This game in a nutshell. A crazy nutshell.
Originally when I wrote my oft-misinterpreted Shrodinger's Playoff Team
word of the day article, I imagined the term being applied early in a series, as hope for a win combined with a Game 1 loss can typically combine to the state of simultaneously dead and alive. By Game 5, I figured anyone could tell if a team still had a chance, or was in a hopeless situation.
I guess I didn't expect this case.Officiating:
So bad. So very bad. Tried to take the Lakers out of it early (similar to the Suns in Game 2), missed and inconsistent calls against both teams throughout, and of course missed Kobe out of bounds on that final play. What more is there to say? If your NBA team can't fight the opponent while keeping composure in the face of shitty refs, (or getting away with shit the refs can't see), you're not winning a championship.The Los Angeles Lakers:
Good work jumping to that correlation-with-success good 1st quarter, falling behind 17-11 with 3 minutes to go. Now of course the refs were not on your side for this stretch, so props for keeping it close to allow...The Phoenix Suns:
...to blow it, ending the 1st quarter at 21-24. The slaughter continued through the second, as the Suns found themselves down by 17. Shout out to Dragic for doing a pretty good job defending Kobe, only Kobe was hitting his stupidly stupid shots. (Also, loved the feisty Slovenian altercation). But hey, it only took until now to give that zone thingy another shot, leading...The Los Angeles Lakers:
...to close the half surrendering a 17-8 run. For the remainder, the Lakers kept letting the Suns hang around, making a 7 point lead feel like 20. Oh, and way to finally figure out the Vujachick and Farmar combo to disrupt Barbosa and Dragic. Of course running this combo more would require less of Kobe's head up his ass. *gets called for a technical by Bennett Salvatore*. Side note: that was a hilarious technical on Kobe. I wish more over-the-course-of-the-game-whiny superstars would get techs like that. Anyways, they were able to bring it back to an 18 point lead over...The Phoenix Suns:
...with about 4 minutes to go in the 3rd. Seems about like the time for the Suns to quit, the way Suns guards not named Dragic quit attacking Gasol on pick-and-roll switches. In addition, Barbosa please stop dribbling the ball. Every time you hold the ball for more than 3 seconds, I die a little on the inside. Give the goddamn rock back to Dragic. Anyways, a special mention to ...Steve Nash:
...for continuing his stupid bullshit on these switches. Yes, I will continue to mention this every single damn game, because it's painfully obvious that Phil Jackson knows this, and is perfectly happy baiting Nash into stupid jumpers over Gasol. Sure, tonight he sank a good amount of the shots, but it's really aggravating to see the same thing we want done to Kobe being done to Nash. Well at least this time it sorta worked out, as the zone came back and a couple of crazy assists and shots later...The Los Angeles Lakers:
...found the lead cut to 1, then to 3 with 1:21 to go in the game. And thus began the night that...Defensive Rebounding:
...died. I'm sure everyone and their mother's statistical consultant will have looked at and memorized the end of game sequence, so since I'm still oscillating from the emotional roller coaster, I'll skip the recap. I don't think this sequence will top the Duncan 3 in terms of heartbreaking moments, but it sure was something. I guess this is a reason why this wasn't as bad as the Duncan 3.
Oh and also that this win came off one of the purest Kobe Bryant Assists I've ever seen.
(Aside: Did everyone catch Artest walking back to the tunnel, and getting slapped in the butt by some guy and Artest snapping around with "that crazy look" in his eyes, before getting pushed forward by security? I wish I knew if this helped or hurt the Suns, but it's something.)
This was one of those games where it felt like both teams were doing their worst not to lose. And honestly, I would have thought Suns teams in the past would never overcome the mental break of this kind of game. This year's team? A slim, very slim chance. Which brings me back to the beginning: the birth of a Game 5 Shrodinger's Playoff Team. The Suns have looked good enough to win, and bad enough to be swept. They have a history of mental weakness, yet have shown exceeds-expectations chemistry this year. Smart enough to do the right thing, yet stupid enough to surrender bad turnovers, avoidable points, and winnable games.
And IMHO, what's the one key that can show these Suns are ready to fight for a championship?Pride:
Just suck up your pride for 2 games, Suns. The 2-3 zone works. Don't overthink this. However, do overthink eating...Fried Artichokes:
...at your next pregame meal. I have zero basis or evidence to support a "classy move, Lakers fans", but I want to say it anyways. Perhaps if we had some BasketBawful readers with experience in the food service industry, y'all could enlighten us with anecdotes and stories of how easy it is to mess with people and their fried food.
I mean this was Gentry's fault too. How could you not
be following the Nash Diet
on an away game in the playoffs? Also, I know that it was reported during the game that it was Deep Fried Avocados, but for what I hope is the last time in my life, I will trust Twitter for journalistic integrity, courtesy of Alexis Gentry
. Derek Fisher:
Get your hand the hell out of Nash's face. *word that KG says loudly into sideline microphones* you, you're almost a more hateable Lakers player than Kobe right now.Lacktion Report:
offer his sympathies and advice for enduring the Lakersmug?
Suns-Lakers: Robin Lopez laid a little bit of an egg tonight as Phoenix's starting big man, countering two boards in 11:24 with a trio of bricks, a trio of rejections, two fouls, and one giveaway for a 3:2 Voskuhl. Jarron Collins joined the fray by earning himself a 1.3 trillion (1:17).
Despite being inserted in the first quarter as a momentum-shifter, Bill Walton's son Luke baked three bricks in 3:43 for a +3 suck differential.
Labels: I freaking hate the Lakers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Ron Artest, Steve Nash