Weekend Recap (Sat. & Sun.)
- Detroit just did not seem too interested in this game from the get-go. They put up very little resistance defensively (Bucks shot 60.3% from field) which pretty much gift-wrapped the victory for the Bucks.
- Redd was just on fire hitting shots in a variety of ways, frustrating Rip Hamilton in the process.
- The Pistons shot the ball fairly well (48.6%), got to the line 15 more times than the Bucks and kept the board battle tight. What they didn't do, is play anywhere near their vaunted reputation on the defensive end: they gave up 48 points in the paint & let the Bucks' reserves of Kukoc, Smith & Mo Williams shoot a combined 16 for 19 from the floor.
- This game was an aberration and the Pistons will quickly forget it & get back to their intense ways for the rest of this series.
- This game was a tale of two halves. The Cavs looked real sharp on the offensive end in the 1st half, thanks to Lebron, but they slowly started to cool off in the 3rd quarter (they only scored 15 points in 3rd). While the Wiz just did vice versa of the Cavs, and really exploded in the 2nd half.
- Even though Lebron was going off in the 1st half (especially behind the 3 pt line), I thought the Wizards again did the right thing by sagging off him. Lebron eventually started missing outside shots in the 2nd half and the Wizards were doing a good job discouraging deep forays into the paint. Lebron had 12 3 pt. attempts--the Wiz will take this every game.
- The Cavs continue to struggle to take pressure off Lebron on offense. Flip was solid last night & Big Z was alright, but the Cavs are not getting a good overall effort by their role players, especially their outside shooters.
- The Cavs shot 50 % from the floor but they got to the line 15 less times than the Wiz and they gave up 14 offensive rebounds. Although, the crusher had to be 22 turnovers.
- Jared Jeffries really impressed me with his overall game--11 rebounds and solid defense on Lebron. He's really escalating his value on the free agent market this summer.
- The Nets were just superb on defense in the 1st half--they were rotating so well and made the Pacers really work for everything on offense (Pacers held to 37 points in 1st half). Pacers were done in again by foul trouble--O'Neal was again saddled with fouls and only managed to play 31 minutes.
- Vince Carter finally focused and put a complete game together-- 9 for 15, 6 rbs., 7 assists, 6 steals & only 2 3pt attempts.
- Jermaine O'Neal needs to find a way to stay out of foul trouble because when he has been on the floor, he has been devastating on the post. He was again on Saturday, but had to lay off a few key plays defensively cause of the fouls; Vince had a big drive late in the game that O'Neal was afraid to challenge.
- Krstic was just deadly from the perimeter. Everytime the Pacers tried to claw their way back in the 2nd half, Krstic seemed to stem the tide with another outside swish.
- Croshere's shooting was the only reason that the Pacers were even close in the 1st half. I think when Krstic is matched up with Croshere, Carlisle needs to have Austin drive to the hoop--Croshere has an underrated first step & with his shooting prowess Nenad needs to be stuck to him.
- 22 turnovers & 42 points in the paint given up did not help the Pacers' cause either
- I think the Pacers have to consider a zone or a sagging man2man, the Nets are not a great 3 pt. shooting team and I think anyone would encourage Vince & Jefferson to be perimeter shooters rather than slashers anyday. Also, leaving Kidd unattended 20 feet & out is a wise decision.
- What is there more to say about the Bulls' effort than has already been said. Superlatives abound with this young squad that just keeps putting constant pressure on the Heat offensively & defensively.
- The Bulls played their usual gritty defense for the entire game (holding the Heat to 41.6 %) and came out looking real sharp offensively--exposing the Heat's porous perimeter defense once again. The Bulls penchant for driving got them to the line 31 times to the 5 times of the Heat.
- Although Chicago seemed to be in total control the 1st half, they were only up by 4 going into halftime, something that should have been mighty encouraging to Miami.
- Nocioni was his normal aggressive self on both ends, Gordon was drilling outside shots per usual & Hinrich continued to show his emerging Nash-like game but with one key difference: he plays defense, extremely well, I might add. His defense on Wade again was just superb, I can't remember anyone doing as good a job on him in the NBA as Hinrich has in this series.
- I expect Shaq to get involved early & often next game--I also predict that the Heat will get the benefit of the calls at home which should keep Shaq's fouls down and send the Heat to the line more than 5 times.
- Once again the KIngs were the aggressor, taking it right at the Spurs from the start. Never relinquishing that intensity, rolling to a decisive thumping. I have to admit, I am not a huge Adelman fan, but he has his guys playing with such passion, even on the defensive end which really surprises me. Bonzi was an absolute beast last night--25 pts. on 9-11 shooting & 17 rebs.
- I never had a real issue with Adelman as a offensive mind; it his laissez-faire approach to defense that turns me off. His offensive gameplan of attacking the paint with Wells & Artest has been fantastic. Wells & Artest are probably the strongest players at their respective positions in the league. They can just manhandle any opposing 2 or 3, liked they've done with Bowen & Ginobili.
- The Kings' offense is inverted where they like to post up their wings and have a center who floats out to 20 feet. Artest & Wells need to be double-teamed a lot but its hard to double off of Miller and bring extra size down in the paint. Having Bibby spread out on the perimeter is a deterrent as well. This is why you see a team as good as the Spurs defensively having problems. Kings shot 50% & outrebounded the Spurs by 6 (11 off. rebs.)
- The Kings played pretty solid defense again, choosing again to single-team Duncan with some selective doubles thrown in and it paid off again--the Spurs shot only 3 for 13 from 3 pt. land, this is something the Kings have to keep up the rest of the series.
- Spurs need to consider running more sets for Manu--set some screens for him, especially up high. Pop should even consider letting him run the point so he can handle the ball more & get into the flow better. Pop does like to let Manu run the point in late game situations in the past, so this is no big deal.
- Pretty uneventful game in my opinion. Low-scoring defensive battle that the Grizzlies just absolutely blew in the end.
- Another good defensive performance by Memphis (Dallas shot 41.2%) wasted away by not enough firepower on offense--Memphis did have 6 players in double figures, but when Chucky Atkins is your leading scorer you need to get busy in the off-season procuring someone who can get his own offense consistently.
- Mike Miller has been a major disappointment in this series, he only got off 7 field goal attempts in Game 3 & was cold from long-distance again.
- The Mavs are doing the little things that have been absent from their previous playoffs appearences like defense & rebounding-- Memphis shot 40.8% & the Mavs had 17 off. rebounds.
- Same old script, nothing really too much to add about this series. Basically, the Nuggets can't shoot, end of story. I said it would be a big issue at the start of the series, I just figured they would shoot well one game and steal a game or two. They best better turn Kenyon into Quentin Richardson this summer.
- Wow. That one will be stored away in the memory vault for a long time. Boy, the Suns blew that one (well, maybe the refs helped them blow the game). Nevertheless, an instant classic playoff clash where Kobe hit two improbable shots with time winding down. The lay-in in regulation might have been tougher--he had to change the arc at the last second over Diaw & he gauged the arc perfectly.
- The Suns uncharacteristicly kept the rebound margin tight, won points in the paint battle 52-42, held the Lakers to 44.2% from the floor. They also did another admirable job defending Kobe on the perimeter not giving him easy looks. They did all this & still lost.
- The 2nd quarter in this series seems to be a bugaboo for the Suns--they only had 15 points in Game 4--they also could not pull away from the Lakers with Kobe on the bench with foul trouble most of the period.
- Again, the Suns just seem to be missing shots they usually hit. I think the Lakers defense has been solid in this series, but even so, the Suns just are simply missing jumpers that they usually drill. Phoenix--43.8% & held under 100 points again.
- The Lakers still are not pounding the ball into Odom enough for my liking. As good as Kobe is, I feel the Lakers have functioned better in this series when they run their offense from the low post area. Either Odom or Brown get good shots off cause of their size advantage vs. the Suns, or Odom or Walton create great looks with their passing.