I apologize ladies and gents, I had to soak in the rest of Day 1 with my people. Things got heated over the rest of the day, especially during the Miami/Chicago game. Here are my thoughts.
-Luol Deng pretty much had the game of his life. The referees were terrible. No bias or anything, but there were some legit terrible calls going on. There were three questionable ones on Shaq (but again why the bleep is he trying to take charges). I find it absurd how Jon Barry kept saying how Seflosha was doing such a great job, and quickly took it back when D Wade started busting im in the 4th quarter. By the way, believe we’ll be talking about D-Wade and his 4th quarter abilities for a long time. All in all, if you’re the Heat you can’t be too mad about this. You’ve been here before. All you have to do is get one game in Chicago, you didn’t play particularly well, had both your stars in foul trouble and only lost by 5. For Chicago, a win is a win. Ben Wallace had that huge tip…but can their rookies (Sefolosha and Tyrus) be consistent? If they get no production from those two they could be in trouble. They did a good job today bringing energy, being annoying gnats…but Pat Riley is going to be ready for them the 2nd game. It’s all about who is going to make adjustments.
-IF WE DONT GET OUT THE FIRST ROUND ITS ON ME. T-Mac is back. He absolutely took over the game in the second half and Utah had no answer. Derek Fisher? Please. Gordon Giricek? I laugh in your face. T-Mac took on all comers and was unstoppable. He had 16 in the 3rd quarter; the Jazz had 11. As crazy as he is, Bill Walton had some pretty good points in that Utah absolutely crapped the bed in the 3rd. To win on the road in the playoffs, you’ve got to come out in third and send another statement. They didn’t and eventually succumbed to T-Mac and Yao. The one thing that Houston did that I liked was switching Yao and Chuck Hayes. Instead of the Okur/Yao mismatch, they put Yao on Boozer. That neutralized Carlos to a point, its tough to score on a 7’7 guy in the post and Yao can challenge those mid-range jumpers with ease. Chuck Hayes could then frustrate Okur. Excellent job by the Rockets and JVG. The bad sign for Utah is that the Rockets shot 9/27 from three…with Luther Head going 1/6 (rare). Then again, the Jazz can’t feel too bad as Okur/Boozer won’t be going 6/31 combined too many more times.
The turning point of the game was Derek Fisher’s blown lay up/Yao’s cherrypicking dunk. That was amazing. Derek Fisher just looks like he sucks when he isn’t in a Laker uniform and minus a headband.
Orlando tried to put Grant Hill on Chauncey…but that backfired in two ways early. One in wore Grant out and secondly it put Jameer Nelson on Rip Hamilton. All Rip did was come off screens and shoot over him. Sheed was on fire early which is key for the Pistons, when he is on it makes everything easier for Detroit. Like I said though, Detroit made Dwight Howard earn everything. 3-11 from the line…he makes his free throws they go to OT. I’m not going to put too much value into this as Detroit went into cruise control. Orlando plays hard, they play good D, but they turn the ball over too much (20 TO’s) and they don’t have enough weapons to make it happen, cap’n.