And so we come to Game 5. Before the series began I thought it would be a closely contested affair, likely going six or seven games regardless of which team prevailed. So far that's been the case, with the officiating tilting slightly in favor of the home team getting the calls in the paint. And that, friends, is how things should be in the NBA playoffs.
My prediction for Game 5? I'm going to bet on the home team again and say the Spurs win another close one by 5 points or less with a score in the mid-90s. In Game 4 San Antonio committed an uncharacteristic 20 turnovers and shot 42% from the floor, numbers that should improve playing at home.
On the Sonics side, if Luke Ridnour and Antonio Daniels can chip in nearly 20 points apiece, as they did last night, they stand an excellent chance of pulling the first road upset in this series. At this writing Rashard Lewis is said to be a game-time decision -- here's hoping that he's able to return and play effectively. Yesterday's short-handed rally in the 3rd quarter was a thing of beauty to behold -- but unlikely to be repeated in a hostile environment.
Kudos to Damien Wilkins, who was simply brilliant playing PF in smallball lineups. Wilkins likely earned himself a nice payday next year by shooting 7-11 from the field, grabbing 6 rebounds (3 offensive), and generally causing havoc in the passing lanes with 5 steals on the night.