not much of a test, even if they did make it impressive by sweeping. As far as the Spurs, they've got a million ways to beat you, and no serious weaknesses. Inside, outside, defense, speed, fundamentals, coaching, experience, etc. They're boring as hell, but they are very good and don't need "talking up."

posted by dusted at 05:23 PM on May 20, 2005

I hope the Suns make it - they've been an absolute pleasure to watch. And how about my boy Nash? He shredded the Mavs. Whatta playa.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:15 AM on May 21, 2005

How do you back off Steve Nash at the three point line, leading by three points, with five seconds left? I haven't seen a playoff game end with a move that boneheaded since Derek Harper ran out the clock against the Lakers in 1984 in a tied playoff game, thinking the Mavs were up by one. Nash didn't shred the Mavs. He dropped a daisy cutter on the Mavs. He nuked the Mavs. He obliterated the Mavs. There ought to be a smoldering crater where the American Airlines Center stood, with a sign next to it that reads "Steve Nash was here." I officially hate that guy twice as much as I ever liked him. This has to be the most devastating defeat ever dealt to Dallas fans by one of our former heroes. It's like Roger Staubach came back with the 49ers to throw The Catch to Dwight Clark. Ugh. I hope he catches something antibiotic-resistent from his disturbing habit of licking his fingers before every free throw and while he drives the ball up the court.

posted by rcade at 09:45 AM on May 21, 2005

Geez, rcade, bitter much? ;) As far as my picks go, I still think the Spurs are the best team in the league, although they never seem to be able to put up a string of dominating performances in a row and sometimes even choke a game or two away. Even when they won their two championships, they never really dominated because that's not who they are. I still pick the Spurs over the Pistons, though, for the reasons listed by dusted - I just don't expect them to blow anybody away. So yeah, most likely a boring Finals. The Conference Finals will be mighty innerestin' though.

posted by platocave at 09:52 AM on May 21, 2005

Good recap of last night's game and the upcoming Spurs-Suns series here.

posted by platocave at 10:13 AM on May 21, 2005

I'm not bitter at all. I just retroactively never liked Steve Nash. I expanded my thoughts into a blog entry, though I am backing off my desire to wish illness upon him. It wouldn't work, anyway. He'd pull a Jordan. I think he might be able to lead the Suns over the Spurs. Stoudamire, Marion, and Nash are pretty good.

posted by rcade at 10:31 AM on May 21, 2005

I just retroactively never liked Steve Nash. Just out of curiousity, why?

posted by dfleming at 12:31 PM on May 21, 2005

You're right, rcade: that was an absolute ass-whipping Nash laid on the Mavs. I don't think even his triple-double in game 5 was as impressive. After the public insult from Cuban, and yes it was an insult, this and the MVP are the best things that could have happened to Steve. Don't get me wrong, I think Cuban is a fun and innovate team owner, but he crossed the line when he said the Suns overpaid. No dude - you underpaid Nash, then overpaid a worthless Dampier. It's fun when someone so cocky gets proven so completely wrong. And yes, I am fully aware that hindsight is 20/20.

posted by dusted at 04:10 PM on May 21, 2005

I don't feel like Cuban insulted Nash. He explained -- in greater detail than any owner in NBA history has ever explained a contractual matter -- why he couldn't afford to beat Phoenix's offer. It had to kill him. Cuban loved Nash. The money Phoenix gave Steve was insane -- league-MVP, take-a-bad-team-to-the-title kind of money.

posted by rcade at 05:50 PM on May 21, 2005

league-MVP, take-a-bad-team-to-the-title kind of money Heh. We'll soon see on the second part.

posted by dusted at 06:06 PM on May 21, 2005

I can't think of a worst championship series than the Spurs and Pistons. Talk about boring teams . . I'm in the minority, but I'm sick of the sentiment shared by many that teams with good D are boring. Magic Johnson's constantly saying teams like Phoenix play the game "the way it was meant to be played, exciting." No way! I get disgusted watching Phoenix's so-called defense allowing guys to waltz right down the lane for uncontested lay-ups when the game is on the line. I mean, come on, lay somebody on the floor if they're going to drive to the basket, it's the playoffs dammit. Take a lesson from champions like the Celtics of old, then Pistons, then Bulls, and now Pistons. Even Magic's own Lakers had toughness to go along with the flash (Rambis, Worthy, Kareem). I for one, am glad that defense ultimately matters and will be happy to see it proven once again this year when Phoenix (along w/ their best reg season record) is eliminated. These all-offense teams are shallow, no soul, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

posted by mayerkyl at 08:03 PM on May 22, 2005

Go tell it on the mountain, brother mayerkyl. But there's a reason you're in the minority - because you're wrong. It's the brutes with no skill, speed, grace or timing that are ruining the game, along with the coaches that strangle the last drop of beauty with their predictable, plodding, walk-it-up playcalling.

posted by dusted at 08:36 PM on May 22, 2005

It's the brutes with no skill, speed, grace or timing that are ruining the game, along with the coaches that strangle the last drop of beauty with their predictable, plodding, walk-it-up playcalling. Defense isn't all about slowing down the game, but more about good positioning in the key and in the passing lanes, having a team approach to guarding the ballhandler, and never relenting, either in the halfcourt or in transition. And it can make for an exciting game; just look at the annual All-Star snooze for an example of how an offense-only game can be boring. As for everyone saying that the Spurs play a boring, all-defense, no-offense, dump-it-down-to-Duncan game, can we give that up already?

posted by avogadro at 07:11 AM on May 23, 2005

Is it too much to ask for a team that does both? How about the Heat? Will we all be happy if Miami wins it all?

posted by bperk at 08:01 AM on May 23, 2005

But bperk, the Spurs do do both, as shown in Game 1 yesterday.

posted by platocave at 02:34 PM on May 23, 2005

As for everyone saying that the Spurs play a boring, all-defense, no-offense, dump-it-down-to-Duncan game, can we give that up already? Who said that?

posted by dusted at 03:59 PM on May 23, 2005

i think the spurs r boring i hope nash and amare beat them the only player on spurs i like is tony parker

posted by defrag3x at 03:40 PM on May 24, 2005

Who said that? *gestures at representative-sample defrag3x*

posted by avogadro at 11:56 AM on May 28, 2005

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