5/31/2005

Visions of angels

A note before we start... sorry about the lack of update last night. I really didn't feel like writing about the NBA. I wrote about some other stuff, though, so it's not like I was avoiding writing completely.

Implosion
The above being said, it's not "Panic in Piston town!" for me. Yes, they did fall apart down the stretch and despite that ten minute stint (6:00 Q3 to 8:00 Q4) where they allowed about ten points, they weren't that good all game. But this weak game did happen to coincide with a game where Wade was hitting just about all of his jumpers, where Shaq had a PPS of 1.85 on 13 shots and where Rasual Butler hit three triples in three tries. Granted, the Pistons' play had a bit to do with the first two and I'm not saying they'll never happen again this series. But if the Pistons are going to play that bad and the Heat are going to play that good and the Pistons are only going to lose by 9, that's not too terrible to me. Like after game three of last round, where the Pistons were also down 2-1 (except then it was on the road), I again feel that the Pistons could randomly roll off three straight. Yes, the Heat are much better than the Pacers... but I know the Pistons are much better than what they showed in games two and three. The Pistons may get a lot of T's, but they don't tend to get a pair of them that late in the game. The Pistons may shoot bad from time to time, but Chauncey doesn't tend to shoot a PPS of 0.95 on... 19 shots. Basically, what I'm saying is that the team's inconsistent and they're currently on the "bad" swing of that inconsistency. What I'm also saying is that the Pistons are yet to win a game three in these playoffs, yet they're a combined 4-0 in game fours and fives. They'll be alright. I reiterate, Pistons in six. Now, for more singular discussion.

As I said, Chauncey had a piece of crap pretty much everywhere. Shot bad, defended bad, got that late T. I mean, how did Damon Jones get 7 boards? Only one TO, though, that was good. Rip had a great game on O, but defensively he was questionable. Constantly he was hitting Eddie Jones and Wade on their shots and it certainly wasn't helping his cause. Granted, the refs were crap all game, but they were equally crap towards both teams. No more game three ref ranting for me, hopefully. But back to my point, as good as Rip was on one end, he was terrible on the other end. Which leads me to Tayshaun. He seemed missing on some of the jumpers that Wade got open on. He did a good job keeping Wade out of the key at some points, but he was also to blame for some of Wade's shots. Not as much as Rip, but still a bit. The bigs were alright, I liked how Mourning got 6 fouls in 17 minutes. But overall, the team D was weak. Thus the Heat having 113 points on 65 shots... a team PPS of 1.74. Ouch! Don't expect such a number for any team for the rest of the playoffs. I wonder what the record is for a team's FTA per FGA. The Heat had 54 FTA's and 65 FGA's... for a clip of 83.1%. Granted, the Pistons had a high one as well (52.4%) but 83.1%!? That's ridiculous. 97 FTA's shot this game. Now that's a playoff game!

Delaying the inevitable
Shawn Marion, welcome back! His game still wasn't very effective offensively, but combined with the 14 boards and 3 blocks, he's moved past the acceptable level. And what do you know, they won in the same game that this happened! Might be a correlation there. Also, Johnson with his ugly ass white strapped mask and all (I much prefer Rip's) had a whale of a game. Well, he wasn't that great on D, but his offense was certainly key to the victory. Nash returning to double digit assist form was also key. As were Amare's late game heroics. Q played well too. Basically, all five of their starters was in their average to above average form and it got the job done on a whole. Yes, Steven Hunter is still their seventh man and that's a rather large problem, but they might be able to stick out another win if they can reproduce what they did tonight. I really don't expect them to win game six if they get there at this point, though. Awesome road record and firing on all cylinders or not, the Spurs aren't going to drop three home games all regular season and then two in the same playoff series.

Now, for Spur dissection. Parker went Walker, Barry was ineffective and only had three shots, Duncan only had 12 shots... they had numerous problems. Seeing as how Duncan was a combined 33-36 from the stripe (91.7%) in the first three games where he had shot 67% from the same spot during the year, you had to figure that the law of averages was going to catch up with him sometime. That's no big deal. What is a big deal is that he only got 12 shots, which ties him for the lowest amount of shots he's taken all playoffs. Over the 15 games the Spurs have played these playoffs, he's averaged 17.5 shots a game. Yet, here he took 12. Similar to the correlation of Marion playing well with the Suns winning, there might be a correlation between how many shots the best player in the league gets and how well the Spurs do.

A look back
Hoopsanalyst has a nice article up about Don Nelson at the moment. This is what I love the most about that site, the retrospectives that they do sometimes (like the GM Reports, for instance). I always enjoy reading such things.

Sounds more and more like PJ is going to coach KG and the sunshine gang
Yes, this will be the first meeting between the two, but rumours say they've been interested in him for a while. I expect it to go through, more on it if it happens.

It's official, Mike Brown is in for the Cavs
Thus gaining him the title of Lebron's second coach. As I've said before, if the Cavs make some good offseason moves (picking up a guy who has a been a lifelong coach as their GM would not be a good move, more on that later) then he should be fine. Get a great/very good SG, play Varejao more... should be a good team next year. Certainly a playoff team. If they miss out a third straight year, Lebron's not sticking around. But, luckily for the team in Wine and Gold, that won't be happening if they play their cards right.

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