Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Tuesday's Playoff Picks/Analysis

April 26, 2005

Home Team in CAPS

Anthony's Picks:

Last Night: (0-2), Playoffs: (4-6)

  • DETROIT -9 over Philadelphia
  • New Jersey +8 over MIAMI
  • SEATTLE -3 over Sacramento

Playoff Analysis
*Last Night's Games*

-IND/BOS: Last night Rick Carlisle and the Pacers forced the Celtics to play their style of game: a low tempo/half court game, which in turn allowed them eliminate those countless turnovers from Game 1 and also tire out the Big 3 (Pierce, Walker and Davis). Take a look: 1) PIERCE: By allowing him his 33 points--16 of which came from the free throw line--the Pacers knew he'd be exhausted in the 4th from driving the lane so much in the 3rd quarter (17 points) 2) DAVIS: After rookie Tony Allen got schooled by Reggie Miller in the 1st half, Doc Rivers was forced to put his best mid-range jump shooter on him in Davis (and thus RD missed the game tying 12-footer), 3) WALKER: With James Jones remaining in the game, Rivers was forced to use a small lineup for a good portion of the 4th, thus leaving 'Toine to guard a bigger/stronger Jermaine O'Neal. In the end the Celtics were just exhausted and could count on no one else to score besides Pierce. This must change by Thurs nite. Where the hell was LaFrentz? Jefferson? Payton? West? What do these guys think, its just time to sit back and watch. Get your heads out of your asses.

-HOU/DAL: I was regretably sleeping during this game

*Tonight's Games*
PHI/DET: AI and C-Webb can't do much more than they did the other night and counted on Korver and Marc Jackson to step up is like asking Joey Gladstone to be serious. C'mon... DET 98, PHI 87.

NJ/MIA: My soul reason for taking this game is that the Heat have smoked the Nets in all 4 meetings this season, yet the line went DOWN for Game 2? Makes absolutely no sense. I'd even encourage you high rollers to take the NJ moneyline tonight which I hear is in the neighborhood of +400. MIA 101, NJ 99

SAC/SEA: Yeah, if you read Paul's comments below, well, I just don't agree. If Bibby's scoring more that doesn't mean everyone else is contributing the same. The Kings have to change their game plan a bit to free up better shots for their point guard. Seattle isn't going to change anything and thus should control the tempo from the opening tip. It's obvious that peja and B. Miller are not close to 100% and without them, I like Seattle by 6-8 tonight. This doesn't mean I don't like the Kings in both games in Sactown...SEA 103, SAC 97.

GLTA

Paul's Picks:

Last Night: (0-2), Playoffs: (4-6)

  • DETROIT -9 over Philadelphia
  • New Jersey +8 over MIAMI
  • Sacramento +3 over SEATTLE

Playoff Analysis

*Last Night's Games*

-Indiana/Boston Celtics had that game and they absolutely blew it. You would think a lineup with GP, Pierce, and Walker would know how to close out games, but that certainly wasn't the case last night. Indiana executed on offense and played much better defense, which is why I initially thought they would win this series. It'll be interesting to see how this series plays out. The Celts by far have the talent edge, but the Pacers are better coached and are mentally a far tougher team.

-Houston/Dallas When I took Dallas to win in 5, I didn't plan on Tracy McGrady making the "leap". In fact, I factored in McGrady's (and Yao's for that matter) lack of intensity as a reason why Houston would bow out quickly. How wrong was I? Houston has not only looked dominant next to Dallas, but they are looking like a team that could make a serious run to the Finals. They have shredded Dallas' D (the one I kept praising before the playoffs), who looked about as lost as a little boy in the woods during the last 5 minutes of last night's game. And on defense, they forced Dallas to beat them from the perimeter which they almost did thanks to an out-of-this-world shooting night. Houston was either scoring on a Yao dunk, a WIDE OPEN 3-pointer, or a T-Mac shot which seemed to be going in no matter how tough it was. The Rockets were still getting killed on the glass, but I'm going to assume JVG make some adjustments to fix this as Houston goes up 3-0.

*Tonight's Games*

Philadelphia/Detroit:
I think I'm going to take Detroit the rest of the way here. Sixers came out guns blazing to start Saturday's game before receiving a royal ass whooping from the reigning champs. What worries me for Philly is that both AI and CWebb had good games, and they still got smoked. It's hard to see both of them playing this well every game (though I still believe Philly will take one game thanks to an inspired AI-led performance) against Detroit's D. Detroit knows exactly what they have to do to win each game and there's no doubt Larry Brown is expressing how important it is to get some rest in between each round. I like the Pistons in another wallop tonight. Pistons 103, 76ers 85.

New Jersey/Miami:
Nobody will beat Miami when Damon Jones plays like he did Sunday (30 points). And I don't think anybody expects DJones to play that well every game out. His post-game press conference was amusing to some, but probably not to the Nets. I really hope Lawrence Frank uses this as motivation in Game 2 because if the Nets are going to have any chance in this series, they can't afford to be torched by the Heat's mediocre supporting cast. Frank needs to make sure his team doesn't get pushed around like they did in Game 1 and comes out with a sense of toughness and urgency. Unfortunately the Nets don't have a thug when they need one (where's Kenyon Martin), so Lawrence Frank might have to play that role. You heard it here first, don't be surprised to see Frank get an early technical if things aren't going the Nets' way. He's been doing it all season long as a source of motivation for his team and with tonight's game being a biggie for the Nets, I can see him pulling it out the bag. I'm still not sure the Nets can win tonight's game, but I do think J-Kidd and Vinsanity step it up big tonight and make the game close. In the end Shaq and Wade will just prove too tough. Heat 104, Nets 100.

Sacramento/Seattle:
Sacramento nearly pulled out Game 1 despite Mike Bibby probably having the worst game of his entire career. This was the difference in the game, it's that simple. If Bibby had knocked down 4 out of 16, the Kings win that game. I'd be shocked if Bibby didn't bounce back big in Game 2 and ensure that the Kings tie up the series. This game is as sure a bet as any in the playoffs thus far, mark my words. Kings 105, Sonics 102.

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