Playoffs Second Round

Posted by By at 8 May, at 13 : 42 PM Print

The Drama continues…as TNT would say it in their commercial.

OKC-MEM – Game 3 – This game was very winnable for OKC but they were not able to pull it off: I was one serious suggestion for the Thunders, if they want to win during the Playoffs they have to win games on the road. This game was tight until the last play of the fourth quarter (a rushed jumper by Durant) and there no reason for OKC to not be able to score for five or eight minutes during a fourth quarter playoffs!

This is absolutely ridiculous: if Westbrook can’t make a shot during critical times like the last minutes of the fourth quarter then he should TAKE IT TO THE RACK! The same goes for Kevin Durant, during the last minutes of the game if your shots are not falling…you have to TAKE IT TO THE RACK (to either make a lay up or get fouled) BASIC BASKET-BALL!  OKC is an incredible team but they have a dangerous tendency to fall in love with the jumpers. It is no secret I am an OKC fan but I will be honest and admit if ANY team plays under its abilities (that’s the worst criticism a team can get).

Nobody really plays down the post in OKC land, Kevin Durant at 6-10 should be playing down the post at least 25% of the time…he could get easy buckets that way since most teams put much smaller guys on him (this is really a coaching issue I think) DOES ANYBODY ELSE SEES THAT OTHER THAN ME? It is pretty upsetting to witness a sorry team like Memphis taking a game three just because OKC was too lackadaisical to take a very winnable game three. That offense from the Thunders was very subpar…no ball movement, bad shot after bad shot from Westbrook and then Durant. Now OKC is down 2-1!

One thing that any half-descent ball player knows is that…after three or four missed jumpers, you got to put your head down and MAKE A LAY UP. Basket-ball is more about basket-ball IQ than anything else…and  this is exactly WHAT MEMPHIS DID TO WIN THE GAME…Conley - Sam Young and Zebo took it to the rack to win the game.  I am a big OKC fan but I can’t accept a team playing way below its true potential…if this is how they are going to play during these playoffs then they don’t deserve to move on further in the Western Conference.

And that’s that!

How can the Thunders play a great game with intensity for three quarters and decide to just lay down and let the game slip away to a Memphis team that, frankly, I think stinks. The Grizzlies  are not a good team, they just hustle a lot and bang in the paint…this is how they beat San Antonio. OKC has too many good players to not be able to manufacture crucial points in the fourth quarter.  I fell in love with OKC because they always play with reckless abandonment, if they stop playing with that edge (when needed) then there is no need for me to watch them play!

I have only one suggestion for the Thunders: LOW POST PLAYS…I don’t even care who does it, whether it is Durant or Ibaka or Perkins or wherever the best mismatch presents itself. Someone please talk to the coach of OKC since most of the players from the Thunders are -apparently- too young or inexperienced to figure this one out.

Really disappointing to witness such a waste of talent(OKC).

At this point, I am hoping that OKC will make the appropriate adjustments: more post up plays, especially at the end of games to make lay-ups and step to the foul line…have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook drive to the hoop aggressively during the fourth quarter TO FINISH GAMES.

You have to finish games in the playoffs, that’s the most important part of the game…the fourth quarter is everything – if you drop that quarter, you lose the game- Winning a NBA title is very hard to do, and some teams just don’t have the ammunition’s…but OKC does have the right parts. Now will the Thunders rise to the occasion? I hope so, otherwise may the best team win these Series!

Now to the Lakers-Mavericks Series: I know a lot of heads are exploding in LA right now from the Lakers being down 0-3. Kobe remains defiant and confident, and he should be because who would in their right mind would just admit to defeat at any point in the playoffs? But let’s be real here Kobe, no team in history has ever come back from a 0-3 deficit!

The real issue is: no one can stop Dirk Nowitzki (The “Caveman” or “Dar Fuhrer”…I came up with the first nickname and a friend of mine came up with the second nickname). Dirk the best shooting big man in the history of the game! That jumper off of one foot is unstoppable: a big man is not mobile enough to stay with Dirk and a short defender gives a clear view of the rim, so what is LA to do? But lay down and die?

Kobe can go off for fifty points in the next few games and that won’t prevent the Los Angeles Lakers from being eliminated from the Playoffs this year. I said in my previous posts that it was the beginning of the end for the Lakers and my prediction is becoming a reality, it was just a matter of time before the wheels fell off this team. The karma surrounding Kobe is not healthy and no real basket-ball team can survive that atmosphere of sneakiness (and snake attitude= hinted at the “black mamba”).  If your leader is a snake, how can your team be a strong cohesive unit? It’s not going to happen. Everyone for himself, it’s the hollywood way…and this is painful to watch as it is happening right before our eyes.

We are all witnessing how they’re tearing each other apart after a few bad games: a recipe for disaster for next season if they had any plans for another run. First of all, Bynum has not paid his dues to be criticizing anyone in the LA roster. Secondly, if anyone has the clout to say something negative about the team it should be Kobe…anyone else should be quiet, especially Bynum who plays a game out of three throughout his career. I hope Gasol leaves LA, frankly he doesn’t deserve the abuse they’re giving him right now ON NATIONAL TV!

Gasol is getting the blame from everyone, even the coach, and I don’t know why because he is playing his butt out (as always) so if LA is looking for a scape goat then they certainly picked the wrong one because without Gasol, there wouldn’t be any championship banners in the LAKERS-after Shaq era!

Let’s just make that clear! Gasol is one the best skilled big men in the game, he has stepped up to the plate time after time. He gets beat up a lot and it is not easy to keep making big plays after big plays when the pressure is on…even Kobe hasn’t delivered at crucial times during this series. So really, everyone should ease off Gasol. And frankly, Dallas is just a very good team: I always wondered why they never won during the playoffs.

The Dallas Mavericks five starters (on paper) have the best team in the NBA because 4 of those 5 players are really good three point shooters, can break you down of the dribble, create their own shots and pass the ball well. One significant improvement from Dallas is the emergence of Jason Kidd as a scorer, which I think is the REASON WHY DALLAS IS WINNING NOW. Kidd has worked on his jumper to the point where he is making three point shots now, and finally this year they are experiencing a higher level of succes  in the post-season. I don’t know if most of you’all remember but Jason Kidd couldn’t make a jumper to save his life for the longest in the NBA…So to see him shoot like that is a relief!

Good luck to the Mavs and OKC (hopefully they recover and advance to face the Mavs in the Western Conference finals).

I am hoping for a OKC-Boston NBA finals although a OKC-Miami NBA finals would be very exciting to watch. But we’ll see…

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3 Comments

  1. Delroy, 6 years ago Reply

    I am speechless today Hadji. After witnessing yet another Grizz comeback and then the win in OT. WOW is all I can say.

    Its been a long time coming for our team and thank goodness the trade went dowwn that sent Pau Gasol outta town.

    They’re gonna do it. OKC has 0 game. They just give the ball to Durant or Westbrook and hope for the best. Thats not basketball dude.

  2. Lonnie G, 6 years ago Reply

    GO MAVS. Thats all. Dirk is MVP of the playoffs. No one in the league can stop him. He’s a beast.

  3. El Hadji, 6 years ago Reply

    Delroy,

    You know as much as I don’t want to admit it, you may have a really good point Delroy: OKC really showed their lack of adversity by delegating to Westbrook and Durant (and not drawing a good play) at the crucial end of game play whereas the Grizzlies did.

    Even if OKC has a better roster, the Grizzlies showed the heart and strategy of a champion: POUND IT INSIDE.
    So, even as an OKC fan, I give you credit for a good analysis Delroy!

    Lonnie G, I like the Mavs too this year…Dirk has always been great (Hall of Fame guaranteed!) it is about time Kidd finally worked on his shot with Dirk to hit some three’s. Dirk is superb but him and Terry needed other players like Stevenson-Stojakovich-Chandler to supplement the scoring and talent.

    After sweeping last year’s champion, I don’t see anyone getting in the way of Dallas for the ring this year.

    Frankly, Boston-OKC have been disappointing thus far…unless they drastically improve their performance this far in the playoffs! I will congratulate Dallas for doing what should be done in the Playoffs: CLEARLY CRUSH ANY OPPONENT TO WIN IT ALL!

    WIN OR GO HOME!


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