Wednesday Recap (May 10)
HEAT/NETS (Game 2): Heat 111-Nets 89
- This game turned out to be a mirror image of Game 1, except with the Heat changing places with the Nets. The Heat got off to a rollicking start in the first quarter and never looked back the entire game, blowing the Nets off the court.
- Wade was particularly hot out of the gates, even from long-distance, and he continued to attack the Nets' defense for the rest of the game--he finished with 31 pts, 6 assts. & 5 rebs. Shaq also helped the Heat cause by staying out of foul trouble for most of the game, and ending up with 21 points (although he was 3/10 from the line). Another big key was the success from the 3pt. line--the Heat shot 11/20--this is something that needs to continue the rest of the series from the Heat support staff. The Heat did do a better job defensively by holding the Nets to 40% shooting and only 26 pts/paint. I liked how Riles went with Mourning more to give the Heat a little more activity on the defensive end.
- The Nets seemed like they were content with a split after the Heat got off to a huge start. They really played like they did not want to injure themselves and just wanted to get on a plane back to New Jersey as quickly as possible (Sort of ironic since I don't think anybody should be in a hurry to get to New Jersey). Their defense was pretty uninspired letting Wade tear them apart & the entire Heat shoot 52.7% from the floor. They also gave up 48 points/paint & got outrebounded 38-30. The one minor brightspot for the Nets was that Carter had another solid showing (22 pts., 5 assts., 5 rebs.) and took the ball at the basket (11/12 fts).
SUNS/CLIPPERS (Game 2): Clippers 122- Suns 97
- Well, I thought the rebounding differential would be a big factor on this series, but this was just ridiculous. The Suns got outrebounded by 31, and basically let the Clippers go get half of every shot they missed, converting them into easy second chance points.
- The Suns kept up their bargain of not caring about defense once again. They let the Clippers shoot 54.4%, get 58 pts/paint, & gobble up 19 offensive rebs. when they could only get a total of 21 def. rebs. That means they basically had a defensive rebounding percentage of 50%, which is beyond awful, you should be somewhere in the 70s in the NBA. The Clippers again pretty much got what ever they wanted about 12 feet & in. It seemed like Dunleavy decided to post up every player in his rotation. Even though Brand had 27 pts on 10/16 (Elton is shooting an absurd 73.6% after 2 games), they really did not go to him as much this game--the Suns were aggressively double-teaming him most of the game. Instead of Elton, Mobley was the one they were milking, and he delivered--he abused the Suns on the post, on his way to 23 pts. & 8 rebs. Kaman also took advantage of his size in Game 2 by converting point-blank shots for 14 pts. & snaring 16 rebs. Cassell (23 pts.) & Radmanovic (10 pts., 9 rbs.) chipped into the Clip offensive party which ended with 6 Clips in double figures.
- The Clippers' defense looked like they finally made the transition from facing the absolute worst perimeter shooting team in Denver to probably the absolute best. I thought they handled the high screen/roll better and their double teams were not as haphazard. Although, the Suns were just missing alot of shots they usually hit, which aided the Clips effort. The Clips still could have done a better job discouraging the 3pt. shot more. The Suns hit 9 overall, which I still feel is too many--I feel you need to sacrifice some easy two-pointers in exchange for totally shutting down the 3pt. line at all costs.
- I don't think the Suns can do much about their defense at this point, especially the interior, but they can do a better job on their defensive boards. If they are going to let the Clips shoot a high percentage, they can't be giving up so many second chances on the glass--it means too many extra & successful possessions for the Clips. The Suns did do a better job vs. the Lakers late in the series after giving up off. rebounds in the early games. So it is something that I feel can be improved upon to a degree, even with their small size.