Amare Stoudemire didn't get many clean looks at the basket in Game 1 and he likely won't in Game 2 either. But he can't let that stop him. Amare needs to rise to the occasion and lead his team to a win. (Photo by Max Simbron)
When your race of super machine warriors, programmed to destroy with a combination of supreme accuracy and deadly speed gets defeated by the evil Austrian Terminator cyborg there is only one thing left to do....
Rise From the Ashes and Destroy!
You know, I really should leave the pop references to others who better understand how to properly integrate the plot lines of bad movies and songs into the current sporting situation. I think we can agree that it is just not my cup of tea.
Better? How about this one...
You had that Eye of the Tiger, man. The edge. And now you got to get it back and the way to get it back is to go back to the beginning, you know what I mean?
The worst thing that could happen to the Suns, and it can happen to any team, is they got civilized. The truth is they started out in the same Conference and it drove the Blazers nuts. But you wake up after a few years thinking you're a winner, but really you're a loser. But we don't believe it. There is no tomorrow! Eye of the Tiger!!!
Are you suitably motivated and pumped up? You better be, because I am plum out of cheap theatrical and musical motivational devices to inspire the proper sense of passion, confidence and desperation appropriate for tonight's Game 2.
Ok, just one more....my favorite yet
"There is no future, there is no past. Thank God this moment is not the last. There's only us, there's only this, forget regret or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way, no day but today."
Game 2 Preview
We will know soon enough just how good the Phoenix Suns really are. I wish to hell that this season provided a clear and convincing picture of a team filled with resilience that we absolutely knew would react to the adversity and find a way to muster the bio-rhythms needed to rise up and get the MUST WIN tonight.
Unfortunately, we've not seen it. We've seen flashes of a great team that's sauntered up to the plate, called their shot and blasted a 400 footer to right field and we've also seen this team lose its confidence and decisiveness and wither away in misery.
I always thought the Blazers were going to be a tough match-up for the Suns but there is a reason all the pundits picked Phoenix to win this series. Even the honest Blazers fans and observers will tell you, this is the Suns' series to lose.
Tonight, the home team needs to show why it deserves those picks.
It needs to show how a dominant offensive can beat a suffocating defense. It needs to impose its will, play with precision and get out of its own way and run the floor with fun and passion.
Containing Miller and Bayless, rebounding the ball, limiting turnovers...those things too.
Mostly though, the Suns needs a healthy dose of Bully Ball
This game and this series rests of the shoulders of Amare Stoudemire.
Sure, he is facing tough match-ups but he showed his bravado in front of the microphones yesterday when he brushed off the notion that Marcus Camby can stop him. Now his body needs to cash those checks that his mouth is writing.
Over the past two plus months of the season Amare played at an MVP level and rightly felt he deserved the recognition that came his way. Last night, we saw the current MVP take over the game when his team was struggling.
Tonight, Amare needs to do the same and show us what kind of player he really is.
This game is Amare Stoudemire's crucible.
The Blazers will surely continue to load up the paint to stop him but he's seen that before. When Amare is in his Gorilla Game, Bully Ball, Eat Small Children for Breakfast mood there's nothing that can stop him.
He will hit open J's and force the defense to extend. He will gobble up loose balls and jam them home before Camby and Aldridge can react. He will beat one defender and jump over the second. He will even make the right read and the correct pass (hopefully).
The Suns offense and Steve Nash can do a better job moving the ball and find ways to get Amare cleaner looks but this one is on Amare. It is time for Mr. Max Contract to Rise and Shine.
....hopefully with a
bit lot more ooomph than this.
[Note by Seth Pollack, 04/20/10 12:52 PM MST ]
Because he is a maniac, Ben from Blazers Edge broke down each of Amare's isolation plays with video. What I see is a) a guy with too much time on his hands and b) a lot of correctable things for Amare.
First, he makes those shots a lot more frequently then he did Sunday. But also Amare can attack Camby more directly into his body and force some whistles. He seemed to give Marcus size too much respect. It's as Amare said before Game 1, the way to deal with Marcus is to dunk over him. Amare can bully his way into Camby's body and then rise up over him. He's going to draw a lot of fouls that way.
Mostly, this is just Amare playing tentative and not playing Bully Ball. Amare knows this and he's bounce back.
I just hope Ben does another one of these video break-downs of Amare after Game 2 when the results are different.
Game Day Links:
Game 2 Preview: Blazers vs. Suns (with Camby Take) - Blazersedge
A preview of the Portland Trail Blazers-Phoenix Suns matchup on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010. Includes a look at adjustments for each team plus analysis of the rumored Marcus Camby contract extension.
Watching Film: Guarding the Phoenix Screen-Roll | Rip City Project | A Portland Trailblazers blog
The Phoenix Suns love to run the pick-and-roll. They run it with Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire, they run it with Goran Dragic and Louis Amundson, they even run it with Jarron Collins. I, on the other hand, love to watch film. I even put a little film in my hair every morning to hold it up. 1+1 = a video on how the Blazers defended the perimeter screen in their Game 1 victory. Let’s take a look:
NBA Playoffs: Your Complete Tuesday Night Viewing Guide - SB Nation
Totally inconsequential thing I want to see happen: It'd be nice if Rudy Fernandez did something other than shoot threes. Wasn't he supposed to be the Spanish Michael Jordan? Or was that Ricky Rubio? I can't keep those Spanish guys straight.
All Hail JR Smith! And Five Other Thoughts From The First Playoff Weekend - SB Nation
After the first weekend of playoff hoops, SB Nation's Andrew Sharp checks in to talk about J.R. Smith, the "Krazy" glue that holds the Nuggets together. Plus: thoughts on Brandon Jennings, Celtics-Heat, and Durant-Artest, part one.
Haralabos Voulgaris names the NBA's worst defenders - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
Haralabos Voulgaris is the former skycap with the analytical mind that he once used to beat sportsbooks. (Guess who isn't on this list...Suns players. None of them)
Iowa Energy play Tuesday for championship berth | desmoinesregister.com | The Des Moines Register
Game 3 of the NBA D-League semifinal series will be Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Arena against Tulsa.
- Marcus Camby close to signing 2-year extension with Trail Blazers | OregonLive.com
Suns' Amar'e Stoudemire has Trail Blazers' full attention
Suns' Amar'e Stoudemire has Trail Blazers' full attention, The Suns are not expecting the lanes for Amar'e to suddenly clear Tuesday night in Game 2.
Phoenix Suns' Alvin Gentry facing 1st test as playoff coach
Phoenix Suns' Alvin Gentry facing 1st test as playoff coach, Boivin: We know a lot about Suns coach Alvin Gentry but we don't what kind of playoff coach he is.
Referee stereotypes on parade in Denver - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
Talk to the people who supervise NBA referees, and they'll tell you fans are just mean, with all their referee stereotypes. Superstar calls, make-up
Tortoise or Hare? Channing Frye Faces His Former Team | Fanster.com - All Sports. All Phoenix.
There are two things that I think about when I think of Channing Frye: 1) despite having long arms and appearing thin in college at Arizona, he put up an Orlando Pre-draft Camp-best 19 reps on the bench press and 2) that doesn’t matter anymore because he shoots threes. He may have been stronger than [...]
5 reasons Phoenix Suns fans shouldn't panic after the Game 1 loss| Valley of the Suns
Game 1 was not what Phoenix Suns fans expected. Here are five reasons Suns fans should keep the faith.
- Andre Miller takes Blazers win in stride, because he's been here before | OregonLive.com