Baseline to Baseline, the “Steve Nash is good” edition
What you missed while picturing a statue of Tiger Woods covered in condoms....
Suns 110, Bulls 105: The Suns offense in the clutch is a beautiful thing. The spacing is spectacular, the recognition is almost flawless. They run the pick-and-roll but do it as God intended.
Look at the Suns last three baskets: On one Brad Miller ends up having to switch onto Nash, so they isolate the mismatch and Nash gets a layup; on another they have Channing Frye recognizing the open space at the top of the three point arc when Nash drives, so Frye sprints to the open spot as the man assigned to him -- rookie Taj Gibson -- gets caught watching Nash and the ball, Nash makes the pass back and Frye hits the three; then there was Nash driving and drawing the defense then hitting Grant Hill parked on the baseline for the easy dunk. It was art.
Derrick Rose did all he could but the Bulls are just not the same machine as the Suns.
Nash made his countrymen happy with this one -- Toronto is now two up in the loss column on the Bulls for the final playoff spot in the East. No doubt about it. (Say that last sentence again in a good Canadian accent.)
Pacers 102, Kings 95: Tyreke Evans showed something in this one. First game back from a concussion, he went 1 for 8 for the first three quarters, then with the game on the line he went 5 for 5 in the fourth. That’s what winners do. Not enough this time, but that’s what winners do.
Eight in a row for the Pacers at home. We Must Protect The House!
Thunder 111, 76ers 93: Great sign for OKC -- not one Thunder starter scored a basket in the fourth quarter, yet they started the period out on a 19-4 run and put this one away handily. Oklahoma City was in control from the start -- early on Elton Brand and Iggy start out 10 of 15, while rest of team 3 of 11. That will catch up with you, and it did the Sixers.
Bucks 107, Clippers 89: Milwaukee is one of he best defensive teams in the land -- fourth best in defense per possession this season -- and were clearly bothering the Clippers all night. Do that to a demoralized Clippers team and they just roll over and play dead.
Nice 20 points for Ersan Ilyasova off the bench for the Bucks.
Rockets 98, Wizards 94: Washington, you’re down two inside 30 seconds to go and your offensive option is Earl Boykins for three? You deserve to lose 16 in a row. Nice game for Chase Budinger, 24 points and he had two key late buckets coming free on curls at the free throw, which he buried (plus a key late rebound)