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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Let the games begin!

The Jazz have had a great season, while they have under-achieved against lesser opponents, they have excelled against the upper echelon teams and tend to rise to the level of their competition. Luckily for them, the playoffs in the West is full of high caliber squads. The Jazz are the epitome of what team basketball is. Their discipline comes from their hard nosed coach. Deron Williams has developed into the leader they desperately lacked in since the days of Stockton and Malone, and in some ways he is a better leader in that he is vocal where Stockton was quiet, and he can be respected where Malone couldn't put a sentence together and was self-centered in the latter part of his career. This years team is probably the most complete team Utah has ever had. Memo has peaked at the right time, and in my estimation, should be the player of the month in the Western conference. He has been a double-double machine and his shooting has been very consistent. Booz has fallen off from the start of the year, but is still capable of dominating the paint. Korver gives the Jazz the outside shooting they have lacked since the departure of Horny, and Harpring is the physical stalwart that any contender has to have in the playoffs, ie Bowen, Wallace, Rodman and so on. Kirilenko has to play well in order to facilitate the trade he so desperately wants, hopefully he can keep his head and not break down emotionally like last year. Brewer has developed into a defensive stud and is the king of garbage points. I have never seen a player dunk as easily as he does. Milsap is our energy player that does anything and everything to contribute. Price has improved dramatically as the season has progressed and has confidence which is key in b-ball. All and all, the Jazz has what it takes, it all comes down to execution.
The West is tough, but every team I look at has major flaws. The Lakers have the best player in basketball, who has the killer instinct not seen since Jordan. However, they have major injury problems and a lack of depth. I just don't know if they can overcome the physicality of the playoffs in a seven game series. The Hornets won when they were supposed to win all year. They are young and energetic and can run some people into the ground. They lack experience, and they tend to wilt under pressure. The Spurs are still a complete team and a real threat. The big problem they face is father time. Parker is still inconsistent, my compadre Ginobili is banged up and Duncan is not as dominant as he was even a year ago. Houston has skated through and caught some breaks. Their biggest strength is that they play team basketball and good defense. Adeleman has piggy-backed on the Van Gundy era of hard nosed b-ball, but has also added a good offense. If they had Yao, I would be afraid of them. McGrady is the Phil Mickelson of basketball, he has a hard time performing under pressure. Is this the year he breaks it like Mickelson did at the Masters 04? Phoenix is a wreck, I listen to talk radio constantly down here and they make me sick. I have grown to hate the suns, part of it could be be having been hit in the back by a hot dog when I went to a game and cheered for the Jazz. And no, it was a real hot dog and not a man dog like some of you may be thinking. Anyways, Shaq can guard a five foot radius in the paint and gobble up boards, but with Memos range and Boozers speed coupled with Amare's lack of interest in defense. The Jazz should dominate them over a seven game series. Dallas has potential, but I hated the trade for Kidd, he can't guard the quicker points anymore and Williams and Paul with take him to school. Nowitzki is a stud, but cannot do it by himself. Lastly, Denver is full of thugs and gangstas and is a prime example of what is wrong with professional athletes (please see articles on Melo's recent arrest in the middle of the most crucial week of the season). I love to see the Jazz pound them, Denver has no chance!
I may be biased by my shades of blue, but I firmly believe the Jazz to have a better shot than any team to advance to face the dream team in green. Hopefully they are not too tired after weathering the vicious West. Alright I am a homer, hopefully we can get some smack going. Anyone that wants to Instant Message during the games, I am on MSN messenger and my account is abchecketts@hotmail.com. I will have my laptop fired up watching my 60 inch plasma in HD with the wife locked out of the house. Later boludos!

2 comments:

Skinny One said...

Que honda Fat Man?

The Jazz are in a great position. They're playing good ball at the right time while others are having issues. I think the Jazz have a great chance of advancing in the playoffs. That home court advantage would be a huge plus as well.

Hopefully they can get a win tonight.

Are you going to ask your neighbor if she'll be our Shades of Blue Girl?

Skinny One said...

By the way, good post.