That, my friends, was the best NBA game I have seen in I don't know how long. The last time I was that pumped during a Spurs game was the Steve Kerr game against Dallas in the Western Conference Finals of 03.
Instead of having the normal NBA playoff setup can we just let the Spurs and Suns play a best of 21 to see who goes to the Finals? Who would be against this? Besides the fans of the other Western Conference teams?
I kept a running blog of sorts (on paper-- I don't have a laptop). Here's a touched-up transcript. I missed most of the first quarter due to the Pacers-Heat game going into overtime.
-The ESPN commentator just mentioned that Nash isn't guarding Parker due to his injuries. No, I think it's more due to the fact that Parker torched Steve last time they played.
-And Rose hits a wide open 18 footer to begin coverage.
-Oooh. Duncan's hair is a little long. I should revise his hair grade to a C-.
-Eesh. If Stoudemire learns to consistently hit 18' jumpers the whole league is in big trouble.
-Nobili easily beats the double team to end the first quarter with a layup. He does that so well-- splitting the double.
-Dammit Barry, would it kill you to follow through on your shot just once.
-Rose just took a jumper with about 18 seconds on the shot clock. This is what is known as a wasted possession. He then proceeded to leave his man for a wide open three. I am all for help defense, but I swear Rose allows way too many wide open perimeter shots.
-Nice box out by Nesterovic, earning an over the back call on Hunter.
-Uh oh. Rasho just rolled his ankle pretty badly. He won't be back, but we really don't need him against the Suns. It looks like he may be out for a couple of weeks, and the Spurs don't really have a backup center. And Horry is hurt. Hopefully the Spurs won't do anything silly like making a trade for some washed up big man like Cliff Robinson. We can bide our time. We got that Sean Marks kid on IR with "tendinitis," right? He's 7'-0" tall. He's a body. Let him earn his paycheck.
-Man, I love Shawn Marion. He can do everything. But, man, he has the goofiest shot in the NBA.
-Well, that was horrible D. Nash just ran down the court and stopped at the three-point line and drained an uncontested three. It looks like Udrih covered the guy who ran to the corner and Bowen got lost. I guess that shit'll happen.
-Walton or the other guy just said "Hunter is playing Duncan well." Timmeh, you cannot let some scrub like Hunter D you up. I am tired of seeing the Madsens and Najeras of the world have any sort of success against you.
-Nobili just made a great pass to Duncan on the secondary break. Duncan thought he was shooting but noticed just in time.
-The Spurs could use a Stephen Hunter type. Tall, long and active. Can we just call dibs on Hakim Warrick? What sort of criminal offense would he have to commit to drop to 30th in the draft?
-Hey hey! There's Duncan's first head tap of the night. It goes to Nobili for drawing a foul.
-Woah. Steve Nash has visible chest hair. I didn't know that. So the list is now Boozer and Nash, right?
-Jesus. That Stoudemire kid is the most violent dunker since Kemp I think. One of these days he's going to break a finger or something. That shit has to hurt, right?
-A Duncan sighting! Bucket and the foul.
-Stoudemire sorta scares me. He's about two years from being totally unguardable by anyone not named Garnett.
-Damn it! Rose just left another guy open for a 3. I need to start keeping track of these type things.
-Parker just made a ridiculously bad pass to nobody. He's done. I have to tell myself he's only 22. He's going to have off nights. It seems like if he doesn't get going in the first quarter that he just sort of disappears. Still love the kid though.
-Well, there was a nice baseline drive by Parker. Over to Rose who kicked it to Brown(?) for an open three.
-Nobili has 19 points on 7 FG. Amazing. He's about third in the league in points per shot attempt.
-Holy shit! Nobili just made a 15 foot behind the back pass on a rope like it was nothing. And there's Brown canning another wide open three. I love Manu.
-Man, Nash almost made some ridiculous three-quarter court shot from behind his head.
-What's up with these Predator 2 DVD ads? First off, I'm not sure I even knew
there was a second Predator. Secondly, were people clamoring for this DVD? Is Best Buy having a midnight sale?
-Preliminary reports say Rasho out 1-3 weeks. I hope Marks' shoes are broken in.
-OK Pop. The Suns just went on a 7-0 run. You need to take Rose out and put in Brown. Rose can be effective against bigger and stronger than him, not smaller and quicker.
-Again, Malik Rose leaves a guy wide open for a 3.
-Just who in the hell is Massenburg supposed to guard?
-Nice entry pass by Massenburg to Duncan.
-Great run out by Nobili and a great lead pass by Barry. Barry is great at seeing those passes most guys don't.
-Another nice entry pass. This time by Parker on the baseline to Duncan for a foul.
-GET MASSENBURG OUT OF THE GAME POP. He has know idea how to guard a guy like Marion, even if
he had the ability, which he clear doesn't. And Massenburg is a total zero on the offensive end. Marion isn't even guarding him-- he's just collapsing on Duncan. I don't always condone matching small for the other team's small, but if you get no advantage from going big then you HAVE TO MATCH UP.
-Oh what the hell. We just posted Massenburg up with like 15 seconds on the shot clock. This should never, EVER be an option on offense. I'd rather have Barry hoist threes from eight feet behind the line. Ten feet even.
-Please Pop, just go small. Parker, Brown, Nobili, Barry and Duncan. Or something like that. Stop being stubborn.
-Another nice run out, this time by Udrih. And once again Barry with the creative pass. It would be fun to play with Brent Barry.
-Brown cans another open jumper.
-Udrih with a great pass to Brown who swings it to Nobili for the open 3. Brown, who was all the way in the corner, hustles back to foul Marion who ran out on the break. The Suns are just relentless.
-Great defense by Brown on Nash. Wouldn't let him take the open 3. Make him penetrate. No easy threes.
-Ugh. Three by Joe Johnson. That one hurt, taking the deficit back to nine.
-Apparently Brent Barry has yet to read my analysis of his play. We signed you to SHOOT THE EFFIN' BALL. If you are open behind that curved line you throw the ball at the basket, ya' dig?
-Good push by Brown, who went coast to coast and got a layup for Barry. That is something that Bowen cannot do.
-You know, if we had gone small a little earlier...
-Ridiculous drive and pass from Nash to Stoudemire for his 32nd monster jam of the game.
-Give some credit to Stoudemire for drawing a foul on Duncan.
-Take away some credit for missing the first FT.
-Duncan forced to foul Stoudemire due to another great pass from Nash. Amare proceeds to do some push ups and flex his biceps.
-Hmm. Apparently large biceps do not help you shoot free throws.
-Brent Barry finally shoots a 3 and hits it.
-Joe Johnson commits what looks like an offensive foul-- no call and Stoudemire gets a lay up.
-Another HUGE three by Barry. Welcome to the team, Barry.
-Duncan comes up HUGE and nails two free throws. Spurs 11-11 on free throws this quarter.
. Great defense by Brown and
Udrih. Marion just hit a great shot. Tip your cap.
-Duncan goes to the hole and draws the foul. Nice to see him take it to the hole with authority.
-Barry just blew a fast break by going behind the back. Ugh. Just make the pass.
-HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. Nobili just dusted Joe Johnson and dunked two-handed over Marion. Just unbelievable. The guy is unbelievable. This guy could score 25 a night easy if they let him take the shots.
-Duncan just hit a big-time turn around over Stoudemire. MVP-type play. Everyone knew it was going to Timmeh and he still gets the job done.
-Brown with a fabulous entry pass to Duncan.
-Udrih playing some great defense. Where do the Spurs find these guys?
-Joe Johnson hits another three. Why in the hell would the Suns want to trade this guy?
-Nobili finally misses a free throw. He's got something like 48 points on 22 FGA. This might be the best offensive game in the last 20 years. Has anyone every scored over 45 points and averaged over 2 points per shot? That's just unheard of.
Again, wow. What an exciting game to watch. David Stern has to be loving this-- he's probably already plotting with Dick Bavetta to ensure a Spurs-Suns matchup in the Western Conference Finals.
Glad Pop finally found up a lineup that worked against the Suns. Having four shooters on the court forced the Suns to guard Duncan one-on-one. And the quicker lineup not only limited the Suns' fast break opportunities, the Spurs were able to force breaks of their own. Phenomenal game by Nobili. Great game from Duncan. Gold stars to Brown and Barry, too (but you still need to shoot more Barry-- and follow through).