Saturday, April 28, 2007

NBA Playoff Impressions: Control Freaks.

Spurs 96, Nuggets 91 - The reason San Antonio has won multiple championships with Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich in recent years is because they are control freaks. They want to control how the other team plays to an almost obscene degree, and the way you do that is by making it impossible for a team like the Nuggets to actually establish any form of offensive consistency from the second quarter on. Then, you capitalize on the turnovers and frustration plays that occur as a result, as evidenced by the third-quarter inbound that Robert Horry stole and took for a 3, sparking a 13-3 run that essentially said, "This game is out of reach for you, no matter what the final score will be."

(Edit: As D-Wil notes, you also work the refs a lot -- Manu is hated in Denver for being a flopper, and the Spurs flop like the Azzuri in the World Cup.)

Jazz 98, Rockets 85
- Jerry Sloan is as much of a control freak as Popovich, running the same old pick-and-roll based offense since the Stockton-Malone heyday. Again, it puts a premium on defense so Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Mehmet Okur can operate. Utah took the two games on their home court by absolutely shutting down Tracy McGrady early, and holding him to 18 points for the game before Jeff Van Gundy ceded defeat by yanking the starting lineup.

Cavs 98, Wizards 92
- The sad part of this stretch for the Wizards is that Antawn Jamison is playing absolutely out of his head; he had 38 points today, and it doesn't bode well that the Cleveland defense can't limit that. However, if there's no supporting cast to help with Butler and Arenas out, Jamison's 38 doesn't mean much. LeBron tossed in 30, nine assists, and six boards.

Pistons 97, Magic 93 - Orlando actually had a lead to cough up this time, and that's the only remarkable thing you can say about this series. Dwight, Hedo, Grant, Darko -- thanks for playing.

(Photo: Getty Images)


Biby Cletus said...

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Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

Signal to Noise said...

Biby, thanks for visiting.

Sony Ericsson Takes Over Title said...
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