NBA Thumbnail Tales | Conference Semis 2010

AP Photo/Michael Goulding, Pool

By Paul Gotham

Brief notes on the second round of the playoffs.

Eastern Conference

Celtics vs. Cavs

Cleveland grabbed the  one-game advantage. Is it a case of too little, too late for the Cs? Doc Rivers waited until now to call out Rasheed Wallace’s defense. It’s not like we didn’t see this coming. On the offensive end Rajon Rondo is going to need some help if the Celtics stand a chance. Does Boston have a scheme for LeBron? Was the elbow injury a case of gamesmanship by the Akron Hammer?

Hawks vs. Magic

The Hawks offer plenty of foul opportunities for Dwight Howard. Rashard Lewis will need to step up his game for the Magic. Vince Coleman will have to think about putting in some effort when closing out on Atlanta’s shooters. We will find out how good Jameer Nelson actually is. The Hawks struggled to contain Brandon Jennings in round one. Can Nelson take advantage. Al Horford vs. Howard in the paint? That should be a great match-up to watch.

Western Conference

Spurs vs. Suns

A little trivia for you. Who is arguably the best power forward in the history of the league? And on which team does he play? This same team has one of the top five point guards in the league, and this guy is coming off the bench. This team also has maybe the best triple threat guy in the league. Confused?

If Tim Duncan is not the best forward to ever play in the NBA, then who trumps him? How many point guards are there currently in the league better than Tony Parker? Can anyone question Manu Ginobili’s heart? Add to the mix George Hill, and the Spurs look dangerous.

Three years ago a David Stern interpretation of players leaving the bench area slowed the Suns. Since then Steve Nash and company have lost their way.

It will be interesting to watch how both teams try to dictate tempo.

Utah vs. Los Angeles

Jerry Sloan and crew will seek to avoid a third consecutive elimination from the playoffs at the hands of Phil Jackson and his followers. Many are suggesting Kobe has lost a step. He may be playing possum. Pau Gasol looked occasionally dominant as the Lakers took game one. Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer can shoulder the bulk of the load, but Utah will need more performances like the one they got from Paul Milsap.

Got a take on the NBA playoffs? Post them here.

8 Responses to "NBA Thumbnail Tales | Conference Semis 2010"

  1. Wally   May 3, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Is it just me, or are the NBA officials totally ignoring offensive goaltending??? And to say that such a play is non-reviewable is bull@$#x. When there’s any question about it, play should be stopped and the replay reviewed … just like when there’s a question about a 3 pointer or whether time expired. Get it right, esp in the playoffs!!

    Tim Duncan looks like a center to me … why are you classifying him as a PF??? He’s 6’11” and the tallest player on his team … almost always catches the ball with his back to the basket within 8 ft … almost always guards the opponents big man. The only time he didn’t play center was in the early days with David Robinson. He’s too slow to be a forward anyway. Not denying his GREAT career though … don’t get me wrong. Elvin Hayes and Kevin McHale were pretty good PFs. Charles Barkley, too.

    Like the Spurs in general, I think Parker is past his prime. Yes, i do think there are 5 PG’s better than TP. Nash, Williams, Rose, Rondo, Paul just to name a few and in no particular order. I love the Spurs and will continue to root for them, but the realist in me says that they’re done winning titles. Hey, 4 titles in like 9 years is pretty damned good. Duncan and Parker are the ones who seemed to have aged a lot over the past 3 years. But they still have some really good you players and good role players, so if George Hill continues his terrific play and Duncan and Parker play well, then maybe the Spurs can find their way to the Finals. Manu is still in his prime, IMO … and that nose is larger than life 🙂

  2. Casey   May 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Yeah, you are right. Duncan is a center. But he was a better power forward than Barkley and McHale.

    I’m liking San Antonio’s defense.

  3. Casey   May 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I will take Parker over Nash ANY DAY. I love watching Nash run offense. But defense? He is HORRIBLE!

  4. Casey   May 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Pretty quiet in Cleveland right now.

  5. Wally   May 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Pretty quiet on the pine right now.

    Hope the Jazz steal one tonight and make it interesting ….

  6. Rey   May 7, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Glad to see Atlanta struggling AGAIN in the playoffs, after many were ready to crown them Eastern finals contenders just because they were a year older. Josh Smith is the most disappointing young talent to me. I called him out last year in the first round and he is laying an egg again.

    How about the impact these playoffs will have on free agency. LeBron’s injury is almost like a crystal ball for him. He has no one else to really step up for him. Man – if they could have gotten Amare Stoudemire instead of Jamison, the Cavs might be coasting with an injured LeBron. Not that Stoudemire is a defensive menace or anything, but he himself is tough to match.

    Now that I think of it, let’s come up with an All-Inconsistent team:

    PG = Mo Williams
    SG = an aged Ray Allen
    SF = Lakers’ version of Ron-Ron
    PF = Josh Smith
    C = Playoff Dirk

    Come on – you have to admit that if you put these on a team, you wouldn’t know what to expect from one night to the next. Any of them can go for 40 (except for Mo). None have a great history of hitting the last shot or displaying a “I’m not going to lose this game and there’s not a darn thing any one can do about it” effort. This would be the most disappointing starting five in the history of the NBA because the anticipation of seeing them would deviate so much from the actual outcome of their performance that you’d just feel robbed.

  7. Rey   May 8, 2010 at 8:06 am


    And this just in: Jason Richardson is pretty good. Suns-Lakers Western finals looking more and more like a go.

  8. Casey   May 8, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Where did Dragic come from? Holy cow. He was awesome!!!!!!!!!

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