Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pick Your Poison

Here's the list of Phoenix Suns who shot under 50% from the field in Game 1: Shawn Marion and Eddie House (House played a total of 4 minutes).

Here's the list of Phoenix Suns who shot under 40% from 3 point range in Game 1: Shawn Marion. (Neither House nor James Jones attempted a 3, but I would not suggest you leave them alone out there.)

So from this we can conclude that we can allow Shawn Marion to shoot 3's. Other than that, you have to guard everyone, all the time, everywhere. That should be easy enough.

BTW, Marion was 10-10 from the FT line and scored 20 points on 13 FG attempts, so all in all, a very efficient offensive night. Every single Phoenix Suns player who was on the floor for more than 4 minutes had a GREAT night offensively. Not a good night. A great night. So who are you going to leave open?

Even when the Clippers played defense as well as they can play, the Suns scored. During the decisive stretch of the 4th, after Maggette had made two free throws to stem the tide, the Clippers had a solid defensive set. They played the pick-and-roll well, they rotated, they ran at shooters... and with 2 seconds on the shot clock, Raja made a driving, left-handed layup over Kaman and Brand. What's the book on Bell? Run at him, make him put it on the floor. Maggette ran at him, made him put it on the floor, forced him out of the middle, Kaman and Brand rotated to block the shot, and he still scored. That one hurt.

After reviewing the 4th on the TiVo, I have a few more observations. I pointed out in last night's post that the Suns scored 11 points on 5 possessions to take the 112-103 lead. Well, they also scored on the next 2 possessions, so it was actually 16 points on 7 possessions during which they were 4-4 on 2 pointers, 2-2 on 3 pointers and 2-2 on free throws (including the aforementioned Raja make.)

The two misses that broke the string of makes came while Sam was holding his face (and nursing some hurt feelings I think), forcing the rest of the Clippers to play 4 on 5. Barbosa missed 2 wide open 3's before the Clippers grabbed the rebound and called time out. That was their only stop during a 6 minute stretch. (Feel free to insert your own joke about Sam Cassell's defense here.)