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LCB Hoops Picks: NBA's Big Sunday

February 28, 2010

Myself and Berndon preview the games airing on ABC, giving you our picks for Suns v. Spurs and Nuggets v. Lakers.


Phoenix Suns vs San Antonio Spurs @ 1:00 on ABC:
Langston: There are three tiers of teams in the Western Conference. The first tier consists of two teams, who just happen to be playing in the second game on ABC. The second tier consists of the teams who will make the playoffs then win a game or two and quite possibly a series, but don't pose much of a threat to win it all. Then there is the third tier, the lottery teams.

These two teams fit into the second tier. It doesn't mean they're bad, it just means they probably don't have what it takes to beat the Lakers or Nuggets in a seven game series. The Spurs are a consistently competitive team that seem to be missing that extra piece. They thought it would be RJ, but you can ask Teach how that move worked out. As for the Suns, they lack depth. Quickly illustrated in two words: Jarron Collins. Or better yet: Grant, starting.

Now I don't want to lead you to believe that this game is unwatchable or a complete waste of time. Because it's just the opposite, you get a lot of entertainment value in this game. There is Steve Nash playing his best ball with an AARP card in hand, Robin doing his best Brook impression, Manu looking like his old self, Timmy being fundamentally awesome, the possibility of Tony Parker to randomly rap in French, RJ stealing from Peter Holt on national TV and oh so much more. With all that early game awesomeness awaiting you, I'll close by encouraging you to enjoy this game of two teams destined to lose in the playoffs. I know I will. San Antonio 95, Phoenix 99.

Berndon: Phoenix has been on fire lately, having won 8 of their last 10. San Antonio on the other hand, has been anything but, going for 3 wins in their last 7. Parker will probably not play due to some kind of ailment, Jefferson will probably suck like he has all year, yet the Spurs are going to win. Simply because they own the Suns. Ever Since Duncan banked in that 3 ball in the playoffs a couple of years ago, it seems like the Spurs always have the Suns number. I don't know how the Suns are 37-23 right now. Nash is old, Amare plays no defense, and while having a healthy Grant Hill playing the 3 might have been awesome circa 1998, it doesn't bode well for a team in 2010. The Spurs will eventually get their act together, with the long rodeo road trip behind them, starting today with a 97-87 win.

Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers @ 3:30 on ABC:
Langston: There are only 23 games left in the season and the Lakers still have a big issue they need to confront; complacency. Now this problem stems from a couple of different areas, mainly injuries and a lack of urgency. Injuries happen to everyone, but they are still a problem. They hamper a teams continuity and their capability to gel. For a team with Ron Artest added to the lineup and a much improved Andrew Bynum, this is a problem. As for the lack of urgency, that can be attributed to a season ago. They didn't play at the same level during the regular season that they did in the playoffs. The end result; home court advantage and a Championship, perhaps leading them to believe they could do it again this season. But let's get back to the end result of complacency. The biggest problem with it, is that it doesn't allow for execution. Which halts their ability to peak at the right time and build towards a unionized goal, that goal being the NBA Finals. Making this lack of execution a big problem, especially for a team trying to repeat in a much improved conference and league. The Lakers know they have a problem and hopefully, with this game, they start to work on it. Denver 104, Los Angeles 112.

Berndon: The last time Denver played L.A. in Los Angeles, they beat them. Likewise, when the Lake Show came to Denver, they also got beat. I simply do not see Denver going up 3-0 in the season series. The Lakers are too good for that. I'm not saying we're going to see the Denver team that lost to the Wizards or anything, I expect this one to be close. But I just think L.A. will battle off the complacency that Langston spoke of, sending a message to the Nuggets that although they might think they have the Lakers' number, it's going to be a little more difficult than they think come playoff time. Lakers 104, Denver 97. (Random side note: I'd like to argue that Dallas is in that top tier. I think they could beat either Denver or the Lakers in a seven game series. But that my friends, is an argument for another time).

3 comments:

Teach said...

The Spurs' owning of the Suns didn't begin with that 3-ball, that was just a continuation of the domination.

February 28, 2010 at 8:26 PM
berndon4 said...

That was the one play that stood out in my head, aside from Robert Horry throwing Nash into the scorer's table.

March 2, 2010 at 12:11 AM
Teach said...

The whole Suns-Spurs rivalry unfolds like a lesson in colonial powers. The Suns were always there to beef up the mother country with raw materials, and, sadly, the empire collapsed from within.

March 2, 2010 at 8:26 PM

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