Saturday, May 13, 2006

Suns-Clips, Courtesy of Bill

Rather than give my own thoughts on the Suns-Clippers Friday nightcap, let's take a look at some Bill Walton gems from the broadcast:

- "Tim Thomas is one of the great reclamation projects of all time."

- After calling Mike Dunleavy "Mike D'Antoni," he exclaimed with disgust, "There are simply too many Mikes!"

- After a Nash pass led to a Marion three: "Whenever something good happens for Phoenix, it is almost always because of Boris Diaw's intangibles." (Diaw was on the bench with foul trouble.)

- "That is the liability of having Brian Grant on the team." (After Grant missed a five-footer.)

- "Chris Kaman sucks." Oh wait, that was me, not Bill.

- "The Suns are a uni-dimensional team."

- "Steve Nash's left-handed passes off the dribble without ever touching it with his right ... a thing of beauty!" (The key to this quote was the way he added all the extra description without pausing. Talk about a thing of beauty!)

- "Elton Brand represents everything that is right in the NBA ... and in the world." (This calls to mind classic quotes such as “John Stockton is one of the true marvels, not just of basketball, or in America, but in the history of Western Civilization!”)

- "Boris Diaw is making drives and flip shots reminiscent of the legend, Elgin Baylor."

- "Volume shot attempts! Forget the pump fake. Jack 'em up there. Get running. Who's in shape? Who wants to play?" (This quote really happened.)

- "Kaman is just too quick!" (After Marion shot one right into Kaman's elbow.)

- "All these pretty boys just want the defenders to get out of their way." (Discussing Kobe Bryant and Raja Bell.)

- To Mike Tirico after an offensive foul on Maggette: "I love to hear the enthusiasm when you make that offensive foul call. In a day and age when the rules allow offensive players to do whatever they want with no repercussions, finally, a return to normalcy and human decency."

- After a bad shot by Tim Thomas: "Maybe the worst shot selection we've seen in this year's playoffs."

- "That was an easy play to call, I don't know why Shawn Livingston is complaining, although he is - Shawn Livingston - one of four Illinois Mr. Basketball winners to go straight to the NBA, out of Peoria." (All one sentence. Genius!)

- After a big Cassell airball: "I might have to reevaluate my position from earlier that Tim Thomas' airball was the worst shot selection in this year's NBA playoffs." (I loved that he referenced his own hyperbole. So good.)

Okay, I have to throw a few thoughts in here. 1) What was Dunleavy thinking with his lineup down the stretch? I know you want to ride the hot hand, but come on. 2) I thought the Clippers were looking poised to crush Phoenix in this series and become a threat in the West, but if they can't beat the Suns in a key home game when Phoenix shot 7-28 from three, they are in big trouble. 3) Huge redemption for Marion, who had one of those monster fantasy lines we all know and love, but for once did it in the playoffs. 4) Phoenix might be the worst NBA team I've ever seen at closing out close wins, which is weird since they are so good from the line and have a two-time MVP at point guard. They should be built for holding leads. 5) How about Nash hitting the huge fadeaway after struggling all night? Big time shot. I was surprised to see the Clippers let the clock run there, because technically, Nash could have dribbled it down to one and then heaved it into the air ala Magic in the 1991 Western Conference Finals, allowing time to run out.

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