Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tuesday Night Wrap-Up

I spent so much time analyzing every close whistle in the Suns-Spurs game that it got late real quick, so despite there being so much to say, this is going to be brief.

Suns Even Things Up

The Spurs want to turn Nash into a scorer and close out on the three point line. They continued to do the latter (the Suns made just 4 threes), but couldn't accomplish the former. Tonight Nash was ridiculous, going for 20 and 16 and controlling the game. Even more important for Phoenix is that they (mostly) followed my blueprint by playing Kurt Thomas and covering Duncan with just one guy. I was a little off on using Bell to guard Parker, because Marion did the job (and Bell continues to stymie Ginobili), but otherwise feel pretty good. Here is what I wrote about Thomas:

Not only is Thomas Phoenix's best defender against Duncan (by a mile), he is also a much better finisher than Diaw. Wait, Thomas a finisher? Yes, because finishing a play doesn't just happen at the rim. And the KT speciality is the 15-foot set shot that looks like it is right out of Hoosiers. But that shot is wide open against San Antonio (because they run out so hard at the three-point line) and when Diaw catches there, he just does some stupid spin dribble or makes an extra pass that allows the Spurs' to set up again. Playing Thomas 25-30 minutes will make Phoenix instantly better.

Obviously, this is just the beginning for the Suns. The Spurs will make adjustments, they will get an even larger officiating advantage at home, and should have the "real" Tony Parker back for Game Three. But Phoenix now has some matchups working in their favor. They've finally found a way to use Diaw to some effect, they have a guy that can make Duncan work and eliminate the need for constant double-teaming, and they have the best player in the world in Steve Nash. I expect some great games in Texas.

LeBron Dominates

Rough game for the Nets. They shoot 52% from the floor and 57% from three and lose by 10. That is what happens when you get beat 19-3 on the offensive glass and give up a 36 and 12 to LeBron. King James was sick tonight, Pavlovic played another terrific game (fantastic defensive effort on Carter; in fact, expect a post in the near future on Pavlovic's insertion into the starting lineup - not Hughes' - that has turned this team around), and Gooden was a beast on the glass. Cleveland is starting to look like a real team. Imagine that.

No comments: