Let’s Cut a Groove

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Settle, everybody settle. Slow the talk of outcoaching and confusion. So far, nothing has happened but was designed to happen by the playoff format. Believe me, I hope this is a trend that will continue for the Suns, but I just can’t see it, not for game 5 at least.

Maybe I am being too down of Phoenix, who have played really well in different ways for two games in a row now. However, both those games have been at home where role players tend to step up and play with more comfort and confidence. If Frye stays hot, Dragic doesn’t disappear, Amar’e continues to go after rebounds, and Lopez remains effective, then sure, the Suns have a very realistic shot.

That seems like a lot of factors, not even mentioning the fact that despite thier zone defense that “confused” the Lakers, they have given up over 100 points for two games in a row, their offense their saving grace. Like Kobe said, it’s all about the defense.

The Suns winning would be great for numerous reasons, one of which is the fact that a Celtics-Lakers Finals was already being engraved on every ABC/ESPN commercial (which also makes the Magic the other team I want). However, it’s hard to imagine that behind that home crowd, the Lakers will fall flat. Bynum will probably play better, or at least Odom will (then again, you can’t really predict Odom at all).

Ron Artest hasn’t really stepped up offensively in Phoenix, which seems like common sense now, but in LA it seemed he was finally getting his offensive legs under him (kind of like Frye seems to be doing now). The Lakers bench disappeared in Phoenix, which happens to them, a lot. Overall, it was a terrible road trip for Los Angeles.

Yet, they were in both games and Kobe, who was practically put on his basketball death-bed by media members after the first few games of the Thunder series, has had a renewed sense of purpose. I don’t know why this is surprising, he has the fourth most points scored in NBA playoff history, but he is viewed as though he has been around since forever.

The Lakers have these dips far too often, and the Suns are in the Conference Finals for a reason. This shouldn’t be surprising, yet it is. Also, Steve Nash’s nose looks better now, after minor surgery, than it had at any time before. Maybe I just can’t remember, but whoever his surgeon was he is worth every penny.

Another also, Gentry is getting a lot of credit for playing his bench for extended minutes and having all five bench players on the court at once. However, he was getting a lot of blame for this same maneuver earlier in the series. This is how he coaches, this is how the team maintains success, this is how they got here. Why would he change now?


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