The NBA playoffs are here. I was excited already, but I went over the edge when I watched the clip below. I haven’t been this pumped since I found out Simon and Garfunkel were coming to New Zealand. Yeah, you heard me right. And I know, that was only about a month ago. But if this doesn’t move you, you officially have no soul:[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuhC_GcG8c0&feature=related%5D
In the space of two minutes, the above advertisement establishes that the playoffs have a long and rich history, Shaq is very funny, Dwayne Wade does a good Mickey Mouse impression and Kevin Garnett would be the worst person to be stuck in an elevator with. It’s amazing!
Below are some random observations from some of the playoff action so far.
1. The Spurs looked really lost against the Mavericks.
The Mavs bench played out of their minds, but what really impressed me was the small white dude from Portugal (Barea – picture below). He completely stayed in Parker’s face the whole game. Normally players under 6 foot are a liability in this league, but when you have the kind of foot speed to stay in front of Tony Parker, you should be on court as much as possible. Parker’s game is based almost entirely on speed, getting to the hoop or kicking to the wing for the three. If he can’t beat you off the dribble, I’m not sure he can do much else. He really, really does not want to shoot the three.
Duncan was solid as usual, but he’s not the guy he was. It seemed the Spurs could have used him more rather than rely on the drive and kick option, but that may be sign that he is as old as he says he is. I’m not sure you want Parker as your go to guy. I think this series will be close.
2. Did Miami really just get owned by Atlanta ? 90-64?
64 points is an abysmal total for 1951. In 2009, it should be an automatic suspension from the league. I know the Hawks are technically favorites for this series, but it sort of seems like Wade should be able to carry this on his own, especially if he can get preferential treatment from the refs. Actually, the Hawks took Boston to seven games last year and, having watched one game from that series, Atlanta seemed legitimately scary at home. The crowd reminded me of a High School, the audience and team would both explode like a firecrackers after Josh Smith dunks. It’s weird but Atlanta just seems like a playoff type basketball team, embracing their underdog status and pretty much wilfully creating an atmosphere of desperation. If they can replicate that away from home, and not get bothered by favourable calls toward Wade, they might just do it.
3. I’m not sure that ring-holder Sean Marks has ever actually made it off the bench for any other playoff series, but yesterday was almost certainly his debut for meaningful minutes in the post season.
Uh oh. 3 fouls in seven minutes. Two points, three rebounds. This is bad news for New Zealand, I guess. But really worse for New Orleans, who actually have to play this guy. Not a good sign. It’s also not good when your opponent’s point guard (Billups) hits 8 three pointers. That usually means you lose, which is what happened to New Orleans , Nuggets winning 113-84.
4. Lebron James will destroy Detroit. Not the Pistons, but actually the whole city of Detroit.