Suns/Spurs Game 4 Recap
There’s more than meets the eye in Phoenix.
On Friday, an experienced and gifted cast of players set out to add another chapter to their storied franchise. Fans came in thousands with hopes that they would be witness to a victory for their heroes. Too bad Iron Man 2 sucked, huh?
Game 4 of the Phoenix-San Antonio series was a mere formality, as no NBA team had ever come back from an 0-3 deficit. As was expected, the Spurs couldn’t overcome their limitations and the Suns finally exacted revenge on their rivals with a 107-101 win. We could go on about how Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire pick-and-rolled the Spurs to death but you’ve seen that story before in Game 2. Instead, let’s talk about why I kept thinking of Tim Duncan and company every time I watched Robert Downey Jr. wisecrack this weekend.
The San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns aren’t unlike the cast of Iron Man 2 when you think about it. Richard Jefferson is Scarlett Johannsen, a “sexy” addition that ended up dropping the ball because the player couldn’t find their niche in the storyline. The Spurs and the blockbuster sequel couldn’t rebound from inconsistencies in their levels of play and in the end you walked away from both series asking, “what went wrong?”
The real hero of Game 4 was Steve Nash, who fit the part of Iron Man after coming back from an elbow to his eye in the third quarter. He didn’t even need a palladium reactor put into his chest to make a comeback.
Amar’e Stoudemire was more than happy to play his part as Nash’s sidekick, or James Rhodes if you will. 29 points will do just fine, thank you. You better watch out, L.A., because a War Machine is headed your way. Now if only he could grab boards.
Changes will be made when the third chapter of the Iron Man franchise comes out and the same assumption has to be made about the Spurs. Fans will expect an upgrade to the cast with more explosiveness and energy. Unfortunately, the story is starting to feel a little stale. Other heroes are climbing to the top of the hill. You can’t be content with the same formula when you have the Dark Knights of the NBA like Phoenix showing up. A true championship performance consists of a character with a breakthrough role, a stellar supporting cast that displays depth that is elevated by their superb script laid out to them. Does San Antonio have that within them in the ‘10-11 season? Not with this squad.
Let’s hand out some awards for Game 4.
The Lil’ Mac Award
There are few greater video games than Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out and there aren’t many better point guards all-time than Steve Nash. The undersized Canadian proved he is a contender by taking a shot to the eye that had visions of Soda Popinski dancing through his head. Now if only Doc Louis showed up in between rounds.
The Take one on the Gin’ Award
Before the Playoffs started it was clear that San Antonio’s only hope for a deep Playoff run was for Manu Ginobili to play well in every game. That thought was amplified to the highest exponent with the Spurs down 0-3in the series. Missing 9 of 11 attempts isn’t classic Manu and it’s one of about fifty reasons the Spurs are now sailing down the Riverwalk.
The “Did You Ever Wonder Why…” Award
Sometimes you need indifferent spectators to make insightful observations for you to notice what should be the most obvious things in sports. I was talking to a friend about why the San Antonio Spurs mascot, The Coyote, wasn’t as good as Clutch the Bear, the Houston Rockets’ mascot. “Why do the Spurs have a coyote for a mascot? Shouldn’t they have a cowboy? Phoenix is associated with the desert. They should have the coyote.” It’s hard to argue that sentiment. It’s even harder to explain how a bear should represent a team called the Rockets. Some of life’s mysteries aren’t meant to be understood.
The one thing we know about the Phoenix Suns is that we know nothing about what to expect from them. I wasn’t alone when I predicted a Spurs’ series victory before Phoenix got their sweep on. Perhaps we were judging these teams based on prologue. The Suns displayed maturity, a tenacious spirit and were deeper than a Saul Williams poem. Do they have enough to knock the Los Angeles Lakers off their throne? If size matters then the answer is no. It’d be great to assume that Robin Lopez will finally come back and help lift the Suns to higher ground but at this point the Suns have to operate under the assumption that the Disney Kid isn’t going to be there. Experts will say the Suns will be blocked out by Kobe and company. Of course, the experts were also calling for a trade of Amar’e Stoudemire little more than three months ago. The times are changing and the Western Conference representative could very well be in a matter of weeks. Steve Nash for NBA Finals MVP, anyone?