Monday, April 23, 2007

That Just Happened! : Weekend Wrap-up

Gonna try and wrap up the opening weekend of the playoffs with some observations, some numbers and some superlatives. If Stephen Jackson has the best line of the night, everyone in attendance will receive a box of ammo.

Sunday's Slate:

Cleveland Cavaliers 97, Washington Wizards 82
Antawn Jamison leads all scorers with 28, Larry Hughes has 27, and the Cavs win by 15 points. If it wasn't 80 degrees out, I'd think it was early October. Despite suffering the indignity of being outscored by a teammate for the first time in his playoff career, Lebron James managed to dish out 7 assists. Which leads nicely to our next story...

Phoenix Suns 95, L.A. Lakers 87
Kobe Bryant: 39 pts, 1ast. PASS. THE. BALL. It should be noted that I am a HUGE Kobe Bryant supporter, and 9 times out of 10 I have no issue with the number of shots he takes. But Kobe, there's a reason you had 28 in the first half and 11 in the second: double teams. Watching the last 3 minutes of this game was absolutely painful. Bryant took shot after shot, turn-arounds, baseline fade-aways, deep threes; all with two or more people on him. Jordan Farmar nearly broke a finger clapping his hands together as he was wide open under the basket on one of the Lakers last three possessions only to watch Kobe clang another contested shot. Business as usual for Phoenix, Nash hits double-digits in assists and Leandro Barbosa reminds all the coaches in the league that you have to guard every single player on the Suns.

Denver Nuggets 95, San Antonio Spurs 89
The Nuggets get monster games from AI, Carmelo, and Nene. Iverson and Carmelo combined for 61 and Nene got a working man's double-double with 13 and 12 (8 offensive boards!). Nene was also key in a rare defensive showing from the Nugs that stifled the Spurs offensive game. Duncan, Tony Parker, and Ginobili went a combined 19 for 52. We'll see on Wednesday if Nene and Camby really have Duncan's number and the ability to disrupt the Spurs offense or if San Antonio just let their regular season sleepwalking act spill over into the playoffs.

Golden State Warriors 97, Dallas Mavericks 85
The Warriors get the HUGE upset of the weekend, stunning the Mavericks on their home floor. Our boy SteveJax leads all players (in minutes played) and Baron Davis has his best game in years (33pts, 14reb, 8ast). It was as fast-paced as promised, while not quite as high-scoring due to all around sloppy play. The teams combined for 29 turnovers and Dallas shot a putrid .353 from the floor. For those of you keeping score that's about 11 points off their regular season pace of .467. But the Warriors were the team that hustled their way to the win through all the muck (and the mire. Usually when one is in muck, it's accompanied by mire). Don't think that Dallas will continue to slump like this, but I'm excited to see my boy Baron finally tearing it up in the playoffs; though I would like to forget about the time he left me a voice-mail from my sister's phone when she was visiting a friend in New Orleans.

The Cannon: Baron Davis - 33, 14, and 8. HUGE game in a HUGE upset.

The Silencer: Big Z - 16 points on 4-7 from the field and 8 boards. He'll be important to the Cavs if he can play this effectively throughout the playoffs

The Slingshot: DeShawn Stevenson : 36 min, 9pts, 3-13 from the field. Unless this guy's got Bonzi Wells for an agent, he's gonnna sign that player option for next year.

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