The Big Picture

Posted: May 6, 2010 in iHayez on the Go

With the semi-conference finals in the full swing of things, we are getting a good look at what teams are hot and what teams are not. Let’s start with the not so hot team Atlanta Hawks. Here is a team that many thought would make some real progress (not me) but with a 40 point blowout in game one versus Orlando it’s going to take more than Viagra to get the Hawks up and back in the game. Heart is not the problem with this Hawks’ team but the ability to close the deal is. In order for this team to make a difference they will have to do some trading and upgrading, starting with their point guard position. After that, your guesses are as good as mine, and let’s remember Joe Johnson and his free agent status after this season.

With that said, the Orlando Magic are a better team than everyone gives them credit for including myself half way into the regular season. Once the playoffs started I felt the Magic stepped up their game, from Matt Barnes to Vince Carter and of course Jammer Nelson. Although they have not played an elite team in the playoffs such as a Boston, Cleveland, LA, or San Antonio, sweeping the Bobcats and giving a 40 point whipping to the Hawks should not be underestimated. It’s too early to tell if we should bring out the broom to sweep the Hawks under the rug, but I definitely know that the Hawks will not continue to fly high after this series.

In the other semi-conference game, the Boston Celtics are playing big bully with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The word on the street is that Lebron’s elbow is hurting him more than he’s leading on. Lebron’s elbow is affecting his aggressiveness in the game and making the Boston Celtics’ swarming defense look like there are 12 Celtic players on the court at the same time. In order to turn things around Antwan Jamison is going to have to have an amazing offense and defense, and the shooting guard will have to knock down timely shots. On the other hand, Doc Rivers, to me, is one of the top five coaches in the NBA right now. All this season, the Celtics had battle injuries and underachieving from a lack of effort but Doc has been in tune with his team like a jockey knowing his horse. His ability to hold everyone on the team accountable for the good and bad in addition to calling them out has earned the respect of his players that seem to be on the edge of tuning him out. Doc seems to will his team to victory, like in game 2, which makes me think of him as the next Gregg Popovich, and Phil Jackson minus the multiple rings. I have said all season that the playoffs are all about match ups but I forgot to mention how great coaching goes a long way too.

The Lakers look like they are having another walk in the park with their win in game two against the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are a depleted team due to injuries and with their under size big men going up against the towering Lakers’ big man the Jazz look out of tune. With Okur out the other Jazz centers are struggling to hold it down in the paint. Kyrylo Fesenko has replaced Okur in the lineup and Fesenko’s play has been lack luster since the LA/Utah series started. Put it like this when Fesenko is in the game you get no rebounds and no offensive baskets. Jerry Solan will have to break out more tricks in his bag in order to win game three, even bigger winning this series. Phil Jackson is 45-0 when winning game one of a playoff series and this could be 46. On the Lakers, they have played well but are letting teams back in the game. This could be a problem as they move on to the next series and even more problematic in the Finals.

The Phoenix Suns are a surprising me, not because they are in the semi-conference but because they beat the San Antonio Spurs convincingly in Game 1 and now in Game 2. The Suns’ bench played really well and Steve Nash took over in the fourth quarter allowing the Suns to pull away from the Spurs. Grant Hill’s been in a shooting slump while other players like Jared Dudley andChanning Frye are stepping up big. The Spurs are a team that’s been there and done that so they won’t be phased by the Suns high power offense. The Spurs are down 2-0 in the best of seven series so the Suns are going to have to keep the intensity from the first two games. The Spurs have been down this road before so as crazy as it may sound the pressure is not on them it still on Los Sols.

iHayez on the Go

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