Perhaps the best adjective I can give to the way Detroit have played throughout the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Every other ‘contender’ has struggled mightily at times.
The Lakers couldn’t close out the Jazz, even when the opportunity was there. The Spurs looked absolutely lost in game 5, and down 2-3 face elimination. And Boston’s road woes have everyone believing that if you can get one in the Garden, you not only can but will beat the Celtics in a best of 7 series.
The Pistons? Calm, poised, steady.
Let’s suppose for a minute that Boston gets by Cleveland… would you bet on them to beat Detroit? I have no trouble envisaging the Pistons stealing one from Boston in Boston. Forget about the Boston Celtic’s superior regular season record, it’s Detroit who have been playing like impending champions this past week.
Orlando bow out losing to Detroit 1-3, but other than Jameer Nelson’s idiotic guarantees there’s been no shame in the way they’ve played.
Game 5 between New Orleans and San Antonio amazed me. There’s a lot of pressure on the home team in game 5, despite having the advantage. You’re expected to hold serve, but if you don’t, elimination stares. Byron Scott was asked about this expectation, and he stated that he felt his charges where actually too young to realise it. The congregated press laughed, but Scott was serious: he felt that his team would be loose for game 5… and how right he was. After a very tight first half, with the Spurs just ahead at the break – New Orleans came out and blew San Antonio out of the water, scoring 28 points whilst holding the Spurs to 11. A blow-out ensued, with the fourth seeing them scoring 29 to 21 – Hornets winning game 5 101-79. Chris Paul was damn effective – 22/14… but it was David West that San Antonio had no answer for. 38 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists. Sheesh.
I still don’t see the Spurs as being out of it… but damn, that was impressive!
In tomorrow’s games:
- Cleveland at Boston – Thus far, the Celtics have held LeBron to far, far below par performances. What happens if he goes off? Boston will be hoping it’s not in game 5, because it’s well documented how they play on the road. The odds would not favour them going to Cleveland and winning game 6. This is perhaps the most important game thus far in this series for the Celtics.
- Utah in LA – LA just missed twice in beating the Jazz in Salt Lake City. In both game 3 & 4, they had chances. So winning in LA shouldn’t be a problem… except how is Kobe’s back? Supposedly, it’s ‘back spasms’ – which should be ok for the game. This Laker-fan is holding his breath…