Haven’t added to my playoff diary in almost a week – I’ve got some serious catching up to do! Best way to do it is probably with my MVP playoff votes.

Day 20’s Playoff MVP Votes
3 votes – Tony Parker. No real doubt about this one. After Chris Paul looked like he’d murdered the CP vs TP hype after the first two games, Tony Parker responded like a true champion should… coming out and whopping the opponents ass. You’re going to have to do something special to upstage a 35 point outing from Chris Paul – Parker’s 31 and 11 did exactly that, and more importantly, rescued the Spurs from a potential 0-3 hole.
2 votes – Manu Ginobili. Having said all the above about TP, the Spurs would have lost on this day without Manu’s best game of the playoffs so far. When you look over at his Hornet’s counterparts (Peterson/Wells) it’s pretty clear the Spurs have a serious advantage in the shooting guard match up – it finally showed today.
1 vote – I really tried to award this vote to someone from the Boston v Cleveland game, I really did, but even the best players in that game were crap. Proof of that is that the GRTT ridiculously claimed “Allen ends scoring funk as Celtics claim 2-0 lead”. WTF? Ray shot 4-10 in this game, only 1-3 from downtown, and had 16 points. Now, I may not be the biggest Ray Allen fan in the world (I do live with the man who is), but a 16 point 4-10 game is pretty ordinary even by Ray’s standards. When a guy “ends his scoring funk” by shooting 40%, there’s only two possible explanations: 1) The game was so incredibly uneventful and everyone else was so pathetic that there’s no better story line, or 2) He’s Larry Hughes. Unless Larry and Ray recently engaged in some freaky Travolta/Cage psycho killing spree, I’m pretty sure option 1) is correct.

Day 21’s Playoff MVP Votes
3 votes – Carlos Boozer. I watched the second half of this game, and boy was I impressed with Booze. Not so much for his 27 points and 20 rebounds, but the few plays at the end of the game when he imposed his manly force on the whole Lakers team. Booze grabbed the key offensive rebounds (that one off his own missed FT was a killer), hit the key jump shots (that fade away at the shot clock buzzer was also killer), and basically reminded me that the Lakers really have no true power forward. They have Gasol, but he’s not the kind of imposing presence that Boozer is. If the Lakers could somehow morph Gasol and Turiaf into one giant hairy madman/caveman they might have the perfect weapon to deal with Boozer, who was born that way naturally.
2 votes – Surprise surprise, it’s my favourite point guard Deron Williams. Another masterful effort at the helm of the Jazz, making all the right plays despite an injured hand, a real gutsy performance.
1 vote – I’m tempted to give 1 vote to Kobe, but I wanna stick to my plan of not awarding votes to players on losing teams, unless its really necessary. I’ll give this vote to Okur who had a very solid 22 points and four treys, but an honorable mention goes to Kobe for pulling off two of the most ridiculous plays I’ve seen so far this playoffs. The first was his driving dunk on Kirilenko’s head – came completely out of nowhere and made me shriek like a girl. Second play was that self alley-oop late in the fourth – he was caught under two defenders, faked them, then threw it off the backboard which initially looked like a shot… it all happened in about two seconds and I had to watch the replay to believe it. Those are the plays that end up on your career highlights package.

Day 22’s Playoff MVP Votes
3 votes – Rip Hamilton. In what was an extreme danger game for the Pistons – Chauncey was on the sidelines – the man they call Rip had one of his best ever performances, perhaps his very best. Rip’s 32 points (10 in the fourth), 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals helped the Pistons put the nail on the coffin of the Magic. Never mind the fact that teams don’t generally come from 3-1 down, the Magic had to live with the fact they let this chance slip without Chauncey in the line up. Without Chauncey! If you can’t beat Detroit without Billups you’ve got no freaken hope, seriously. A lot of times I think of Rip Hamilton as a “sidekick”, the guy who gets set up by Chauncey, the guy who is there just to score points. But it’s games like this that remind me he is a true leader in his own right – one of the all time Pistons greats.
2 votes – Tayshaun Prince. Hit the game winner, which was a running baby hook over Dwight Howard. I don’t know of many other guys in the league that would take that shot, and comfortably make it, but Go-Go-Gadget Tayshaun is one of them. Most Pistons fans have unanimously agreed that Tay is our playoff MVP so far – he’s been extremely reliable. Well today he went from being “reliable” to a “hero”. That gets you 2 votes Tay.
1 vote – Again, really struggled to award votes to any one from the Cavs – Celtics game. What the hell is going on in that series? Admittedly I’ve only seen one of the games, but these guys seem to be working round the clock in the Ugly Factory. The entire Celts team stunk except for KG who’s numbers looked pretty (story of his career), and Lebron again failed to resemble anything like the Lebron we know and love. Yet the Cavs won by 24. Go figure. But I’ll give 1 to Delonte: 21 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 threes. An almost Boobie-like performance. Boobie Gibson, remember him? That’d be the guy who had 3 points in this one and took 2 shots.
If I could give minus votes, I’d give 3 to Ray Allen today. After ending his “scoring funk” in game 2, today he comes out with this steaming pile of turd: 4-12 from the field, 0-5 from downtown. Remember, he’s ended the scoring funk. Yeah right. After this game my housemate alerted me to this fine article, which spoke about Ray’s revival in game 2. After reading that article, I think I now understand Ray Allen. We already knew he was smooth, a bit of a ladies man. But I never imagined he would actually say something like this, and no, I’m not making this up. This is for real:

“The funny thing is when I first came into the league, the dunk was the big thing,” said Allen. “But now, chicks dig threes.”

Chicks dig threes. I don’t know what to say… I just.. I don’t know what to say.

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