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May 10, 2006

Letdown Game Still Equals Victory

The Suns have won five straight games, counting Game 4 against the Lakers. And Monday nights Game 1 against the Clippers may have been the best offensive performance of the season, and certainly was the best of the post-season. After experiencing a Game 7 against the hated Lakers, how can you even compare Game 1 against the Clippers. This was a letdown game but a victory nonetheless. So that is the good news, here is the bad:

  • Elton Brand scored 40 and dominated inside
  • The Clippers shot 59%
  • Cassell and Maggette chipped in another 48 points
  • The Clippers scored 123 points
  • The Suns got in early foul trouble inside with Thomas and Matrix

If I told you the Clippers were going to do all of the above before the game, anyone in the right mind would call it a Suns loss. But it wasn't. The Suns had a 74 point second half.

There were some real positives on display. Leandro Barbosa is becoming a star. Nash was... well, Nash. On the night David Stern was on hand to present Nash with his second straight MVP Award, Nash was unbelievable. But it was another "average" performance for him. You take it for granted. Raja played well. Matrix got it going.

So on to Game 2. Both teams have to make adjustments. You cannot give up 123 every night. And the Clippers won't give up 130 every night either. Brand will not go 18 of 22 all series, but the Suns have to make sure he doesn't.

I called in to "Suns Talk" on KTAR 620 after the game. I made the following analogy:

Game 7 against the Lakers was like going to your best friend's bachelor party on your 21st birthday in Las Vegas. And for the first half of Game 1, it felt like going to work the Monday after. The crowd had a hangover. US Airways sounded like a regular season Clippers game, not a Second Round game.

But it was still a win. And a big win. And the Suns dictated the tempo. For the Clippers to win, they have to keep the Suns under 100. That is no small task. The depth of the Suns became apparent. When Brand took a break with 7:22 left, the Suns took control and went on a 9-2 run. It will take balanced scoring and some defense to end this series early. The last thing the Suns need right now is another long series.

Posted by Justin at May 10, 2006 01:43 PM

Comments

Heh. Saw Wednesday's game. Hmmm, what was the point spread? Can't wait for tonight's game.

Posted by: The Flying Enchilada at May 12, 2006 02:20 PM