Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cut down the Nets

Tomorrow at 1pm, the New Jersey Nets will be in town for the opening game of Round 2. Winner of the series goes to the Eastern Conference Finals.

A quick glance at the Nets would tell you that this series is no problem. Take into consideration the following;

- New Jersey finished the regular season at 41-41, the same record as our first-round opponent, Washington.
- The Cavaliers won 2 of 3 during the regular season, the sole defeat by two points on a night where Jersey shot 15% BETTER than Cleveland.
- The Nets are 17-24 on the road, and they will have to steal one at The Q, where the Cavs are 30-11.

It's easy to say that the Cavs could sweep again, maybe even win it in five without concern. Don't be fooled.

- The Nets have just taken a series from Toronto, who finished the season at 47-35....only three games back of Cleveland.
- Jersey has won 10 of their last 13 games.
- When they needed a win to get the 6th seed, they crushed Chicago, the hottest team in the East.

So let's all come back to earth and realize that this is the playoffs. The eight best teams in the league are left standing, and Jersey is one of them. They are here for a reason....actually, two of them. Vince Carter and Jason Kidd. Two players who would each complete any roster in the NBA and carry them to the finals. And we have to take on both of them at the same time.

Carter's going to get his 25 points per game. Count on it.
Kidd's going to dish out 10 assists every night. Count on it.

The key to winning this series is shutting down Richard Jefferson. Jefferson is the guy who buries a team when they're too busy double-teaming Kidd and Carter, or they're trying to take away the pick-and-roll that Jersey plays so well. Stop Jefferson and you win the series.

Kidd and Carter will get theirs. Stop Jefferson.

Tipoff is tomorrow at 1pm. Go Cavs!

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