-The Suns inevitably came out with a lot of energy and dominated the first half, especially on the boards and on the defensive end. The Suns led by as many as 16 points and, powered by a monster effort from Shawn Marion, looked ready to run the Spurs off the floor. That they were not able to deliver a definitive knockout punch to San Antonio in the first half and went into the locker room leading by just eleven points was cause for a little bit of concern.
-In coming back to wrestle the game away from Phoenix, the San Antonio Spurs were the epitome of professionalism and championship experience. Lost amid talk of the Spurs being “cheap-shot artists” and a “dirty” team was the fact that they are a poised and talented team of championship-quality players. In a well-played game that was not marred by dirty play or cheap shots, the Spurs did not panic when they were faced with a double-digit deficit and embodied coach Gregg Popovich’s manta of “Don’t be in a hurry to win.”
-After a first half in which they had the Spurs back on their heels, the Suns didn’t play with the same aggressiveness in the second half. Maybe it was fatigue, maybe they crashed after the emotional high of the first half, but the Suns had the look of an NFL team that was looking to run out clock after building their lead. Unfortunately, there was too much time left in the game for an eleven-point lead to hold up against a team the caliber of the Spurs. Had
-Filling for Stoudemire AND Diaw, Kurt Thomas played an excellent game, scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds (X on the offensive end), but he should not have been the Suns’ primary offensive option in the frontcourt.
Even with the opportunity to close out the series in Game 6 in
This is Must-See TV! The NBA could expand this series to a best-7-out-of-13 and it still wouldn’t be long enough!