Thursday, April 14, 2011

Playoff Primer

Everything which happened during the regular season was nothing more than a setup to get us to this moment.

Now the fun begins. And there are a few things to point out, for starters.

The injuries to Arron Afflalo and Timofey Mozgov are really going to hurt Denver.

Denver's depth and low-post defense will be severely impacted in any games those two miss.

The worst coaches who made the playoffs are Larry Drew, Mike D'Antoni and Stan Van Gundy, with Frank Vogel coming dangerously close to joining that group.

The Atlanta and Orlando series will come down to which coach screws up his team less than the other.

Good luck with trying to figure that one out.

Is it now safe to say that New Orleans should have never traded Marcus Thornton, Jerryd Bayless and Peja Stojakovic?

And now that we've seen Thornton in Sacramento, Bayless in Toronto and Stojakovic in Dallas is it easier to understand how New Orleans got off to an 11-1 start?

And why they have struggled since?

Miami played its best game of the season against Boston this past Sunday.

They moved the ball like a championship team.

Finally, Boston better hope whatever is wrong with Rajon Rondo gets fixed before the playoffs start; or they might not make it out of the first round.

New York has the team in place to be very dangerous right now.

Ronny Turiaf, Shelden Williams and, to a lesser extent, Jared Jeffries give New York all the center they need.

They may not provide much offense, but when you have Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups you don't need much offense from the center position.

All you need are some nice screens, some safe passes and an offensive rebound every now and then.

New York has the parts, but it is highly doubtful that Mike "small ball" D'Antoni will put them in the right positions to win.

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if D'Antoni started Andy Rautins at center for the series.

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