(It never gets old)
8:00 PM MDT, Friday, April 30, 2010
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: ESPN2 / FSN
It’s time to put the Nuggets out of their misery and move on. Nene won’t be playing, the Birdman was noticeably hobbled at the end of Game 5, and recent history has shown that this Denver team folds when the energy in the building isn’t going their way. I predict a good effort for the first half and then the Jazz start to pull away, the ESA starts rocking, and the Jazz coast to victory.
In the meantime, the real tragedy is the news today that Wesley Matthews wasn’t included on the All-Rookie first or second team. After being left out of the Rookie-Sophomore game during All-Star weekend, I didn’t think there was any way the coaches would leave out a guy who is not only starting on strong playoff team, he’s putting in big minutes and making crucial contributions.
Clearly this year’s rookie class is strong, with the likes of Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, Darren Collison, and Taj Gibson clearly deserving to make the First Team. James Harden and DeJuan Blair were beasts in OKC and San Antonio, so they definitely earned their spots. But come on, did New Orleans really need two players (Collison and Marcus Thornton) on the team? I enjoyed the work of the Swedish gentleman Jonas Jerebko, but the Pistons were terrible. I’d also dismiss Jonny Flynn if the Timberwolves hadn’t picked up 13% of their wins against the Jazz.
All told, what is it going to take for young Wesley Matthews to get some recognition? I’m sure he’d take starting-on-a-playoff-team over everybody-talking-about-me-while-I-play-5-minutes-per-night, but still, it seems like an egregious slight for a guy who has done nothing but play like a season pro the entire year. Ross Siler had a great suggestion that the Jazz send Matthews as their rep to the NBA Draft Lottery. If there ever was a good luck charm, it has to be Matthews. Besides, he deserves it.