16 May 2007

I Agree With David Stern?

And not just cause I hate the Phoenix Suns (I also hate the San Antonio Spurs).

Diaw and Stoudemire deserve the punishment they've earned, even if it costs their team this series. They knew the rule, they violated it. It's that simple. Not everyone agrees with me and David Stern, though.

And Robert Horry, MVP?

His foul wasn't a cheap shot, it was a hard foul, an intentional foul, but Nash did overact once he was flying through the air. Being from Canada, you'd think he'd appreciate a hip check into the boards.

But as far as Horry, it was a veteran play, a tone setter for the next game, and he lucked out that two of the stars for Phoenix got sucked into getting themselves suspended.

As far as the rest of the playoffs, I'm leaning towards thinking that Charles Barkley is right and Utah has a real chance at winning it all. I didn't think they'd get out of the first round, but they've surprised me, and they match up well against any team they might face. Could Sloan get his first championship with these guys? Seems incredible, but not impossible.

Whichever team survives the battle between the Spurs and the Suns will be physically and emotionally spent and may have trouble facing a strong, rested, and motivated Jazz team.

And whichever team advances in the West will be a much better team than either of the teams likely to emerge from the East. Detroit and Cleveland are good for Eastern Conference squads, but I expect them to have trouble against any of the possible Western Conference champions.

Every year there's a 2nd round match up that's better than the finals it seems. This year it's the San Antonio v. Phoenix match. The NBA needs to radically alter how they seed the playoff teams. Here's how they should do it.

Mix the conferences together from the first round on. Take the six division winners and make them the 1-6 seeds. Let each team pick their opponent out of any of the remaining 10 playoff teams in order of season record. If the playoffs were set up that way, a possible first round would look something like this, Dallas-Orlando, Phoenix-Washington, Detroit-Lakers, Utah-Golden State, Toronto-New Jersey, Miami-Houston, leaving San Antonio-Cleveland as the two teams that none of the conference winners wanted to face.

All the following rounds would be reseeded based on season record with the three first round winners with the best record being able to pick their opponents from the other five teams.

A system like this would reward consistency in the regular season, give more teams a reason to play all the way up to the last game, and allow coaching staffs of the best teams to pick opponents that match-up with them in a manner they find attractive.

Seeing the same teams knock each other out in the 2nd round is a bit annoying, instead having a possible Final of Dallas v Phoenix or Phoenix v San Antonio is a lot more attractive than the possible Utah v Cleveland showdown that might be looming.

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