You've Got to Belize
That wasn't exactly pretty. Matty da Blade made a comment during the third quarter: "If the Spurs win tonight it will be because PHX loses the game." I have to admit at the time I couldn't think of anything to contradict him. It seemed like every time the Spurs were about to break the game open someone would do something incredibly stupid on the offensive end. Such as:
-Nazr attempting a running one hander out of the lane with more than 5 seconds on the shot clock (prompting Matty to say "Nazr should NEVER shoot the ball unless it's a dunk off an offensive rebound").
-Manu jumping to pass at midcourt and throwing it right to Shawn Marion.
-Tony Parker not getting a shot off before half time (prompting Matty to question if Tony is the worst clock manager in the NBA).
-Tony Parker going 1 on 2 in the fourth and missing a floater.
-Barry passing up a wide open three only to jack up a double-clutched-set-shot three (the first of its kind).
-Beno needlessly forcing a fast break and throwing a layup wildly off the glass (it went in, but still).
I know things aren't this simple, but how about getting the ball to your best players? Again, da Blade summed it up: "If your name doesn't end in 'can' or 'obili' you shouldn't be creating your own shot."
Timmeh carried the load tonight on both ends of the court. He guarded Stoudemire most of the second half and, er, held him to 42 points on 32 field goal attempts. Those are of course gaudy numbers, but coming into tonight's game he was averaging 36 on 24. 6 more points on 8 more shots seems pretty good. That seems like a ridiculous statement, I know.
Before the game Tim Legler suggested that the Spurs needed to run a double team at Amare. The Spurs hadn't double teamed Amare all year and were 5-1 against them when at full strength. Why should they change? SA emphasized slowly down the PHX fast break and their 3P shooting. The latter requires switching the pick and roll, keeping double teams at a minimum and not clogging the lane, all of which help Amare's offensive game. By the way, during the regular season Amare averaged 1.235 points per shot attempt. During the Spurs series that number actually dropped to 1.222. What does that mean? It means his scoring went up because his shots went up (because of what the Spurs emphasize on defense). What does that mean? Nothing, really.
Amare Stoudemire is crazy good on the offensive end. He's already a top 10 offensive player. Easy. But Walton needs to cut the shit about even intimating that he's better than Duncan. There are two damned sides of the court. Amare is great at one end and merely average at the other. I'm sure he will improve and probably eventually become a 1st team all NBA player, but let's just simmer down a bit here. (But, having said that, if you were starting an NBA team right now (thinking long term) who would you pick over Amare? Lebron, sure. Um. Maybe McGrady? I think that's the list folks. Hijo.)
I'll finish up tomorrow night.