Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Whose the better TEAM?

Something I've been talking about a lot with my friends is obviously the playoffs and who are the impressive teams and one thing that has really stuck out to me is that people are obsessed with looking at the paper. They seem to think success is dictated by who names do you have on your team, what do they average?

To me the biggest example is Denver. I'm not a carmelo fan at all and it's for that reason really that I have never really liked Denver but its amazing what one player can really do for a team. But if you ooked at the statistics behind it, iverson and billups really averaged very similar numbers. But what is not in the statistics is the chemistry. Denver is without a doubt so much better than they are on paper and it's for this reason that many people sleep on them. For this reason that a lot of people picked new orleans and probably a lot of people will pick dallas. What stands out about Denver is that they love playing together and they love being together. Karl has been quoted as saying that he simply loves his roster and can't imagine replacing anyone there. To me, Billups is the mvp of the playoffs so far, his statistical averages are nothing amazing but his presence and demeanor set the tone for new orleans and have already set the tone for the dallas series.

Cleveland is next. I'm not usually one of those people who supports the stacked teams, I'm definitely an underdog guy and its for that reason that I didn't watch cleveland that much throughout the regular season. But once I did towards the end of the season I was SHOCKED with how good they are. How much better they all make each other and what really stands out is how much fun they have with each other. The team itself is simply very genuine. But their secret ingredient for success is really their tenacity. From lebron to the 13th man on the bench, they all have that killer instinct and that work ethic so that they never let up and they want to always bury you by as much as thy can. So far in the playoffs, Denver is the only other team to show some semblance of this where they will BURY you if they give you the chance. Look no further from that 50 point ousting of the hornets. The fact that they were the only team to sweep is just further evidence that they are always prepared and always full effort and to me, this is their trophy to lose.

The lakers are undoubtedly the most talented team in the NBA and the fact that they know it is their greatest weakness. Nobody has more of a killer instinct than Kobe but to me the fact that he has a very quiet demeanor makes it so that the rest of the team doesn't feed off of that. I remember early on they were talking all about defense and you simply never hear that anymore . They are an offensive team first and foremost and they will only beat you by outscoring you. To me what is a real shame is simply the fact that as much great players as they have, If Kobe doesn't have an EFFICIENT night, they still lose and that simply shouldn't be happening.If he doesnt shoot the ball well, they lose but with so many people able to get their own shot, if he's off, they shouldn't keep running everything through him. Unfortunately, their probably still good enough to make the finals but if they dont develop that work ethic and commitment to playing hard on both ends for 48 minutes, they WON'T beat cleveland. Their weakness is still the same as last year, mental toughness. Houston showed an edge and the lakers couldn't respond. This is probably their greatest challenge because Houston is a defensive team with the best perimeter d in the league. If anyone can take them out in an upset, its houston. I'm not sleeping on denver who will make it to the eastern conference but the problem is they love the high scoring game which is la's strong suit while houston will slow the game, force more half court which is the lakers weakness. Its essentially the same problem they'll have with cleveland in that they also want a low scoring game and are defensive giants. The lakers need that edge and if they can't find it, their going home empty handed for SEASONS until they find someone who is VOCAL and brings that edge. Thats really what stands out about Artest is that although he spews a lot of shit, he is a vocal leader with attitude and edge.

(On a side note, I'd love for the raps to pick him up, resign marion, bring back delfino and parker and pops and I think we're set for the year then. Also I saw rasho talking with maurizo a lot so I really expect him back as the back up centre. Any trade they can get rid of hump, kapono or banks is just a bonus)

It's a bit weird to be talking about the great things other teams have because this is normally the time where we pine about the raps being eliminated but you cant deny the fat that there are some AMAZING teams out there who are really greater than their parts.

Also on a side note, van gundy is not an idiot but I'll never understand how you don't pass to your best player when the lead is dying away. It's a common symptom of how they always blow leads and let people back into the game and you'd think they'd learn that after the Phili series. AFter seeing it so many times, they DESERVE To lose but i still want them to kick boston's arrogant ass.

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