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10 May 2005

Let Me Spell It Out For You

Note: I added a direct link to the NBA portion of the Sports Bloggers Live internet radio show. See previous post.

Barring an injury to one of the Spurs Big Three, the Sonics aren't winning this series. They can, however, win a game (possible) or two (highly unlikely). Here's how:

A) Pray the Spurs have one of those games. Spurs fans know what I am talking about. Totally lackluster play with numerous unforced turnovers and/or a well-placed 0-17 shooting drought that includes a dozen easily makeable shots.

B) Go to a 2-3 zone for the whole game. Look people, the Sonics are a HORRIBLE defensive team. They have nobody that can stay in front of Tony Parker or The Sickness. They have only one guy that can challenge shots in the paint (JJ). They have one guy (JJ) that has a prayer when it comes to slowing Duncan. They have no chance of slowing the Spurs straight up. That's why they have to go to a 2-3 zone.

And when I say 2-3, I mean five guys in the paint at all times. Put JJ right under the basket with Evans and Lewis on the boxes. Allen and Ridnour man the elbows. Nobody is allowed within 5 feet of Tony Parker until he gets into the paint. The guy is an awful jump shooter. Luke Ridnour has a better jump shot than The Wee Frenchman (yes, Sonics fans, he's that bad). The Sonics should be begging him to shoot outside the paint. Go under every screen, play way, way, way off him (I'm talking cornerback-defending-Randy-Moss off him). The Spurs do have some good outside shooters (Barry, Manu, Udrih, Horry, Brown, G. Robinson), but, hey, maybe they go cold or maybe the Spurs start trying to force the ball into TD despite the immediate triple team. Either of those scenarios are more likely than Parker/'Nobili missing easy layups or Fortson/Collison/Potato figuring out a way to guard Duncan without fouling him.

***

Sometime later this week I'll post my thoughts on the MVP.

Here's something ESPN's Eric Neel wrote about Tony Parker (taken from the Monday's Daily Dime):

"Twenty-nine on 11-of-18? Twenty-nine pretty much all on layups and blow-by runners? Twenty-nine as an opening salvo?

If they weren't keyed on you before, Tony Parker, you can bet they're coming for you now. Just like the Lakers did a year ago after you ran by Payton like he was a pigeon perch in the park. You can count on it. You can expect the muscle in Game Two. A little more jamming and grabbing from young Luke and AD, a well-timed high-post pick, maybe another Potapenko or two.

It's all coming. But here's the thing, Tony: They can't stop you. You're only 22, and you've only ever played for the most buttoned-down, professional crew in the league, so maybe you're not quite feeling the truth of that in all its puffed-chest glory. But true it is. They can't stop you.

They'll challenge you, sure, but if you rise up to that moment, if you channel the spirit of Isiahs-and-Iversons-gone-by, you'll own them. You're too quick, too good to both hands, too versatile on the fly and with the floater, for it to be otherwise. Do you realize this, TP? Can you build now on where you were after the first couple of games against the Lakers last time 'round? Can you sense that this is your fly-up moment? Are you ready for the rising? If you are, this thing's over, long before Duncan gets warm and Manu comes calling. If you are, it's over right now."

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All content copyright Matthew Powell 2005.