A heap of trouble and a momentous day from the past
The lasting impression I got from listening to the post-game breakdown by the Suns after Wednesday’s loss was that they have no idea how to slow down the Lakers.
But, and this is always what it comes down to when teams are trying to figure out how to defend the Lakers, unless the Suns get some grip on Kobe Bryant, this series might not get back to L.A., let alone to a Game 7 for a glorious Phoenix upset.
After Bryant scorched them for 40 in Game 1, the Suns shifted tactics and ran more double teams at him in Game 2.
All Bryant did was dish out 13 assists – career playoff high for him – and sit back and watch the likes of Ron Artest and Jordan Farmar drill open three-pointers.
And as good as Pau Gasol was – and, man, was he good – it all starts with Bryant, a guy for whom Alvin Gentry and staff have no answer.
I guess, if I’m a coach, I’d probably stick with much the same tactics in Game 3 as I did in Game 2 and hope that either Artest or Farmar don’t make shots from the perimeter in a hostile gym.
Sure, it’s a gamble but what else are you going to do?
I saw a Gentry quote along the lines of “maybe we should let him get 80 and stop everyone else” and that sounds like a solid theory, if in fact you can stop everyone else.
The Suns haven’t been able to stop anyone, which is a problem.
What do the Lakers have? 128 points in Game 1 and 124 in Game 2? I don’t care what kind of offence you run, that’s despicable defence and you can’t win playing it.
Trouble is, the Lakers have shown the ability to run up the score pretty much anyway they want to and Gentry’s got a couple of days to figure something out or the dream is dead.
Sure, it’d be nice if the real Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire showed up, and if the empty jersey that’s Channing Frye finds his shot that’d be a help, too, but the problem with Phoenix is they can’t stop anyone.
Ever heard that before?
Not sure if you read this one but as an addendum, four months before he died, Malik Sealy hit one of those shot for a lifetime.
Check it out.
But never mind the dogpile and the celebration and Kevin Harlan’s over-the-top call.
How about the Raptors connection?
Yes, that is the one and only Sam Mitchell making the cross-court pass to set up the bucket.
And, yes, that is the one and only Jalen Rose just missing a chance to contest Sealy’s game-winner.
Guess the doofus who figured on that Orlando-Phoenix final might be feeling a tad sheepish at the moment, eh?
(Sung to the tune of Happy Anniversary).
What’s this, you ask?
Remember the Nine Years Ago Today thing of a week or so ago, commemorating the May 2001 day when that Carter guy dropped 50 on the Sixers? Well, break out the mortarboards, girlz and boyz, the recall The Day Vince Graduated College.
Day before Game 7 against the Sixers, he heads to Chapel Hill to grab a diploma, walk across a stage and come back to Philly.
I had no problem with it at the time and don’t today and neither does Vince. The topic came up in an interview he did down in Orlando early in these playoffs when he was asked about criticism and what he gets:
“You always hear something; I never feel bad about graduating from college, Never. I’d do it again. This is temporary, it doesn’t last forever, after it’s all over, you’ve got to have something to do and I come from a family of educators, all teachers so that’s all I know.
“That’s all I know, that was an honour to do so and still be able to go out there and play well; one shot away.”
Back to Suns-Lakers for a minute.
I won't mention how "lucky" Lamar Odom was, again, as he shredded any and all defenders most of the night.
Oh yeah, mail.
Gladly accepted by clicking here but can we put a moratorium on “why don’t they do this sign-and-trade with Chris?” queries?
Want to know why? Because it’s not up to them.
We’ll mention it again here, if Bosh wants to leave, he’s going to pick where he wants to go. It’s not as if he’s going to say, “hey, I want that $30 million extra, just move me anywhere.” He’s going to come with a list of teams or a team and then it’s up to Bryan to work something out with the other GM.
In this regard, Bosh drives the process.
Just reminding some of you.
As Chickens go, I guess a pair of one-eyed thingamabobs is all right.
That’s what we’ll be seeing in London in 2012, I understand from this story.
Hey, no games tonight or tomorrow.
That means a staff meeting after tonight’s Mighty Yankee workout and a Friday afternoon answering-mail-session at the local with no worries about having to race home to do one of those in-game blog thingies.
Oh, and yard work if Super Wife’s reading this. Really. I will. Honest.