Playoff game thread #3 -- at Phoenix

NOTE to the Editors: If the length messes up the game thread use let me know and I can split it up. Or do it yourself. Whichever.

I know Rick2G did a recap already. I know Stampler said he is going to do a recap. I still want to do my own. Hopefully, I will bring someting unique to the table that those guys didn't cover.

I thought Tuesday's game was a great game. Not otherworldly like game one, but a great game. The Suns got hot early and got a big lead. TThe Spurs, thanks to the big three, hung around until the Suns cooled off. Then we got a big lead and they came charging back. I really didn't feel all that confident when the lead was cut to 5 with just over 2 minutes left. I wasn't scared we'd choke, I just wasn't gloating.

Various thoughts:

  1. Nash was flopping and grabbing so much he looked like a mutant love child of Ginobili and Bowen. Rick2G's recap has a great picture. Ginobili's elbow looks like it probably hit Nash, but it didn't look like Gino really popped him. Nash went from a couple feet inside the free throw line to the baseline. That's about 12-15 feet. Uh-huh. Why aren't people hating on Nash for flopping? Nash is just as Non-american as Gino. Let's see Nash is: Anti-war, thoughtful, intelligent, flopper, gamer, competitor, honest, fearless, tough, from another country, white-ish. Which of those doesn't describe Manu. The media is a fucked up thing in the way they perpetuate "talking points".
  2. Amare is just abysmal defensively. He seems to have no instincts for positioning. He spent the whole game watching guys drive past him to the rim and he was continually a step slow when he moved at all. Was he afraid of Fab dunking over him?
  3. The Suns got a great first half from Amare (11-14, 22 points), a great game from Nash(10-15), the best game they will get from The Big Mouth (19 points, 14 boards, and even hit a couple shots from outside of the one foot range) and still lost. If I'm a Suns fan, that's the part of this that is disturbing. They let game one get away and in game two their big three played really well and they lost.
  4. On the flip-side, Barbosa was abysmal. Hill was a non-factor. Diaw was decent in the first half and not so great in the second. Giricek made a couple shots but was ABUSED on the defensive end. If they get decent contributions from any of these guys they win game two, maybe. Ok, maybe not, but they would at least have helped and probably can't be much worse.
  5. The Suns are no longer the Fun and Gun Suns. They aren't even a ghost of the team that tried to shoot in 7 seconds or less. Are all the people who hopped on the Suns bandwagon (I'm talking to a lot of you) because they were a "fun" team to watch getting off now? The boring, slow, plodding Spurs just outscored them 23-4 in fast break points. Think about that. Four freaking fast break points for the Suns. They don't rain down threes, they only shot 13. So, what are all the Suns bandwagoners attracted to now. The Big Mouth's quotes, personality and hustle?
  6. Seeing the Spurs run the Suns out of the gym, especially watching Parker blow by Nash like he is in concrete, makes me think they miss Marion just a little bit. How many times during the game did Nash come tearing up court to see himself on a 2-4 break? I noticed it a few times and I barely pay attention to things like that during the game.
  7. Once the Spurs shut down the Nash/Amare pick and roll, what offense do the Suns have? It was a little like watching Iverson with the Nuggets. Nash dribbled around but instead of looking for his shot -- like Iverson does -- he was looking for somebody to pass to. But, this wasn't a "play". At least to me, it was just dribbling around.
  8. Let's see, the Suns are pumping up The Big Mouth for his defense against Tim and his hustle. They really run very few plays for him. That's worth 20+ million a year. I think we are looking at the Suns last "window" this year. There is no way The Big Mouth comes back next year as "good" as he is this year. They are way over the cap and they have no depth.
  9. Speaking of depth, do the Suns have a bench? Diaw, Barbosa, Giricek. Giricek has been 12 and 15 minutes. So for the most part, the Suns are playing a 7-man rotation. And that's fine. But nobody else from their bench is even coming in to give them the 3-5 minute stints that we are getting from the likes of the JV and Horry and Bones. Those guys have combined to play about 30 minutes in the two games -- about 5 minutes each -- but they give us something. JV ballhandling and defense. Bones some made 3's. Horry some fouls. I think it is at this time we reap the rewards of our frustration with Pop during the regular season. Our bench guys have little tiny roles they perform that provide great value to us in the postseason. Oh, and Ime has played 8 and 14 minutes. We pay him $1 million a year. I think this is part of the brilliance of our front office. The Suns would kill to have Ime instead of Sean Marks, Eric Piatkowski, and DJ Strawberry on their bench.

Stoops vs Brown: Fun with analogies?

Greg Popovich is to Mike D'Antoni as:
a) The female mantis is to the male mantis
b) The steamroller is to Kevin Kline
c) Stampler's writing is to my writing
d) The hammer is to the nail

Stoudemire is to defense as:
a) A construction flag man is to traffic
b) A matador is to a bull (including the part where the bull sometimes wins)
c) SgtInManusArmy is to lack of dedication
d) Stephen A Smith is to quiet

Ginobili(1st in 6th man) is to Barbosa(2nd) as:
a) Man is to mouse (hombre Y raton)
b) Beer is to non-alcoholic beer
c) LatinD's pre-game info is to Powell's pre-game
d) Abe Lincoln is to George Bush

Shaq is to an intelligent quote as:
a) Surfing porn is to real sex
b) Paris Hilton is to classy
c) FoxNews is to fair and balanced
d) Krukow is to game-watching sobriety

FinDog is to the PTR faithful as:
a) A meth head is to his family
b) An ex-girlfriend is to her old boyfriend (the once you dump her she starts working out and gets breast implants kind of thing)
c) A foot is to the mouth
d) The Suns are to their BotS bloggers

Game 3: What to expect? I don't know. I have a nagging feeling the Spurs will start the game like the first two, but instead of coming back we'll get blown out. I'm hoping, however, that we match their desperation driven intensity and hang around. If we do, then I expect a dog fight the whole way. I'll take our decision making and execution over theirs. Us be 3 or them by 18. No middle ground. Heaven forbid it happens, but if we get up 10 fairly early look for the Suns to implode. Especially Shaq and Amare. I think both those guys are prone to panic and frustration. Shaq will start fouling people -- trying to send a message -- and Amare will start forcing shots.

This is fan-created content on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.

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