Friday, May 18, 2007
Think about the action out west - suspensions, ejections, near brawls, a half dozen outrageous fouls that come to mind without even thinking about it, and even some post-game tears after the FIRST round (cheer up, T-mac). Has anything even REMOTELY similar happened in the east? Baron Davis, Boozer, Nash, and several others have been playing like their lives depended on the outcome. Lebron, Vince, and Sheed seem like their playing in a Hoop-It-Up tournament.
The numbers for both teams last night were almost identical. Both teams took/made nearly the same amount of field goals and both shot 5-18 from the 3. Basically, the Pistons shot better from the line - and (big surprise) they turned it up in the 3rd quarter and never looked back.
It's just amazing that they did this exact same routine last year, and they LOST doing it. And to take it a step further - they should've lost to the Cavs had Cleveland been able to get a defensive rebound in the final minute of game 6.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
These playoffs are starting to remind me of one of those college all-day drinking affairs. Right out of the gate, every one's so excited that it can't help but be awesome. Funnels, games of Quarters, someone's getting laid by 11am. Then comes the pre-dinner crash, 70% of the people pass out, a good number of public indecency arrests, and two of your friends have one of those Mom and Dad fights that makes everyone at the party uncomfortable. That's where we are in the playoffs.
New Jersey Nets 82, Cleveland Cavaliers 72
I'm starting to have a hard time believing that this is going to be the series that proves anything about Lebron James, and I'm kind of getting tired of waiting for him to prove me wrong. A 35 year-old point guard is taking over games down the stretch when the 22 year-old phenom is supposed to be making his name. All that being said, I would rather be Yinka Dare than have my name be associated with the 4th quarter of this game. The Nets managed six (!$!@$#$!@$#!@$!!@#@!#!) points on one field goal (!#@(#$@(%!*$@(*$!@#) and still got the win in a 4th quarter that probably actually put more people to sleep than any in recent playoff history. There's little else of note in this game other than another solid J-Kidd performance and a Lebron knee injury that sets the stage for a "miraculous" performance whenever he decides to turn it on and end this series. UGH.
San Antonio Spurs 88, Phoenix Suns 85
Perhaps in a tribute to the fallen Warriors, the Suns went small, smaller, smallest last night against the Spurs. Using essentially a six-man rotation, not counting Pat Burke's three minutes, the Suns did almost everything they could to get the win that was rightfully theirs last night. The missing link was a no-show by Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa. I often refuse to buy into the idea of a Sixth Man being uncomfortable in any other position, but with the numbers Barbosa put up last night it's hard not to feel like he was off his game. Six fouls, four turnovers, and 3-12 shooting. Add to that a mildly unproductive (by his standards) game by Steve Nash and the Suns couldn't do the impossible in this one. Close-out game for the Spurs in San Antonio on Friday. Stoudemire and Nash no-show and the party's over; if they're feeling heroic, I break out my game 7 beer helmet.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Cleveland +4 @ New Jersey 186
Phoenix +3.5 @ San Antonio 202
Picks: NEW JERSEY, PHOENIX, and OVER Phoenix/San Antonio
Games start in a few minutes so I wanted to get the picks up in order to make everyone alot of money. If you are looking for non ball numbers Mets/Cubs Under 8 and Phillies -125 home against the Brewers. I could give you numbers to back all of this but its easier to just trust me and know I'm always right and always make money.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Golden State +3.5 @ Utah 212.5
With only one game on tonight's schedule at least those on the east coast will be able to see more than the first quarter of a Warriors game. Take the warriors tonight. They cover the 3.5, probably win out right. There are numbers to back this up but they dont matter. Utah is allowing Golden State to play the game the way the Warriors want to. Game 1 was a let down game for the Warriors but I think they answer back tonight, especially if Utah now believes they can run.
Additionally, the over is 11-5 in the last 16 Utah games. If you are looking for prop bets, Deron Williams under 18.5 pays +115. Dont get me wrong, I love Williams just short of having a man crush on him, but he got everyon's attention with that 30 point performance on Monday. Everyone including Baron Davis. I dont see him putting up a big game tonight.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Much like everyone else, I was pretty confused to hear that the Cavs haven't lost in a full month. For a team that isn't that good- that's no small feat. But i think that comes to an end tonight. Game 1 sucked - the final score was 81-77 and don't confuse bad basketball with good defense. Because this was definitely not the latter.
This one is going 7. And tonight I'd be all over the points (4.5) with Jersey probably winning outright.
San Antonio @ Phoenix
It's almost impossible for me to look at this series logically. I'm in the Suns' corner 1,000% and my hatred for the Spurs is reaching heights unseen.
But if you're a betting man- it's pretty hard to take Nash and co. The Spurs are 7-2 ATS when playing AT Phoenix over the past 3 years. Those are tough numbers to ignore considering what a solid home court advantage the Suns have.
I'd grab the 5 and pray it's inside the number.
This Bulls team looks completely lost. It's like a beer league softball team trying to play the Mets. Aside from a couple plays by Ty Thomas (dunk, block, alley-oop all in a row late in the game) and a couple nice plays by C.Webb - this game was a total waste. The Bulls got out-rebounded 51 to 30 and they let the Pistons shoot wide open jumpers all night (53% from 3!!!!).
Wake me up when the Bulls are within single digits in the 4th quarter. Until then, TNT should show Seinfeld re-runs instead.
The G.State-Jazz game was a lot better than advertised. A lot of talk yesterday about Jerry Sloan trying to slow things down and stop the Warriors from.... well.... being the Warriors. This game was a fuckin track meet in the first half. Okur played very well last night, but you know he's begging for some more half court sets. Homeboy's gonna be gassed by game 3 if this style of play continues.
Here's why the Jazz won:
A) Boozer could not be stopped on the boards. The guy hauled in 20 rebounds including 10 on the offensive glass. The last one leading to a HUGE bucket that ended up winning the game.
B) Deron Williams played like a man. 31 pts on 11-21 shooting to go with 8 assists. Most of his assists were early, but he came up with some big shots in the 4th.
C) BD, J-Rich, and our man Stephen Jackson shot 4-15 from 3. This after a 13-25 performance against the Mavs in Game 6.
All in all - I still can't stand the Jazz OR their fans. And this is gonna be one hell of a series.
one more note - Reggie Miller sucks at announcing. He blatantly misspeaks and doesn't correct himself. Last night he used "delight" when he clearly meant to say "dismay" or some other adjective with a negative connotation, but he just glanced over it like no one would notice.
And after BDizzle got fouled on a 3 from the corner (after the ball had clearly left his hands) - Reggie made a point to say:
We get it Reggie. You like when shooters get the foul call.
The shooter cannot be touched throughout the entire act of shooting.
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Lebron cranked up that disgusting free throw percentage (81.2%), but I know I'm not the only one dying to see him take the line with the game hanging in the balance.
I see this one going at least 6, probably 7 with the Cavs pulling it out. Now that Dirk, T-mac, Wade, and Shaq are fishing - Do you really think Stern is letting King James pack his tackle box?
Although it blows my mind to think about a Conference Finals where Eric Snow is getting serious minutes. A friend of mine was more than willing to trade E. Snow for a pair of throw back jerseys - and that was over 4 years ago.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Friday, May 4, 2007
Check out Kissing Suzy Kolber for a great take on the Sports Guy or any Celtic fan as far as I am concerned...
I'm not even just talking about the remainder of the playoffs, I could be talking about the rest of my basketball watching life. Tonight's game was a legitimate epic; at least until midway through the third period when it became clear that Dallas had become completely demoralized and just wanted to get home and watch a rodeo and pass out, or whatever they do down there. Then it just became fun.
Before the playoffs started, I had picked the Mavericks to win, in a rout actually. But like many of my hopes and dreams, I had thrown that pick into the trash about 12 minutes into the actual process. I can't remember any situation where I have seen a team so thoroughly taken to pieces. Sure, this Golden state team may have not been a realistic #8 seed, but they won 25 (25!!!) less games this regular season than Dallas. Within minutes of the start of this series, this Dallas team looked completely lost. They had no answer for the Warriors' ... well for the Warriors' anything.
The real great thing about this upset is that there's no end in sight. The Dallas Mavericks handled most of the teams in the NBA for most of the regular season, what's to say that the team that took them to pieces can't do the same to the rest of the Western Conference? A big part of what has been done by the Warriors here is a another step towards the parity that makes sports like NCAA basketball and the NFL so great. The Warriors have a chance to do something big here, take out either the #4 or #5 seed, and try to put on a show in the Western Conference finals. It's not likely, but according to me and the experts over at ESPN.com, neither was this. Cue ELO's "Showdown" and let's hope the Warriors don't Munson this one.
By the way, I don't know if you noticed who had 33 points tonight, but, you know...
Thursday, May 3, 2007
The numbers for Thursday's games:
Houston +4.5 @ Utah 184
Dallas -3 @ Golden State 209
I want to put on the table that I have no allegiance to Houston, though I picked them in 4 of the 5 games of this series. But tonight, HOUSTON has to be the pick and this is the scenario that necessitates it.
If Utah wins this series and IF Golden State wins tonight, these two square off in the second round. If Golden State doesn't win another game they are still a playoff success. Lets say Golden State comes out and has a big let down, then the Western Conference Finals we have been waiting for all year might be Utah and San Antonio, with the Pistons waiting in the Finals for the winner. This scenario would put the NBA back at least 15 years. I think about this scenario in the same way I think about putting a needle in my eye.
I can not allow this to happen. If Houston wins, while its not the run and gun we hoped for at least we have the star power of McGrady and Yao. Utah and San Antonio play in the Western Conference Finals and the NBA world will implode and life with basketball as a legitimate sports may be over. HOUSTON has to be the pick for all our sakes. Take Houston to win and waive the points, even if you lose, at least you will wake up tomorrow knowing you had no part in the possible demise of the NBA. (I realize that Houston could still win game 7, but this is too important to leave up to a game 7).
On a side note, can we please have no more shots of Stan Van Gundy and Jerry Sloan in HD. My God are they frightful. If my kid (there is probably one out there somewhere) wanted to get into coaching I would show him clips of these two as a scared straight video. When TNT goes to shots of the sideline they need to blur out the two coaches faces like they do on Dateline for people who's identity needs to be kept secret.
The second game is the one everyone is waiting for. Before game 5 of the series, I was going to write (had I been able to use a computer) that it would be a great time to buy Dallas to win the series. I figured teams get down 3-1 more often then we think, only to turn it on and leave the lower seed wondering what just happened after game 7. Just last year the Suns were down 3-1 to the Lakers before winning in 7. Then of course the Mavs went out and won the game. Not only that they stole it from Golden State. So Mavs have to be the pick.
Umm, not so fast there Corso. GOLDEN STATE is taking the series tonight. We have seen this same scenario play out in MLB two years ago with the Cardinals as heavy favorites against the Astros. Everyone is getting warmed up for a Game 7 in Dallas only the Warriors are going to end things tonight. How have teams fared up 3-2 in a series? They are 174-30 all time and 14-2 in the preliminary round. Take Golden State and waive the points.
Picks: HOUSTON and GOLDEN STATE... waive both spreads, and for a real return parlay the two (Houston +170 and Golden State +120).
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
- This is a perfect example of the "Sportscenter Syndrome" or a "Box Score Fan". Sure it LOOKS like Dirk took the game over MJ-style with 12 points inside the 3 minute mark. But the truth is - Dirk was an absolute GHOST in the 2nd and 3rd quarters - and even the 4th quarter up until those 2 3's. It wasn't as if Dirk commanded the ball on the block and imposed his will on Golden State. At no point did you get the feeling, "wow- Dirk is just NOT losing this game. He's carrying this team kicking and screaming back to Oakland if he has to."
Let's preview tonight's action:
Denver @ San Antonio
I totally agree with the Don - one of these games will be a blowout, one will be relatively close, but both series are definitely getting wrapped up tonight. Don't be surprised to see 2 blowouts, though. We had the privilege of seeing 2 gems last night - I have a feeling we won't be so lucky tonight.
Here's the deal - Denver is 1-6 (both SU and ATS) the last 3 years when trailing in a playoff series. Also keep in mind that George Karl has a 3-11 playoff record with the Nuggets (for his career, he's 14 games UNDER .500 in the postseason). And he hasn't escaped the first round since he coached that 50 win Bucks team.
I think the Spurs are completely in their heads and the Nuggets have their fishing gear packed.
Lakers @ Suns
If you honestly have the stones to lay some serious cash on the Lakers in this game - my hat is off to you. Because I don't think there's any chance in hell of this thing going back to LA. That would probably require Kwame Brown to duplicate his game 3 performance - which is damn near impossible.That being said - beware of the "last gasp" game. Kobe's not the type to go quietly - look for the Lakers to go down, but go down swinging.
It's borderline depressing the Dallas - Golden State series is taking place in the Western Conference. These games are probably the best advertising and promotion that the NBA has had since Lebron James was a senior in high school, and no one is seeing them except NBA superfans and people who don't have to be awake before 11am (fortunately I belong to both camps). I hate to get all high and mighty on the NBA; hell we've got young, up and coming NBA blogger Bill Simmons for that, but this game ended at 12:45am on Wednesday and it was probably the earliest finish of the series. And the NBA may end up regretting this...
The league has worked many angles in the last decade to recruit fans who have never watched basketball/bring back fans who have stopped watching. Let's look at some of them, the target audience, and the end result:
- WNBA(female viewers): The WNBA has maintained a rather strong fan base... for the WNBA. I don't know that any WNBA fan would think about the NBA itself, other than to proclaim the superiority of the fundamentals-based game in the WNBA. I can't imagine any way that the NBA has benefited from the WNBA, especially given the massive amount of face time and marketing the NBA has had forced on it.
- The Rookie Superstar(young kids, those looking for the "next Jordan"): The big example here would be Lebron James' appearance on the NBA scene as a junior in high school. Although, many basketball purists and internet columnists who are bummed their teams are in the lottery would have you believe that the Oden/Durant situation is one of national interest. The very audience targeted here becomes the problem. By trying to entice the people who want the next Jordan, criticism is invited. These are the fans who won't buy tickets to see their local team because they don't have one of the ten legitimate Superstars in the league.
- NBDL(stat geeks, guys who follow minor league baseball): This move was aimed towards people who already follow the game of basketball at an extremely dedicated level. At best, it keeps these people seriously involved. At worst, you end up watching an NBDL game.
- The Dress Code/Age Requirement(cranky white people): Give it up, these people are watching the NFL, where any semblance of personality or showmanship will likely earn someone a vertebrae-crushing gang tackle. All these rules have done is heightened the non-viewers' reaction to any incident. Look at it this way, whose public tantrum-throwing kid looks worse? The parent who drags them out by the hand and grounds them at home; or the strung-out parent that starts screaming louder and more obnoxiously than the kid? David Stern is looking more and more like a mother of three at Six Flags every day.
The games, stupid. The games. I read this week that even good basketball is conducive to the highlight package; alley-oop, hard foul, game winning shot, box score. The idea that any sports fan would prefer that to the entire second half tonight is absurd. Tonight, one of the most exciting basketball games I have ever watched unfolded in the late-evening/early-morning hours. The second half was a flurry of back and forth threes, drives, and a lot more threes. If you show this game to ten people who haven't watched a game all year, nine of them would probably watch the rest of the playoffs.
But until David Stern manages to trim the excess of the playoffs, these games will remain unseen. My solution? Contract the league and schedule, put six teams per conference in the post-season, five-game first round. Completely unrealistic and excessive, but it would guarantee parity, quality, and excitement in the playoffs. This series arrived by the grace of god. No eight seed has ever been this well prepared for the top team in the league. It will likely never happen again. But with a lighter playoff schedule the public would be able to watch nightly, prime-time match ups, and the likelihood of catching a game like tonight's would increase tenfold. The more people that see it, the more people that enjoy it. Who knows, this might not make any sense since it's 3am now.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
With the Suns getting right back on track and out-pacing the Lakers, the only big story out of the West came late on Sunday night.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Let's cut right to the chase (cut to the chase? what are you, Joe Hollywood?)... These series are both completely terrible. I find it hard to believe that anyone outside of the teams' home cities are even watching. Actually, I think it's safe to assume that all the Magic and Wiz fans have completely given up. The curse of Le Bullets continues.
They'll both be sweeps. Let's leave it at that.
San Antonio @ Denver
After those lame appetizers are over with - we actually get some real basketball. Here's what I think about this series - I just can't see the Spurs losing. Dallas? yeah, I could see that considering their history. But Duncan and the boys? It's not on my radar. This has the feel of a big brother/little brother matchup. Sure, the big brother has aged a bit. He's been in college a few years throwin' down funnels and taking bong hits till 5am every weekend. But when he comes home for the summer - he can still handle the little brother one on one in the driveway. I hate giving "experience" that much credit. More often than not I think the talking heads on tv like to use that term instead of actually analyzing a given matchup (that's you, kornheiser).
Still- I'd love to see Melo and Iverson put Popovich on the ropes.
Houston @ Utah
Bottomline here - someone besides Tmac and Yao have to score. ANYONE! That game the other night was mindbogglingly (clearly not an actual word) terrible. It set "bench scoring" back about 35 years. I don't even know what that sentence means, but the rockets did it.
This series has "7 games" written all over it. That monkey on Tmac's back ain't getting any smaller.
Friday, April 27, 2007
You'll have to pardon the recaps today, I've been sleep deprived all week and I'll have to do my best to sum up my thoughts as I laid on the couch watching the games.
Detroit Pistons 93, Orlando Magic 77
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ... wow, Dwight Shrute sure has been showing up a lot bigger than Dwight Howard the past couple weeks... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Utah Jazz 81, Houston Rockets 67
ZZZZZZZZ... Wait, FOUR people on the Rockets scored???? How long have I been asleep? Did they do away with the shot clock again???? This next game better be the best goddamn game I've ever seen.
LA Lakers 95, Phoenix Suns 89
You got lucky NBA, real lucky. In all seriousness, Kobe turns in the best individual performance of the playoffs with 45 pts, 6reb, and 6ast. He shot 15-26 from the field, 2-3 from behind the line, and a perfect 13-13 free throws. The other big story was Kwame Brown waking up from a much longer nap than the one I took earlier and the Lakers finally showing up as a team to take care of the intangibles. The Lakers' commitment to playing hustle defense and rebounding managed to hold the Suns to 75 field goal attempts (compared to 92 in the previous blowout). This is the mysterious "dictating the pace" against the Suns that we hear so much about, even allowing them to shoot .480 from the field isn't devastating when you can limit their shots.
Henry at TrueHoop has an interesting look at a Lakers conspiracy theory that could rain on some parades however.
Police Academy: Kobe Bryant - 45pts, 6reb, 6ast. Gets the honor for not only turning in a great line, but for whatever he said that woke up the rest of the stiffs on his team.
Super Troopers: Kwame Brown - 19pts (8-14 shooting), 6reb, 2blk. Mainly for not rolling over for the rest of the playoffs after he hurt his ankle.
Car 54, Where Are You?: The five guys on the Houston Rockets who couldn't score one point. 5 men, 76 combined minutes, 0 points?? Really? Five guys personally just took the Rockets from legit contenders to possible victims of a first-round comeback.
Sam Cassell Quote of the Night: (on Kobe)"He's no Jordan, but he's definitely not Harold Miner!"
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Detroit -2.5 @ Orlando o/u 183
Houston +4 @ Utah o/u 187.5
Phoenix -4 @ Los Angeles o/u 211
I have to say I am not wild about any of tonight's games but here are my picks for all three games.
Detroit -2.5 @ Orlando o/u 183 Pick: Orlando
Houston +4 @ Utah 0/u 187.5 Pick: Utah
Phoenix -4 @ Los Angeles o/u 211 Pick: Phoenix
For a detailed explanation of these picks see below where Der wrote essentially the exact same thing I would argue about all 3 games.
"It's not like we have the best talent in the league, so we really have to pride
ourselves on playing hard all the time"
I have no words about what I am about to link you to. Nothing can explain it, nothing can describe it. All I know is that I'm lucky I recently had to begin "preparing" for a drug
test, because if I had been under the influence of anything when I had watched this there is no doubt that my head would have exploded instantly. Ready? Seriously, prepare yourself. Think Weird Al meets the NBA (maybe throw FreeDarko in there to explain the pics).
Here's the link (completely safe for work, but good luck explaining it to anyone who asks). Have your sound on, click the "experience" link. You click on the picture to move to the next song. Technically only the first four are about basketball players, but I found that to be more than enough NBA content to warrant a post.
PS - The Yao Ming one is the obvious crown jewel of their catalog.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
If you are bored waiting for the late game to start, I'd suggest the under in Denver/San Antonio parlayed with the Cavs -12. Dont hold me to it, but its probably what Ill do to kill some time, waiting for Golden State to cover.
- All star, 1st Team All-nba, MVP-caliber 7 footers flopping in game 1? check and check.
- The less successful regular season team seemed to mysteriously dictate the matchups and pace? check and check.
- Between roster moves, suspensions, and injuries the underdog team never quite jelled until the regular season's homestretch, and thus, are far more dangerous than their records make them appear? you guessed it, Frank Stallone... check and check.
Here's an earth-shattering statement: Duncan and Dirk have to play better. They were 7/17 and 4/16 from the field, respectively in game 1. Your best player has to do a lot better than that, plain and simple.
The matchups -
Look for Dallas to listen to the critics tonight. Chuck nailed it by halftime: in no way should a 67 win team be the one adjusting to the 42 win team. I have a feeling we'll see a lot more of the Diop/Dampier combo up front. And that could end up being a clinic in offensive rebounding.
Also look for the Spurs to exploit the Nene/Camby combo by using a smaller lineup. In game 1, they always had Duncan up front with someone from the Horry/Oberto/Elson contingent. Don't be surprised if Pop spreads the floor with Parker-Ginobili-Finley-and Bowen to go with Duncan. Which means they'll probably go zone on defense and force Denver to hit 3's (ya know, because they were 28th in the league this year in that department).
Hollinger had a great article today about the season ending winning streaks for the Nuggs and Warriors. In a nutshell:
If you look at the games where each team was at full strength for meaningful
games (and removing the 3-10 stretch where Melo and AI first started playing
together) you're left with a 15-4 record for Denver, and a 13-4 record for
G.State. Not only that, but some mind boggling, suns-esq offensive
Washington @ Cleveland
Let's be honest: the wizards suck. I'm watching the other 2 games, and I'll settle for Lebron highlights on sportscenter.
Between finals, work, and doing these updates everyday, I'm getting dangerously close to Winnebago Man(NSFW) territory.
Toronto Raptors 89, New Jersey Nets 83
Anthony Parker led the Dinos in points with 26, but Chris Bosh(25 and 13) took over the game in that intangible way that a superstar has to during the playoffs. Time and again when the Raptors needed a bucket to stifle a Nets run, Bosh was there to bull his way to the hoop, get the bucket and the foul, and make his free throws. Looks like he may have finally realized that no one on the Nets front line can hang with him. On the other side of the ball, Jason Kidd managed 7 assists, even with his two finishers Carter and Jefferson going a combined 12-40. Maybe Vince didn't even want to give the Toronto fans a show??? As far as predicitons for the rest of the series go, I think Henry from TrueHoop says it best: "Honestly, I have no idea. Sure is fun to watch, though."
Chicago Bulls 107, Miami Heat 89
Ben Gordon kept the Bulls on track for most of the game before Barkley's boy Leon Doing turned it on and put this game out of reach. In the post-game press conference, Pat Riley compared Deng to Cedric Ceballos(???), then wet himeself and got beat up by a fellow inmate. The Heat didn't play a particulary bad game offensively, I'm sure they would love to get 11pts each from Posey, Walker, and Kapono every night. But on defense, they gave up way to many easy looks and couldn't match up on Deng. This led to the Bulls shooting .551 from the floor and a blistering .647 from three. It'll be inteteresting to see where this series goes when they get back to Miami. Personally, I've got no faith in them.
Phoenix Suns 126, LA Lakers 98
If Anchorman had come out last weekend, I would definitely drop the "That really escalated quickly" joke right here. The Suns played their game in the way they do sometimes, almost literally scoring at will. TNT's Doug collins put it best when he noted that it really looked like the Suns were playing 6 on 5 against the Lakers. If the Lakers are going to let the Suns play their style of basketball AND let them shoot .543 they might be lucky that Phoenix only put up 126. If you didn't see this game, there is very little that can describe how easy it was for the Suns to score; if there wasn't a man wide open in the corner for three, Nash would set up a quick pick and roll with the nearest player and get an easy dish for a lay-up. That simple. A complete blow out and the Lakers look to be in big trouble.
The Best Of (South Park Edition)
Eric Cartman: Gotta give it to Leon Doing once again. 26pts, 5 reb, 6ast, 2blk, 1stl. Yea, Riley was right, thats definitely a Ceballos-like line.
Randy Marsh: Chris Bosh played 45 minutes, got 25 and 13, and controlled the game for the Raptors in big spots.
Kyle's Mom: Eddie Jones. If you're going to be a defensive liability, at least try to get some offense. Went 1-3 in 17 minutes. Look for Ira Winderman's head to explode if he gets the start in game 3.
Chuck's Quote of the Night: "Kwame Brown dropped more pases this weekend than T.O."
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
New Jersey +5 @ Toronto o/u 194
Chicago -4 @ Miami o/u 184
Los Angeles +9 @ Phoenix o/u 207
Here is the problem with the state of the NBA today. Through an entire regular season, we still have no idea if the Raptors are good or just the product of a crummy division. There really is no shred of evidence about how they will react after being punched in the nose in Game 1.
Saturday, Vince Carter was terrible and still the game really was never in doubt following a Nets run in the second quarter. Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson put on a show and demonstrated few signs that they would be slowing down tonight. And the Raptors ultimately looked like a team surprised to be playing in a game that meant something.
Well with that said the Raptors are still giving 5 points. Take a look at the Chicago/Miami series. The line has swung 8 points following the Bulls win in Game 1. The Raptors have actually gone up a half point. This tells me one thing, the Nets are a bad bet.
Thus the pick for Today is TORONTO. I know its difficult to trust canadians with your money. You don't know what kind of return you will get and all that, but trust ME its the right thing to do. Honestly if you can't trust The Don, who can you trust.
One other note about tonight's game. Raptors fans are rabid. I don't know if its because they are thrilled to be watching a sporting event and be warm at the same time, but whatever the reason they love the Raptors. Which is saying something when you consider how bad they have been over the past few years. I think they will play a big role in tonight's game, not wanting to see the Raps headed to the Meadowlands down 2.
In addition to Toronto, I'll throw out the Los Angeles/Phoenix over of 207. I know they came up 40 points short of the over on Saturday. I also know the Lakers are dedicated to playing D as it is there only hope. However, the the two teams could not miss more open shots than they did on Sunday. Its not possible. Look at the shot chart. I like the over, and while I'm not throwing my leadpipe lock on it, Id encourage taking some of yesterdays winnings and turning them over. If you are really feeling wild, I wouldn't argue with you if you told me about a 4 pt teaser of Suns/Over.
Any chance the NBA gives me a break and lets me catch The Office on Thursday? It's looking real good. I already missed the Sopranos and my chances of catching the Gauntlet tomorrow are looking slim.(/Simmons content)
Detroit Pistons 98, Orlando Magic 90
This might go down in history as the most impossible playoff series to give a shit about. The Magic played decent, the Pistons played a little better, everyone knew it would go like this, no one's surprised. I feel like in some ways this has to be a little troubling for Orlando; would you rather be the Lakers with a superstar who's proven he can get his in the playoffs, or Orlando whose role players are starting to get it done while your #1 guy disappears on you? But, at the same time, if Howard throws down one of his 23 & 24 games the Magic can still steal one. The Detroit starters look to be in playoff form as everyone got to double-digits. Like i said, it would really help me if these guys could wrap this thing up so I could catch some prime-time TV.
Houston Rockets 98, Utah Jazz 90
Strange game here in that it looked good for both the winner and the loser. I mean, Kirilenko only played 2 more minutes than game 1 but still managed to notch 5 times the personal fouls!! If AK-47 had turned his game around at all, the Jazz could have felt optimistic as Deron Williams had another solid game, and Boozer showed up big time with 41, 12, and 6. Instead even Magic Johnson caught enough of the game, in between handfuls of cream cheese off the catering table, to know the Jazz are dead in the water. McGrady and Yao both had solid games and you've gotta wonder what a second round match-up would look like with the Rockets skating past the Jazz and the Mavericks having to struggle to get past the Warriors.
The Best Of (all-loser edition)
The Nerf Big Bad Bow: Carlos Boozer - 41pts, 12reb, 6ast. Did his job while the rest of his team fell apart all around him. Oh well.
The Nerf .38 Special: Hedo Turkoglu - Shooting the lights out(18-27 for the series) and giving out some HARD fouls. If you're going to lose, at least let the other team know you're there.
Nerf Rocket Kit: AK-47(back to back) - 18min, 0pts, 5fouls. At least he got his 2 blocks. Always a good sign when your coach refuses to talk about you in the post-game. You're screwed, Commie.
Kenny Smith Quote of the Night: "The Heat need to find an answer for Leon Doing!"
Monday, April 23, 2007
The darko revenge series returns....
The tale of the tape for game 1 is pretty cut and dry. Despite shooting a mind-blowing 58.1% from the field (including a combined 13 of 19 from the Turkoglu/Darko contingent) the Magic managed to screw themselves by shooting all their free throws blindfolded. Actually, that's a lie but it sure seemed like it.
Now, it's easy to look back and say that if only the Magic had been "kinda" bad from the line instead of "completely shit the bed" bad, they would've won. But frankly, I'm just not buying it. Detroit seems content to play this series just well enough to win. And that's basically how they've approached the whole season at home. Despite having the best record in the east they were ranked 5th in home wins (only 1 more than 8th seeded Orlando). And not only that, 'Sheed and the boys were a dismal 16-26 against the spread at the Palace. Not really sure if there's a precedent for this, but this team made their mark on the road. BIG TIME.
So look for this game to be close, but never actually in question.
Utah @ Houston
Utah continues their quest to take AK47 from 1st Team NBA All-UNDERrated to the MVP of the all overpaid team. The guy's on the hook for $17.8 million in the 2010-2011 season. Somebody might want to give the guy a pep talk. Or maybe just put him in the right position. Wrong position or not, this situation still baffles me to no end. One minute he's putting up insane stat lines of 12 blocks and 7 steals. Now his box score is nothing but 1's and 0's.
Since 1996, Jerry Sloan teams are 5-17 when trailing a playoff series. Those numbers don't lie.