5/09/2005 11:54:00 PM|||Kurt|||1) Steve Nash named MVP. I know I’m a little late to this debate, but I really never thought he’d win it. He had an amazing offensive season, but I don’t see how he can be MVP because of his defense, or lack thereof. Opposing point guards shot 46.4% (eFG%). Nash’s opposing point guards got 24% of their shots in paint having driven by Nash — that’s a higher percentage than even Chucky Atkins (23%) — and that was with Amare Stoudemire behind him as an intimidator. He had more turnovers than he created in a night (losing that battle by 1 per 48 minutes) and he scored just two more points per 48 minutes than his counterpart (for comparison Nowitzki won that scoring battle by 12.6, Garnett by 9.8 and Shaq by 15.6). Personally, I’d put Nash behind Stoudemire on my MVP list (Amare had a higher PER by 5 points). Nash makes my top five but he’s not the winner. I think Nash has seen it properly and said so in his comments — he won this for the way the way the Suns played as a team more than his personal efforts. 2) Lakers raise some season ticket prices. Only the most expensive tickets in the house went up in price, and I suppose those are the people who can most easily afford it, but it would have been a goodwill gesture to keep all the prices the same after that sad season. That would be a much better apology than a town hall meeting. 3) There’s only one second-round playoff match I think will be interesting, Phoenix and Dallas. I picked Dallas to win that one before the playoffs because the Mavs played pretty good defense this season — then they promptly went out in game one and stunk up the joint. I think game two will be a better indication of how this series will go, with the Mavs needing to do a better job defending the three and playing better on Stoudemire (if that can be done). Of course, if you look at my ability to pick a winner you might not want to put money on the Mavs. On the bright side, this should be the best final four the NBA has had in a long time. I'm not the only person not enthralled with the second round matchups, there are others.|||111570808627029349|||Three Things