Thursday, May 9, 2013

Solving the Split (part 1)

Despite the injury laden state of this year's NBA playoffs, they have surpassed their billing to this point and have been quite the spectacle. Each series in this conference semi-final round have become 5 game series we are faced with 4 splits, and in everyone single series the lower seed has home court advantage. Let's figure out who will move on and who's going to be left with some questions.
Golden State vs. San Antonio: Klay Thompson went bananas last night in San Antonio, scoring 34 points and going 8 of 9 from behind t
he ark last night. It was a huge lift on a night when Steph Curry was off, going 7 for 20 from the field. I'm not sure what isn't to love about this series, the contrasting styles are so prevalent. Offensively, San Antonio takes very few bad shots and are very methodical; never afraid to work the shot clock down to below 5 before getting their look. And on the other side we have the Warriors, who want to gun threes. You know what they want to do, yet guys like Harrison Barnes( a great driver) Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut(monsters on the boards) complete this team. Which makes you think, how good could this team of kids be with David Lee in the rotation? But, hes not there and they still have a legitimate shot of defeating the Spurs. With 3 games left in the Oracle, I doubt the Spurs can win 2, in fact winning 1 of the 3 is a success in my mind, meaning the Spurs have to win their remaining 2 home games. Highly Unlikely.
Bottom line is, Mark Jackson may not have been wrong with the "greatest shooting back-court" comment and I like the Warriors to win this series. The key for the Spurs to get back into this series is Manu Ginobli. He needs to be more consistent and he is getting open looks. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson play huge minutes, and their not the best defenders as it is, you must knock down the open looks and in Pap's offense he can get plenty of those. I am going to go basketball nerd here, but the best look would we Tim Duncan setting an off-ball screen which Ginobli can use to fade down to the wing, causing a switch and a miss=match which he can use to drive or shoot depending on how the switch works out. Golden State hasn't become frustrated yet, and once they do it's advantage San Antonio.  But that hasn't happened yet and Steph Curry is the playoff MVP and he will continue to be. I like Golden State in 6 or 7.
New York vs. Indiana: This series is boiling down to 4 guys. Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton for the Knicks. For the Pacers it's Roy Hibbert and Paul George. the Lance Stephenson JR Smtih match up is a wash, Smith has been bad of late anyway and Stephenson isn't really an offensive threat, Stephenson will find himself guardingShumpert and Prigioni. Hibbert must succeed, and he is a good defensive force but Tyson Chandler isn't out there to play offense so once again another Pacer defensive advantage which is canceled out. He needs to take Chandler into the post and keep shooting. Hibbert will get discouraged and defer to the other players. 6 points in game to, that won't cut it. On the other end, Carmelo is averaging 30 points over the last 10 games, so this perception that he's in a slump is unfair. Shooting percentages in the playoffs
  aren't pretty, and even though he's under 30% from behind the ark, he is still producing. Game 2 needs to be every game in this series. 
What it boils down to is that the 6th man for the Pacers is Tyler Hansburough. No bench for Indiana, Knicks in 6.-Josh Neighbors.

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