Tuesday, May 6, 2008
NBA X's and O's
Here's my thoughts on some odds and ends in the NBA right now
Kobe wins the 2008 MVP Award
I completely agree with this selection. After Young Swole's post on the NBA awards, I wrote that I believed that Kobe deserved the award over KG. In the playoffs, it's obvious that KG isn't as stellar as the other front runners for the award, CP3, LBJ, and Kobe. The C's looked fairly pathetic against the worst team in the playoffs, while Kobe torched a Nuggets team that won 50 games. Bryant won the award for his outstanding regular season play though and it was obvious to me that he was the best player during the season on the Western Conference's best team. I think CP3 can make an argument, but the bottom line is, Kobe was just a hair better. It's nice to see Bryant put his past behind him.
Mike D'Antoni and Rick Carlisle close to having new jobs
Over the past couple of days, ESPN has reported that Rick Carlisle is the leading candidate to take over the Dallas Mavericks job while Suns coach Mike D'Antoni appears to be on the verge of accepting a new role as coach of the Chicago Bulls. The Mav's decision baffles me a bit. I like Carlisle. He did an admirable job with the Pacers and Pistons (winning 50+ games with Detroit in 3 straight seasons), but he could never win in the clutch. He wasn't able to get either team to the NBA finals, let alone win one. How is this an upgrade for Dallas. Avery Johnson had the best winning percentage in the NBA the past 3 years and even though he couldn't get big D a title, he made it there in '06 and locked down a 1 seed last year. So they are pretty much replacing a coach who can't win big games for one who couldn't win big games a few years ago. D'Antoni makes sense from both angles. Chicago is an appealing place to coach considering their illustrious history. They don't have MJ anymore, but they do have a young talented core that could easily make the playoffs next year. Let's face it, it's way easier to win in the East than in the West. Phoenix was already fading this year, and next season could be their last year with Shaq and Nash. This was the second oldest team in the NBA and they are going nowhere but down. They also have an owner that gives away all of their draft picks for cash. The Bulls are hiring a guy who is a proven winner and will automatically upgrade a team that was picked by many to win the East this year (plus they have a lottery pick next year).
Pistons go up 2-0 on Magic after a controversial 3 pointer
If you've seen ESPN at all today, or watched the game yesterday night, you know what went down. Chauncey Billups nailed a Triple before the 3rd quarter buzzer sounded. The buzzer should have sounded almost a second earlier, but the Shot Clock malfunctioned and the Pistons were awarded the three. This put Detroit up by a point and they went on to win 100-93. I realize I'm a biased Pistons fan, but to be real, they would have won this game anyway. The Magic played terrible down the stretch and couldn't make any of the key shots that would have gotten them back in the game. Orlando is understandably pissed about what happened, but if they would have taken care of their own business this would have been a moot point. The big story here is that the Pistons are back like cooked crack. Early in the first round, everyone was picking the upstart 76's to win the series after going up 2-1. However, Detroit took the last 3 games in the series and have now won 5 in a row. They're just 2 wins away from reaching their 6th straight Eastern Conference Final.
Hornets win again to put the Spurs in a 2-0 hole
This headline shouldn't be as surprising as people are making it out to be. Sure, New Orleans isn't a name program and they finished outside of the playoff picture last year, but that was without David West and Peja Stojakovic for most of the year and Chris Paul missed multiple games with injury as well. Now that they are together and healthy, the Hornets are a team on a mission. They did win both of these games at home, but that's what your supposed to do when you are the higher seeded team. They are also playing the defending champs. Their strong defense has limited the Spurs offensive game especially Tony Parker who averaged well over 30 points a game against the Suns. One more thing, CP3 is literally unstoppable. Enough said.
Posted by Andrew Adamson at 6:35 PM