Saturday, May 21, 2005

Western Conference Finals

The San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns will square off in game one of the Western Conference finals on Sunday afternoon and NBA fans will have the opportunity to see a great offense against a great defense. So, who will win? Let's break down the series.

I haven't given the Spurs a lot of credit in the play-offs because I believe they rely too much on Tim Duncan and they don't play well enough on the road. In the five major categories (scoring, rebounds, Assists, steals, and blocks) Duncan leads the team in three of them. You can say that when Duncan is on the Spurs are on. The problem with that is when you get to this point in the play-offs you can't just rely on one man. Jordan had Pippen, Karl Malone had John Stockton, Duncan has ?????? There are a few names you could put in there like Ginobili or Parker, but there just isn't a name that fits yet, and that could turn out to be a problem for the Spurs. One man cannot carry this team into the finals. For the Spurs to have a chance to win the series guys like Robert Horry is going to have to make a significant impact. The Spurs will also have to win on the road. San Antonio dropped a game in Denver and two in a row in Seattle in the first and second rounds.

For Phoenix to win, they will have to get healthy fast. The Suns bench doesn't go very deep and that could create a problem, not in scoring but on defense. Stoudemire is going to score, Nash is going to score, and Marion will score. Everyone that plays for Phoenix will score, but who is going to guard Duncan? One man cannot do it alone. Joe Johnson will have to make his way back to help with that issue. Look for Phoenix to guard Duncan by committee.

In the end I think Phoenix will have too much offense for the Spurs. Tim Duncan could go off and have a great series, but he can't beat Phoenix by himself! The Suns do have a Dynamic Duo in Nash and Stoudemire and they will run the floor. While the Suns are trying to figure out how to defend one man, the Spurs will need to find a way to defend all five guys on the floor for Phoenix.

PREDICTION: Suns win the series.