Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wow!

From Any Angle, Steve Nash is Still the MVP

I really hope everyone stayed up late and watched the Dallas-Phoenix instant classic. I'd be willing to bet the house that no game in the NCAA tournament will come close to matching the drama in this one. A few quick hits on the Suns 129-127 double OT win:
  • The biggest development of this game was Dirk Nowitzki's disappearing act that began in the final minutes of regulation and continued throughout both overtime periods. First, Dirk went one of two from the line twice in the game's final minutes. Then, he proceeded to do his best Karl Malone crunch-time impression the rest of the way. Coming on the heels of last June's choke job, this has to be a major concern for Mavs' fans. Yes, Dirk is the team's best player. But in the clutch, Jason Terry is their go-to guy. And I'm not sure that's a good thing.
  • Can we go ahead and just hand Steve Nash the MVP trohpy? 10 points in the final 55 seconds of regulation? 32 points, 16 assists and 8 boards? Hitting the game-tying trey? Throw in the fact that the Suns are winless without Nash in the line-up and you've got all the ingredients necessary for a third straight most valuable player award.
  • I don't think this game means much, if anything, come playoff time. Both teams are who we thought they were. The real key is the race to claim the West's #1 seed. As much as I love Phoenix, I really question whether or not they have the depth to beat both San Antonio and Dallas in seven game series. And if they can't overtake the Mavs (they're currently 2 1/2 games back), that's their path to the title.
  • How great is it to see Amare Stoudemire back to 100%? Six months ago, I wondered whether NBA fans were going to be robbed of seeing this force of nature fully develop, due to his seemingly slow recovery from microfracture surgery. And while he still has a way to go in fulfilling his potential, he's back to being one of the most dynamic players to watch on a daily basis.
  • Classic game from Shawn Marion. Made a ton of little plays like the rebound and subsequent pass leading to Nash's game-tying three, as well as superior defense on Dirk in overtime. Marion has a tendency to be a shrinking violet come playoff time, so no doubt Phoenix is praying this is the Matrix that shows up in May and June.

2 comments:

Caroline said...

I love your Suns commentary. I totally agree that Nash is always and forever the MVP (and the Man). I hope your prediction of the Suns losing to San Antonio in Round 2 is wrong. I can't stand that Duncan/Parker duo. I am a Nash/Stoudmire gal always and forever. Keep up the interesting posts here and at the Houston Press.
In solidarity,
A fellow Suns fan in Texas

Jason Friedman said...

Caroline,

First of all, thanks for reading and (especially) for the kind words.

As for the Suns, I really want to see them go all the way, I just can't help but feel they're one player short. Hopefully I'm wrong. Whatever happens, it's going to be fascinating to watch.

But I do have an admission to make: I'm a Tim Duncan fan, too. He's essentially the Pete Sampras of the NBA. One of the all time greats, but never really gets the love or respect he deserves because he tends to be a robot on the floor (although he's showing a lot more emotion later in his career).

Thanks again for taking the time to write...

cheers,

J.C.F.