Memphis Cannot Stop Chris Paul; Utah Gon’ Fishing

By: 05.08.12

The Spurs weren’t about to let the crowd in Salt Lake City elevate to Kenny Chesney-in-concert levels of hyped (There were also a surprising amount of empty seats at tip-off. Utah fans aren’t used to rolling to the arena so early.), jumping all over the backs of the Jazz’s walking corpses, and rolling to the second round with a 87-81 win to complete the sweep. We might have to check San Antonio’s inner workings for some type of blueprint on how to create a great team without one singular talent. Kenny Smith said it at halftime: “They don’t get good shots… they get GREAT shots.” It’s true. As we wrote this weekend, we need an “extra pass” counter at the bottom of the screen for the Spurs. Outside of a Tim Duncan flop that was so bad Raja Bell was probably chuckling on Utah’s bench, the Spurs were disturbingly effective in the first half, and went into the break up eight … Devin Harris (19 points, seven assists) was balling last night. He spearheaded a 10-0 run to bring Utah within three in the third quarter. He was hitting pull-up Js, wild up-and-under reverses, and everything in-between. Harris has actually been much better in the past five weeks; turns out he didn’t donate his game to free agent-to-be Goran Dragic earlier this year. But then Manu Ginobili (17 points) killed all that noise with two consecutive triples at the end of the quarter to put the Spurs back up 10. Ironically, Ginobili didn’t score in double-digits in any of the series’ first three games, and then scored 10 straight for the No. 1 seed to put it away (Incredibly, the Spurs’ bench scored at least 40 points in every game of this series. That’s outrageous.). Eventually, the Jazz went on an eight minute drought without a bucket that didn’t end until Al Jefferson (26 points, 10 rebounds) hit a jump hook. Just like that, you looked up and San Antonio was up 18. It eventually rose to 21 until Utah came storming back, and cut it all the way down to four in the closing seconds before Batman came through with a steal and a layup that pretty much iced it … Lamar Odom won’t be getting his playoff share from the Dallas Mavericks after flaming out during the season. He doesn’t deserve it either. Somewhere along the way during the lockout, he lost his game, and while we can definitely sympathize with his personal problems, it is what it is. The only problem with all of this is the rest of the Mavs also shouldn’t get their playoff shares. They didn’t show up either … And Allen Iverson says he’s considering a seven-figure offer to play in China, in part because he’s such a big star over there (And here, actually). Please let this happen and please let someone turn this into a documentary … We’re out like Utah.

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