June 2005 - Posts
Suns 2nd round pick, Marcin Gortat from Poland, was shipped to Orlando for cash. This leaves Phoenix with no draft picks from the 2005 NBA Draft. Their 1st round pick was shipped to New York to complete the Kurt Thomas & Quentin Richardson trade.
I don't think the Suns had much use for this guy anyway, so they shipped him off to get more cap space to sign free agents. Phoenix is looking to win now & get by San Antonio - to do that, they need experienced scorers & defenders.
The 2005 NBA Draft was held Tuesday night and the Suns didn't really come out of it with anything of value, except for it allowing them to complete the Kurt Thomas / Quentin Richardson trade with the Knicks.
Picking at #21, the Suns picked up Nate Robinson from Washington University. He is a good ball player and would've fit in well with the fast-paced, scoring Suns. However, he was shipped to New York to complete the previously mentioned trade.
The Suns 2nd round pick, Marcin Gortat from Poland, is a 7ft 250lbs center - only 21 years of age. From what I've read, he fits the Suns tempo very well, but could be a few years away still. At this point, the draft didn't do much, other than help them get a center / power forward in Kurt Thomas. That's what they really needed, so they still look good for next year.
Surprises of the draft:
- Ike Diogu to the Golden State Warriors at #9. Personally, I think Ike should've gone higher, but he's inbetween a SF and PF which NBA teams aren't too keen on these days.
- Utah trading 3 first-round picks to draft Deron Williams. I think this is going to turn into a bonehead move. They could've stayed where they were and still drafted any one of 3-4 other quality point guards and kept their other picks to help them improve (which they need).
- Portland was high on Gerald Green leading up to the draft but didn't end up taking him, despite their numerous first-round picks.
- LA Lakers take a risk on another high school player, this time it's 7ft, 300lb center Andrew Bynum. This pick can't hurt LA, but they could've used a player more ready for the NBA.
- Charlotte will have plenty of fans next year after drafting North Carolina stars Raymond Felton and Sean May in the first round.
Nothing else too surprising or noteworthy. I'm really looking forward to trades & free agent signings now that the draft is over; many of these players could end up elsewhere before the season gets underway.
This year's NBA Finals came down to which team played better defense down the stretch and who actually wanted the championship more. In this case, San Antonio escaped Game 7 with the victory and the trophy. Detroit did a great job taking the series to a Game 7, but the Spurs weren't going to lose 2 games in a row on their homecourt, where they'd dominated all year.
There is some debate about who should've been the series MVP... Personally, I think Manu Ginobili should've won it as he was the most important factor in them winning the series (aside from Game 5 savior Robert Horry). Duncan played very constistent throughout the series, but did not play at an MVP-caliber level. His free throw shooting is at least partially responsible for 2 of their losses to the Pistons.
NBA Lockout (resolved) Phew...
I'm really glad to see the NBA and the player's union come to an agreement for the collective bargaining agreement for the foreseeable future. The movement of players this summer should be interesting to watch and the NBA Draft should be exciting as well. Here's looking forward to 2005-2006!
Wow, San Antonio almost scored 100 points in a game against Detroit... wouldn't this have been great if Detroit had actually reached 90 themselves? I've written about this horrible NBA Playoff series in a prior article (read more). I'm not the only one with this opinion though, checkout Mike Kahn's article on FoxSports.
I do have to give San Antonio credit, as they've been able to score at-will against a suddenly porous Pistons defense - the Spurs hit 11 3-pointers (45%) in Game 2. Detroit might be in better shape if they could hit a shot also; they followed up a 37% shooting drill on Thursday with a whopping 40% nightmare Sunday evening. Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace have yet to show up; Antonio McDyess has played better thus far, especially after his 15 pt, 7 rb performance Sunday.
Despite the schooling that the Spurs are putting on Detroit, this series still sucks. About the only bright spot is Manu Ginobili... sort of reminds me of Kobe Bryant in his 2nd & 3rd years in the league. Ginobili's creativity is currently unmatched in the NBA, which is great for basketball. His hussle in the 4th quarter of Game 2 helps to show why foreign players are so successful in today's NBA. Ginobili made several deflections and a key steal that led to a 3-pointer to seal the game (actually, it was sealed a lot earlier than that).
Here's hoping San Antonio closes this out in 4 games so we can start talking about the impending NBA lockout.
The matchup for the 2005 NBA Finals is set and I couldn't be more disappointed. San Antonio versus Detroit - wow, what a barn-burner this series is going to be. I've been complaining about how ABC isn't airing the playoffs during the week (or weekends for that matter), but with these two teams playing, I've changed my opinion. Put the entire series on cable so the nation won't have to watch a horrible series. I can see it now.... 85-78, 82-80, etc.
Basketball purists are talking about how this is going to be a great series, but they couldn't be more wrong. See Chris Sheridan's article on Yahoo! Sports - Spurs-Pistons: A matchup to delight the purists, with a subplot or two on the side. Can you say garbage? Because that's what the series will be.
At this point, I'm looking forward to the NBA Draft and free agency more than I am the NBA Finals - if the collective bargaining agreement gets worked out that is.... Who knows, there might not be basketball next season.
I don't like Detroit or San Antonio, but I'd have to give the Spurs the edge in this series; 6 or 7 games.
One of the Finals teams has already been decided; San Antonio edged the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night to win the series 4-1. Despite another monster game by Amare Stoudemire, the Spurs were able to win by keeping the other players in check, particularly Quentin Richardson and Shawn Marion. A great game by Tim Duncan didn't hurt either, nor the three 3-pointers in a row the Spurs knocked down near the end of the 3rd quarter - virtually taking a tie game and leading by 8 pts seconds later (the Suns could not recover).
In the East, despite my own preference, the Miami Heat are up 3-2 on the Pistons and look to complete this series over the weekend. Is it just me, or isn't Miami basically the same team the Pistons played in the Finals last year (Shaq & company)? Why is Detroit suddenly struggling to beat them? I know there are distractions with Larry Brown rumored to be taking the President of Operations title in Cleveland, but the season isn't over yet. Detroit needs to get its **** together quick.
I already don't like the Finals, regardless of who makes it from the East. I think the slow, half-court offenses will make for a boring series with every game in the 80-90 point range. I don't think Phoenix could've scored their 109 point average in the Finals against either East team, but it still would've been entertaining.
Predicted Finals matchup - Miami vs. San Antonio