Monday, April 14, 2008

Golden State V Phoenix Preview

Nothing like a motivational clip when the chips are down

It seems hard to believe but there was a time when the Suns took a lot of heat (Excuse the Pun) for the blockbuster deal which bought Shaq from South Beach to Phoenix and sent Shaun Marion to Miami. Despite struggling early on the Suns now look like a legit championship contender already clinching a playoff spot. Despite all this they still have plenty to play for in terms of playoff seeding and home court advantage. The best thing the Warriors could do is get Shaq and Amare into foul trouble early. Amare has been an absolute Warrior killer posting up up 27.3 ppg and 10.7 rpg in 3 games this year against the Warriors. With Shaqs defense it will be tough surviving that kind of defense so the Warriors best bet is to force Nash to become a scorer , jamming him on the dribble, and making him work hard on D against either a stronger and bigger posting up Baron Davis or a quicker and faster slashing Monta Ellis. If the Warriors can send Shaq and Amare to the bench and continue to cause Nash to cough the rock up 6 times, they've got a great shot here.

Over a few games the Warriors looked dominant beating Memphis and the LA Clippers but the key was when it came to the top tier teams thats when it fell apart. Aside from beating a Dirk less dallas team and a Lakers team without Gasol the last win over a Western Conference playoff team was against the Suns who were without Shaq. If you're willing to believe Denver would somehow find a way to lose to Memphis this game has playoff significance. Beyond that the Warriors could display with a win tonight they are capable of hanging with the best in the West and perhaps stop the surge of questions such as Why didn't Mullin and co go for a big man when available?. The Suns abandoned their running style when trading Marion for Shaq questions will be asked as to why the Warriors can't do the same.

A Large part of me feels this will be Nelsons last significant coaching game. Why he would want to come back to a situation where he virtually led the same team to the 06-07 playoffs and missed out the following year is anyones guess. With hard contract choices coming up and questions whether he should abandon Nellieball Nellie might go to Maui instead and leave the Head Coach position open. Considering all the flaws, greatness and mimmatches Nellieball brings this debate should be left until Thursday morning but if this is it What a coach.

Shaq gets in foul trouble and sits out
Monta and Baron combine for 50
Jackson his the winning shot as time expires
Warriors by 2

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