Is anyone there?
[Note by Phoenix Stan, 04/30/08 12:00 AM PDT ]
I couldn't sleep so here's some random post game thoughts as the realization settles in but before the disappointment hardens into anger.
The Suns weren't going to win this game without Amare and Nash and Shaq. Those three were a combined 12 of 38 from the field. That's 32% folks. 32%. I don't have the figure handy but I am guessing that's well below their average performances.
Diaw and Raja once again carried the team with 16 of 25. 64%.
You can argue that the Spurs denied Amare the ball on the pick and rolls and doubled him hard. But remember when the Suns two man game was unguardable? It wasn't that long ago. Remember?
Unfortunately, you have to look at Steve Nash. When he probed under the rim they didn't trap him and the few times he tried to get off his shot he missed. He missed a LOT of layups in this series. That allowed the Spurs to really stay home on Amare and deny him the ball on those probes.
On the pick and rolls they made sure to cover Amare coming down the lane and let Steve shoot. He didn't shoot well enough to force an adjustment.
Nash looked far more then one year older then the Nash of last year's series. I wonder if the Spurs somehow cheated us again by lacing his Gatorade with a Aging Potion brewed in Severus Snape's dungeon.
And speaking of memories. Remember way back in the day when Amare was unguardable in isolation. He was talked about as a potential MVP. The most dominant offensive player in the game.
That guy would get the ball at the elbow and face up his man. You knew someone was about to get embarassed. At worst Amare would shoot a wide open jumper and hit about 50% of them.
Where did that guy go? He was getting the ball but somehow in a crazy science experiement gone wrong was channeling Diaw and passing up oppotunities all the while Boris was punishing people in the low post. What team was that again?
Credit where its due. The Suns defense in the second half was great. Amare showed fantastic effort and had some GREAT stops. It was very nice to see. I wonder if his contract allows him to play GREAT on both ends of the floor in the same game. Anyone know?
Shaq was supposed to come in and demand double teams in the post. That's why we needed another shooter (Brent Barry) to space the floor. What a quiant notion that was. The Big Clank wasn't hitting anything. He had ONE great spin move but I guess that was all he had in the tank.
Not only did Shaq not contribute on offense, he was a liability. Anyone else notice that the Suns best run was after he sat with his fourth foul about half way through the third quarter. The Suns line up that was +9 (best stretch of the game) was Nash, Diaw, Amare, Giricek and Bell. Check it out.
Chemistry. Championship experience. Free throws.
And finally, to see this Suns team after four years of grueling playoff runs make so many late game mistakes was just too painful to bear. I thought Shaq's four rings were supposed to end all that?
Thanks everyone for a great season. We aren't going anywhere. We have a LOT to discuss starting with the fate of our coach and then looking at needed roster moves and before you know it its draft time and of course this summer we have the Olympics and then training camp will be on us. So stick around.