Postgame Spread
You guys hangin' out? I'll hang out.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Looks Like This Is My Lucky Day... I'll Take "The Rapists" for $200    

And you thought I could be grown up about Kobe.  Nope!  He sucks.

Man... I was really psyched last night after watching Phoenix obliterate the Lakers in the last minute of overtime.  Perhaps 1:45 AM is a bad time to be psyched about anything, but it's playoff time!  Besides, I felt like I was watching a ridiculously young team finally get it.  The end of regulation... didn't get it.  They missed a lot of makeable shots, and only survived because Tim Thomas bailed their asses out and Kobe missed a low-percentage game-winner for a change.  In overtime, though, they slammed the door on the Lakers' fingers.  Hard.  And held it for a while.  The alley-oop between Boris Diaw and Shawn Marion was a killah.  Fun stuff.

Further, the outcome of Game 4 appears to have undone all the good that Kobe accomplished.  Much was made of Kobe's maturation as a teammate after the dramatic instant-classic victory the other night, but Game 6 seems to have been about the Kobe Bryant show.  Sure, he scored 50 points, but he was pressing towards the end of overtime.  He hit two ridiculous threes down the stretch to keep things interesting, but Phoenix didn't let him take any short jumpers without a hand in his face.

The question is whether Phoenix will get it together at home.  I don't know whether to lean towards the home crowd or the Zen Master.  My gut says not to bet against the Zen Master (been burned way, way too many times on that) but my brain says that if Kwame Brown hasn't taken advantage of Boris Diaw playing center in the first six games, there's no way he controls things in Game 7.

Regardless of whether Phoenix wins (without Amare Stoudemire and Kurt Thomas, their only true rebounders) this team looks downright frightening for next year.  The development of Boris Diaw and Raja Bell into starting-caliber players, and Tim Thomas into as deadly a sixth-man as you'll find, makes them not only a dangerous team, but a dangerous young team.  You're looking at a 2006-07 starting five of Nash, Bell, Marion, Diaw and Stoudemire, with Leandro Barbosa, James Jones and the Thomas brothers off the bench.  There's not enough points to go around for those guys.  You're looking at a baseline of 80 points for those five, and probably more like 90.  That's unreal for a starting five.  Still major problems on defense, but who cares?  I just love watching them score.

I suppose Diaw does have kind of a sensitive game... Amare's return could hurt him.  Diaw's success appears to be his ability to dodge spread-out inside defenders, because his four teammates are all on the perimeter, but Amare would probably spend more time in the paint, drawing defenders and cluttering up Diaw's cutting lanes.  Maybe.  But I doubt it.  I'm not that smart.

Anyway, here's hoping Phoenix can beat the rapist scumbag.


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