"I Can’t Do It"


Utah pulled it out of course. They gave Houston fits with the pick and roll, essentially it is a three headed “Pick Your Poison”. Either Williams is going to the basket, or he is hitting Boozer on the roll. If you’re sucked in trying to stop those two he is going to kick it out to Okur for a three. And his other option is to hit a slashing Kirilenko. When Utah was running that down the stretch it just felt like they were going to score everytime. They outhustled the rest of the Rockets. Tracy McGrady did everything he could tonight. This wasn’t him taking bad shots and trying to get 40 points to lead his team. This was T-Mac dropping 29 and 13 and still coming up on the short end of the stick. It was tough to watch the postgame news conference. Very disappointed in Yao Ming, I for one think he flat out choked. His team needed him and he had the worst 29 point game in the history of basketball. Deron Williams showed that he is going to be one of the top PG’s in the game. This is his second year, first in the playoffs and in a Game 7 he has 20 and 14 and leads his team to victory. Very impressive.

With that being said….prediction time.

Utah vs. Golden State: Well it’s the pick that made me a “genius” against the team who just won a game 7 on the road. Looking at Golden State they had advantages over Dallas that they will no longer have against Utah. Kenny Smith made a great point about this tonight and I fully agree. Deron Williams is a big strong guard just like BD. Guys like AK, Derek Fisher, Giricek were all up to the task of guarding T-Mac…they can handle Golden State’s perimeter. The question mark is can Okur and Boozer keep up with Harrington and Jackson? That may be the only advantage they have. But the thing about Utah is that they impose their tempo and they play their game. If you looked at the Houston game they just kept running their stuff. They showed an immense amount of composure and maturity on the road in a game seven. My biggest question is; who is going to guard Carlos Boozer? Boozer emasculated Yao Ming tonight and he is 7″7. He is not Dirk; he is a legitimate low-post threat, they might as well call the guy Carlos Bruiser. Biedrins does not have a shot guarding him. And then there is Okur who on paper should play a lot better this series. Sounds like I’m going with the Jazz right?

Wrong. Utah struggled with a poor offensive team in Houston. Golden State is a team that has a lot of different weapons. Al Harrington will probably remember how to play basketball in this series. They move the ball beautifully, they play together and they are playing hard. Remember this; there is absolutely no pressure on either of these teams, but at the end of the day there is more on Utah than the Warriors. They are playing loose and they are just going out there and playing basketball. With their style of play, as tough as it is to win in Utah I think they can get one of the first two. I’ll give the Warriors the same rules; if it goes seven, Utah is going to win. I think that they just have too much for Utah to handle, Don Nelson has something up his sleeve for Jerry Sloan. Warriors in 6.

San Antonio vs. Phoenix : San Antonio has the L’s best D while Phoenix has the L’s best O. Both of these teams are on a mission; finals or bust. They both had their bubbles burst by the Mavs last year. In my opinion, this is one of the more dangerous Spurs teams in the last couple years. Not only do they have that defensive ability but they have shown the ability to score this year. Add to that their experience and you can never quite count them out. It is my honest opinion that Tim Duncan cannot be guarded, especially by no one on this Phoenix team. Kurt Thomas had already been schooled by Duncan and D’Antoni would be a fool to put Amare on him. In their last matchup Phoenix had to pick their poison; either Duncan inside or him kicking it out to open shooters.

The key to the series is going to be whether or not San Antonio can contain the Suns and their pace. They don’t have to slow it down, all they have to do is contain it. The Spurs are a deceptively great team…because on paper it looks like they are not that good (thus a lot of people picking Denver) but they have so many of the intangibles and a great coach that it takes them to the next level. Phoenix is going to need a big series from Amare. Last time these teams played San Antonio was more than happy to allow Diaw and Amare to brick elbow jumpers.

It is also my opinion that this is going to be the series that defines Steve Nash, Mike D’Antoni and the Phoenix Suns. They play a style that a lot of people title beautiful but then say it cannot win a championship. It remains to be seen. But I am going to go with them for a few reasons. One, I predicted Heat/Suns in October. Two, they have home court and my last reason is because Greg Anthony picked the Spurs. I mean, everyone and their mom knows that Golden State vs. Phoenix would be phenomenal for basketball. Suns in 7

16 days away from one of the bigger Draft Lotteries in the history of the L. Apparently 84 underclassmen declared for the draft….they do realize that there are only 60 picks right? Add to that all of the seniors and such…there are gonna be a lot of broken hearts on draft night.

The First Round of the Playoffs has been completed. So far, what have the defining moments been? We haven’t really had any buzzer-beaters or classic games yet. We have seen brilliant play from JKidd, the re-emergence of Baron Davis and the bitter sorrow of Tracy McGrady. Raucous crowds with matching t-shirts are officially “so last year”; thanks for trying Orlando and Miami. I don’t count Golden State because of that one game where not everyone wore their shirts. As much as I have enjoyed the playoffs…I feel a little empty. But I have a feeling that this next round is about to make up for it. The East has to give me something.