Thursday, April 10, 2008
my intention was to talk a little X's and O's today, being that I have been doing so much bullshitting lately. But honestly, the X's and O's of a Nuggets-Warriors matchup is about as understandable as an M.C. Escher painting. But here's my best attempt nonetheless:
The Warriors, despite finishing several games better than they did last year, are probably not gonna make the playoffs. For basketball fans, that is a little sad, but let's be honest, both these teams are just broom magnets for the Hornets anyways. So what went wrong (last night at least? First of all (and I have railed against Mike D'Antoni for years about this) 7 man rotations do not work. They may for the first 40, but they don't for the last 40, and definitely not for the home stretch/post-season. Baron Davis looked tired last night, and his shooting reflected it. Speaking of shooting, we all know the W's live and die by the long ball, but they don't need to. They actually have great ball movement when the look to execute. When guys follow the cutter and look for the pass to the paint. When they actually run a damn offense instead of just setting up isolation situations or giving half-hearted picks at the top of the key. They actually got so many points in the paint last night that weren't off of open layups but instead came from clever front court ball movement. I won't even get into their defensive issues, because you have to have a defense to have issues.
The Nuggets actually played decent defense last night, particularly from a help-out perspective. Cutters had two men on them and the W's had a hard time getting uncontested shots from beyond the arch. Also, they really did execute the transition offense well yesterday, as well as defend well against it. This was mostly a matter of hustle. When the Warriors went on a fast break, it was typically a lone man in front who sometimes had to wiggle his way through two Nugs who had made it back, but the Nuggets were consistently going on the break with 3 guys, making an easy bucket an inevitability. I am convinced that nobody, not even the suns, runs a better transition offense than A.I./Melo/Smith. Also Congrats to George Karl for possibly saving his job (or at least quieting the mobs until they get swept in the playoffs). Also, a brief side note: J.R. Smith is a BEAST.
I'll be back this evening with more esoteric B.S. about the new Dwight Howard/Chris Paul commercial, as well as some actual pre-game and post-game analysis of the Lakers-Spurs matchup Sunday (two teams I can talk considerably more intelligently about). Also, right now I am calling it. One of these playoff commercials is gonna be Duncan/Billups talking about how hard it is to win one bout how even victory doesn't quench the thirst for more. Just saying I called it.