Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  May 2, 2007

So many things I wanted to write about the last couple days, but the real world keeps getting in the way. Basically, despite my frustration with the Lakers, there are some positives to write about.

• I don’t think enough praise can be heaped on Lamar Odom for his effort in this series. Torn labrum needing surgery, hyper-extended elbow and he is still one of he few Lakers hustling every game. His play his in the third quarter of game four was inspiring – one of the few Lakers trying to reverse the tide, and he’s doing it while barely able to shoot free throws.

So far in the playoffs he’s getting 48% of his shots inside, close to the basket, and is shooting 55% on those.

• The Dallas/Golden State series has been what playoff basketball is about. The energy of the fans, and the energy of the players, has been completely captivating. And I can’t wait for game six.

I’ve long had a soft spot for Baron Davis, ever since his UCLA days, I just love to watch the way he plays the game. So I love seeing him excel on the big stage. On the flip side, I thought it somewhat unfair that people are laying the Mavs problems at the feet of Dirk Nowitzki (as Kelly Dwyer said at SI.com, why is it so hard for Jason Terry to make a clean entry pass?), so it was great to see him almost single-handedly save the game for them last night.

Dallas has not solved its biggest problem from the last couple years – guards that can penetrate from the wing. Kobe killed them; remember the 62 in three quarters? Then there was Wade in the finals last year. Now Davis. When they face a team that can drive and hit outside shots, the Mavs are at a loss. And that hasn’t changed.

• Apparently there’s just something about the way Stephen Jackson claps his hands that grates on refs.

• The Heat are gone, and I’m not sad. I really don’t see how so many people picked them to beat Chicago in the first round. Although, as I’ve said here before, Chicago is one of my favorite teams to watch right now, I love their energy, I love (and envy) their defense. And how about that Loul Deng?

The series against Detroit should be another good one.

• There has been a lot of talk about flopping in the NBA playoffs, but I thought Kevin at Clipperblog made a great point.

But you know what’s been just as widespread as the flop? This: A wing player gets a high screen from his big men who, rather than rolling toward the basket, steps out on the perimeter. Meanwhile, the guys set up on the weak side hang back, clearing the lane for the penetrator. When the defense collapses on him, the slasher throws his body into the primary help defender, earning two shots from the stripe. Does the shot fall? Who cares? That was never the driver’s primary concern.

Kobe gets away with this at times. And it bugs me when other teams do it to our bigs.

• LeBron James is +50.1 points per 48 minutes so far in the playoffs. Not bad.

• Mayweather is going to destroy Oscar.

Kurt

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12 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. warren (philippines) May 2, 2007 at 2:33 am

    Guys, what rotation is Detroit using?
    Billups, Hamilton, Prince, Sheed, Webber.
    Hunter, FLip, Delfino, McDyess, Mohammed.

    Are the subs all getting to play? or is McDyess the only one in with Hunter in from time to time?

  2. (1) can I direct you to need4sheed or detroitbadboys

  3. Stephan Jackson and Tim Duncan have those hand claps that just annoy officials I guess.

    By the way do you think the ref that ejected Jackson will get canned for the rest of the playoffs?

  4. warren (philippines) May 2, 2007 at 8:04 am

    game 5 @ 1030 am tomorrow. game on! we gonna win dat game. Lakers by 5.

  5. 1. Baron, when healthy and in shape, a top 3 pg, and a prime-time player.

    2. Mayweather will win the fight, but Oscar wins either way, he’s mastered being the guy that loses but makes more money from the fight.

    3. Scott Skiles, is the best the coach in the NBA. He is the first coach I’ve seen compel his players to play defense all game. Lakers could learn a lesson or two from them.

    4. Lakers are gonna win tonite

  6. Remember the good old days when you could watch a young Mike Tyson box on Wide World of Sports or at the very least on HBO?

    That was the most tepid and forced MVP chant I have ever heard any fans muster, Dallas.

    A key for tonight will be keeping Amare (rebounds) and Nash (assists) under 20.

  7. I can’t stand the new rules that allow sloppy offensive players to get to the free throw stripe. Players can barrell into the lane and throw their body at the defender and somehow still gets the call.

    This has completely taken away interior defense. I can’t stand watching guys jump straight up in the air instead of going for the block. Or defenders jumping in the path of offensive players to draw charges. It is killing the game.

    I know Stern wants more offense to make the game more exciting. He has changed the game in favor of the offense to avoid low scoring games.

    But what he doesn’t see is that it has actually done the opposite for the game. The intensity has lessened with a lack of defense, players are shooting more free throws causing a huge lull in play, and the players complain more than ever because they feel they deserve a foul every time down the court.

    Nice job Mr. Stern. Great finished product.

  8. i think zone defenses have ruined basketball, they’re god awful!

  9. preach DR, they reward moves soley designed to exploit the new rules. The funniest thing is that the new rules were put in place to open the game up and make it more free flowing, but instead the game’s stall and stagger because of all the fouls. I understand cleaning up play down low, but to handcuff perimeter defenders like that doesnt make sesne

  10. god I hope the boys show up for this one tonight.

  11. Oscar to win.

    I hope I’m right…

  12. Oh and…

    “NEW YORK — An academic study of NBA officiating found that white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players, The New York Times reported on its Web site Tuesday night.

    The study by a University of Pennsylvania assistant professor and Cornell graduate student also found that black officials called fouls more frequently against white players than black, but noted that that tendency was not as pronounced.”
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2857469

    Lol, unbelievable.