Perhaps overeacting here since Shaq was out but those who tuned in got what they expected no Defense and a lot of offense. Both teams were hot from the very start combining for 70 points. At the half Golden State were narrowly up by 4. Even though Nash and Amare were turning it on Grant Hill and Barbosa were the two major offensive threats. It's amusing to remember just hoe many experts and fans including myself were unsure as to how Grant Hill would fit in the Suns offensive scheme of a fastbreak because of a history of Knee problems but he was all over the place grabbing 15 boards. Barbosa also had 24 points and would have won the game for Phoenix had his 3 point attempt not rimmed out. The suns were given this opprotunity with Amare only making 1 of 2 Free Throws one would have tied the game.
Monta is the MIP ( Most improved player) back to back. Sure he is below average on Defense but tonight his offense weapons shone brightly. Almost a Triple double he neatly finished off with 37 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. There was a play where he used his body strengh by knocking Nash to the ground, continuing to finish the play. He's ready for the playoffs unlike last season. What bizarre is he's shooting double the shots Iverson is taking yet making more of them. Driving to the Basket with Amare guarding the lane. Not a problem just twist his body to ride Amare’s momentum even closer to the rim. The fear he showed in the Utah series has evaporated. For now.
Baron: I know Nash is just a libility on man to man defense but Baron did a great job on both ends with Nellie's scheme of allowing him and Monta to run at the Suns all day long paying dividends. He closed out the victory at the free throw line (thinking he was going to dunk) and rolled the ball in as he crashed to the floor over Nash. He had 27 points 13 assists but thats not the Baron stat that stands out it's the fact that Nash and Raja Bell only had 28 points combined.
We're now 32-20 and tied for 7th in the West with Denver and Houston. It's a good thing no Warriors made the All Star game because the rest will be extremely benefical. With a back to back schedule of Utah and Boston this team needs every day of rest they can get because one of these three will sit out come April. We all sit with the same record with Portland looming in the closely. Maybe the night-in, night-out top-tier competition is just what they need to see how it feels to play like this every night.
Quote of the night:
Jeff Van Gundy: "We should let them keep playing. We should let them play all through all-star weekend. In fact we should have these two teams play each other 16 times in a season
You know when a Defensive guru says something like that then you've truly earned respect