Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Warm and Fuzzy side of the NBA Playoffs

There has been much to like and dislike from this current NBA playoffs. But watching Cleveland win the other night, I was reminded of one of my favorite things about the NBA playoffs. The emergence of a young player. Cleveland has that young player right now. Daniel Gibson. A second round pick out of Texas who is playing at a very high level right now. Gibson was averaging about 4 points and 10 minutes of burn in the previous two rounds. Larry Hughes goes down (surprise) and Gibson has emerged as the additional outside shooting threat and point guard that Cleveland has been hurting for. His game 4 performance was simply amazing for a rookie. On 7 shots (4/7) he scored 21 points! He was 12/12 from the free thow line as well. And he played a very steady role as the point guard. Kenny Smith noted that Gibson was showing point guard like instincts (the way he spaced the floor on a break where he threw an alley-oop to Lebron) and play (maintaining his dribble while getting bumped). He even changed his game from the third game where he was mostly a spot up shooter. In game four he was aggresive in driving to the hoop, as evidenced by his free throw numbers. As much as I don't really like Cleveland as a cohesive team, I've enjoyed watching Daniel Gibsons play. If Cleveland is able to upset Detroit, he's going to be one of the biggest reasons why. Kenny and Chuck said he's a veteran now with this performance, but that he has the chance to be a star if he does this on the road. I wouldn't go that far, but it's fun to watch.