So I’m a couple days late, but what the hell…just thought I’d wrap up with a few thoughts on the Series That Was (Blazers) before moving ahead to the Series That Is About To Be (Spurs).
So how about that Game 6? I was gettin’ reeeeeeeeal nervous there in the waning moments of the third quarter and the first half (or thereabouts) of the 4th Quarter. I thought it was real nice of Rudy to finally show up and throw down 16 points of 5-of-6 shooting (all from 3!). He, more than anything else, made me think that the Suns had some big-time troubles on their hands.
A big part of what had that game lookin’ so good for the Blazers was the crap game Nash had until the waning moments of the fourth quarter. He was having some major hip problems, apparently, which contributed heavily to his 2-of-7 for 10 points with 6 assists and SEVEN turnovers. Seriously, when was the last time Nash had a negative assist-turnover ratio? It’s a rare occurrence to say the least. But he did his thing when it mattered most, hitting a long 3 with 2:33 to go and dropping one of his freakalicious wraparound dimes to Amar’e on the Suns’ next possession (sandwiched around a big-time rebound by Grant Hill) to give the Suns a 12-point lead, then hitting four free throws down the stretch.
I, for one, was part of what I’m sure was a chorus of people implored Gentry to leave Dragic in, as he’d been playing really well and Nash had, well…not. And I’m sure it wasn’t a chorus; I tend to be a bit of an overreactor to things like that, but I surely wasn’t the only one who thought it. From Prof. Hollinger’s post-mortem:
“No. No. That would be a big no,” said Suns coach Alvin Gentry. “He was struggling but there was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to put him back in the game. It’s been tough for him. Physically, it’s been a really tough series. They’ve really gotten into him and beat him up a little bit, but at the end of the day, we were either going to win or lose with Steve in the game. That was not even an option.”
Well, I guess that’s why he’s the NBA coach and I’m the guy who sits in the library writing about what I think he should be doing. Hm.
Overall? This series was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. I really did think the Suns would be more dominant; give credit to Portland for not rolling over (which is more than can be said for some teams [yeah, I'm looking at you, Dallas and Miami]). The Suns surprised me quite a bit too…they really turned it on and won games at “playoff pace” against a worthy opponent.
And speaking of which, all of us here at Sun-N-Gun would like to thank the Portland crew, especially Blazed, dekko, and Guest Blogger Reinwald for showing up in these parts all series. We know you have a choice in opponent bloggers to harass, and we’re honored that you chose us. If you’re traveling on into the offseason, we certainly understand, but you’re of course welcome to hang around Sun-N-Gun and join our ranks in battling the Spurs; we’re sure you must hate San Antonio at least as much as we do!