Spurs 0; Hornets 1
It is a very rare occurrence to observe Chris Paul carve up the lane for either a dish and dunk to David West or lay it up making it look oh – so – easy. I remember feeling that way watching only 3 players in my life: Michael Jordan, John Stockton and Hector Calma.
Chris Paul makes it four. He dishes. He weaves. He lofts and passes and dunks. He is THE MAN to watch this year and many years to come. Built like Baron Davis but crafty as Stockton, with Tim Hardaway crossover plus head and shoulder fakery that makes many a defender dizzy with confusion, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll shower points on you faster than you realize heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s already laying it up. Will he dish? Will he pass? Will he dash? Either way, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got you.
And last Saturday, he got the Spurs, and they look like they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have an answer. So two points: Tony Parker will have to sacrifice his offense to just do nothing but defend against CP3 (but is that even possible?) And the second, Tim Duncan is going to need help containing David West and his frequent rolls to the lane for near unguarded layins and dunks. But again, with Horry looking retired and Fabricio consistently a step too late, help might not be available.
I almost wrote down the Spurs as sure Western Conference winners but from the way the Hornets manhandled them, surety has once again proved misplaced in this league. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m actually going to go Hornets 4 – Spurs 3.
Detroit 1, Orlando 0
In WizardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fashion, Detroit has gone to the press with their opinions on Dwight Howard, which is entertaining for us fans, but doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really do too much for the game of basketball as IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d imagine.
At any rate, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m less pumped about this than the Lakers – Jazz situation (1-0), but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m writing about it anyway just so I can try and find something exciting about it. The truth? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard. Chauncey and Hamilton et al remind me of the Spurs. They have a good system, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been working for them for years and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably going to work now. Orlando? They got Dwight Howard, and.. thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s it. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d want to say theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve also got Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis, and of course MIP Hedo Turkoglu, but for some reason IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not excited about that. My money is on teams with a system, rather than a team with players, no matter how special they are. And so with that, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going Detroit 4, Orlando 2.
Atlanta 3; Boston 4
I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s too much to ask the youngest, worst record playoff team in the NBA to win 4-3 against the leagueÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best, but then again it was considered too much to ask for them to even win one, let alone bring it to Game 7. So was I hoping against hope to see Atlanta pull one off? Partly yes, because of the underdog factor, and partly no, because I know theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not better than Boston, and I want to see Boston go all the way.
My primary thoughts here are that Boston doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go for the jugular as much as they should, which is something they need to do when they go up against the better teams. Is it a case of too many superstars? Are #34, #5 or #20 second guessing themselves? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mindless for me to think Atlanta couldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve stretched it the way they did, Joe Johnson or no Joe Johnson. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sad that the only game I got to watch was Game 7, and it turned out to be a blowout. So much so that I turned the TV off by the end of the 3rd quarter. From what little I saw, Boston seems to be a jumpshooting, shotblocking team. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m looking towards round 2 against Cleveland to learn a little more about whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s considered the Ã¢â‚¬ËœNBAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s BestÃ¢â‚¬Ëœ.
Houston 2; Utah 4
Houston has got to be one of the most hardluck teams in the league. With Yao gone, Rafer Alston followed in Game 6, and their chances were pretty much gone from there on.
I watched this one and Tracy started like a house on fire but was quickly doused the whole of the 3rd quarter, not even getting the ball. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure, but that looked like a defeated man right there. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 29 years old now, and from the looks of the 4th quarter he looked like he was going 40.
What can I say thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not on every one elseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mind after that? He just has to hang in there one more year, keep healthy and take care of his back, and maybe with Yao and Alston theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll finally skip to my lou further on in the playoffs, or at least further than the 1st round. I mean, please, the NBAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best winning streak team deserves it.
Tune in tomorrow for more.