The Need for Speed
The Suns are back.
The coaching staff has wisely ceded offensive control to Steve Nash and they were rewarded with the win. Nash responded by asserting himself when the offense stalled, scoring 19 and dishing 10 assists at a Sunsly pace which dropped 74 points in the first half. Hallelujah, here he comes!
The win came from a vintage potpourri of slams and threes (57% shooting, 8 of 14 from outside). Apparently Bash Boys and LB have been taking lessons at the Majerle School of outside shooting, because they weren't just making them, they were shooting them from 30 feet out, well outside the arc. Bell in particularly came out shooting to fed his family, going 4 of 6 from downtown and grabbing 7 rebounds. You know Matt Barnes and Leandro Barbosa wouldn't mind starting at SG....
Everyone was aggressive this game, the team got to the line 38 times!
Turnovers are still an issue, particularly with some real Nash gaffers at the top of the key. We keep waiting for better, so hopefully we'll see it in the next week now that the team is playing at 45 rpm instead of 33 and now that they have returned to last year's winning starting lineup.
We congratulate management and the coaching staff for only taking the preseason and 20 games to realize the Spurs offense don't work here. It's a credit to the whole NBA system that people put winning above egos and dogma. Fit the system to the players, or choose the players for your system, but don't try to hang an oxcart on a bunch of racehorses. Them horses need to get out and run.
Shaq the Running Back -> All-Star
There's no need to send Steve or Amare this year. Let's send Shaq to his 15th all-star game. (Kareem holds the record for 18 all-star games.) Shaq got started early and never let up, going for 35 points on 70% shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and only 1 TO. He moved fluidly around the rim. The Big Fella even imitated Amar'e on a few pick and rolls, plowing to the rim like a running back through the line of scrimmage.
Here are the Players on the Ballot:
Ericka Dampier with a mustache may be faster than Luc Longely, but it didn't matter. Shaq retired Gadzuric for the evening as was a foul from retiring Adrew Bogut as well.
And we know that behind a very mobile Shaq is a cast of trainers led by Aaron Nelson. Thanks for turning back the clock on Shaq. And to management for having the good sense to rest him so he doesn't have to fake injuries.
We likes the wins and there was a lot of good things to take away from this game. "Let's not get to high, let's not get to low." Tomorrow we have another important game against the league's best team.
But the best team is December is not always the best team in May. Ask the Spurs.