DAY TWENTY SIX - Absurd suspensions plague what should be in the best series of the playoffs, and the Cavaliers try to finish off the Nets at home tonight.
Nets at Cavaliers, 8:00 PM, TNT
Thoughts: The Cavaliers bounced back in game four like I thought they would, and now it's just a matter of closing out the series. New Jersey has been more than impressive in this series, in particular Jason Kidd, who seems capable of notching a triple-double at will, but the constants have been there all series that will keep Jersey from being able to win. They aren't getting enough from their bigs (props to Miki Moore on game four, but the Nets need more), they're getting out rebounded, and they can't stop LeBron. Vince and RJ haven't been shooting particularly well, and unfortunately, as good as Kidd is, he can't be expected to do everything himself. Cavs win.
Spurs at Suns, 10:30 PM, TNT
Thoughts: A myriad of bonehead plays and reactions by players and worse policies on the part of the league have led to this game five, and this entire series, being corrupted horribly. Simply put, none of the players who are out for tonight's game should have been suspended. This series is too important, and their actions too minimal, to have had this kind of effect. Stern, Stu Jackson, and the league have once again stepped in for the worst, and these two fine basketball teams can only try and over come now.
The unfortunate reality, however, is that Phoenix may simply be unable to recover from this sucker punch blow they've been dealt (I'm talking about the suspensions as much as the Horry shove). Amare Stoudemire accounts for around 30 percent of the Suns rebounds and at least 20 percent of their points. When you couple that with the loss of points, rebounds, and assists from Diaw, you can see how a huge chunk of the Suns has been removed. Losing Horry is going to hurt the Spurs. Even at this stage in his career Horry provides a reliable shooter, big time clutch threes, and a veteran presence. But by no means have the Spurs lost as much as the Suns. I hate to say this, but it's true, the San Antonio is going to win tonight, but only because of these unfair suspensions. Spurs win.
* all times Eastern
Jordan's Playoff Picks so far:
37/58 - 64%
Pistons at Bulls