Sunday, May 15, 2005

Go-go Suns

First, I apologize for my upkeep. Real life has started putting the crunch on me lately, so it's been tough for me to watch games of any type, and the last thing I want to do is to merely ape other observations. Once I get my living situation sorted out, I should be able to start watching many more games.

One of the games I'm watching right now is Suns/Mavs, and it has been as entertaining as advertised. Growing up a Knicks fan during the the heyday of Riley/Van Gundy thugball means that only recently have I been aware of the concept of entertaining basketball. It is so liberating to watch a fast breaking team that is not reliant upon isolation sets. I have also come to recognize that Shawn Marion is one of the best all-around players I've ever seen. He does everything well, and while Nash and Amare get all the press, Marion's defensive and rebounding ability are the reason why the team is able to play a running game. I sure hope the series goes 7 games. It's fun to watch teams score 60 points in a half.

4th quarter: Of course, as soon as I publish this, Steve Nash goes completely nutty. He scored 23 points in the 3rd quarter, and has scored 10 so far this quarter. He's definitely going to go over 50...yet the Suns are behind and will probably lose. Why? Only 3 assists so far. Looks like Dallas has made good on their promise to let Nash score and keep other Suns under wraps. They are missing Joe Johnson more than ever. Back with a final update after the game.

Postgame: That was definitely an "Allen Iverson as shooting guard" type of game for Steve Nash. His 48 will quiet the MVP critics, but it also illuminates the importance of inside play in the NBA. A good penetrating guard will always be able to score, so Dallas ceded that portion. Instead, they focused on limiting Stoudemire to only 8 shot attempts and got 16 offensive rebounds, which limited the Phoenix fast break. It will be very interesting to see how Phoenix will counter in Game 5. I have to think that the Suns will shoot better from 3-range, which might make the difference in the game. What could make the difference in the series, though, is the fatigue factor. Four of the Suns five starters played at least 43 minutes tonight, while only one Dallas starter, Nowitzki, went over 40. Those extra minutes might make the difference in Game 7, which is where this series looks like it's headed. I'll be enjoying the ride.

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