I rewatched Tuesday's game in Denver and as much as it pains me to say it - Amare was a no-show.
I went into this game thinking that our best chance to win was to come out hard in the 1st qtr and build a decent lead. The Nuggets are undiscipline and mentally weak and an early lead could have knocked them out.
Unfortunately, Amare didn't share that belief and came out as if it was a game in November. I don't know if he was tired physically after that GREAT game in Phoenix on Monday or tired mentally from the extended effort over the past weeks and months but the result was disappointing.
If I have time, I will go back and chart concrete examples, but here's what I noticed:
- Weak show on the pick and rolls. This is something we really hammered Amare on a few months ago and just yesterday gave him credit for improvement.
Tuesday night at Denver he reverted to old form. He "showed weak" meaning he didn't jump out hard enough to trap the ball and then scramble to recover to his man.
Here's a great explaination of how this should be played from X's and O's. And this is exactly what Amare's been doing of late. But not Tuesday and to me this is a sure sign of his lack of energy, focus, whatever.
- Offensively timid. That's right. Amare timid. In this game he had some great dunks and fabulous finishes. He was even shooting well. But all of those plays were set up by Nash or someone else.
The well documented emergence of Amare has been about what's he done with the ball in isolation. In this game he would get the ball at the top of the key and instead of facing the basket and driving it down their throat he simply passed off.