Phoenix Suns Show Familiar Lapse, and Lakers Capitalize

May 27th, 2010 by Matt Petersen Leave a reply »
From hero to goat in 3.5 seconds.

That was the Game 5 story for Jason Richardson, who followed up a miracle three-point bank shot with a nightmare box-out job on Ron Artest.

Phoenix forced Kobe, the best closer in the game, into an airball, and it bit them in the rear. Why? Because they didn't do the most important thing after contesting the initial shot—rebound.

After the initial gut-wrenching emotions, questions begin to surface.

Why was Jason Richardson, a notoriously awful crunch-time defender, in the game at all?

Why were the Suns' worst rebounders/defenders (Channing Frye, Steve Nash) in the game? Where were Lopez and Amundson, guys who consider rebounding invaluable as opposed to undervaluing it.

It's hard to get over. Contest, then rebound. They AWOL'd on half the game plan in less than four seconds. It happened so fast, it's hard to believe the result carries the weight of a 2-3 series deficit for Phoenix.

But that's what it is.

Admittedly, the Suns shouldn't have been in a position to win, not the way they started, not the way Goran Dragic and Leandro Barbosa perform ...

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