NBA Roundup: We Welcome Our Spurs Overlords

I watch the NBA so you don't have to. Last night was one of those times and it's a good thing you didn't watch. With one half of the NBA Finals in place and the other up in the air, it's time for the little Playoff breakdown.

San Antonio vs. Utah

This series showed a lot of promise going in. The Jazz had been dominant at home. So too had the Spurs. The looked like they could match up pretty well, especially in the front court. Even though they were young, the Jazz looked as if they could make some noise, but no one really thought they could win the series. So once again, with a talented lot of players - Boozer and Williams in particular had an amazing series - Jerry Sloan can't get it done. It's a story that's happened over and over again. But of course, no one questions Sloan. No one calls him out for not coming up big when it counts. No one compares him to someone like Marty Schottenheimer. But I digress. The real story here is Tim Duncan and his continued brilliance. You can call out the Spurs for dirty players (Bowen) or cheap players (Manu), but you can't say a bad word about Duncan. He's been the best player in the NBA over the last decade and he's now well on his way to a fourth ring. It doesn't matter who comes out of the East, San Antonio is running on all cylinders now. Manu, Parker and Timmy D are just rolling over teams. Last night, Utah didn't even both to showing up, as I assume the network ratings will show us. It was an absolute beat down. Right now the Spurs are the favorite to win the 2007 NBA Finals. Also the 2008, and 2009, and 2010, etc.

Detroit vs. Cleveland

Cleveland comes back! LeBron is alive! The Eastern Conference Playoffs are exciting for once! Well until you remember that last year the Cavs went down 0-2 to Detroit, then won 3 in a row (including one in Detroit) and then proceeded to choke away the final two games of the series. Will this be a repeat of last season? If the Pistons decide to wake the fuck up, then yes. This series, thus far, has been decided by a few plays. It's tied up at 2-2, but each game could have gone either way. The Cavs could have already locked this up if LeBron showed up in Games 1 and 2. By that same token, if the 'Stons tried at all on the road, they could easily be up 3-1. The series breaker thus far has been Larry Hughes' injury. He had been playing terrible up until he broke his foot, but Mike Brown insisted on staying with him, because Mike Brown is an amazing head coach. Once Hughes went down, Gibson stepped up big. He became the player I've been saying he could be all season long. If Huges doesn't get hurt, Gibson doesn't see minutes, and Larry puts up a solid 5 points. Tonight's Game 5 should be an interesting one considering all the subplots that have come about over the last two games. Can the Pistons "flip the switch" and play solid ball again? Will Larry Hughes take up more of Gibson's minutes? Can LeBron keep it up and not just score, but get everyone else involved like he's been doing? Can the Cavs for the second year in a row steal a huge game on the road? I have a feeling that this series isn't going to come down to who shows up on a given night (LeBron or Chauncey or 'Sheed) but which coach implodes first. It's bound to happen. There's no way a series with "Mr. Potato Head" Mike Brown and Flip Saunders goes without some monumental coaching meltdown. It just can't. Look for that one coaching breakdown to be Hughes seeing at least 35 minutes tonight.

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