Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Playoffs News - Cold Manu & Fiery Scola

San Antonio Spurs 92 Phoenix Suns 87

Finally we can all breath much easier. Just as I thought, this game is going to go down the wire. Both had their reasons to feel motivated; the Suns wanted to revive this series while the Spurs wanted to finish off. Well the Suns tried but it was the Spurs that achieved its goal.

Manu GINOBILI was cold all night, only managing to post 8 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Phoenix might have done a good job containing him for the entire game but not towards the end of it.

Among those points were crucial free throws that allowed the Spurs to gain a comfortable lead before winning this game. With 25 seconds left, the Spurs were leading 88-87. Manu was foul twice and sent to the line to take his free throws.

Despite of all the tension and pressure surrounding during the moment, he calmly manage to hit 3 out of 4 shots to give the Spurs a four point lead. It might sound easy to some people, but it takes someone with a lot of heart and courage to be able to execute those shots during the intense moments.

Fabricio OBERTO was not bad at all. He was 100% from all his shot posting 8 points including 3 rebounds. In a game as tight as this, every small contribution from him in my opinion is priceless.

With the conclusion of this series, awaiting Manu, Fabricio & the Spurs is the surprise package of the season, New Orleans Hornets.

Houston Rockets 95 Utah Jazz 69

The Rockets knew just what they had to do to stay alive in this series? The answer simple, win. Instead of just wining, they wont in style. That is huge statement to make, especially when you play against the Jazz.

It only makes sense as they were making their shots looks so easy just as they have been defending against the Jazz. How was this possible?

With his confidence growing in stature around the interior in both offense and defense, it allows Tracy McGRADY to do what he does best around the perimeter.

This has been another big playoff night for SCOLA, posting his third double-double in the series with 18 points, 12 rebounds plus 2 assists. Above that, his reputation as big man playing with the big boys in the big league is growing tremendously.

Perhaps the following link will help others to have a better understanding about that subject.

Now we will game 6, which will be played in Utah on Friday. The Jazz might record at home during the regular. However they should also know that the first and the last to defeat were the Rockets. Lets hope we get another cracking performance from the Rockets.


Nate Records said...

Hey John-

It was a pretty intense game last night, and it was a it was a good game. Both teams looked at times like they were going to pull away with it. Spurs had a really good run to close the first two quarters, the Suns countered each time and looked like they were going to put it away mid-way through the fourth, but San Antonio had the answer at the end and there was nothing Phoenix could do. But the game felt odd. It didn’t have a rhythm to it, which wasn’t just because of the “Hack-a-Shaq”, but also because of the foul problems. I missed the first 10 minutes of the game, and by then Ginobili already had 2 fouls, so he was kind of in foul trouble most of the game. It really took him until the last few minutes to get going. But also, to their credit, Phoenix really committed to defense: keeping Parker & Ginobili out of the lane. And that kept them from being able to run on steals and rebounds because they were all in the lane defending the pick & roll. So the game didn’t seem to have a rhythm.

Essentially, San Antonio just plays smarter, more relaxed, and more efficient when the game is on the line. They are very well coached, and they can make mid-game adjustments better than anyone else. They trust their role players, and from Tim Duncan on down, this is the most selfless team in professional sports. And that is why when they go into the postseason they are so dangerous. They don’t care if Duncan, Ginobili, or Parker make the last shot, or if Oberto, Finley, Bowen or someone else does. It is 100% team.

But something people don’t talk about is that San Antonio can adjust to other teams’ style of play. San Antonio has dominated in the playoffs the last few years, especially Phoenix. Take for example 3 years ago. They had to out-gun Phoenix to get to the finals. Then they played Detroit, and played a much slower style. They can adjust on the fly, and that’s why they’re so dangerous. Other teams can’t make those adjustments. If Phoenix plays under 100 pts, they lose. If Denver plays under 100, they lose. San Antonio can win above or below scoring 100 points, speeding the tempo up (Ginobili & Parker), or slowing it down. They’re just solid, well-prepared, selfless & smart from the top of the organization, from the top of the team, on down to the last player on the bench.

By the way, I’ve been a big fan of Ginobili since he came to the Spurs. He doesn’t get near enough credit for what he does. If he were on another team, where he had a chance to be “the guy”, I think he’d be discussed more seriously for the MVP (and I was really sorry to see them let Scola go to Houston in the offseason, but he’s really blossomed over there.).

Wendell Wallace said...

Thanks for the comment and viewing of my blog, I enjoyed your page and got a lot of great sports on there. Enjoy watching the Spurs beatdown the Suns like they did Friday and Scola does play hard. Has to learn how to finish at the rim...TAKE IT STRONG LUIS!!

halley said...

The Spurs did a great job defeating the Suns esp during the last minutes of the game. The Spurs were shooting crucial shots while the Suns were having turnovers. And yea, Fab Oberto did great on game 5. He was playing like he really used to. I'd love to see Luis Scola play in a white and black jersey. But I think he'll be great in red. He still has a long way to go but he's already showing the association that he's one great player.

Well said, Nate.. What you just said is brilliant!..

Have Jumpshot Will Travel (a.k.a. Trashtalk Superstar) said...

I also agree with Nate Records' take on the Spurs. I love the way the Spurs play. They have a coterie of outstanding players who selflessly fit into their roles (note the absence of a "go to guy" like Kobe, LeBron, T.Mac, etc. -- the Spurs' star, Tim Duncan, is among the most selfless guys in the league), they play tough defense and they exude professionalism.

The Spurs play the way great NBA teams are supposed to play. What's more, they compare favorably to any of the great teams from days gone by: particularly the modern dynasties such as the Celtics and Lakers of the mid 1980's, the "Bad Boy" Pistons of the late 1980's, the Bulls of the 1990's and the Lakers of the early 2000's.

And Manu Ginobili is one of my favorite players too. What gets me is the fact that he ALWAYS goes to his left.

I know that Ginobili is going to go left, defenses know that Ginobili is going to go left, coaches know that Ginobili is going to go left and everyone in the arena knows that Ginobili is going to go left ... yet nobody can stop him from going to his left!

As for the Spurs vs. New Orleans series: I expect Chris Paul to give Tony Parker some problems. And New Orleans is a tougher team than most people realize. But I expect the Spurs to win the series.

nbaroundtable said...

I loved seeing Oberto create those two baskets for himself late in the third quarter. The wheels were coming un-done for San Antonio, at the same time Phoenix were making their run, and they desperately needed someone to step up and get them a basket. Oberto took so much pressure off the team. I felt nothing but relief for the Spurs in that moment. Two huge hoops at a critical point.

San Antonio and New Orleans is going to be a heck of a series.

VJ Rabid said...

Hey John and Ceba,

I have written up a preview of Hornets vs. Spurs. And also, the video I included is a gem. It's a Spanish-language Manu feature from 2005, which includes footage from the 2004 Olympics and the 2005 NBA Playoffs. It comes straight from Argentina!


VJ Rabid

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