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The NBA Playoffs...

Discussion in 'Colosseum' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Apr 24, 2013.

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    ^^ Yeah. I'm not necessarily saying that Hibbs would have changed that play so much that the Pacers would have won the game. But what is the reasoning in taking out the best (probably the only, actually) rim-defender the Pacers have, who up to that point has had a good game and has fouls to give? Furthermore, the two best offensive players on the Heat (LeBron and Dwayne) have made very public efforts at attacking the paint and playing in the post over the last 2 seasons, so it seems likely that if it is possible, Miami will push the ball into the paint.

    I mean, so instead of the Pacers and Heat, we're talking about the 95-96 Bulls against the Jazz. Why would you take Dennis Rodman out of the game with 3 second left?

    So anyway, the refereeing in Game 3 is awful. I thought the refereeing in Game 1 of the Grizzlies-Spurs game was bad, but it was pretty bad tonight, too. I'm with Reggie Miller, to an extent--he said the referees are really at fault when there is an inordinate amount of successful flopping. Miami has been pretty successful with it tonight. I wish the league made the referees pay more of a penalty for bad refereeing.
     
  2. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, like I said, the reasoning with 2.3 seconds left to play is that the shot is going to be an outside jumper, and you want your best 5 guys on the floor to defend against a jumper. All I'm saying is if LeBron takes a 15 footer, Hibbert isn't going to help you at all.

    Now, I'm completely in agreement that if Hibbert is in the game you are assured that the last shot will be a jumper and not a drive to the hoop, and it's fair to say that it's worth having Hibbert in the game just to remove that possibility. But I also contend that unless Paul lets LeBron blow right past him, then he's taking a jumper anyway. And regardless of who is playing the 5, they ought to be able at the very least to foul LeBron...

    EDIT: I think the NBA is praying that Indiana can make this a series. I saw last night that irrespective of how many games the Heat-Pacers series goes, the finals will not start until June 6th. That's a LONG freakin time. That's a 9 day layoff for the Spurs. But if the Heat finish off the Pacers in 5, then those games are tongiht and Thursday, so the Heat would have a week off as well...
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    You know, when I watched Game 7 last night, it really does make you wonder if Stern instructs teams to throw games to drag the playoffs out. We can't have over a week between the end of the conference finals and the NBA Finals! From what I saw last night - and I will concede that I didn't watch much of the 4th quarter - it didn't look like the Pacers belonged on the same floor as the Heat. It's like with everything on the line the Heat finally all showed up to play, and the game was over by halftime for all practical purposes.

    So we have Heat-Spurs for the Championship. I like the Spurs - especially Duncan. I've liked him ever since his days at Wake Forrest. I would love to see him win yet another title. And there's no freakin' way I see that happening.

    I know you don't get to pick your opponents, but the Spurs have had an especially easy run to the Finals. Of their three playoff opponents, only the Warriors had anything approaching a respectable offense - and the Spurs had trouble with them. Steph Curry played brilliantly that series, and it wasn't until he got banged up that the Spurs put them away. A Kobe-less Lakers and a punchless Grizzlies team just don't cut it. Neither of those opponents had a go-to guy on the court. I know the Spurs play good defense, but of the 8 combined games those teams played, the Lakers high water mark was 91, and the Grizzlies was 93 (and they needed OT to get there). When you can pretty much win by scoring 90, I'm not particularly impressed.

    The bottom line is as I see this as a very bad matchup for the Spurs. I don't think they'll get swept, but I'd be stunned if we weren't talking about the Heat repeating as Champs about 10 days from now. Heat in 6 - and only because it seems like the Heat are less motivated to play when they lead in the series.
     
  4. Blades of Vanatar

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    If the Heat roleplayers continue to struggle, the Spurs could steal it. The Spurs are very oppurtunistic and the Spurs still have a "Big Three" of their own, with a combined more championship XP than the Heat's big three combined. I think it will be a very good series. Plus, the Spurs have a major coaching advantage.

    Talent - Heat(Major Advantage)
    Big Three XP - Spurs(Minor Advantage)
    Coaching - Spurs(Major Advantage)
     
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    I'm calling the Spurs in 7.

    I don't think Miami has looked like a very good team for a couple of weeks now. The Spurs look like a very good team.
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I hope you guys are right, but I won't believe it until I see it.

    I think the experience thing doesn't matter much at all. Both Wade and LeBron have been in the playoffs extensively throughout their careers, and hell, this is Miami's 3rd straight trip to the NBA Finals. Bosh didn't see many playoff games in Toronto, but this will be his 12th post season series since joining the Heat. And that goes for anyone else on the Heat who was on the team for the past two years, which is most of them. The only guy getting significant playing time who is new this year is Ray Allen, and obviously he has a ton of playoff experience before joining the Heat.

    I know Duncan is the only guy on the Spurs with 4 titles, but what about Parker and Ginobli? I know both of them have at least 2. Do they have 3? If Duncan claims a 5th title, he's getting into rarified air in terms of titles won. (His legacy is already secured, win or lose, I'm just sayin'...)

    As for coaching - Greg Popovich is nothing short of great. Since the retirement of Phil Jackson, he's probably the best coach in the league. But it's not like Spolstra is chopped liver. I think the guy gets a bad rap. Numbers don't lie - and I just Googled them. Check out his career numbers with the heat, and keep in mind that the first two years of his five year tenure were BEFORE LeBron and Bosh showed up:

    Regular Season: 260-134 (0.660)
    Post Season: 46-26 (0.639)

    Already, as far as winning percentages go, that compares pretty well with Popovich (emphasis on winning percentage - not total wins):

    Regular Season: 1328-905 (0.595)
    Post Season: 130-79 (0.622)

    And Spolstra's number since getting the big three together are spectacular:

    Regular Season 170-60 (0.739)
    Post Season 42-18 (0.700)

    Popovich is undoubtedly better - like I said, just from the consistency at which he's won, I consider him the best coach in the NBA - but it's not like Spolstra is an incompetent idiot. He's had a winning season each year, and has been dominant (as he should be) since the Big 3 came to town.
     
  7. Blades of Vanatar

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    Popovich has never coached the like a a Lebron, a Jordan or a Magic or a Bird inthe NBA. I think Popovich is the best coach in the last 40+ years. Phil and Riley had a ton of Mega Superstars. Popovich has coached no one in the 10 all time greatest list. I like Duncan, but he comparable talent-wise to Jordan, Lebron, Kobe, etc...
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    You're right about Duncan. I would put him in the top 20, but not in the top 10. Some of that comes down to him not consistently playing as PF throughout his career. When they've had another big man on the team, he plays the 4, but in recent years he's spent a lot of time at the 5 spot too. For PF, he's arguably the best, and at worst 2nd best in the history of the NBA. But there's a long list of C ahead of him in that position.

    My point with Spolstra wasn't to trivialize Popovich - I said I think he's the best coach in the league. I was more or less debating the "huge advantage" in terms of coaching. I don't think there's a huge difference (in terms of player performance) between a great coach and a merely good coach.

    EDIT: Some more on Spolstra from SI:

    Full Story

    Popovich is an all-time great. But Spolstra is already good. He can't be placed on the list with HoFers yet, because he's only coached 5 years. But I don't think that disqualifies him from the potential of him being able to hold his own against Pop.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  9. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I think of Spoelstra a little like I thought of Riley coaching the Lakers. He came in at the right time to take a super talented bunch and win it all. The Lakers had won previously not that long before Riley took over and the Heat won not that long before Spoelstra took over.

    To a degree you could almost say the same about Phil and the Bulls, except that they did not win before him. I think there is a large element of coaching that is right time/right place. You can't be a moron, obviously, but I think of Phil, Spoelstra and Riley as having virtually ideal situations with all that talent. I actually think that Pop is a better coach, from the perspective of X's and O's and setting up a system that works, and also hiring/drafting players to fit that system.

    As far as the finals go, my thought is that the Heat are a little depleted and are not going to have what it takes to beat a pretty finely tuned offensive machine like the Spurs. My heart is telling me, though, that the Heat are more battle tested than the Spurs on the periphery. Sure the top three of each team have multiple titles and finals experience. However, the next batch of players that need to produce have more to prove on the Spurs than the Heat.

    I am hoping that it is a fun series. Zack Lowe on Grantland has some excellent insight into this. I highly recommend reading his stuff, as it is clear that he knows what he is talking about and is able to express it in terms that can be understood by anyone with a working knowledge of basketball.
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Wow, down the stretch it sure looked like the Heat had no legs. At least not compared to the Spurs, and considering they had over a week off, it isn't surprising. There was some thought that the Spurs might be a bit rusty, but it sure didn't look like it based on last night's performance.

    While I hesitate to make such a statement for Game 2, it's almost a must-win game for the Heat. Lose Game 2, and you have to win at least two of three in San Antonio to win the series. If they lose Game 2, they may not play another game in Miami.
     
  11. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, I am definitely not a Spurs fan. However, during the fourth quarter last night, I found out that I am even more definitely not a Heat fan, as I was actively rooting for the Spurs and even let out a shout on that Tony Parker shot clock beating dagger to the heart of Miami.

    Who knew?
     
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I'm agnostic regarding this series. I'm watching because it's the NBA finals. I like Duncan, but I'm not a huge Spurs fan. And I never was a LeBron hater, and never really understood the people (outside of Cleveland) who were. So I don't really have a dog in this fight. I guess I'm sorta rooting for the Spurs, but I'm more rooting for good games. And yeah, that Parker shot was money.
     
  13. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I do not hate LeBron, but I find that I do dislike Wade.
     
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    Yeah, Wade has annoyed me in a sort of escalating way since LeBron came to Miami. He flops, a LOT, sandbags on defense, complains to the referees a LOT, and plays to the Miami crowd an enormous amount of the time. Don't know how many times I've seen him either think he gets fouled and then complain to the refs to the next 30 seconds, or act like he's hurt and limp behind the play, then, as soon as the Heat have the ball again, he's all good again and trying to get the ball for an attempt at another highlight play.

    Was he always like this? I don't know; I don't remember it when he first came in the league. Are all players like that? To an extent--it IS hard to just keep playing when you fail to make a play because you were obviously fouled and the refs missed it (as one of the 20+ calls they blow in every game in the play-offs this off-season :rolleyes: ),* but, man, to me, he stands out for this type of behavior. The "entitled superstar" behavior.

    * Did you guys see that play in the first half when Wade drove towards the basket and then attempted to pass out when Duncan closed out? Duncan was in position but they called a blocking foul on Duncan, when it should have been an offensive foul on Wade, or maybe a no-call, then they give Wade free-throws because apparently he was trying to shoot it while he was not even looking at the basket while looking for a spot-up shooter behind the 3-point line. How are the refs in the Finals so bad that they blow the call TWICE on the same whistle? Jeesh. Flopping is the thing that is getting all the attention these days, but my opinion is that the refereeing across the board is pretty weak this season. And no one can even talk about it because the NBA will fine the crap out of them.
     
  15. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I actually started disliking Wade in the 2006 finals with all of the phantom foul calls that he took as his complete due. His attitude was annoying. It hasn't gotten better since then either.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I think I saw Bosh on the back of a milk carton the other day. Never mind game 3 - he has been invisible for virtually the entirety of the playoff run. The series against the Bucks and Bulls were pretty non-competitive and so I don't really rermember how he played, but I do not recall him playing a good game in any of the 7 against the Pacers, and so far he has been a no-show.

    The Heat were terrible last night - at least starting in the 3rd quarter - it was still a game at halftime. The Heat have alternated good and bad games for pretty much the last 10. They haven't won (or lost) consecutive games since the Bulls series. That worked OK in Indiana, as they won the first game (and thus the last game), but it won't work here. At some point they will need to win two in a row.

    Here's a fascinating stat that I saw on ESPN last night... I'm inclined to think it means nothing, and yet, given the magnitude of it, it's hard to write off....

    The winner of game 3 has gone on to win 92% of all NBA Championships. You always think of game 5 as the pivitol game of the series, but there is a higher correlation between the game 3 winner and the eventual champion than the game 5 winner.
     
  17. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I was really hoping for a competitive series with some drama. Well, game one was competitive and there was drama, but games two and three were not worth watching (unless, for example, you wanted to watch Miami stand around and let San Antonio shoot pretty much wide open threes in game 3 or wanted to watch San Antonio sit around and let Miami do whatever they wanted in game 2).

    It isn't going to do anyone any good if these games remained so imbalanced, no matter who winds up winning. San Antonio needs a competitive series to shed its "boring" label (IIRC, none of its prior championships were particularly competitive) and Miami could use some tough games to cement LeBron's new superhero role and Wade's increasingly "evil Robin" role. I have no idea what to call Bosh, because, as you mentioned, I haven't really seen him in a while.
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I just can't get over how bad Miami played last night - you're right that there has only been one game worth watching until the end. With the way the Spurs were shooting - and yes there was a lot of open looks, but it was still a phenomenol percentage - there was no way Miami was winning that game no matter how they played. I do have to wonder if Parker is hurt or not - he said he had a tight hamstring. They didn't need him last night, but they certainly will going forward.

    I do feel that this is a legacy affecting game for LeBron. No one doubts he's the best player in the league, but you can't be called the greatest ever if you win just one championship in four trips to the Finals. The one in Cleveland really wasn't his fault - he had no help. But he had a team around him to do it each of the last three years.
     
  19. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, maybe yes, maybe no. If Wade and Bosh are hurt, as they appear, then he really doesn't have much of a team around him, now does he?

    Wade looks old. He looks hurt. He, quite frankly, looks done. His knee is shot and he has no lift, so San Antonio can ignore him outside of the paint with impunity. If you watched the beginning of yesterday's game, he was only a threat on drives and in the paint.

    Bosh may be hurt more than we know. He appears to have lost some mobility and hops and I think he sprained an ankle against Indiana, which could explain that.

    Battier looks like Ali at the end of his career - too many punches. He's been brutalized by tough PF's all year in their small ball alignment and sets so that LeBron would not be so brutalized, and it appears to have caught up to him in the playoffs, with just a horrific shooting percentage. Ray Allen is old. Mike Miller can't play D to save his life. Haslem is old. Chalmers is not the guy you want to rely on.

    So, if Wade and Bosh are not Wade and Bosh, as appears to be the case, how is this team really any different than his Cleveland teams?
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Because it's not like the Spurs aren't old and banged up too. Did Bosh and Wade both get hurt between game 2 and 3? It's not like the Heat are sorely overmatched here, like it was when LeBron was playing in Cleveland.

    Because it's not like this is one of the best Spurs teams of the past decade. If it wasn't for Westbrook getting hurt, the Spurs probably aren't even playing in the Finals. If anything the Heat got a more favorable opponent for the Finals than they would have expected at the start of the playoffs.

    Because you can only say you got unlucky so many times. And it hardly ever works over the course of an entire career. (There are a few notable exceptions here. Like Barkley never winning a title because his peak coincided with MJs peak, and the two years MJ left to play baseball were Hakeem's best two years of his career.) But the larger point here is the reason great players of the 90s failed to win a title in the 90s is because the best player ever wasn't on their team. And if you want to be considered one of the best ever, you need to win titles. (emphasis on plural)

    Sometimes you have to say, "Guys get on my back, I got this." And LeBron has thus far been underwhelming. In case you haven't noticed, he hasn't scored 20 yet in the Finals. (Granted, he didn't need to in Game 2, but last night he had 4 points at halftime.) If you're comparing yourself to Jordan, I don't think you'll find many 4 point halves in his playoff portfolio. MJ was a 33/6/6 average for his career in the playoffs. Reference Yes, you can't discount the Scottie factor (a 17/8/5 guy) but hell, you'd think Wade and Bosh might be able to combine for those numbers? (Well, they probably average more than 5 assists per game between the two of them, but I think you get the idea.)

    The point is if you want to be considered one of the best ever, sometimes you have to play like the best ever. Look, the Heat may bounce back and win this series still. It's only 2-1, and I've never seen two so disparate performances between games 2 and 3. I need the real Heat to stand up on Thursday.
     
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