No Road Warriors

16 05 2008

Sooner or later, someone’s going to lose a home game… surely there’s a team (besides Detroit) that can win on the road.
For my money, I like LA in game 6 at Utah… and San Antonio in game 7 in New Orleans. Boston goes the distance.

Why?
A very good question. Nothing we’ve seen between San Antonio & New Orleans would indicate any reversal of fortune. And LA/Utah’s been very even.

With regards to the Spurs, I’m not sure I have anything beyond a gut-feeling… I could offer sound reasoning: they have won when they’ve needed to, and the Spurs are simply The Spurs, and historically have been able to win big games. Or that Gregg Popovich is one of only 2 or 3 truly great coaches in the NBA today… but any offered thought process would be to deny the truth: that it’s a visceral reaction.
And it’s not any more difficult than that – nothing can explain the massive turn-arounds thus far this series – home advantage does not equate to a 50 point differential from one court to another.

The Lakers are a different story.
I’m not sure why there’s the huge song-&-dance over Utah’s win in both games 3 and 4. Both were LA’s for the taking, and I’d even go so far as to say that (like game 5 for the Jazz) the Lakers lost them, rather than the Jazz won them.
Yes, the physicality that the Jazz bring to the court is a huge reason why they’ve been so successful over the years… but it’s also one of the main reasons that they won’t win a championship until they develop a little more finesse.
Kobe’s back was good enough to guide the Lakers to a victory in game 5, and the opportunity to get a little more rest prior to the Western Conference Finals will certainly help. In both game 3 & 4, Lakers not named Bryant were far more passive than I’ve seen them at any point this season. Game 5 saw those same Lakers win the game. Game 6 will be the same, and the main reason why the Lakers win their first on the road this series.
Or maybe it’s just bias.

Cleveland are excused – there is an obvious gap between them & Boston – when Boston’s at home.

Boston… talk about an enigma. At least with the Spurs/Hornets they were close in performance/results all year. Nothing can explain the difficulties that the Celtics are experiencing in opponent’s houses. Quite simply, it’s in their heads. But unless they figure it out, it’s a huge flaw in that team.

Why is this happening? Why are teams – good teams – struggling to win on the road?
The answer is that every team still in the competition is flawed. Every team has a hang-up that an opponent can at least attempt to exploit.
Who will win it all? The team that best exploits their opponent’s flaws whilst covering their own. Obvious?
Perhaps.
But only once has any team’s managed to do it for an away game thus far in the Conference semi-finals.
Whether anyone can remains to be seen.

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4 responses

16 05 2008
song pol

I have to disagree with you concerning Utah and LA, probably more wishful thinking than anything though. The Jazz have been in this situation before last year. They were down 3 games to 2 against the Rockets and managed to win game at home and the 7th game in Houston. The Jazz for the 1st time in the series showed signs that they can win at The Staple Center in game 5, but like i said just wishful thinking on my part

16 05 2008
withmalice

Heh… my polar opposite?

Sorry, but I think that the last game just went to prove that the Jazz can’t win in Staples!

16 05 2008
john

This is the main reason why they are the defending champion. If not none of this would have been possible.

I have to admit that I had my fair share of doubts before the game. But in the end, this is what Spurs will always do. Raise their bar when everyone least expect them to do so.

I’m extremely happy that the biggest contributor was Manu. He was just sensational.

If there is one player that the Spurs would need to inspire them in Game 7, in my mind it has to be Obi Wan Ginobili.

But lets forget the Hornets will not give in easily. On their turf they play like they are the Champion. It will be extremely difficult for the Spurs in NO.

Anyway, I’ve posted my own review of the game. I would love to hear your thoughts/opinions of the game as well…..

http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com/2008/05/playoffs-news-gracias-manu-we-have-game.html

And most certainly, a speedy recovery to David West.

17 05 2008
Sportsattitude

We’re all “raised” to regard the home-court advantage worth fighting for regardless of the length of the regular season, always pointing to that mystical Game 7 should it occur. Yet, the pressure of being on your home floor when you’ve won all the other games at home up ’til that point can be crushing. Perhaps there are no truly great teams among the living at this point, perhaps they’re just so even the roar of the home crowd provides the finest of edges…but what has been truly interesting is some of those home court wins have been by wide, wide margins…especially in the Hornets-Spurs series. I hope David West is ready to roll in their Game 7 because it would be not as sweet of a win for the Spurs should they finally breakthrough for a victory at N.O. Arena with him in street clothes…but they won’t give it back, for sure.

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