The Basketblog

Celebrating the love of the Game.

NBA Playoffs: May 9

Well, it’s pretty clear that this is going to be one heck of a series. Golden State has been great at home in the playoffs, as my esteemed colleague hoops has said. However, what he failed to note is that Utah’s home court has been even greater. They have now outscored their opponents at home by a combined score of 516-463 in five games compared to Golden State’s 323-276.

What he also failed to note is that Utah is a very, very good team. Now that Kirilenko is playing up to his old abilities, they may be, top to bottom, the best team in the league. Deron Williams has become a top-5 point guard, Derek Fisher is a tough guard with a lot of experience, Kirilenko is perhaps the best all-around player in the league, Boozer is becoming a star, and Okur is the best shooting big guy in the league. Every player coming off their bench can play–Ronnie Brewer and Dee Brown don’t play much, but they’ve both shown the ability to make some key plays in this series. In Williams, Millsap, Brown, and Brewer they have perhaps the best young corps of players in the league. The only thing that keeps them from being an elite team is their lack of a superstar. Dallas has Nowitski, San Antonio has Duncan, Phoenix has Nash, Houston has McGrady; but Boozer isn’t quite a superstar.

If Boozer could develop into a superstar, we could be talking about Utah as a contender for many years. He’s been getting 24/12 so far in the playoffs. If he can continue that throughout the playoffs, they can compete against either San Antonio or Phoenix–they are that good.

Here are some of my other thoughts from tonight:

  • Does anyone else suspect that Dick Stockton doesn’t actually watch the games? TNT must have stuck Reggie Miller with him because they don’t want Miller dragging anyone else down.
  • Proposal: “Swat a Biedrins” for putting Golden State on the line late in the game.
  • According to Magic Johnson, Derek Fisher is the reason the Lakers won their three championships. That’s an interesting and pretty much terrible theory.
  • I really hope Dee Brown is all right. He always was my favorite player at Illinois and has shown in this series that he can still be a “one-man fast break.” It sounds like he will be ok and it shouldn’t be a career-threatening injury, which is very good news.
  • It’s also good to hear that things are going better for Derek Fisher’s family. It’s insignificant compared to his other situation, but he was a big reason that Utah won this game.
  • Another big reason is Andre Kirilenko. The guy is a 6’9″ forward running the point and doing it well. Two weeks ago they never would have dreamed of putting him at point; they would have gone with Matt Harpring who hasn’t had a pass-first role in a few years. He made a lot of risky passes, but in the first half when he needed them to, they all worked. He has playoffs-highs in points, rebounds, and assists tonight.
  • I’ve been avoiding praising Golden State so far because hoops does enough of that (as well as the rest of the basketball world). But I can’t legitimately write about tonight without mentioning Baron Davis. 36 points, 7 assists, 4 steals in 45 minutes. How does he not play like this all year?

Finals start for me in a couple days, and after that I take a road trip for a few weeks, so blogs should slow down for awhile. Feel free to take this time to tell everyone you know about us.

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May 9, 2007 - Posted by | Big Ten, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, NBA, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz | , , , , , , , ,

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