A couple weeks ago, I wrote how the playoffs have been a snoozefest, and was hoping the Conference Finals would bring a little drama. So far, not so much. After watching about two and a half quarters of the Boston-Orlando game 3 Saturday, it was clear that the Magic didn’t have any Chris Angel in them. It felt like they didn’t even care that they were losing. I guess they decided that they only wanted to sweep or be swept, and as AP wrote, they don’t have a backbone and would rather be at Disneyland. Superman disappeared, and looked powerless against a big baby. Pretty much the whole team decided to lay down, even Jameer, who I always thought was a gamer. Vince was probably the only one that looked like he was even trying to compete, and that’s a really bad sign for a team, when he looks like the only guy that cares!! I think we can safely say Rondo is Boston’s best player now, and will give any opposing guard fits on offense and defense. All those other guys they have aren’t too shabby themselves, and know what their roles are. I’m hoping that the Celtics can wrap it up in game four so they have plenty of time to rest before the finals. They should give the Lakers one tough battle in a wet dream matchup for the NBA with Lebron out of the picture (here’s to hoping that will jinx the Lakers with that comment).
The Suns are who I’ve been pulling for all along, and tonight, they at least showed that they weren’t going to lay down to an obviously better Lakers team. The thing I found so strange about this game is I thought that Phoenix’s bench would be the reason they’d win a game. This wasn’t the case, as the bench was held to minimal production, and if it weren’t for Amare getting back into his game (42 points, 11 rebounds), the sun would’ve set on their season tonight. Robin Lopez played well, and on this rare occasion the Lakers bigs weren’t the story of the night. I’m not sure if the Suns really won this game as much as the Lakers lost it. Odom, who had huge games in the first two made his usual disappearing act following a couple big performances. Hopefully that will last for a couple games. Bynum was just a big guy handing out fouls as offensive players streaked by him to the rim. Fischer might have been their third best player on the court. I don’t think I’ve said that about him since he was on the Jazz! Kobe will always be Kobe, and just missed a triple double by a rebound. Doug Collins and Marv Alberts seemed to think that the zone D the Suns were playing was slowing Kobe down, but they must not have looked at his stat line (36pts, 9 rebs, 11 assists).
All in all, this game has me feeling like the Suns have a good shot to even this series up on Tuesday. I still wouldn’t bet on them to win, but the most promising part about tonight’s game is that they didn’t really play their best. Nash wasn’t spectacular, their bench didn’t help out, they shot the three ball horribly, and the barometer of the Suns success, J-Rich, didn’t score 20! Looking down the need to do list before the game, I figured they would need to do a combo of all of these things for them to win, and even though none of them panned out, they still pulled out victory. I think the real question now becomes is Amare satisfied with putting up his one big game or will he come back for more? If he is done, the Suns will have a tough road ahead. If he isn’t, we could be in for a great series! I hope tonight doesn’t make him feel like he showed us he can do it, and he disappears like he did in LA for the first two games. The Suns won’t win another game if that’s the case. I’m hoping he wasn’t just “lucky” tonight!