Smooth

14 05 2008

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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…
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11 responses

14 05 2008
john

Here we go again, well I guess we could just a trilogy out of this whole thing.

Big Third Qaurter Collapse – Part 3….

C’mmon Spurs, we all know this is not the real you. Please start being competitive.

Fight all those ball, make those shots go in. We are still behind you, always…

I’ve just posted my version of the game’s recap. Any comments will be highly appreciated…..

http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com/2008/05/playoffs-news-third-quarter-collapse.html

14 05 2008
withmalice

Hey John,

Will do…

15 05 2008
Reading is Great! Wednesday’s NBA Rumors, Breaking News, and Blog Links - EmptyTheBench.com

[…] With Malice… – The Magic have nothing to be ashamed of—Detroit was simply too smooth. – Yahoo! Sports – […]

15 05 2008
Sportsattitude

Kudos to the Pistons for six straight Eastern Conference finals, although they continue to inch closer to being the equivalent of the Atlanta Braves in ratio of outstanding seasons vs. world championships. The Sixers woke ’em up and they’ve been feeling it ever since. Suggestion for Orlando HC Stan Van Gundy for next and every season hereafter – no matter how hot Hedo Turkoglu has been up until crunch time, please do not let him attempt the final, clutch shot – you’d have thought the prior game would have showed him that. Stan…everybody on the other team is looking for him at that point…and quite frankly…you have other options…Jameer Nelson perhaps? Tayshawn Prince’s block was awesome and made Hedo look Bado. As for the Hornets…as stated before you better bring the wooden stakes, the garlic, etc. to kill the Spurs…they rise from the grave like no other franchise. However, if Duncan and Ginobili are going to shoot a combined 10-for-33 in the next game, maybe New Orleans won’t need the voodoo from their home crowd in a Game Seven?

15 05 2008
withmalice

“Hedo look Bado…”

Corny, but I like it. Hey, I’m crazy like that.

And I still have the Spurs in 7… but I’m beginning to believe in NO.

15 05 2008
khandor

If you’re around, I’m Live Blogging for the 2nd Half of tonight’s Game 5 between Boston & Cleveland.

Would welcome your participation!

15 05 2008
fouledout

@ wm
i think west also had 5 blocks and 2 steals.. a career night for him..
come on man.. gotta show some love for the hornets.. not a lot of peeps expected them to reach the playoffs much more lead a series 3-2 against the spurs..

@sportsattitude
hedo hit a couple of game winners during the regular season and i think van gundy made the right decision for letting him take the final shot.. the pistons would’ve swarmed d.howard if he took the ball.. and i would definitely choose hedo over rashard lewis. hedo has been more effective than rashard the whole season.. sure, hedo got blocked by tayshaun, but there’s nothing wrong with him taking the clutch play.

18 05 2008
crippknottick

@fouledout

Indeed. Rashard has not been performing like the 110+ million dollars he was signed for. I have high hopes for Turkoglu. He just needs to steadily improve his “in the paint” game, but somewhat hastley though as age is catching up with him.

I also think Dooling needs to be starting PG or at least SG. Nelson gets greedy with the ball and is short. Dooling, slightly taller, is more aggressive and for the most part when Dooling decides to get greedy and take a reckless contested shot he usually makes it.

20 05 2008
Sportsattitude

fouledout – after reflecting more about Hedo in clutch time I guess I’ll relent a bit on his taking the last shot in the Magic’s final two games…but it was fairly obvious from his hotness he was option #1 and I’d have liked to see him drive and kick it out to Nelson rather than take it all the way in the final game of the series…and his jumper in the prior game didn’t thrill me either…but yea, Lewis was not where I would have went either…and keep pushing some love for those Hornets! I’m rooting like heck for ’em to get to the Lakers!

20 05 2008
fouledout

@ crippknottick
and maybe stan van gundy needs to use jj redick more..

@ sportsattitude
too bad the hornets are out man.. i was rooting for them too!

21 05 2008
Sportsattitude

Hornets have the core of their squad back for the next few seasons and their time will come, but you have to tip your hat to the Spurs for putting it together when it counted the most. Their experience certainly was on display in Game 7 and New Orleans learned a lot both from last season and this one – the highs and lows. Hopefully, they’ll be even hungrier next year to push deeper into the playoffs.

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