Thursday, April 17, 2008
I'll tell my kids about this one day
Well, The Spurs and the Suns are going to play in the first round of the playoffs. Talk about fate. Part of me relishes the opportunity to put a nail in the Suns coffin. Part of me fears their thirst for revenge. All of me believes this is what its all about. Suns or Spurs fans, isn't this what you want? A chance to vanquish your most hated foe? A chance to stand toe to toe with your rival? We all knew it would come to this. This is a golden age, my friends, and it is an honor to witness it. Some Sunday afternoon in Spring, many years from now, I'll sit my children on my lap and tell them "you see those two teams. When I was a young man we were the greatest of rivals." And whether we win or lose, I'll look back on this time fondly. Because the men who don the orange and purple and the silver and black on that future day will pale in comparison to the greatness that is the men who wear those colors today. But enough pomposity, let's get down to business:
Shaq: If the Spurs are gonna contain him, they are gonna need to double team him. He really went to town on Duncan in their last meeting, and its clear one-on-one scenario favors O'Neal. I hate to admit it, but the man has excellent post moves and like his nemesis in the silver and black, may just not be possible to stop if you don't put two bodies on him.
Nash: This may sound a little crazy, but let Nash score. It may seem as if they are playing better because Nash is putting it through the hoop, but that is an illusion. He really only does that if he can't find his man.
Amare: the flip-side of the coin is Stoudemire. In my opinion the man can't create for himself as well as he would seem. he may have the best hands of any PF in the league, but allow him to catch the ball on the wing rather than while cutting. It gives the help side guy time to shift over.
Physicality: Don't be afraid to bang. Don't be afraid to foul hard. They play a very shallow rotation and now is the time of year that starts to catch up with them. The more physical the series, the better it is for the Spurs.
Pacing: Don't be afraid to push the ball, particularly when Shaq is in the game. Ginobli and parker can run a fast break as well as anyone, but Oberto, Duncan and Thomas all do a surprisingly good job of positioning themselves for the easy bucket when in the open court. Make Shaq move up and down the floor and get to the lane before his body gets there.
Well, I guess its appropriate to make some sort of prediction, although obviously this is going to be such a war its hard to really know who will make it out alive. But I'll bite the bullet: Spurs in 7.