"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

NBA PLAYOFF COMMENTS

Spurs Take Care of Business: The veteran leadership of the San Antonio Spurs proved to be too much for the upstart Memphis Grizzlies. Although the Spurs swept the series, 4 - 0, this was much closer than the final tally indicated. San Antonio needed two overtime wins to take command of the series and then just wore the Grizzlies down in the final game. Tim Duncan, who is rarely if ever mentioned in the same breath as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, continues to lead a very underrated Spurs squad that now has two series sweeps in these playoffs. With the NBA Finals not set to begin until June 6, the aging Spurs now get a much needed rest before taking on either the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers. Whether it's Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili or Tim Duncan stepping up each night, the winner of the Eastern Conference will be facing a tough, savvy, experienced and maybe most importantly, a rested Spurs squad. They certainly took care of business against the inspired Grizzlies. Now critics will point out, and rightfully so, that the Spurs were able to make it to the Finals without having to play any of the other top four seeds, defeating seeds seven, six and five on their way to the Western Conference championship. Would they have beaten the Clippers, a healthy Thunder, or even the Nuggets? We can only speculate, but the fact is they beat everyone they played, going 12 - 2 in the process. Now they get to wait, rest and practice to prepare for the next series. The unfortunate thing is that should the Heat win out, we'll have to wait a week between series, not a great thing for the NBA.

Heat Respond: As you would expect champions to do, the Miami Heat made key offensive adjustments and overwhelmed the Indiana Pacers in a game that could have solidified the underdogs' position as a contender in the series. Instead, LeBron James drove to the hoop at will and the Heat turned up the tempo to an uncomfortable level for the Pacers. I would expect to see more of the same tonight, but I also think Indians coach Frank Vogel will have some answers for the Heat. I think the most telling aspect of the Heat's turnaround is just underrated Miami coach Erik Spoeltra is. We tend to look at the talent on his roster and think all they need to do is roll the ball out on the floor and play ball. But Indiana plays defense at a very high level and Miami changed things up to regain home court advantage in the series. Can the Pacers stay in the series with a win tonight? That remains to be seen, but one thing is certain. They now have to win at least one more game in Miami to prevail, and with multiple options for LeBron in a more open offense, that looks like it may be a bit more difficult. I like the way Indiana plays and I hope they can give the Heat a better game tonight, but they're going to need to find more consistent scoring if the Heat decide to keep the tempo up. I thought before the series started that the Heat could take it in five games. Despite some doubt after game two, I don't see any reason to change that pick at this time.