Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Random Stroll Through The NBA Playoffs

Poor Amar'e, or however he's spelling it these days. Gone off to the big city and ended up with essentially the same result. Oh sure, the Suns didn't even make the playoffs without him. But maybe that's better than getting stomped. The New York fans and media can be just a little tougher than their Phoenix counterparts...

The Knicks look about 3 bricks shy of a load. One of the things they need is a real NBA center, which as anyone in Phoenix who's been paying attention for the last 40 years or so can attest, is very hard to come you've got two potent offensive machines that demand the ball and paying an aging Chauncey Billups $14 mil next year to try and make sure they're both kept happy seems a bit excessive...throw in the obvious fact that Mike D'Antoni still doesn't seem to think defense is very important... should be an interesting off season in NYC. Hey, do you think Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando now?

The Heat remain a very talented bunch of individuals. Not a team, though. Not yet. And I don't think they listen to their coach at all.

Boston is old, smart, and nasty. Which, given that they are also talented, may be enough. Plus they won't ever quit, which I'm not sure you can say about Miami.

The Bulls look very good. But beating either Boston or Miami in a seven game series is still probably a stretch for them.

I didn't think Atlanta had a chance against the Magic. But living in Phoenix I shouldn't be surprised when superior talent finds a way to lose...

Boy, the Spurs sure got old overnight. Best record in the West and now DOA against the Grizzlies. Whoever finds Richard Jefferson's game please ship it freight collect to San Antonio. No need to hurry, though. Not now. Zach Randolph is a beast but Memphis's season ends this round.

The Lakers also showed their age and a certain softness against New Orleans. And Pau Gasol is playing like a European again. All finesse and whining. But they still have three very good "bigs" and Kobe. And Ron Artest can lock down just about anybody in the league.

At the moment, Kevin Durant looks like the best player in the West. Now if someone would just tell Russell Westbrook that, the Thunder might have an easier time of it. (Just a thought, but it's usually a good idea to get the ball to your best player when the game's on the line and not just chuck it up yourself. This will matter more and more as they get deeper into the playoffs.)

The Mavs remind me of the Suns of old--great regular season records and then finding some way to lose in the playoffs. I don't expect that to change against the Lakers, however many points Dirk scores.

The Blazers are a fun team to watch, but will they ever be healthy enough to make a serious run? Brandon Roy has somehow ended up with my knees, and Greg Oden is Sam Bowie redux.

As expected, Phoenix not making the playoffs has caused the local media to lapse into teary nostalgia for Colangelo pere et fils. Remind me again how many championships the Suns won when Jerry was running things? Now tell me how great his kid Bryan is doing in Toronto...Uh, huh.

Regarding the Suns, the elephant in the room is that come playoff time, Steve Nash, for all of his talents, is a defensive liability. He simply cannot stay with the younger, quicker, more athletic point guards that playoff caliber teams usually have. And Grant Hill can't guard everybody on the other team...

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