- 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.