While the Utah Jazz are most certainly struggling to play Jerry Sloan basketball their first two games of the season, their game against the Phoenix Suns yielded a couple of nice dunks last night. One by Deron Williams and the other by Hakim Warrick, who, some say, may have had the best dunk of the (very) early season.
See for yourself:
Now for Williams’:
Evidently, Williams was pretty pissed last night, and considering how his team played, it’s understandable. It’s a good thing the ball wasn’t Gordon Hayward, however.
During last night’s post-game press conference, Kobe Bryant was incredibly pissed because of his team’s lack of defensive effort, and anytime a press member tried to ask him about the Lakers’ offensive performance, the answer was a less-than-impressed Kobe telling everyone who would listen that the offense wasn’t the problem. As you can tell by the look on his face in the lead image, Bryant could give less than a damn about putting the ball through the bucket.
Instead, he wants his team get stops. Lots of stops.
Arizona’s controversial immigration law has been the subject of much discussion for in-state residents, so much so, in fact, it’s even made an impression on the Suns/Lakers Conference Finals. Whether it’s the Suns wearing their “Los Suns” jerseys or the multitude of signs you’ll see during the game, like it or not, this particular series has a political undertone to it. And that, friends, is where some creative Suns fans come into play.
I found this little gem on Craigslist, a sticker in the form of Arizona state, saying simply “Deport Kobe.” While the Craigslist item looks like a cash grab capitalizing on a trend, the “Deport Kobe” meme was seen on various signs behind the Inside the NBA crew during last night’s post-game show.
Obviously, Suns fans know their chances of advancing to the NBA Finals are a great deal better without Kobe Bryant roaming the opposing sidelines, but then again, the Suns did just fine last night, surviving Bryant’s 38-point (including 6-9 from behind the arc) 7-rebound, 10-assist performance.
Steve Nash is, simply put, made out of different material than you and me. Much like Wolverine, perhaps Nash has adamantium implants, or he’s just a tough S.O.B. Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter if you crack his nose open, smash his eye, or, if making him bleed isn’t enough, finish the job by breaking his nose, Steve Nash and his Energizer Bunny-like perseverance will continue on. Not only will he continue to play, Nash will also burn your team to the tune of 17 points and 15 assists, all while committing only one turnover.
He’ll also put his nose back in place without even leaving the floor as well.
Oh, and Nash will put his team in a position to win — facial injury or not — something that looked doubtful the during first two games of the Lakers series.
Perhaps I’m off, but for some reason, while I was watching a one-eyed Steve Nash finish off the sweep of the San Antonio Spurs in the fourth quarter of last night’s deciding game, I was reminded of Alex from A Clockwork Orange, specifically, when he was going through reconditioning, courtesy of the Ludovico technique. Granted, I don’t think Nash was forced to view violent images while he was being stitched up, but whatever the case, his 10-point/five-assist fourth quarter is the reason Phoenix is going to the Western Conference Finals.
While it’s true Amar’e Stoudemire deserves a great deal of credit — he too had a huge fourth quarter (12 points) — but the majority of his scoring opportunities came courtesy of Nash setting him up. True, he still had to make shots, but the question is, without Nash’s wonderful one-eyed point guard play, would he even have the opportunity for a big scoring quarter?
Remember the Titans? Not here. Win one for the Gipper? Um, no thanks. Famous speeches given by Vince Lombardi? Don’t need `em. Such is the approach of San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, whose team is facing a 2-0 deficit against the Phoenix Suns. Judging from the upcoming video, “Pop” apparently has no place in his locker room for the cheerleading, rah-rah stuff made famous by countless amounts of sports movies. Instead, the Spurs coach would rather treat his group of Spurs as men, instead of dry sponges, begging for someone to fill them with the necessary motivation.
Check out those young legs on Grant Hill! Question, if Bayless completes the dunk, it’s a poster, much like it was when Trevor Ariza dunked over Hill. Does Hill’s block make it a reverse-posterization? I think it does. Speaking of Hill’s energetic legs, during the Phoenix Suns elimination of the Portland Trail Blazers, Hill did his best Dennis Rodman impersonation, posting a doing-the-dirty-work line of 3 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
And thanks to San Antonio finishing off the Dallas Mavericks, we now have a second-round rematch of the Spurs and the Suns. You know, rivals who can gives us stuff like this:
What we have here is Amar’e Stoudemire’s filthy dunk over Portland’s Dante Cunningham. Stoudemire’s dunk was so nasty, it caused Jalen Rose to use words like “best dunk of the year” among others. Normally, when such a dunk is delivered, it makes the SportsCenter rounds, followed by a day’s worth of buzz from the sports blogosphere. Rarely is it met with an even nastier response, especially when said response happens in the same game.
Unfortunately for Amar’e, Dante Cunningham apparently missed that particular memo.
Not only did Cunningham pay Stoudemire back with a vicious dunk of his own, the Trail Blazers also beat the Suns, ending their five-game winning streak. So while Amar’e's dunk cannot be denied, Cunningham got the last, and loudest laugh, because not only did he return the dunk favor, his team got the win.