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Sacramento Kings vs San Antonio Spurs
(1) SAN ANTONIO SPURS
The Spurs are in the hunt for their second title in two years, and they are certainly capable of winning it. Getting points quickly and in bunches is a hallmark of this team.
At point guard, Tony Parker is consistent and reliable. If he can break through, he’ll take the shot, but if he’s stopped, he’ll get the ball back to a trailer at the top of the circle— usually Duncan or Horry. Parker expertly runs the pick and roll, has the quickness to reverse feed the ball to teammates, and possesses the drive to post up and score. He’s a nightmare to defend because he can shoot, and he makes everyone on his team a better shooter.
Defending against the Spurs is a tough assignment. The quick accurate shooting of Barry, Horry, Ginobili, Finely and Parker is enough to stymie any perimeter defense. Inside, Duncan and Nazr Mohammed are fast and always ready to covert a pass to two points.
The Spurs have a deep bench that should serve them well throughout the playoffs. They could go all the way.
(8) SACRAMENTO KINGS
Ron Artest became a King partway through the season, giving the team added defense. He’s one of the best in the league and since he’s been with Sacramento the club has gone 26-14.
Sacramento has always been able to score (98.9 PPG), but this year is different—they can also stop other teams from scoring. Artest has made them tougher and more difficult to penetrate.
Pushing the ball up the court and making things happen fast serves Sacramento best. Mike Bibby (22.1 PPG) needs to be consistent; at the start of the season he was streaky. As a point guard, Bibby excels at pushing the ball into the offensive zone quickly, scoring from the outside, and creating two points with a heads-up pass.
The Kings have the quickness and speed to make things happen instantly. Bonzi Wells can hit from the paint, Shareef Abdur-Rahim can run and score, and Brad Miller can collect the kickback pass, hitting for two at the top of the circle.
This is a dangerous team that has the potential to go deep
into the playoffs playing anyone else besides San Antonio. It
is a shame they draw the best team in the Western Conference
and will likely be a first round exit never be able to show
their true potential.
Maddux Sports Series Picks
San Antonio wins series 4-1
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