Saturday, April 30, 2011

Second Round Preview

I hope you're not coming here for any predictions.

The first round of the playoffs told you all you needed to know about why I refuse to make any.

The games are simply unpredictable.

Bless anyone who tries to make a living betting on these games!

They are stressful enough with nothing at stake.

Every first-round series was incredible, as far as the quality of play, and this round looks to be even better.

Each series is full of intrigue, and it is impossible to pick a winner or pick the series which will be the most competitive or the most entertaining.

But we'll have the answer to every question in two weeks.


More and more, Erik Spoelstra is proving that he is not a championship coach.

He did a much better job driving the Chevy he had last year than the Cadillac he has now.

This series may tell us all we need to know about him.

If Miami goes down in six games, it might be time for Pat Riley to start searching his coaching database to bring in a winner.

Rajon Rondo finally revealed what was obvious when watching him play at the end of the season, that he wasn't 100 percent.

He was better against New York in the first round but still didn't look all the way back yet.

Hopefully, another week off did the trick.

Boston is the favorite in the East until they are eliminated from the playoffs.


This series is another real treat.

Dirk Nowitzki versus Kobe Bryant, two of the greatest players of their era, for the first time ever in the playoffs.

And don't forget about Rick Carlisle against Phil Jackson.

Carlisle has been on the doorstep for several years now but has never broken through.

This is another opportunity.

I remember watching the last time Dallas and Los Angeles met in the playoffs in 1988.

Anything close to that battle would be unbelievable.


The injury to Kirk Hinrich is the perfect example of why you develop your bench by giving them consistent playing time during the season, an area Larry Drew failed miserably in this season.

As I said before, I'm down with the Jeff Teague Movement.

But I'd feel a lot better about him had Drew played him consistently during the season and in the first round against Orlando.

And there's no guarantee Drew will play him against Chicago.

I would take Atlanta's talent over Chicago's talent every day of the week, but Drew hasn't used that talent right all season long.

So there's no reason to think he'll get it right now.

At the same time, Atlanta is a smart team seasoned with valuable playoff experience; and Drew deserves credit for that.

Chicago's half-court offense was a mess against Indiana, meaning Derrick Rose had to walk on water to win the series.

More miracles will be required unless Chicago's supporting cast steps up.


The Memphis-Oklahoma City games were some of the most entertaining, hardest-fought games of the regular season.

Kevin Durant versus Tony Allen was worth the price of admission alone.

This series is literally a blank slate. There's almost nothing to go by.

Kendrick Perkins didn't play in the one game they played after the trade deadline, so it's hard to tell what will happen without seeing Memphis go against Oklahoma City's full rotation.

One thing for sure is that this is a bad matchup for Russell Westbrook.

He is a high-turnover point guard going against a turnover-forcing defense, a formula for disaster.

But Mike Conley could come out and have more costly turnovers than Westbrook.

That's just how unpredictable the games are, and they have always been that way.

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