Sinatra ball still lives

May 22, 2007 5:40 AM

The Conference Finals are right to the NBA core — old school vs. new. Sinatra against R.Kelly.

It’s the steady, team-oriented defensive consistency of Detroit and San Antonio against the new energy in Cleveland and Utah.

Lebron James had to take over the East series. Out West, Andrei Kirilenko can’t do a disappearing act. Golden State and Phoenix were great theater. Now, it’s power ball. Edge Detroit, San Antonio.

WEST FINAL, Game 2. TUESDAY (odds c/o Mirage)

Jazz +6½ at Spurs (187½): Coach Jerry Sloan and the Jazz would gladly take a split and head back to Salt Lake City for Game 3. Utah has shown a surprising ability to score playing both the slow tempo and fast paced way. Boozer has had a monster season, but is really up against it playing Tim Duncan underneath. These Spurs are not Golden State. If Utah can again approach 100, the points look very good. JAZZ.

EAST FINAL, Game 3. WEDNESDAY (odds c/o GT)

Cavaliers +6 at Pistons: Cleveland was a 6½ point dog in Monday’s opening game. The Lebrons are talking a good game, mostly about Cleveland being ready both as a team and a city to make the big leap into the NBA Finals. If so, James will have to be Jordan because the Pistons are just a better, deeper and more experienced team. PISTONS.