Friday, May 04, 2007

Workin' it Out

This year's NBA Playoffs have suffered from the same problem as most NBA Playoffs: The NBA drags the series' out so long that nobody whose team isn't in really cares. Other than that, though, the playoffs have been great... if you're a Cavs fan living in the tri-state area.

The Cavs had the great fortune of drawing the Wizards, and easily dispatched them. The Pistons crushed the Magic as was expected. The Bulls shocked the Heat with a sweep. The Nets are up 3-2 on the Raptors, with Game 6 in New Jersey tonight. If they win, that means the Cavs get to play the Nets while the Pistons and Bulls beat up on each other. Now here's the kicker for... well, people like me, whether the Nets win tonight or Sunday: Games 3 and 4 of a Cavs-Nets series will be in New Jersey, and as the Nets don't even sell out playoff games, I can probably get tickets. One of those games will probably be on Sunday afternoon - possibly even a clinching Game 4 if everything went according to plan.

But the best part? This is great: My friends went to a Heat-Nets game last year, and were obviously rooting for the Heat. The ushers came over and asked to speak to them... and moved them to seats right behind the Heat bench! Apparently, it's bad enough that the Nets can't sell out playoff games, but they're even further embarrassed if national television shows a nice number of Heat fans scattered throughout the crowd. By moving them all to the area around the Heat bench, it looks as if they're mostly affiliated with the team or something similar. If we can have something like that happen...!

Finally, there's that other conference - the one which has two teams that the Cavs just can't seem to beat. But one of those teams is already eliminated, as the Warriors absolutely ran all over the Mavericks to get rid of them. If the Spurs can knock off the Suns, the Cavs may be golden if they can knock off the Bulls-Pistons exhausted winner. Nice.


  1. Ha, you have to be the only person in the world who hopes their team gets to play the Spurs in a 7 game series. And while anything is possible, it's hard to imagine the Cavs doing any better than the Nuggets. The Spurs defense is just too good.

    I'm also not sure why you think the Nets will be a cakewalk. They have some pretty good players on that team.

  2. RF - for one game, sure :)

    N - Better than the Suns...! The Cavs defense is also very good, and people don't seem to realize that.

    I don't think that the Nets will be a cakewalk, and the Cavs do have trouble with them (though still manage to win in the end). But the Cavs have been dominant at home [over .800 since March of last year inc. playoffs], and solid on the road... and the Nets' home-court isn't the greatest for them. I'm just HOPING that Game Four would be a clincher. :)

  3. The Cavs defense is very good, as is their rebounding, but the Spurs are better defensively and far better offensively.

    The Nuggets were playing very well down the stretch but were completely shut down after Game 1. Bowen just kept Iverson in check and while they had no answer for Carmelo, they were able to make sure no one else beat them. The Nuggets also have Camby and Nene, two very good interior defenders, to handle Duncan and they got nothing out of it.

    If the Spurs beat the Suns (which they should) I can't imagine them not going all the way. They are, without question, the best team still in the playoffs.

    Wait, did you just say the Cavs are better than the Suns?:-)

  4. I still think the Raptors will beat the Nets.

  5. All of this debating is a waste. This will be very simple, if Lebron James plays as he is capable then the Cavs should end up in the Finals w/ a 50/50 shot at winning the whole thing. However, if he puts his game on cruise control then they should still get to the conference finals but will get bounced by either Detroit or Chicago.
    In basketball, especially the NBA, the team with the best player on the floor usually wins. Not the most talented player (see Mavericks/Lakers), the player performing at the highest level (see Warriors/Bulls).

  6. It also does not hurt that King James is not of our world.
    "He walks among us, but he is not one of us"


  7. Nephtuli - I think that you presented it well... which is why the Cavs are far better poised to beat the Spurs than the Nuggets. Not only is Lebron better at both creating and passing than 'Melo, they don't have an Iverson wasting a good 15 shots a game. Moreover, the Cavs' offensive rebounding is far better than the Nuggets - once Iverson took a jumper, you could just call it Spurs' ball. That won't be the case here.

    I don't think the Spurs are better than the Suns... but I think they're better fit for a playoff series. I also still don't get why teams are trying to stop the Suns the same ways which don't work time after time instead of attacking Nash before and after he gets the ball. It's ridiculous how teams keep sitting back and watching Suns players run right through their defense. It's like watching a QB throw short passes to open WR's with no defensive line save perhaps some guy counting to 10 Mississippi. Mind-boggling.

    Anon - Guess that it's too late to comment on that one...

    G - Agreed.

    G - LONG LIVE THE KING!! (This sounds suspiciously similar to a certain religious sect. Scary.) Anyway... yes, thank God for small favors, like ping-pong balls.

  8. Ezzie,

    The Cavs were only slighly better than the Nuggets in rebounding this year (Cavs #2 and Nuggets #3, with the Cavs averaging only .5 more offensive rebounds a game) and remember that that Camby missed a number of games. Basically they're a wash rebounding-wise.

    Lebron is better at creating opportunities for his teammates, but Melo is a slightly better offensive player with a much better supporting cast (remember the Nuggets were a far superior offensive team this season).

    Basically the Nuggets, who have two interior defenders to take Duncan, two excellent scorers, an offense that scored 7 more points a game, and rebounding as good as the Cavs, were knocked out in 5. Plus the Nuggets were playing at the top of their game coming into the playoffs. But the Spurs have a knack for knocking teams off their game, and I don't see the Cavs faring much better (in all honestly the Pistons are probably coming out the East, so it's all a moot point anyway).

  9. LeBron is good, but not great. He is not a big man so you are not going to see them win a series against a real basketball team.

    A good center can always alter things, but again, the cavs play in the Least which isn't nearly as tough as the West.

    They'll be lucky to win one game against any of the teams from out this way.