Or Robert Horry, or Bruce Bowen, or Steve Kerr…really, anyone who can hit a clutch three point shot.
The Phoenix Suns held home-court advantage last night by winning last night in much the same way they did in game one, absorbing a late San Antonio run and sealing the game in the final minutes with three-pointers and free throws.
That’s the difference in this series…three-pointer and free throws.
At the end of both games in this series, the Spurs did not have anyone on the floor who can reliably hit a three point shot. George Hill’s marksmanship from the first round series against Dallas apparently only works from the corner in San Antonio. Roger Mason Jr. could be the spark they need, but he has been left on the bench for both games. Manu Ginobili can shoot the three, but can’t hit them consistently late in games.
Meanwhile, “Los Suns” have Channing Frye.
Frye came off the bench last night and hit five of six shots from behind the arc. Those were the only five shots he made all game and most of them came in the last few minutes of the game. The Spurs couldn’t stop him. After the game Coach Popovich said, of Frye’s shots,
“He may have had one that was open, the rest were contested.”
Frye kept nailing the threes and the Spurs had no answer.
The Spurs also need to make free throws at a higher rate, especially late in the games. Phoenix the best free throw shooting team in the league. They are going to get theirs from the stripe late, so the Spurs need to match. Their only reliable free throw shooter seems to be Manu Ginobili. No one else does well at the line, especially Tim Duncan. I don’t get how he can do everything else so well and then look so ugly shooting from the line. When he shoots free throws he has the ugliest form this side of Shawn Marion’s jump shot. If they can ever get a late game lead we might seem the reemergence of “Hack-a-Tim.”
On the bright side, the Spurs did get production from some of their supporting cast. Richard Jefferson had a nice game, scoring 18 points, and George Hill played better last night too. But, Manu Ginobili was held in check by 37 year-old Grant Hill. Hill guarded Ginobili very well and Manu finished with only 11 points. He went without making a shot for all of the third quarter and most of the fourth because of Hill.
The series now moves to San Antonio, with game 3 on Friday, which means, if nothing else, that George Hill might hit a shot from behind the arc.
It’s very important the Spurs win both games on their home floor, because if they don’t, the window to win a title this year, or for a long time after, might close.
About the Author
Written by Gabriel Rodriguez
Born in Germany, early childhood in NYC, raised in the D.C. area, currently reside in Charlottesville, VA. Big fan of the NY Giants and San Antonio Spurs.