Watched the two playoff games on TNT last night. Starting with the Pistons/Magic game. The Pistons looked pretty strong again last night. They just seem to like to let Orlando hang around for a while, and then when it comes time to get stops and make big hoops they get it done. Jameer Nelson looked good last night for Orlando, scoring a playoff career high 27 points. Nelson scored well, but he isn’t really a good point guard. All of those pick and rolls with Howard, and he couldn’t get the ball to Howard for any easy hoops. I know if someone like Nash was playing with Howard then he would have had about 4 or 5 layups or Dunks, because of great feeds. Anyways, all of Detroit’s starters scored in double figures to lead just another balanced scoring act. It was a nice crowd in Orlando, but they shouldn’t expect Orlando to steal game 4. This series is all but over, and so is Brian Hill’s coaching career in Orlando after it. One more thing from this game, how about the end of the first half. It looks like Orlando is going into the locker room with about a two point deficit, and plenty of momentum. Then comes a Tayshaun Prince 3 as the shot clock winds down. Then a terrible mis-communication, and the inbounds pass was picked off by Prince who saves the ball to Billups who then takes a fade-away 3. The moment he took that shot any NBA fan immediately said “yep that is going in.” Boom, “yea it went it.” That was typical, and just a killer for the Magic. If that didn’t happen we might have been talking about a 2-1 series.
Just something I was pondering yesterday. What does Dirk Nowitzki do really good. The answer is only two things shoot, and score one on one. Those are the only two things that he does really well. Every other facet of the game he is average at. You look at either Kobe, Nash, or Kidd. They do so many things at a higher level than other NBA players. Not just two things. I’ll tell you right now that Josh Howard is probably a more important player to the Mavericks than Dirk is. Howard does everything well. Including guarding one of the other teams stars. Just a small point saying that Dirk isn’t worthy of an NBA MVP award.
Now for the TNT nightcap. First off is there anything better in this series than watching Ronny Turiaf on the LA bench. He is up on his feet for every possession. Always the first one out when there is a timeout. Then he is always pictured talking to someone or laughing about something. When he actually gets out on the floor he provides great energy, but he provides plenty on the bench too. He is like a combination of Screech from Saved by the Bell and Averman from Mighty Ducks. The Suns offense went cold in third quarter last night. Some solid defense by the Lakers and some poor shooting from the Suns. Nash was being very closely guarded off of the pick and rolls, which was pretty effective for LA. Phoenix wasn’t able to get a lot of those easy hoops in the paint that they usually get. Kobe was excellent last night. He is absolutely impossible to guard, and those were some loud MVP chants by the crowd at the Staples. Lamar Odom was also very active last night. It always kills me because that guy is so talented, and he never stays consistent. If LA wants to win a few more games in this series they will need this type of defense, but also don’t expect the Suns to look this bad offensively again. I still say Suns in 5.