First things first, congratulations to Kobe on his new daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant. I canâ€™t imagine the emotions of his day, winning that game then later that night having his second child born. I couldn’t be happier for him. And if he needs some extra newborn diapers, the wife and I have got plenty.
In the last couple of weeks the always-impressive commenters on this site have been in playoff form themselves. From Gatinhoâ€™s review from courtside to some great breakdowns from people like Kwame a., this site has been filled with great stuff.
So, just to shine a light on some of it (and encourage posting during the open thread for game 4 tomorrow), here are a just a smattering of highlights (I couldnâ€™t get to all the good stuff):
â€¢ From Josh before game 4:
I actually think shooting the three is one thing Phoenix has done fairly well this series (and the Lakers are still winning!). The Suns had one off game from 3 (game 2 where they shot 9 out 27) but overall theyâ€™re shooting their season average of 40% from behind the arc.
The Sunsâ€™ rebounding, on the other hand, is atrocious. I was fiddling around with numbers over lunch today & the Suns offensive rebounding percentage during this series is 12%. Thatâ€™s a steep drop-off from their regular-season average of 22.1%, which already was the worst in the league. Theyâ€™re like a team of reverse Dennis Rodmans.
Heâ€™s right, and that trend continued in game 4 â€” the Suns grabbed 14.3% of the available boards. The good news was their three point shooting has dropped off to 33% in the last two games, still pretty good but well below their season clip. The Lakers have not made it easy on them.
â€¢ Josh also pitched in with the answer to the question: Who is that guy next to Jack Nicholson: Lou Adler, longtime record executive and also the producer of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
â€¢ The general consensus of the commenters seems to be we want the Nets to lose as soon as possible so Vince Carter can film a new commercial so we can stop watching that Verizon one.
â€¢ Deen (aka Worthytomahawk) during game 4:
Kwame is playing like Tyson Chandler – too bad there is no low post scoring threat to be guarded.
â€¢ Then, when the game got close, Deen spoke for a lot of us trying to watch at home:
My wife and 1.5 year daughter are so scared of daddy jumping up and down that they retreated into the bedroom during overtime.
â€¢ John is watching the NBA playoffs from Vancouver (while figuring out how to scam free Olympics tickets in four years) and has had some good thoughts.
Thereâ€™s so much you can say about what this series is showing. You can talk about Nash and the Sunâ€™s inability to perform when it matters. You can talk about this young Laker team playing the best ball weâ€™ve seen them play. You can talk about how Jackson is coaching circles are Dâ€™Antoni.
But it all comes down to one man who has lift over any defender in the league. One man who makes those shots every year now, whether itâ€™s a three to send it into OT or the game winner.
In the 4th quarter, Melo WHO?
Itâ€™s all number 8 (24).
â€¢ Then, from game three, there was Craig:
People need to give Jackson a lot of credit for the ability to direct/teach/instruct his teams toward mental toughness. (What I mean by people I mean those who just say, â€œAnyone can win with Jordan/Pippen or Kobe/Shaqâ€) Back oh say 3 weeks ago, this team looked lost. I felt they lacked proper basketball IQ and they couldnâ€™t close out games.
Somewhere between Mihmâ€™s injury, the confidence of a good finish to the regular season and the confidence in the triangle, this team is COMPLETELY different from the March edition. They look relaxed and confident. Who would have ever thought that they would stick to the pound-it-inside on offense and stay-at-home when Nash drives on defense gameplan for two games?