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Tag Archives: Finals

After destroying Argentina 4-0 on Saturday, Germany are now one game away from what they have been practicing for the past four year, The World Cup.

Germany was in the Cup game in 2002 in which they were defeated by now ousted Brazil 2-0. That team with Oliver Kahn as their  goalie who infamously lost the ball out of the grip of his hands which gave Brazil’s legendary striker Ronaldo a put back goal to give Brazil their second goal of the game. That team was lead by captain Michael Ballack who missed this World Cup due to an injury he suffered with his club team, Chelsea, a month before the games began. He though like Kahn aren’t being missed.

Miroslav Klose, Germany’s forward is making sure he’s the only one people talk about after this World Cup. At age 32 this could be Klose last World Cup and he wants to go out on top in more ways then one. After his two goal performance against Argentina, Miroslav (14 goals) is one goal away from tying Brazil’s Ronaldo (15 goals) for most goals in World Cup play and two goals away from surpassing him and standing alone on top. Klose has four goals in this world cup, one less then Spain’s David Villa who is another player on the rise for his country. With one game for certain remaining Klose wants to get his name to shine bright but I’m sure he looks more for a win then a goal as a nation gets prepared to watch him and his teammates go into battle against Spain in the Semi-Finals for a chance to play the final game of the tournament.

-Timmy Dimas

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Gasol lead the Lakers with 29 points and helped them to a 2-0 series lead

When I saw the Lakers scored 128 points and shot 58% in game 1 I said that it was a fluke and Phoenix would come to play game 2. Well I was wrong. LA scored 124 points on 58% shooting again. Only difference this time it wasn’t the Kobe show as it was in game one. Pau Gasol took over this game scoring 29 points to lead all scorers and grabbing 9 rebounds. Kobe wasn’t quite though, he had 21 points, 19 less then game one.

For the Suns Jason Richardson lead the Phoenix with 27 points but again it came down to the no defense style of play that is killing the Suns. I said it in the preview for this series that if they can’t play defense they will get beat and if they can’t control the paint with Andrew Bynum, Gasol and Lamar Odom they would have trouble winning games and right now that is showing. Amar’e Stoudemire hasn’t been a factor. He had 18 points but they were quite points. Not enough energy from a player and team that wins on being more active on the ball. Steve Nash had 15 assist but that part doesn’t matter when you aren’t putting up the points like you did against the San Antonio Spurs. Nash needs to get to the basket and get going early or this won’t be a series I or fans imagined.

Game 3 heads to Phoenix as the Suns look to win at home and right the ship on this series.

-Tim Dimas

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It’s that time of the year. Two teams who worked all season to get to this point and are four games away from their ultimate goal and eight games from achieving their ultimate goal, the NBA Championship. In the Western Conference Finals we have the Phoenix Suns, the run and gun team of the league and the Los Angeles Lakers, the team everyone wants to hate because they win every year but root for them because they want to say they rooted for the champs. Lets back-track for a moment and explain how these two teams got to where they are.

The Phoenix Suns finished with 54 wins and a #3 seed in the Western Conference. In the first round they took on the Brandon Roy-less Portland Trail Blazers winning the series 4-2. Yes, I said the Roy-less Trail Blazers and, yes, he did play but it wasn’t the Brandon Roy who could take over the game. Eight days removed from knee surgery, it was a surprise he even went. Even so, the Suns won the series and would go and face the monkey that has been on their back since the 2004 playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs. The Suns would shock probably the whole basketball world by defeating the Spurs in sweep fashion. Hey, even I had to check my computer three days later to make sure there wasn’t a virus going on. Never the less, they now face the Lakers.

For the Lakers, they finished the season with 57 wins and the #1 seed in the Western Conference; no surprise there. They would go and play the surprising team of the year, the Oklahoma City Thunder, in the first round. While most experts predicted an easy series, Kevin Durant and company gave the Lakers all they could handle, running the series to six games, and almost seven, had Pau Gasol not hit the game winning lay-in. The Lakers would win the series 4-2 and face the Playoff Injured Utah Jazz. The Jazz played without Andre Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur, both out with injuries. The Lakers would match the Suns and sweep the Jazz.

Now on to their match up. Here are some keys for both teams if they want to win this series.

Suns

Don’t try to match the Lakers – The Lakers are the far more superior team, talent-wsie. With Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher and of course Kobe Bryant, The Lakers are the favorites to win this series. Not so fast though. If the Suns can keep to their strengths and run the floor how they like to, this could be a long series for LA.

Steve Nash from the beginning – Nash isn’t young anymore but that hasn’t slowed him down. He has been on a complete tear this post season in both series against Portland and San Antonio, why stop now? Nash needs to play his game, get to the lanes like he always does and either get his two points or feed it easily to one of the four players on the court.

Don’t get slowed down – The Suns aren’t known for letting the shot clock run down. They run a drill in practice in which they have to score in 7 seconds or less. The Suns need to run and use their athleticism to over-match the Lakers, who do have some athleticism, but aren’t known for their transition defense–big plus for Phoenix.

Lakers

Get big – The Suns aren’t a huge team. Aside from Amar’e Stoudemire, Phoenix is a relatively small team. With the twin towers of Bynum and Gasol, the Lakers need to throw the ball down low and use their big men in the paint.

Kobe Bean Bryant –At the end of the day, the Lakers win when Kobe is on his A game or even on is B+ game. Kobe had some difficulties in the first series against the Thunder, but against the Jazz he was on a tear so for LA’s sake, they better hope Kobe goes Black Mamba all series long.

Transition Defense & Pace of the Game – I know that’s two things in one, but those are the two main components of stopping the Phoenix Suns. Steve Nash & Co. do not want to play a half-court game. They aren’t as effective that way as when they run loose. So, if the Lakers can slow them down, then the Suns have a lot to worry about and the Lakers will be smooth sailing.

Key Match Up – Kobe Bryant vs Grant Hill.

Grant Hill has to be ready to bump knees with Kobe, literally. I know fans out there will say Hill doesn’t have knees anymore but he has to go rent a pair if the Suns will have a chance in upsetting the best player in the league and his team. We have seen what happens when Kobe gets disrupted in a game. Grant needs to be a hill and slow Kobe down and keep the ball out of his hands. This will be the match-up that will be a huge factor in the series.

Prediction – As much as I would love an underdog series, I just don’t see the Lakers losing. Sorry Suns fans, but the ageless wonder Grant Hill and the two time MVP Steve Nash will not be advancing out of this round to go to the Finals. Look for the Lakers to take this in 6 games, but these will be some of the toughest 6 games LA has played in a while.

-Tim Dimas

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