Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eastern Conference Final, Ingles Says No To NBA

Sheed needs to stay focused if the Pistons are to advance.

The Eastern Conference final sees the #1 seed Boston Celtics take on #2 Detroit Pistons. The Celtics have already survived two seven game series, so do they have enough left in the tank?

The Pistons have been there, done that before, so it is business as normal. As for the Celtics they have had to expend a lot of energy to get passed Atlanta and Cleveland so the physical Pistons will only put more wear on their already used tyres.

Let's take a deeper look as to who I think will win the series and advance to the NBA Finals.

The Pistons success in this series will sit squarely on the attitude of Rasheed Wallace. Wallace is one of the most talented players in the NBA at both ends of the floor but if he manages to get sidetracked he becomes detrimental to his own team.

The Wallace/Kevin Garnett (Celtics) matchup is going to be a cracka to watch. Each player has the ability to take the other out of their respective comfort zone. Wallace can defend Garnett down low and challenge his array of fake aways, while Garnett has the tools to play Wallace on the perimeter, especially when the Pistons go to their pick and pop offense.

As for the backcourt matchup, someone needs to wake up Ray Allen from his deep sleep if the Celtics are to be at all competitive in this series. To date Allen has just been plain disappointing in the playoffs.

You can argue that the championship winning Pistons backcourt of Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton is the best in the league so Allen and Rajan Rondo better come ready to play. It is key that Rondo makes Billups play at both ends of the floor. Rondo will do his best to make Billups earn everything he gets at the offensive end, but on the flipside, Rondo better stay active on "O" so Mr Big Shot cannot rest.

I feel Allen will come alive in this series because he will have to chase Hamilton around on "D" so he should naturally be more involved in the game. Plus I'm sure he is feeling this is his chance to amend a poor display to date.

Paul Pierce needs to have a huge scoring series for the Celtics but this will be difficult as Tayshaun Prince will love the challenge of locking him down. I feel Pierce is the only guy on the Celtics that can consistently produce offense by his own means. You need this factor when it becomes a grinding style of game.

James Posey is going to be a key player off the bench for the Celtics. His defensive prowess will be required to harass Hamilton and/or Billups while his three point shooting will need to be on target to keep the Pistons defense stretched.

On the other side the Pistons have been getting great service out of rookie Rodney Stuckey and Jason Maxiell throughout the playoffs. Stuckey gained valuable experience in the last two games that Billups missed through injury. Look for these two young promising players to bring some energy of the bench.

The benches for both teams will have their moments but this series is going to come down to which team's "Money Men" come up bigger.

There is no doubt in my mind that Ray Allen will bust out of his slump, but I'm not betting against Chauncey in this situation. Pistons in six.

NBL News:
Joe Ingles puts his NBA dream on hold while he chases his Olympic dream. This would be a tough decision to make when you are young. In Joe's case he still has next year for the NBA draft. I hope Joe knows best and if he does, he might just have his cake and eat it to. Ah, to have options!

36ers coach Scott Ninnis is still hopeful Julius Hodge is his man but in the meantime he is looking at other players. I just hope he is not watching his highlight tape and thinking of making a comeback.

Former basketball player wins rising star nomination.

Jason Crowe looking to get back in the NBL.

NBA News:
Spurs finally win on the road. They advance to the Western Conference final where they play Kobe and his Lakers.

Daily Dime

Draft Lottery is today.

Celtics/Pistons Preview:

4 comments:

Snoop Wogg said...

Can you believe the Bulls were one of the favourites to win the East, stink up the season and now fluke the No 1 pick!!! Lucky bastards. No love for my Knicks. Also, wise move by Jingles to pull out? I think so. Certainly no S Dwight decision, he could rasie his stock higher next year....

The Substitute said...

Pistons in six was my tip too but I hope that today's effort was not a sign of things to come...

(I am a Pistons fan and a Celtics hater if you hadn't already noticed).

I didn't get a chance to see today's game but it sounds like Chauncey needs to lift. He hasn't played for over a week and a half so perhaps by game 3 he will be back at his best.

Lakers should win the West in 5.

John Rillie said...

Wogg:

I think your Knicks are not that far off. Get Starbury out of there for a solid PG and you will be in business.

John Rillie said...

Sub:

I just like the Pistons way of going about business. I have only seen a little of the game today..but the Celtics had some good ball movement which is key in any league, let alone against the Pistons.