TONY PARKER, San Antonio vs. MIKE BIBBY, Sacramento
Bibby was not the
only defender Parker ran around and through en route to 25 points in the Spurs'
122--88 Game 1 rout, but the Kings need him to do a better job of forcing
Parker to take outside jumpers instead of letting him sashay into the paint,
where Parker's teammates ( Tim Duncan especially) are adept at screening out
defenders looking to stop penetration. Even on his best day, though, Bibby
could not shut down Parker, so he must try to wear him out on offense.
Scout: " Bibby
is one of the best in the league at coming off screens--and running his man
into them--and getting points off Sacramento's secondary break. Parker is only
an average defender, and he can be exploited."
DIRK NOWITZKI, Dallas vs. SHANE BATTIER, Memphis
With his length,
exquisite touch and ability to create space to get off his shot, Nowitzki is
virtually unguardable. But Battier, who never quits, has the foot speed and
tenacity to contest Nowitzki's shot. Sometimes.
don't want to even think of how tough Dirk'd be if they posted him up and he
developed a bunch of moves around the basket."
CARMELO ANTHONY, Denver vs. CUTTINO MOBLEY and QUINTON ROSS, L.A. Clippers
Mobley is an
underrated defender (he's quick), and Ross is tough and tenacious. The Clips
used both of them on Anthony in their 89--87 Game 1 victory--he scored 25
points but missed all eight fourth-quarter shots. Anthony is a proven
crunch-time performer, but he's still prone to making bad decisions when
Clips would probably prefer having Ross on Carmelo, but they can't do that all
the time since he's such a nonfactor on offense. Anthony has to learn that
there's a difference between being unafraid and passing it out when you
absolutely have to."
KOBE BRYANT, L.A. Lakers vs. RAJA BELL, Phoenix