From the moment Game 1 was in the books until the last 3-4 minutes of the fourth quarter of Game 2, it was shaping up to be one of those games the Spurs always win when they’re in danger of a deficit. But on those possessions where they usually hit daggers, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan bricked free throws. And on those possessions where they usually get defensive stops, Amar’e Stoudemire dominated the paint and Jason Richardson was slinging jumpers. Unable to make the plays they usually make late in big games, the Spurs fell behind 0-2 in the series as it heads to their gym … Amar’e (23 pts, 11 rebs) gets the MVP for this one. He came up with huge offensive rebounds in the clutch and worked the pick-and-roll with Steve Nash to either score or get to the line and keep the Suns just out of reach. When STAT tied it up in the last minute of the first half with a monster dunk off a textbook P-n-R, Kevin Harlan screamed, “Ooooh, Stoudemire! Up high! Down hard!” … Otherwise it was a team effort, with Grant Hill (18 pts), J-Rich (19 pts), Channing Frye and Jared Dudley making crucial plays as Nash had a relatively quiet 19 points and 6 dimes. How long before Dudley is up there with Anderson Varejao and Joakim Noah as guys that are hated by everybody except those associated with his team? Dudley runs his mouth all night from the moment he steps on the court … Frye did his part with five threes (15 pts). It’s funny how once upon a time he was considered a poor man’s Duncan because he was kind of stiff and had a good mid-range jumper. Now their games are so far apart they’re not even in the same family. More like Frye is gonna be a rich man’s Raef LaFrentz before he’s done … And on the flip side of offensive skill-set, Jarron Collins is just awful. One time he caught the ball at the top of the key with nobody even thinking about guarding him, took a dribble and one step toward the foul line, and still nobody bothered getting in his way. Collins bricked the wide-open jumper. That’s just embarrassing that you’re an NBA player and it’s well-known you’re absolutely no threat to make anything beyond gimme layups … Still, a 2-0 lead doesn’t seem close to safe given the two teams involved. Until the Suns get four wins in the bank against San Antonio, they’re always in danger of a collapse … Was that a modern-day leisure suit Charles Barkley was wearing? Between that and Kobe Wonka‘s extra strange photo shoot, It’s been a bad week for NBA stylists … Duncan (29 pts, 10 rebs) was dominant in the first half, but in the second had a tough time scoring while getting run all over the court on D by Grant Hill and Frye. Manu Ginobili struggled with his shot (2-8 FG, 11 pts, 11 asts), while Parker scored 20 but didn’t go for the jugular against Phoenix like he typically does. Richard Jefferson (18 pts, 10 rebs) played maybe the best game of his San Antonio career, but if he’s their No. 1 guy, they’re not going to win a lot of games … Barkley said Gregg Popovich is only being stubborn and hurting the team by continuing to start George Hill over Parker, and he might have a point. Hill is having problems trying to stick Nash, and it’s not like he’s been killing it offensively this series, either. Parker should start at PG for Game 3. The Spurs also need a reliable three-point shooter. If Pop is ever going to dust off Roger Mason, now is the time … The NBA All-Defensive Teams were announced yesterday. The usual suspects, plus Rajon Rondo and Gerald Wallace, made the First Team. How about Ron Artest not even getting a Second Team nod? And exactly who voted for Jason Kidd to be on the First Team? … We know the NBA is always good for recycling coaches, but this year it’s getting crazy. Why are Mike Fratello and Doug Collins getting job interviews? There’s really no qualified younger assistants out there? If this trend of hiring guys who work in TV keeps up, in a couple years somebody is gonna give Mark Jones a head coaching job. Although that would make for the funniest episode of “Real Training Camp” ever. “Yo guys, let’s run these suicides. We’ve gotta have our mind on our money and our money on our mind!” … NBA Draft update: Butler’s Gordon Hayward, Ole Miss’ Terrico White and Louisville’s Samardo Samuels have hired agents and are staying in the draft. Hayward should go in the first round, maybe the Lottery. Samuels and White? They’ll have a lot of work to do in pre-draft workouts to snag that guaranteed first-round money … We’re out like Roger Mason …
Smack / May 6, 2010 / 6:15 am
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