Sunday, April 20, 2008

San Antonio-Phoenix, Game 1

The Suns will be absolutely kicking themselves. They made five critical mistakes that cost them the game:

1. Up three at the end of regulation, there's no one you'd rather want with the ball than Steve Nash, whose combination of decision-making, free throw shooting, jump shooting, court vision, and dribbling skills make him absolutely invaluable. But he inexplicably forgot about the shot-clock, and turned it over, giving San Antonio enough time to...

2. I will never, ever, EVER understand why teams don't foul when they're up three. Why would you give anyone a chance to hit a three to force overtime? Why? Why? If they foul there, Phoenix turns the game into a free-throw shooting contest. Phoenix were 4th in the league in that category, San Antonio 15th. I'd take my chances under those circumstances. I mean you want to give credit to Michael Finley for hitting a HUGE three, but really, it should never have come to that.

3. Up three at the end of overtime, Nash hits Amare on a pick and roll, just below the foul line. Ordinarily he'd rise up and hit that, no problems at all. But he decides to drive into traffic, commit an offensive foul, give the Spurs possession, and foul out of the game. Just a brilliant all-round play by STAT. This gives the Spurs enough time to...

4. You know that old saying "Once bitten, twice shy"? Well, clearly Mike D'Antoni hasn't. WHEN YOU'RE UP THREE AND THE OTHER TEAM HAS THE BALL, FUCKING FOUL THEM BEFORE THEY SHOOT. Is this really that complicated? Again, to be fair, Duncan hit a fairly miraculous shot (his first three all season) but it shouldn't have come to that.

5. At the end of the second overtime, after Nash hit an amazing shot to tie it (one leg, falling out of bounds in the corner, three, nothing but net), the Spurs isoed Ginobili. Everyone and their mother knows he's going to go left. So what does Raja Bell do? Play him straight up. Again, completely inexplicable. Force him right into help, for God's sake.

Like I said, the Suns will be kicking themselves. They were up 16 in the first half, up 9 in the 4th, hell they were up 5 with a minute left in OT, and they lost. A golden opportunity, right there. Can they recover? Probably. But man...

4 comments:

Nikhil said...

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2008/columns/story?page=spurssunsGame1-080419

Look at the picture in the link. If you could pick one pair of sneakers for Tim Duncan to wear, from all the pairs of sneakers that exist in the world today or have ever existed, wouldn't that pair be it?

Nikhil said...

link didnt paste correctly - it's stein's column on the pho-sa game.

Nikhil said...

btw, to your 4th point, if i remember correctly, van gundy said he wouldn't foul in that situation.

Ahsan said...

I would have fouled as soon as Ginobili put it on the floor, even before he turned the corner.