Basketball fans. I’m kind of sorry I didn’t write about the doings of the NBA playoffs this weekend. There was a lot that happened and I didn’t get to see it all live. I don’t up date the blog on Friday night and Saturdays because of religious obligations. I’m going to have to come up with a better system so that I can be more consistent.
That aside Sunday was a pretty eventful day in and of itself. So lets just hop right in. We have much to speak about.
The Mavericks break out the brooms as the sweep the Lakers.
I won’t pretend to know where Lakers go next. Do they blow up the team? Does Phil return? Questions like these are best left answered by the people directly involved. I can however talk about the past. The question that’s still bugging me is this. Did the Lakers know their was a game yesterday? That game was hard to watch because of how badly the Lakers forgot to show up. They took bad shots, they had lapses on defense that were egregious and more befitting the young and often overmatched Washington Wizards than the two time defending champion L.A. Lakers. Jason Terry was given enough room to fire up a three point anytime he felt like it. Considering that Terry was 9 of 10 from three I’d say he felt like it quite a bit. It’s true Dallas made some contested shots but when the Mavericks go 20 of 32 from beyond the arc as a team I’d chalk that up to shoddy defense. There was no passion from the Lakers, no competitive fire from anyone on that team whose name is not Kobe Bryant.
Dallas on the other hand a team whose season long label was soft showed up in the biggest way. They were relentless. They practically abused that pick and roll with Barrea and Nowitzki and used that to get their shooters open. They absolutely stretched the Laker defense. Terry and Stojakovic were making just about everything that they tossed up. J.J. Barrea got into the lane anytime he wanted which garnered him some extra attention from Lakers center Andrew Bynum.
Andrew Bynum took out Barrea on drive to the basket. Bynum made no pretense of a play on the ball. He simply timed Barrea and let fly with an elbow that would make the UFC’s Jon Jones proud. I was talking this over with my brother and he seems to like this play by Bynum. The argument being that even though the play was dirty he at least sees a guy that hates to lose. I don’t think it’s that simple for Andrew. I think he was being childish and petty. He’s done this exact type of play before and the Lakers weren’t even losing those games that badly and they actually had a chance of winning the game.
First the Barrea play:
Now compare that to previous plays on Michael Beasley and Gerald Wallace:
I don’t know what Bynum was thinking each of those times but I personally think there wasn’t anything admirable about what he did. It only serves as a microcosm of the Lakers problems in this series.
The Hawks edge out the Bulls 100-88. Series is tied 2-2.
I’d be really happy if Josh Smith never shot another jump shot ever again and from the looks of it so should he. J-Smoove a.k.a Josh Smith has one of the ugliest jump shots ever. However when he attacks the basket and works the inside game, grabbing rebounds and getting to the free throw line, he makes Atlanta that much better. Smith was 8 of 22 with 23 points but his biggest impact came in the second half on the glass. Josh ended the game with 16 rebounds. The Hawks are playing great team basketball and I give all the credit to point guard Jeff Teague. I picked the Bulls to win this series due to the fact that with Kirk Hinrich injured I didn’t think that Atlanta would have anybody to really defend Derrick Rose and because I didn’t believe that the Hawks would be able to run their offense as well as they’ve been doing.
Jeff Teague has really impressed a lot of people. He had 12 points last night on 6 of 12 shooting along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Teague is so good with picking his spots. I honestly can’t recount him taking a bad shot all playoffs long. He doesn’t force things and is playing years ahead of his age.
Derrick Rose forced a lot of shots. This is probably because he and his team had a pretty bad shooting night. They were in the game for the most part but they could never go on a run to pull away from the Hawks. Chicago couldn’t make any shots when they needed to. Kyle Korver was defended well he was just 1 of 8 on the night. Rose had to shoot 34 shots to get his 32 points. When that happens Chicago cannot beat Atlanta.
The Hawks had a great shooting night coupled with a great performance from Joe Johnson and just like in game one when these two things happen Atlanta is hard to beat.