Fear the Suns

The Phoenix Suns played like NBA Champions when they defeated the tenacious Lakers in OT, 126-118, in their 2nd straight elimination game. The series is now tied at 3-3. The deciding game is going to be played in Phoenix, and if the Suns continue their outstanding play and feed off the hometown crowd, the Lakers are goners.

Should LA fall, the rest of the surviving Western teams have cause for alarm. The Clipps? Hell no, they don’t have a chance against the Suns team I watched play earlier. The Spurs and Mavs…these teams can beat the Suns, especially the defending champs, but it’ll be a long series.

With Raja Bell suspended for one game, the Suns entered the match teetering on the brink of an early playoff exit. But Phoenix showed class, grit, composure, and of course their famed firepower to overcome Kobe Bryant’s tremendous 50-point performance. The heart-pounding game deserves to be included in the NBA’s Hardwood Classics for sheer basketball drama.

I wasn’t a Suns fan before this game. Now I am. Let’s see if LA can give Phoenix a dose of its own medicine in hostile territory. With Kobe putting up Jordan-esque performaces, they surely can — but they’ll need a reinvigorated Suns team to cooperate.

Postscript. The New Jersey Nets ran the Pacers out of their own turf, 96-90, thereby eliminating Indiana from the playoff picture. The Miami Heat did the same to the Chicago Bulls, 113-96; Shaq seemed to be his old dominant self, scoring 30 points and hauling down 20 caroms.

Playoffs Heating Up…But of Course!

Quite a lame title, really — as the going gets tougher and as the title contenders get fewer, nobody expects the NBA Playoffs to slip into a yawn-inducing affair. Nobody.

Maybe you can attribute the unglamorous title to rookie jitters. Phillip Kimpo II (aka Corsarius of Slip of the Pen and Crimson Crux) here, new writer for the country’s spankin’ new Basketball Exchange. And though it’s a bit late, here’s my own take on the Playoffs.

The East

What do you get when you smash a muscle car into a deer? Roadkill. That’s precisely what happened when the Pistons made mincemeat of the Bucks. Question is, will they repeat their overwhelming performance when they face their next two challengers? Yes, versus either the Cavs or the Wizards. Partly yes, when it comes to the Nets or the Heat. Partly, because they won’t be as overwhelming as before. I’d say the Pistons will win the Eastern Finals series in no less than six games.

I said the Nets or the Heat, because I’m betting that these teams would dispose of their rivals in the 1st round. Despite two losses to the Pacers, the Nets are still the team that posted a huge surge in the late season. Predicting Miami’s win over the Bulls is a tough act for this writer, as I’ve been a Bulls loyalist for 16 years. I do hope I’ll eat my words, but the Heat are simply the better team.

The West

Despite inflicting a couple of losses on the defending champs, the Kings still don’t have the experience needed to beat the veteran Spurs. On the other hand, we can expect San Antonio to race to the NBA Finals to meet the Beast of the East, but not without some challenge from the Mavs in the 2nd round. It’ll be either the surprising Clippers, Lakers, or Suns that they’ll meet in the Western Finals, and they’ll manage to get through.

Kobe Bryant’s been playing like a mad dog recently, breaking the hearts of Phoenix fans. While the money’s still on the Suns and the MVP-bound(?) Nash to recover and win the series, I’m beginning to think that Kobe won’t be denied. Hey, a Lakers-Clippers showdown on the Staples Center should be interesting, after all.

What's up with the Suns?

Most coaches agree that for the most part, you only have to maintain a decent score throughout the game. The only time a lead really counts is during the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, where you go all or nothing.

I agree. I’ve seen teams roar to 20 point leads leading into halftime, losing half by the start of the 4th, then BAMMM they’re chasing the lead coming into the last two. Those last two minutes are where it’s at.

The Playoffs I think, is your last two minutes of sorts for the whole NBA season. You got guys going boom boom boom all regular season, then come into the last stretch frantically checking their pockets for any ammo left.

And now, let’s talk SUNS.

Continue reading “What's up with the Suns?”

Brackets, anyone?

The obligatory pre-first post introduction: Hi, I’m NBA Addict, delinquent blogger, and (duh) NBA Addict. Had my *forced* hiatus when my office firewall decided to ban any and all URL’s with the word “blog” in it. Fortunately, this site does not have it anywhere, so here I am. Ãœ Now on with the entry…

Setting up brackets is always the ultimate test for a supposed junkie of any sport. Predicting who will win which matchup is best left to so-called experts, but no one gets it right… so what’s the point in making one, you ask? Bragging rights, of course! And if you gamble, a little extra for your wallet. 😉 And without further ado, here are my picks for the first round:

Western Conference

Picking San Antonio to win over the Kings is practically a no-brainer, and I can’t imagine Memphis getting out of the first round with their history of zero playoff game wins, although stranger things have happened. Kobe has been super, but his teammates have been anything but, so the Suns should claim the series. Talent-level wise, I’d like to pick Denver over LA Clips, and they definitely have potential to beat the Clips, but they’ve been slumping as of late, and banged-up to boot. But I’ll make them the obligatory “underdog” call.

NBA Addict’s take: Spurs, Mavs, Suns, and Denver advance.

Eastern Conference

Pistons and Heat are automatic picks, but the Pistons will get their win faster. Indiana will give the Nets fits, but… hmm. I’ll book Indiana on that matchup. LBJ, IMO, will have to eat more rice (and less of his nails, forgoshsakes) and wait next year for a taste of the second round. Just gut feel.

NBA Addict’s take: Pistons, Heat, Pacers, and Wizards advance.

What’s your take? Leave your comments before the playoffs start on Sunday!