by Brett Edwards
Better late than never, here's a quick look at what I expect to see in the Conference Finals.
Spurs vs. Jazz: The outcome in Game 1 of this series was to be expected. After all, you had the Jazz coming off a series against a bunch of sore losers who play ZERO defense, rolling into San Antonio to face one of the best defensive teams in the league. So the result was a huge early lead by the Spurs, followed by a fourth quarter rally by the Jazz, made possible by the SPurs playing only a day and a half after closing out the Suns.
A combination of Basketbawful's strong arguments and seeing the Jazz execute in the playoffs has made me appreciate what they do, and regardless of who they beat to get there, you have to respect them for getting to the Conference Finals. All season everyone figured that it was a three team race between the Spurs, Suns, and Mavs to get there, and props to Utah for doing what the Suns and Mavs failed to. But that's as far as they'll get. The Spurs do everything that the Jazz do, and do it better. I'll be surprised if the Jazz get more than one game in this series. SPURS IN 5.
Pistons vs. Cavaliers: The Cavaliers are a one man team. This is not Earth-shattering news, but it was made even more apparent in their last series against the Nets. Cleveland is an abomination with Lebron on the bench. They managed to score only 8 points in the third quarter of Game 6, allowing the Nets to erase all but one point of their 15-point halftime lead. Why bring this up? Because the Cavs are going against the Pistons, who are the most balanced team left in the playoffs.
The Pistons got bored after being up 3-0 on the Bulls, but in classic Pistons style, they turned it on and closed out Chicago on the road. The only way the Cavs even compete in this series is if Detroit loses focus, which I don't see happening the way that Cleveland played against them last year. I see Lebron having one ridiculous game against the Pistons like he did in the regular season, but that's it. PISTONS IN 5.