Saturday, April 19, 2008

Day 1 recap

Cavs-Wizards: The intensity and hatred between these two teams means a great series is on the way. I still think this one goes 7, but LeBron is obviously the difference. Washington trapped off-and-on in the fourth quarter to get the ball out of LeBron's hands, but when the game was in doubt down the stretch twice LeBron started off the ball, got it late, then scored in the lane. The Wizards had no answer. They won't next time either.

Spurs-Suns: Wow. One of the better playoff games in recent history, and another long series in store. How much will this take out of either team? Hard to say, but my guess is that the Suns bounce back to win Game 2. A disturbing trend for Phoenix, however, is the number of layups the Spurs got after halftime. SA wore out the screen-and-roll game and took advantage of another lapse (either in strategy or execution) that bit the Suns again. One giveaway game is often too much to overcome.

Hornets-Mavs: I initially didn't think that the Mavs psyche would matter, but that second half meltdown -- lack of poise, searching for foul calls, lack of identity -- was there all over again. Much like the Cavs-Wizards series, Paul is the best player on the floor, and I don't know how the Mavs can prevent him from dominating and winning three more games in this series. And yes, Dallas would have a better chance at stopping Paul with Devin Harris, not Jason Kidd.

Jazz-Rockets: I picked this series in 5, but the Jazz should sweep. They're tougher, more organized and have better players. Without Yao, in particular, the Rockets just don't have the roster to be able to get this done.

And finally, let me shamelessly note that the four teams who won today are the four teams that I picked to win their respective series.

What a day. Back tomorrow.