NBA Playoffs: 10 Things That Make Us Grumpy

NBA Playoffs: 10 Things That Make Us Grumpy

April 23, 2010STEINMETZ ARCHIVENBA PAGE NBA SCOREBOARD

Nothing beats the NBA postseason: Games virtually every night, intensity from tip-off to buzzer and the kind of pressure that separates the men from the boys.

Still, as great as the playoffs are, they could be better with just a little bit of tinkering. So, playing the role of hoops curmudgeon, here are 10 things I dont like about the 2009-10 playoffs:

Injuries: There are too many of them. Andrew Bogut, Andrei Kirilenko, Greg Oden, Mehmet Okur, Brandon Roy, etc. Yes, its the cost of an 82-game schedule, but it just stinks that some teams are playing their most meaningful game without their key players.

Real life: Bottom line is that, unfortunately, life gets in the way of the postseason. Too many games to watch with things like a job and family.

Stoppages: There are too many timeouts, and theyre too long to begin with.

Missing teams: The 16 best teams arent in the tourney. After watching some of Miami, Chicago and Charlotte, its obvious the league needs to change the format. Houston, Memphis and New Orleans should be in there.

Not enough Van Gundy: Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy is terrific, absolutely terrific as an analyst. Too bad he can only do one game per day.

No George Karl: Its just not the same seeing the Denver Nuggets without George Karl on the sidelines. Get well soon.

First-round formality: Theres just not enough opening-round intrigue, what with teams such as Chicago, Miami and Milwaukee, just to name a few, having no chance to win.

Enduring Kobe Bryant hate: Look you dont have to like him, but at least appreciate him as a player. Hes one of the greatest of all-time, no matter how many times you say he stinks.

No Steve Javie: Hes one of the NBAs best officials, and hes been out since December with a leg injury. This time of year, the league needs the best refs it can get.

The charge: Doesnt matter if its preseason, regular season or playoffs, too many charges are being called and it detracts from athleticism and quality. Lets quit rewarding non-athletes who slide under.

-- Matt Steinmetz

With Zaza out for Game 4, Brown has two options for fifth starter

With Zaza out for Game 4, Brown has two options for fifth starter

SAN ANTONIO -- Warriors center Zaza Pachulia was officially declared out prior to Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs on Monday night.

Pachulia sustained a right heel contusion is the first half of Game 2 last Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. He has since done very little in practice and was listed as doubtful on the morning injury report.

Though acting head coach Mike Brown did not name backup center JaVale McGee to replace Pachulia in the starting lineup, that is the expectation. McGee started Game 3 on Saturday night and played well.

Brown gave himself some wiggle room, saying the Warriors could opt for rookie wing Pat McCaw if the Spurs start with a small lineup.

“For us, it's not that big of a deal,” Brown said in his pregame news conference. “We're either going to start JaVale or Patrick McCaw. We haven't made a decision yet, and I don't know when we're going to make a decision, but we'll go between those two guys.”

 

Spurs rule Leonard out for Game 4 against Warriors

Spurs rule Leonard out for Game 4 against Warriors

SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich took a seat at the podium for his pregame news conference and confirmed what had been anticipated for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors.

All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard will be on the sideline for the third consecutive game.

Leonard twice aggravated his sprained left ankle in the third quarter of Game 1 at Oracle Arena and has not practiced since. Though he was listed as doubtful on the team’s injury report Monday morning -- the Spurs did not have a shootaround -- it was a foregone conclusion he would not play.

Popovich made the announcement by answering a question about Leonard’s status with two words: “Same, same” before confirming he would be out.

The Warriors have outscored the Spurs 302-253 since Leonard left with 7:53 left in the third quarter of Game 1.