Leander, during the broadcast, claimed that Porter had not special interest in beating the Bucks of Mil-e-wau-kee (is that you pronounce it, Alice?). EJ put Leander in his place.
3-1 on an Eastern Conference 5-night swing is respectable. Indiana might push for a 7 or 8 seed and Chicago is a champ or a bust. We're supposed to expect games like this, right? Now that we're emulating the Sp*rs.
First, apologies to our Almighty Leader, PhxStan. Apparently, I had signed up for last night's game. I claimed to have forgotten my promise, but there may have been some intentional forgetfulness. During the third last night, I started betting Bluntman shots (whiskey) on every missed shot (pool).
No, not really, I just blew it. We were actually betting as to whether the Suns or the Sp*rs would lose by now. He gets to go to the Orlando game now and I get to go to the Knicks game (mainly because I've predicted the Knicks will make the playoffs). Now, all of the sudden, Marion can beat the Sp*rs. Motivation or the lack of Parker and Ginobili?
Given the last two nights, though, I do have an interesting point for discussion. I think either position is valid. Do you sit Shaq against teams like Chicago without a real inside presence to save him for teams with a semi-presence like Bogut or do you let him punish a team like the Bulls and take advantage of the fact that Bogut is only slightly above average (i.e., not exactly Tim Duncan)? Personally, I think it's a bad sign that you don't use Shaq to punish the Bulls for fear of him being run off the floor by a D'Antoni-lite.
I missed some of the second period and a big part of the third. JSun2 (a/k/a "The Boy") had me watching Ant Bully with him and them reading him his new book on the Solar System. As you may know from reading one of my previous posts, The Boy knows a great deal about the solar space and space in general.
Pop quiz, hotshots: Did you know that:
(1) all of the planets in the Solar System can fit inside of Jupiter?
(2) the asteroid belt is held in place by the gravitational pull of Jupiter?
Not bad for a five-year-old. I like to think it's all me, but some of it may be because JSun0 (The Boy's grandfather) takes him to the Challenger Space Center once a month.
On the game.
The Bucks had trouble with the Twin Towers. Too bad Shaq can't do that against Duncan. Hopefully, he'll be able to do that against Bynum. Diaw and Hill did admirable work against Richard Jefferson. During the game, both Leander and EJ kept saying that the Bulls' and Bucks' defensive plan was to foul Amare -- not let him score. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't they shoot about 80% from the line? Hack-a-STAT is not a good strategy. I suppose its better if he misses 2 of 10 free throws than makes 5 dunks -- that's a +2 for the defense on the exchange. I just don't know how the Bulls and Bucks did not run out of guys over 6'9".
The one game in which Shaq did not play the Suns were out-rebounded. That's not good, no matter how you look at it. Especially when you consider the teams they've played and the fact that the Suns have two Cavemen on the team.
Just look at the low, sloping foreheads of Robin Lopez and Bo Outlaw Lou Admundson. By the way, Bo Lou said that the other guys try to play mean with him and hit him (while he's riding his bike) on his way home. If this guy can survive direct hits by large German vehicles, he should be able to box out at least two opposing players at one time.
It's funny to think that the Suns may be struggling because Hill has to start. If he can stay on the bench and be limited to 20 minutes, he's going to have more than a few "point a minute" nights.
Nash went 2 of 4 from behind the arc because Shaq couldn't throw a straight pass out of the double-team and Stevie Wonder forced up this 4th attempt. Shaq was probably tired, though, and seeing double.
It was a good road trip and it has been a good start. If Leandro can get back to form (he did have an important 3 tonight), the Suns have a great chance at another 50+ win season. Dragic continues to frustrate because everyone knows he can do better, but he'll get there (as long as he doesn't take too many cues from Doris).
If I missed anything because of Ant Bully and/or my tutorial on Jupiter, please feel free to fill in the blanks.