Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Win Or Go Home (Pro Update 4-24)

Posted by Josh on April 24, 2007

The NBA Playoffs have begun, extending the seasons of two former Orangemen. The other two get an extra 6 weeks of vacation. There are still several guys active overseas too.

Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets wrested home-court advantage from the Spurs by winning Game 1 of their series 95-89 on Sunday. Carmelo had 30 points, 8 rebounds, only 2 turnovers and shot 56% from the floor. The Nugs effectively shut down the Spurs’ top players, with Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili shooting a combined 19-52 (36.5%) from the floor. Melo had little to do with that, as he wasn’t guarding any of those guys. But that meant he could save his energy for the offensive end of the floor, where he was dominant, especially in the first half, draining several long jumpers over Bruce Bowen. Game 2 is tomorrow night.

Etan Thomas and the Wizards were not as fortunate, losing by 15 to the Cavaliers on Sunday. They fought the Cavs tough but made too many turnovers and took too many bad shots down the stretch. It looks like Washington will have to play close to perfect to win a game in this series. Etan had 2 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes. The Cavs are a tough matchup for him since their center (Ilgauskas) plays a lot on the perimeter, where Etan’s strength on defense is less of an asset, not to mention that he is not close to the basket to rebound when shots go up. The Wiz spent a lot of time without a true center on the court, trying to increase their offensive effectiveness. Game 2 in this series is also on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the seasons of Jason Hart and Hakim Warrick have come to an end. The Clippers ended up just shy of the playoffs, getting beaten out by the Golden State Warriors over the last four games of the season. The Clips were eliminated before their final game had concluded when the Warriors put a hurt on Portland in the final game of the year. Hart’s final numbers with the Clippers: 23 games, 9.0ppg, 4.0apg, 3.6rpg. He also averaged just 1.5 turnovers per game (that’s a 2.7:1 assist-turnover ratio). Whether he will be re-signed by LA for next season probably depends on Sam Cassell’s back and Shaun Livingston’s knee, but his good work ought to have earned him another contract somewhere in the Association next fall. My own speculation is that he could end up back in San Antonio, where they have not been pleased with the development of Beno Udrih (so much so that he’s recently been replaced by Jacque Vaughn as Tony Parker’s primary backup).

Hakim Warrick ended the year with an 18-point, 7-rebound performance vs. Minnesota. His final numbers for the season: he played in all 82 games, averaging 12.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 26 minutes per game. But really his season had three phases. Phase 1: the first 6 weeks without Pau Gasol. Hak started the first 23 games of the season. Game 23 was when Gasol returned from injury, though he (Gasol) did not start that night. Warrick averaged 30 min, 15.3 ppg and 5.8 rpg during this stretch. The first game Gasol started (#24), Hak came off the bench and scored 20 points. But after that his playing time and production dipped. This was Phase 2 of the season. With the exception of a spot-start on Dec 26 vs. the Spurs (in which he played 38 minutes, scoring 27 points and grabbing 7 rebounds), for games 25 through 50 he averaged 18 minutes, 8.5 points and 2.8 rebounds. Then in Game 51, though still not starting, his playing time spiked to 27 minutes, and for the rest of the season he only played under 20 minutes three times. He re-entered the starting lineup in Game 64 and stayed there the rest of the year. His averages for the final 33 games (50 thru 82) were 28 minutes, 13.2 ppg and 6.2 rpg. His game-highs for the year were 31 points on Dec 8, 16 rebounds on April 3, 5 assists on Nov 4, and 3 blocks on Nov 21. Memphis will likely have one of the top two picks in the draft, which means Greg Oden or Kevin Durant could be battling Hak for playing time next year. They might try to move Gasol this off-season, although with no word yet on who is replacing Jerry West as GM, that might be easier said than done.

D-League

Damone Brown’s season has also come to a close, as the SkyForce lost by two points to the Dakota Wizards on Saturday. Damone had 21 points and 5 rebounds, and ends the year averaging 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists in 25 D-league games. I’d wager he’s earned an invitation to an NBA summer camp at least, and if that falls through he can always go back to Japan. We’ll keep you posted over the summer.

Europe

Otis Hill’s Anwil team has lost the first two games of their playoff series against the top-ranked Prokom Trefl. In Game 1 on Monday, they lost by 7; Otis had 12 points and 6 boards. Game 2 has just gone final (remember it is now 11pm Tuesday in Poland) and Anwil suffered a tough 1-point defeat. Otis had just 8 points and 6 boards, playing with foul trouble. These were both road games though — Anwil has a chance to even the series at home on Saturday and Monday. The first round of these playoffs was a best-of-5 series, so I imagine this round is too — so Anwil is facing elimination.

The rest of the European leagues are still in their regular seasons:

  • Preston Shumpert had 8 points and 7 boards in a loss on Sunday, and Benetton (thanks to their penalty for illegal roster moves) looks dead in the water with only three games left.
  • Elvir Ovcina had 9 points and 9 rebounds in a win Saturday. There are three games remaining in his regular season. They are currently in a 3-way tie for 2nd place in the 10-team league so they have a good shot at the playoffs but it is by no means a sure thing.
  • Ethan Cole had 11 points and 10 rebounds in a win Saturday. His team has one more regular-season game remaining — they are currently in 10th place and probably will not be in the playoffs.

New Zealand

Josh Pace scored 27 points and had 6 rebounds on Friday, but it wasn’t enough as the Nelson Giants dropped their third game of the year. They are now 5-3, but there are still 8 weeks left in the season. So unless the Denver Nuggets go deep into the playoffs, you might be looking at a lot of Josh Pace Updates for the bulk of May and June.

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One Response to “Win Or Go Home (Pro Update 4-24)”

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