Lakers/Suns Game 4 Recap
Silly rabbit; benches are for the regular season.
by Dennis Tarwood / @tuffyr
WE THE ASSEMBLED
The Phoenix Suns Basketball Club
DO HEREBY APOLOGIZE
- to the Los Angeles media and fan base for winning Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals of these 2010 NBA Playoffs 115-106 Tuesday night and delaying the coronation of the Los Angeles Lakers Basketball Club for one week by taking the series to a 2-2 tie.
- to the Los Angeles media (again) for distracting them from the previously unbroken litany of questions peppered at Phil Jackson about his likely employer for next season by forcing them to compose questions about the series at hand. (Your update for Game 4: Jerry Reinsdorf can make other plans for a coach; Mikhail Prokhorov can order up liquor for a future meeting. “I’d like to have a vodka with him at some point; he seems like a very interesting young man.”)
- to the rims at US Airways Center for once again abusing them with missed jump shots for the first and third quarters of Game 4, when primarily starting members of the Phoenix Suns Basketball Club shot a meager 16-for-45 (35.6%).
- to the nets at US Airways Center for finally abusing them with made jump shots, especially those worth three (3) points, while playing like the Phoenix Suns Basketball Club for the first time in the Western Conference Finals of these 2010 NBA Playoffs in the second and fourth quarters of Game 4, when primarily second unit members of the Phoenix Suns Basketball Club shot a masterful 25-for-39 (64.1%), including 10-for-20 from the area rewarded with three (3) points.
- to the second unit (“The Suns’ second unit is better than yours”™ Dennis Tarwood) of the Phoenix Suns Basketball Club for failing to call on them more consistently in the Western Conference Finals of these 2010 NBA Playoffs. Alvin Gentry appeared to vacillate about this point before Game 4: “We’ll play the way we always play. When a guy’s going good, we’ll leave him in the game. If not, we stay with a standard rotation.”. However, this was the same feint used when discussing the Phoenix Suns Basketball Club’s zone defense before Game 3 and should be recognized as such. (Before Game 4: “We’ll either open in zone or man-to-man.” True.)
We hope leaving all of them in during crunch time in the fourth quarter (until three minutes were left in the contest) signifies our intentions to resolve this moving forward. Also, we hope Steve Nash referring to them as “efficient” helps; Nash loves efficiency. He even does energy efficiency TV spots for the local electric monopoly.
- to Channing Frye, who nearly had his bullets whisked from him a la Barney Fife after missing his first two shots from the area rewarded with three (3) points and went on to successfully deposit four of his next six from said area. “I jumped probably the highest I’ve ever jumped to shoot the next shot (after making the first),” Frye noted postgame. Indeed, some observers noticed separation between the soles of Frye’s shoes and the floor for the first time in ages Tuesday night.
- to Channing Frye (again), for that last jab about his athleticism. This apology stuff is harder than we thought.
- to Goran Dragic (8/8/4 in 18 minutes), for forgetting how triple awesome sauce he was against the San Antonio Spurs Basketball Club and how his acrobatic aggression to the rim serves as the catalyst for the second unit. “Dragic playing a pick-and-roll really hurt; (we) couldn’t stop it from getting into the lane and then (Goran) started driving and kicking and they made big shots on the kick outs,” Gasol said postgame. Yeah; our bad.
Of course, fewer people forget Dragic off the court now, either; he’s being stopped more on the street, even on the road. “It’s something new for me… I’m coming from Europe, so it’s a different culture,” Dragic acknowledged after the game. So maybe an apology for the notoreity?
- to Leandro Barbosa (14 points on 8 shots), for forgetting… well, you. You struggled returning from the wrist injury this spring and patiently waited for a role to be carved out for you by Alvin Gentry. Now? “I think (my role) is pretty much what you see. It’s not what I used to be; I used to have 30 minutes, you know. Whatever minutes I have right now, I will try to do my best and come and play really hard, give some energy.” We’ll remember that from now on.
- to Steve Nash (15/4/8 on 11 shots), for letting him get hit on the face again. It doesn’t even look like a hittable face, y’know? We’ll look into a football helmet or a force field or some such.
- to the celebrants and supporters locally of the Phoenix Suns Basketball Club for holding Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals of these 2010 NBA Playoffs essentially during business hours. So sorry, but Time Warner doesn’t employ most of you and can demand such inconveniences.
- to you, dear viewer, for having to witness Alvin Gentry’s suit Tuesday night and knowing it is now one of his lucky suits, likely to reappear at a game you previously wanted to watch.
- to Craig Sager, for upstaging his suit.
- to you, dear reader, for failing to note that Phil Jackson is still coach of the Los Angeles Lakers Basketball Club at this point in the apology, despite inquiries implying the contrary.
- to Derek Fisher, for crumpling him under multiple screens yet again. Having said that, this part of the apology may be muted since Betty White could drop him like a stone if she squared her shoulders.
- to Kobe Bryant (38/10/7 on 22 shots), for dragging him to the bottom of the Western Conference Finals pool under the sapping weight of the Kryptonite necklace known as his teammates.
- to said Los Angeles Lakers teammates of Kobe Bryant, for teasing 20 fouls out of them (and three out of Mr. Bryant) and another significant FTA disadvantage (32-13). Sorry about making you reach.
- to the aforementioned Los Angeles Lakers teammates, for also using the secret Phoenix Suns Basketball Club zone defense to limit you to 43.4% from the field and a mere 13 FTA. Also, for using the same zone to cause you to miss six of those free throws. That was downright rude for a host.
- to Kobe Bryant (again), for angering him so fiercely about the previous action that he descended to a meta state that allowed him to use variations on the word “defense” nine (9) times while dripping with his own defensiveness for the entire four-minute press conference. (Oh, and the word “ass” once.)
- to Kobe Bryant (once more), for forcing him into sarcasm when asked his mood after the game: “Jovial,” he deadpanned. No one likes dry wit and sarcasm anymore, especially once converted to the written form and delivered to the public.
- from this writer to Vinny Del Negro, who was spotted in the media room pregame but did not receive sympathy or a slug or even a suggestion for an offensive rotation for his next squad.
- from this writer to the Suns fans, whose “Beat L.A.” chant flipped from bloodthirsty in Game 3 to joyous as Game 4 closed.
- from this writer to Phil Jackson, for not exploring his back channels more thoroughly. Thankfully, other writers had their heads deep into this terrain Tuesday.