Writeup vs. Tijuana
First off we would like to congratulate Tijuana for making it this far into the playoffs. However we strongly feel that we deserve to advance to the next round.
As has been the case throughout the playoffs, our elite floor spacing and excellent shooting will carry us to the next round. Durant’s 0.657 TS% and David west shoots 53% in the paint and has a 47% outside the paint will be able to get their jumpers all game long. Granger is coming off second consecutive years of season ending injury and is unlikely to bounce back with the agility and strength required to guard someone like Durant. We’ll be doing a lot of ISO on him throughout this series. The lack of any defense along the wings plays greatly into our strengths and will allow Shumpert to hit the corner 3 at will with his 0.403%. David west faces a quality defender in Serge Ibaka, however he has outperformed him in all 3 match ups over the past two years
West 17, 21, 14 pts 5, 9, 5 rbs Ibaka 12, 12, 6 pts and 7, 9, 2 rbs
Although this is a small sample size we feel it proves that West has the ability to maintain his averages against Ibaka.
From a defensive perspective we have all the tools necessary to stop Tijuana’s playoff run. Mike Conley will most likely be operating in the pick and roll with Lopez but Andersen has the speed and tenacity and Teague is quick enough to challenge their only offensive tactic. Jamal Crawford will be shadowed by Shumpert all series and Granger will have a hard time doing anything against an underrated lengthy defender in Kevin Durant. Their other starting player Serge Ibaka had trouble posting consistent offense in a series going toe to toe with ZBO. We feel that West, a superior defender, has all the tools necessary to again limit Ibaka’s effectiveness.
Teague vs Conley
Conley is clearly the superior player in this matchup however the difference is not as large as it may seem. In the two games played against one another last season Teague was able to maintain his averages despite Conley’s defense. Lastly
Shumpert vs Jamal Crawford
Crawford has always been best suited as a 6th man due to his abysmal defense and his high energy offensive spark. When you throw him into a starting lineup your wings become vulnerable and that offensive spark turns into a poor efficiency chucker. Crawford had a FG% of 43.8 last season and with an elite defender running him off the 3 his offense should be minimized in this series. On the other end Shumpert should be able to expose Crawford’s poor defense and maintain his averages making this matchup (and his number 2 offensive weapon) a wash.
Durant vs. Granger
Anyone one in their right mind can see the huge advantage Durant has in this matchup. Arguably the 2nd best player in the NBA being guarded by a guy coming off consecutive season ending injuries is too easy of a matchup for us to not take advantage. Expect a full series of ISO offense for Durant and averages of 30 points per game. We feel as if Granger will mostly be limited to a spot up 3pt shooter in their offense and Durant should be more than able to stop him well before a shot is ever put up.
West vs. Ibaka
This is a great matchup however we feel that West is the superior player. As stated earlier Serge Ibaka had trouble posting consistent offense in a series going toe to toe with ZBO and West is a better defender who has the speed to keep up with Ibaka. Offensively West has shown previously he can maintain his averages against Ibaka the advantage is clearly ours in this matchup.
Andersen vs. Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez is obviously the better player at C in this series however Andersen is a pesky defender with a defensive RAPM of 4.5 as opposed to Lopez’s offense RAPM of 1.6. With Staten Island having clear advantages at most of the other positions, and especially in the scoring department, Tijuana’s offensive production from Lopez will need to be at or above that of Durant for them to ensure victory. They will most likely boast gaudy numbers of Lopez from a 7 game series with the bulls, but remember one of those games was triple overtime and Noah, who hadplantar fasciitis, still outplayed him for half of the series.
Lastly we would like to point out that Tijuana has one of the worst benches in the redraft. He does not have one player that can come off the bench and score him 10 points on a given night. Gary Neal, although a hot and cold player, has that potential. Chris Kaman is more than capable of doing this and to a lesser extent Harris and Mullins can as well.