Sunday’s huge win against the Spurs put the Suns record at 4-6 with Shaq in the lineup.
Getting the win was the good part.
The bad part? The Suns with Shaq may now be better equipped to handle teams that play a more conventional half court game like the Spurs, than run and gun teams like the Warriors and Nuggets. This from the team that was THE run and gun team in the league before the trade.
Speaking of the Spurs, they get no break this upcoming week as they have the desperate Nuggets at home before going on the road to face New Orleans, Detroit, and Philadelphia.
In a conference as tight as the West is, this schedule will do the Spurs no favors as they try to keep up with the Lakers for the top seed.
With the Yao-less Rockets on a 18 game winning streak led by Tracy McGrady, you get the feeling that if the team can keep this up and make it to the playoffs, it will take some of the heat off of McGrady for his playoff failures—even if the Rockets get bounced in the first round.
When Yao went down, many “experts” predicted the team would fold and miss the playoffs. McGrady seems to be on a mission to show his critics just how good he is.
Can you blame Boston and Detroit for being worried about facing the Cavs in the playoffs? After seeing King James go for 50, 39, and 38 this week, I’d be worried too.
In a seven game series, James alone, is probably worth two games; if his teammates step up like Daniel Gibson did in last year’s conference finals, the top 2 in the East will certainly have their hands full.
To those who think reseeding the NBA is a good idea, I offer this argument: the tightness of the Western Conference is giving us great matchups every night whose intensity rivals playoff action. When is the last time we could say that about either conference?
The other thing to look at as well is the fact that things like this happen in sports from time to time. The last thing anyone should do is get knee jerky about it.
If the Rockets finish the regular season with the number one seed in the West how many votes would Tracy McGrady get for MVP?
BECAUSE WE’RE BETTER THAN YOU (MVP RANKINGS)
1. KOBE BRYANT
His Lakers lead the West and barring anything crazy happening, should finish the season in the same spot. A player criticized for being selfish before has learned to trust his teammates but still takes over when necessary.
2. LEBRON JAMES
This is more like 1a since you can make the argument that James lacks the talent around him that Kobe does and yet his Cavs are the most feared team in the East because of what he brings to the table. My solution to the MVP debate is to have Kobe play Lebron 1 on 1 to 21- winner gets the trophy. Seems like the only fair way at this point.
3. EVERYBODY ELSE
You can put whoever you like in this spot, there’s KG, CP3, and Deron Williams just to name a few who belong here depending on who you ask. But since we all know that the trophy will come down to the 2 players listed above, there’s really no point in naming a number 3.
THERE’S NO I IN TEAM...BUT THERE IS IN MY POWER RANKINGS
1. L.A. LAKERS
With the best closer on the roster, this is one team I wouldn’t bet against no matter who they are playing.
2. BOSTON CELTICS
The “Boston Three Party” keeps rolling along and their victory against the Pistons all but guaranteed their number one seed in the East.
3. HOUSTON ROCKETS
Granted there are other teams better right now but when you win 18 in a row you have my respect and the number 3 ranking on my board. As soon as they lose rest assured they’ll never get back.
THE “SORRY HONEY NOT TONIGHT” GAMES OF WEEK
David Stern needs to step in and fix the schedule because on Friday we have the Lakers/Hornets and the Jazz/Celtics.
The only problem is that the Lakers/Hornets game starts 30 minutes after the Jazz/Celtics tip off. Stern please do something, you changed the ball without warning, and you can fix this!!!
Enjoy this week’s action and tune back next Monday for the next AT THE BUZZER.