Suns school of basketball
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on March 29, 2008
Lesson #1: how to close a game in the first quarter.
Teachers: Steve Nash, Amare Stoudamire, Raja Bell & the rest of the Phoenix Suns.
Students: all Sixers.
Development: jump off to a quick start using a combination of drives, layups, threes, three point plays.
Let the students crash the rim with their first 13 shots, turn the ball over, get blocked by your big men. Conclude with a basket at the quarter buzzer.
Outcome: 19-38 Suns lead.
After that, extend the lead and/or control the game at will. As soon as the students come closer (-10, say), make sure to get a couple of plays to push them away again: three pointers or “and one” plays will be preferable.
Final outcome: 93-107 Suns win.
Let the students (37-36, .507) think about the lesson and do their homework.
That’s the story of the game. Sixers’ dreams of sweeping the Suns (remember the great win in Arizona? It sparked our fantastic streak in March) were over after the first 12 minutes. Phoenix killed us in the paint, constantly feeding their big men for dunks or easy baskets, or getting layups and three point plays with their guards driving.
Sixers’ start was horrendous: 5-15, 10-23, 15-30, until the final 19-38 marked by old buddy Gordan Giricek with a jumpshot. Raja Bell was terrific from behind the arc, hitting four threes in the first half, ended by another jumper at the horn, this time by Steve Nash (44-61), that counted for two only because he stepped the line.
Sixers came within twelve when Williams hit our first three pointer (65-77, 3.20 left in the third) and even within ten later (67-77 and 69-79), but the second time it was Giricek with a three to make Suns lead still comfortable.
Calvin Booth happened to score on a weird jumper at the beginning of the fourth (75-85) but Diaw built a 5-0 run with a nice assist for Stoudamire and a corner three to bury the game definitely (75-90).
“Reality check”, “step back”, “cold shower”? Don’t think so. Just a bad game facing a tough, veteran team, also highly motivated after losing its last two. Problem for the Sixers is all our rivals in the playoffs run won (Toronto, Atlanta, Washington) and we are currently at the 7th place again.
New Jersey lost, though, so that we kept a 6 game edge over the 9th team in the conference.
Sixers go to Cleveland on Sunday and I can’t wait to watch this game, another tough, exciting test: remember we stole one there in December.
SIXERS4GUIDOS BONUS STATS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS
Iguodala adjusted his shot from the line, 7/10: not great, but still an improvement. Overall, he played a very poor game – I think Dalembert reached double figure in idiotic plays (turnovers, goaltendings, fumbled passes) – Carney did a good job with his drives but missed a couple of wide open threes that could have changed momentum – Reggie Evans was the best Sixer last night, with hustle plays and his usual efficiency under the boards – Miller struggled with his shot all night long – I would have played Smith and Young more.. – Sixers dancers beat the Magic and reached the Eastern Conference finals in the NBA Dance team bracket, wow !! Congratulations to the girls, that is brilliant.