Saturday, May 13, 2006

NBA Playoffs - Two Game 3's

Two solid game 3s on Friday night, both were fairly entertaining and well-played. My observations from each:

Heat over Nets 103-92
  • The NBA scheduling sucks. The teams that played Tuesday don't play again until Saturday, and the teams that played Wednesday played again Friday. I guess I don't get it. I understand it's for the TV, but it still doesn't make much sense to me.

  • While the reffing with regards to Shaquille O'Neal has been inconsistent (to be kind), you can't overlook the job Jason Collins is doing this series. He's going up against Shaq 1-on-1, and he's always in good position, has drawn charges on Shaq and other Heat players (from good help defense), and has kept Shaq in check. He provides nothing offensively, but he is very, very solid defensively.

  • Hubie Brown is very old, but he is still very good as the color man. He knows the game exceptionally well, he's pretty clear, and can even crack a joke now and then. Granted, there has never been a bad call, because he seems to agree with absolutely every call the refs make, but that's just a small notch against a fine commentator.

  • There's just no way to say this in a good way, but the Nets half-court offense sucks. It sucks badly. Basically, if they don't get anything in transition, they give it to Carter, and then either have a high pick & roll, or they isolate Carter. Eventually, the defense catches on.

  • It seems to me that whenever things are going against the Nets, Vince Carter starts to settle for fadeaway jumpers and stops taking the ball to the hoop. I know there's been the knock that he's soft (which I pretty much agree with), but it more seems that when things are going against the team he gets frustrated and starts settling for fadeaways, and things go from bad to worse. Now, he can make those shots, and does on occasion, but it hurts the Nets long-term.

  • Coming in, I expected to see a useless Gary Payton, but he's still a decent player. Well, he has no outside jumpshot, and his on the ball defense in pretty poor, but he still handles the ball, distributes it, doesn't try to do too much, and is a solid help defender.

  • Heat lead the series 2-1. I would presume that Game 4 is Sunday, but then again, it's probably not smart to presume anything when it comes to NBA scheduling.

Suns over Clippers 94-91
  • Let's just get this out of the way. As good as Tim Thomas has been this postseason, any team that signs him to a big deal is stupid. He's in the perfect spot right now, and he's trying hard since it's the playoffs. He's still a finesse player, doesn't always give best effort (let's be honest, there's a reason the Bulls were willing to pay him to just sit at home). He fits here in Phoenix, but as soon as he goes somewhere else, I expect we'll see more of what we've seen throughout his career. Same goes for Bonzi Wells.

  • One other non-game related thought: At some point, I turned it over to ESPN 2 during the commercial break, and unfortunately Quite Frankly with Stephen A Smith was on. And Smith was interviewing a couple of guys that do Jiu-Jitsu. Uh yeah, let's just say that show is awful.

  • While we're on the subject of announcers, I must admit I'm not a big fan of Bill Walton if he's in a 2-man team. However, the trio of Mike Tirico, Bill Walton, and Steve "Snapper" Jones is very enjoyable. Tirico is one of the best in the business at play-by-play, Walton throws in his great exaggerations, which are actually rather amusing ("Elton Brand represents everything that is right with the NBA. And with the world."), and Jones makes fun of Bill every chance he gets. They're very enjoyable.

  • The Suns are not normally a very good defensive team, but they were solid in Game 3 because they were active. They contested shots, they were active in the passing lanes, and asa a result, the Clippers only got 91 points.

  • At one point in the 4th quarter, Vlad Radmanovic had scored 14 straight points for the Clippers. If you predicted that beforehand, come with me, you're picking out my numbers for a lottery ticket.

  • Interesting move by Mike Dunleavy to play Shaun Livingston over Sam Cassell for much of the 4th quarter. I'm not crazy about the move, but I can see some logic. Livingston was controlling the game, and plus he is a bad matchup for Nash. Livingston is too big and quick for Nash, which he showed a couple of times late. This is obvious, but as long as Livingston stays healthy he'll be like superstar good. Another interesting thought about this decision - maybe Dunleavy is trying to prepare for next year? After all, Cassell is a FA. Food for thought.

  • On a day when the Suns could not get into their offense (7/27 from beyond the arc), and when the "MVP" Steve Nash really struggledwith his shot, they still pull out the 94-91 victory to take the 2-1 series lead. Very nice job by the Suns, and great game for Shawn Marion, who finished with 32 points and 19 rebounds.
On Saturday the Pistons/Cavs have the early game, and then Mavericks play the Spurs as 7 Central on ABC. Hopefully we'll see a continuation of Friday night.

8 comments:

Sports-Aficionado said...

"Very, very unique player. He makes it look real easy and I know how hard it has to be. He's just a blessing for us and this franchise."
-- Heat coach Pat Riley, about Dwyane Wade.

That All There Is To Say And Look Game 3 Was Kinda Close Till Wade Exploded The Last Half On The 4th Quarter

Thanks For The Time Ladies And Gentlemen

Sports-Aficionado said...

"Very, very unique player. He makes it look real easy and I know how hard it has to be. He's just a blessing for us and this franchise."
-- Heat coach Pat Riley, about Dwyane Wade.

That All There Is To Say And Look Game 3 Was Kinda Close Till Wade Exploded The Last Half On The 4th Quarter

Thanks For The Time Ladies And Gentlemen

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