Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Road to the Finals

4 teams left and the intensity level rises. My NBA Final 4 projections were right. I knew the match-ups would be Celtics-Pistons and Lakers-Spurs. 4 players, 4 leaders, 4 Hall of Famers meet. Chauncey Billups, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan with their sidekicks Richard Hamilton Tayshaun Prince, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, and of course the posse of Bruce Bowen, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker. The 4 top teams meet well deserving of this opportunity and I’ll take you into what these four have to do to stop each other and win the NBA Finals.

Los Angeles Lakers

How To Score On Them: Don’t allow the blocking of Parker and Ginobili affect you. Drive as hard on them and take it strong. Also if you watch Kobe Bryant doesn’t put all his effort into defense. Make him work on D with his injured back.

How To Stop Them: Obviously you have to shut down Kobe. Double team him with Manu and Bowen and get the ball out of his hands. You also have to pressure Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom to hit clutch shots. You also have to box out Pau Gasol and get offensive rebounds.

San Antonio Spurs

How To Score On Them: The Spurs are a wonderful defensive team which will give any remaining team a tough time. The Spurs also aren’t the youngest of the bunch so make quickness their disadvantage.

How To Stop Them: You have to make sure Parker and Ginobili can’t drive because if they do they each score at least 15 points and put you in trouble. Get the ball out of Duncan’s hands to increase 3 point tries and make Parker slow down the tempo a notch.

Boston Celtics

How To Score On Them: Just like Kobe make Ray Allen work on defense so his old legs need rest and put him out of the game. Also get guys like Pierce and KG in foul trouble and wear them down.

How To Stop Them: The Celtics have 3 weapons with 3 different styles of play which makes it tough to defend. Start by keeping Pierce calm and under control and keep KG and Perkins off the offensive boards.

Detroit Pistons

How To Score On Them: The way to score on the Pistons is to move the ball around and be patient on shot selection. Only take good shots. They do a good job on defense so you have to be careful. Make them move because they have 6 guys who have played 8 or more seasons already,

How To Stop Them: You can’t relax when Billups while he’s bringing the ball down and trap him. That’s when he is most dangerous. He just pulls up and hits a game tying 3. Also guard Hamilton well and you’ll be in good shape.

Series Projections: Boston Celtics .vs. Detroit Pistons

Outcome: Boston in 7

Detroit has been in the NBA Final Four for the last 6 years and Boston has had trouble winning on the road especially in Detroit. Detroit will put up a great fight but Pierce and the Celtics will pull it out.

San Antonio Spurs .vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Outcome: Spurs in 7

You can’t pick against the defending champs. The Spurs have so many weapons and they will show one again as the defeat LA in their 2nd game 7 in a row.

NBA Finals: Spurs .vs. Celtics

If this was a 5 on 5 game I wouldn’t take my eyes of the screen. Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Finley, Bowen .vs. Rondo, Perkins, Allen, Garnett, Pierce. WOW!

Outcome: Spurs in 6

The TV companies would rather have Kobe .vs. KG but instead it’s Duncan. The Spurs, defending champs will carry that over to next year. Boston will struggle and lose 4-2 falling short of the goal.

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