Steve Nash Is All Alone In Phoenix; Utah Is For Real

By: 01.16.12  •  97 Comments

Tim Duncan (photo. adidas)

Okay, so he does have Marcin Gortat (24 points, 15 rebounds). But other than that, Steve Nash is the last man standing in Phoenix. Last year, it looked like their deep trips into the postseason were over. Now, the fast-breaking, free-wheeling style is a thing of the past as well. We felt like we were watching ghosts in San Antonio yesterday. San Antonio beat Phoenix 102-91 in a game that would’ve mattered back in 2006. Now, it almost felt like Gregg Popovich wasn’t even taking it seriously. San Antonio controlled throughout, and even when the Suns made their run, he didn’t flinch. The minute he brought back in the starters for the finish, the Spurs regained control and shut down Nash and the Suns. If you can’t make this San Antonio defense pay, then you have some serious problems. Even Popovich would admit that. Alvin Gentry was caught in the huddle saying “We gotta do it like we used to.” Therein lays the problem. Grant Hill, Jared Dudley and Hakim Warrick can’t “do it like they used to.” Eight minutes in, Nash (20 points, 10 dimes) had zero assists while, for comparisons sake, Richard Jefferson had four. At one point, Phoenix was 3-17 in the second quarter … The Spurs had one of their best all-around performances of the season, and Tim Duncan had unquestionably his best game of the year, going for 24 points and 11 rebounds. At one point in the first half, he also passed Gary Payton on the all-time scoring list … Winning seven of eight against scrub teams is one thing. But beating Denver in the Mile High City is another. The Jazz blew away their in-division rivals in the fourth quarter, following the lead of their frontcourt in a 106-96 win. Utah took advantage of Denver on the blocks, and opened up an eight point lead in the fourth after Paul Millsap (26 points, 12 rebounds) went to work on two straight possessions. A few minutes later, Al Jefferson (18 points, 12 boards) threw Millsap a half-pass/half-lob and Millsap put it in over his shoulder. Big Al was so hyped, he gave Millsap a couple of really awkward ass slaps, the worst ones we’ve seen since Wally Szczerbiak. This all came during a stretch that saw Millsap go for 14 consecutive points, with Al Harrington and Danilo Gallinari (18 points) taking turns getting served … If Devin Harris (10 points, seven dimes yesterday and only one turnover… that’s all he needs to give them) can ever quit playing like a hungover high school kid, Utah could make some serious noise just a year after losing a Hall of Fame coach, and their best player since the glory days. But in the meantime, let’s file a petition to make sure the Jazz never wear those crap green uniforms again. Nasty green and dirt yellow should never be combined. Look out six months from now for No. 25 Jefferson jerseys in this color on the racks at Marshalls … Keep reading to hear why Lamar Odom almost retired …

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