I’m got giving Amar’e Stoudemire any hype right now; he had a lucky game in Game 3.
Does that quote sound familiar?
Don’t let Stoudemire’s 42 point, 11 rebound effort in the Suns 118-109 victory fool you. Game 3 was all about what the Lakers didn’t do and had nothing to do with what the Suns actually did – besides getting lucky.
Considering the Suns starters were a combined +77 and the Lakers starting five netted a putrid -41 yet still, somehow, the game was up for grabs with 5 minutes left to play is about all you need know of how Phoenix performed.
Alvin Gentry’s zone was soft and easily exploited (when the Lakers actually attacked it). The stats might not reflect how truly ineffective the zone was but the open jumpers missed by Ron Artest and Lamar Odom will attest to that. If Ron Ron manages to make one more of those uncontested shots from distance and Odom actually makes one of his attempts, we’re talking about a much different game.
In fact, we’re talking about the kind of game Phoenix doesn’t want to get into against the Lake Show. The kind of game that Kobe Bryant usually leaves his signature on in the closing moments.
Sure, the aggressive mentality of Stoudemire helped to fuel the blind luck needed to get this series out of the broom closet. But don’t think for a second that the Suns have actually developed a formula to defeat the Lakers.
Don’t take my word for it. Just wait for the adjustments Phil Jackson makes for Game 4.
If it’s going to take Amar’e and Brook Robin Lobez dropping 60 between the two of them just to eek out a 9 point win then I’d say the Sun has set and the luck has run out.
Even if Amar’e pulls an Odom and gets lucky again, sending this series back to Los Angeles on level terms, there is nothing that occurred in Game 3 that will change the tide of the series.
So enjoy the feeling, Phoenix. Savor the flavor and bask in the afterglow.
Every dog has his day and that four-leaf clover Stoudemire found on Sunday might have some luck left in it for Tuesday.
Just don’t expect a trip to the Finals at the end of the rainbow for Phoenix. Those two lucky wins in Los Angeles all but assured the Lakers of a rematch with Boston.