Suns Rebound For Game 2 Win
Suns (2) vs. Spurs (3): Suns 101, Spurs 81 (Game 2)
- In a game that the Suns pretty much had to have, they grabbed the lead mid-way thru the 2nd quarter and kept the Spurs at bay until pulling away in the 4th. The Suns won this game by being the better team on the defensive end & keeping the board battle basically a draw. Phoenix neutralized the the 2 biggest advantages the Spurs have in this series.
- One of the best defensive games I've seen from the Suns in last few years in the playoffs. They seemed like they set out to single-team Duncan, live with what he gets, and make the others beat you. The Suns actually looked to concentrate their defensive attention on Parker. Tony was seeing multiple defenders in his way more than Timmy. It also helped the Spurs weren't hitting their jumpers like in Game 1 and ended 43% from the floor. Thought Suns did a great job on Parker. They had guys waiting in the lane to prevent from his patented deep penetration.
- Another key for the Suns was they did not get hurt on the boards. After getting pounded by 14 in Game 1, the Suns were only outrebounded by 1 and did a solid job protecting their defensive glass--73.3% def. reb pct. which is good, after a 66% in Game 1.
- Nice to see D'Antoni pull the trigger on giving more minutes to Kurt Thomas; something the Painted Area has been calling for about a month and also here in our series preview. Kurt really hurt the Suns on the offensive end, huh? Kurt had 12 pts on 6/7, mostly from his sweet mid-range jumper. Even though Duncan had 29, Thomas did a solid job making him work for some incredibly tough looks. Also, I feel Kurt had a big reason on cutting down Tim's off. rebounds to 2 (8 in Game 1) I noticed few times where Kurt really laid his body into Tim & boxed out Tim well. Amare's not really into boxing out.
-Nash was dropping dimes and exposing the holes the Spurs were leaving off the pick/rolls. Nash had 16 assists, usually finding Amare lurking in the lane. Amare did a better job finding the open space in the lane, and was able to set himself up to be finisher we know. Started off a little slow, but got going in the middle part of the game, and matched Duncan's 3rd quarter dominance with 15 pts of his own in the quarter. Amare finished with 27, 9 rebs & was 10/16 after a 6/19 Game 1.
- Liked how Bell looked to be more aggressive off the dribble. Bell has to change his mentality in this series, realizing that his usual offensive diet of 3pts won't be there vs. the Spurs, and he has concentrate on being more of a mid-range player.
- Spurs rotations were very lax tonite, and they switched a lot on screens and it really was not successful. Spurs allowed 20 fast break pts., after 18 in Game 1; have to imagine Pop will let his squad know about this the next few days. Spurs were outscored 30-17 in both the 2nd & 4th quarters. Spurs continued to make turnovers they normally don't make for the 2nd game in a row--20, after 15 in Game 1. Just a lot of unforced TOs you don't see from the Spurs, another thing Pop should have something to say about. One thing they did continue to do well was get the Suns off the 3pt. line--Suns were 4/10.
- Duncan was the lone bright spot for the Spurs & pretty much was the lone source of Spurs' offense in the 3rd. Dude put on a low-post clinic, unstoppable. Was using the glass on nearly every shot, and was hitting shots at some impossible angles all nite. Timmy had 29, 11 on 12/20.
- The Spurs really have to get Manu going somehow. Continues to struggle to get his offense going. Had some wide open looks & could not find the range. Though he still is doing other things--5 rebs, 5 assts, & 3 stls. Finley & Bowen were the only Spurs who had some success with their jumpers. Both guys were 3/6 from 3pts. Seems like the Suns were willing to live with leaving Bowen open. I'm curious why Pop didn't play Horry more. Horry has been playing well lately, coming off a 10 & 7 Game 1, and don't understand why he only played 16 mins. Bob could help open the middle for Parker by drawing Amare, or whomever is guarding him, to the perimeter.
- First order of business for the Spurs, they need to take better care of the ball. If they cut down on the turnovers that might solve another problem--transition defense. Also, they need to figure out a way to do a better job on the Suns' screen/roll. I think a little more Bob Horry would be advisable since the Elson/Oberto combo was not that effective & Horry has to be accounted for on the offensive end. Suns need to keep the rebound margin respectable and continue this type of defensive performance going. And to keep hitting their mid-range looks.