By Craig Kwasniewski
Time to dust off another edition of MMPG. It's been awhile since the last time I did one of these, basically it's a brief look at the past weekend's action in the NBA.
The Celtics blowout in Game 7 was no surprise: Did anyone really think the Celtics would get knocked out of the playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks? Turns out, neither did the Hawks... jeezus! Talk about a major case of sphincter-itis! Actually this series totally reminded me of the Lakers-Sacto Kings in 2000. The Kings were young and hungry and rode the wave of their home court to push the league-best Lakers to a deciding Game 5. And just like Sunday, the Lakers rolled to a 113-86 win. Bring on LBJ, this will be fun!
Utah owned the glass and still loses to LA: The Jazz DOMINATED the offensive glass 25 to 8 which helped them shoot 22 more field goals than the Lakers. Mix in that Pau Gasol played like a rookie and I'm stunned the Jazz didn't win. If fact, except for a late rally, the Lakers held the Jazz in check all game. This series really comes down to the fact that the Jazz simply can't stop Kobe Bryant. And I don't want to hear anything about the refs "helping" Kobe! A lot of those fouls were because the Jazz were too late to rotate over to defend. It's weird... but a team that does such an exceptional job of containing CP3 simply can't stop Kobe.
One last thing, this might be a stretch but Derek Fisher played Deron Williams so well yesterday that I'm wondering if there's like a whole mentor-student thing there. There's no way in hell that D-Fish could hang with Williams, but he had many key steals and did a decent job of containing him. The 18, 9 and 9 were deceptive numbers, Williams wasn't much of a factor.
Rick Carlisle to the Mavs... really? Hey didn't Dallas just fire a defensive oriented coach that calls all the offensive plays? Can Mavericks fans really put up with the s-l-o-w, predictable and boring style of ball that Carlisle likes to play? And was Carlisle that much better of a coach than Avery Johnson? How many NBA Finals appearances? Exactly!
Spurs need to slow it down! Okay, I only watched portions of the Hornets-Spurs game from a distance in a bar (date night with the wife... believe me I tried!), so I won't pretend to be an expert on Game 1. But what I did see was the Spurs trying to match the NO in an up-tempo game... and they got crushed! The Spurs don't have the athletes to match Chandler, CP3 and West in an up-tempo game. Slow it up and slug it out or this will end real fast.
Pistons - Magic: Not too many thoughts here... But if anything, the Magic should try to use Hedo Turkoglu more. There were moments in the 3rd quarter where his offensive game reminded me of Scottie Pippen, but with a better outside shot. His length and ability to draw fouls while driving to the left of the cup need to be exploited more.
BTW - I used to give all the ex-2002 Sacramento Kings a bunch of crap over the years, but Turkoglu, Stojakovic, Bibby and even C-Webb (with quality in studio analysis) have done a good job to shake their choking reputations this postseason.