Quijano: Thoughts on the NBA Playoffs and Finals

Last Round
SunStar Quijano
SunStar Quijano

The NBA Playoffs and the Finals so far have been quite a revelation of sorts. Here are my thoughts:

1.) Size and athleticism definitely matters in today’s iteration of the NBA. We saw how the defending champions Denver Nuggets out-muscled Lebron James and the LA Lakers. Anthony Davis was their only dominating inside presence and he was no match for Nikola Jokic, and Aaron Gordon. In turn, the Nuggets were defeated in seven games by the Minnesota Timberwolves who paraded two 7-footers in Ruby Gobert and Karl Anthony Towns. No small wonder the Golden State Warriors are nowhere in contention in the Western conference (pun intended);

2.) The Dallas Mavericks were able to match up well with the Timberwolves in terms of size, and when all else is equal, experience matters which is where Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving excelled. We all know Kyrie is an NBA champion and has been to the playoffs countless times. Doncic is young but has been playing on the world stage since he was a teenager and has been to the playoffs on several occasions. You could not say the same for Towns and Anthony Edwards.

3.) However in the Finals, while the Boston Celtics do not have the size advantage, the have been able to render the Dallas big men quite ineffective. Although Kristaps Porzingis was able to play and deliver big in game 1 which made them match up well in the size department, in games 2 and 3, Kyrie Irving played poorly and with their big men unable to make contributions, Dallas became a one-man team in Donkic;

4.) Even so, Doncic’s lack of athleticism was in full display which the Celtics were able to capitalize fully in games 1-3. His defenders would just blow by him almost at will and consequently, he even fouled out in game 3 which practically ruined their chances of a comeback in a game which was still winnable in the last 2 minutes.

5.) Dallas did manage to win big in game 4 with a 38 point win margin, the 3rd largest in NBA Finals history with both Luka and Irving playing well and their big men able to contribute. One thing quite noticeable was that Dallas was able to minimize penetration and contest forays to the basket. This is where they were able to capitalize on their size advantage.

6.) Kyrie will continue to be the x-factor coming into game 5. He has broken his Boston jinx as it took him more than 3 years to eventually win over the Celtics. I predict Boston to eventually win the series but because I don’t like mismatches I want a game 6 or a 7 simply because I am intrigued by the possibility of adjustments being made by these two teams. In the two games that Kyrie he has played well, Dallas has won and in the other , came close to getting a win so it’s pretty obvious that Dallas goes where he goes;

7.) I just think that Boston has too many weapons in their tool shed and it’s too much for Dallas to win 4 consecutive games. This series is already Boston’s and it’s theirs for the taking.

LAST ROUND. It’s on Chemin Teves who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers partner!

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