- Well maybe I should have gone with the others who predicted a sweep (The Grizz did blow Game 3, though). The Grizzlies played like they knew the series was over & it showed in their defense which had been pretty solid throughout the series.
- Again the Mavs did the things that have eluded them historically in the playoffs--defense & rebounding. They held the Grizzlies to 41.8% & outrebounded the Grizzlies by 13.
- The Mavs have definitely been the most impressive team in the playoffs so far. They are now a legit defensive-ready ball club which has been missing in the past. Dallas better be careful who they wish for though: the Kings can cause the same problems to the Mavs that are currently hurting the Spurs. Wells & Artest can abuse the Mavs' wings the same way they are doing to Bowen & Manu.
- I said before the Grizzlies' main problem is their overall offensive firepower. And it was exposed for everyone to see vs. the Mavs. This team needs an explosive scoring wing player who create shots. They also need to make a decision about Wright & their center spot. They are also getting old at point guard quickly. Not good times for Jerry West this summer.
- I have to hand it to the Bucks, they really challenged the Pistons in this game when I expected the Pistons to get back to their typical no-nonsense playoff ways. Maybe if the Bucks did not have 16 TOs to 6 by Detroit they might have even pulled off another surprise win.
- I think Flip should be a little concerned about the Pistons' defense. Two games in a row where they didn't play anywhere near their vaunted capablity after two very impressive displays at home. Bucks shot 55% from the floor, added 50 points in the paint, 19 fast break points & won the rebound battle 37-33. These are not the numbers that Detroit should give up.
- The Bucks were done in by turnovers and fouls again--Pistons went to the line 13 more times.
- I'll be watching carefully how the Pistons respond in Game 5, especially defensively.
- The Nuggets came out determined to push the tempo early and it seemed to benefit them for the 1st half. Clippers were helping matters with turnovers again--the game was looking like a repeat of Game 3. But the wheels fell off in the 3rd quarter when the Clippers defense clamped down on Melo better than they did early on & the Nuggets' typical shooting eventually caught up with them.
- The Clippers kept the Nuggets in the game with 17 TOs and letting up 14 offensive rebounds. This has been a recurring problem for the Clips in the series, not sure if it will transfer over into next series. It could just have to do with the Nugs' ability to miss shots like nobody else, hence creating more offensive rebound opportunities. The Nugs also have a cadre of natural offensive rebounders that help them.
- Livingston & Maggette gave the Clips a nice boost of the bench. Livingston was just rifling passes everywhere (14 assists). He really does rifle the ball too. His passes seem to have more velocity than everyone else's. Maggette came in and provided instant offense once again which sparked the Clips in the 2nd half.
- Shooting. More a massive lack of it, was the main reason the Nuggets had no chance in the playoffs. This has been their major sore spot for about 3 years straight. They tried to make a run at two-guards two summers ago and struck out. But instead of sitting on their money, they wasted it on Kenyon when they already had a player very similar to him, Nene. If they would have a sat on their money for a year, they could have been a player last summer when there was a bevy of sweet-shooting two-guards: Allen, Joe Johnson, Mobley, Redd. Major blunder, Kiki. The bad thing is the Nuggets don't have a first round pick and they don't have much more than the mid-level exception (about 5 million) this summer. They must do something with Kenyon, and it must return a shooting guard someway.
- It seems a lot of people are focusing on the Nugs' chemistry woes or Martin not playing very much as a reason they lost. Forget about it. It has all to do with their shooting. Period. Martin would not have made a difference in that. Plus, the Nuggets' record with Martin in the lineup this year was not that wonderful anyways.
- Also, please stop bashing Melo. This series outcome had nothing to do with him. Shooting (seeing a pattern) had everything to do with the outcome. The Clippers had 2 to 3 guys close to Melo when he had the ball just like the Spurs did last year. This defensive gameplan was a no-brainer. Melo's playoff experience again was miserable (like I predicted at the start of the year & 1st round) because he has absolutely no pressure releases on the offensive end, besides maybe Camby to a degree. Melo's struggles in the playoffs has everything to do with no surronding shooting. End of story.