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NBA 2010 Playoffs Predictions: PHX-SAS Game 3

7.May.2010

(3) Phoenix vs. (7) San Antonio, PHX leads 2-0

Game 1                        111-102

Game 2                       110-102

As predicted by yours truly, Pop made the necessary adjustments for Game 2 and his Spurs followed suit:

—After scoring 27 fast break points in Game 1, the Suns were limited to just 8 in Game 2.

—Steve Nash was restricted to 19 points and 6 assists, down from his big 33-10 double-double in Game 1.

—Richard Jefferson and George Hill, who scored 5 and 9 points in Game 1, respectively, had better offensive games as well, with 18 and 14.

Regardless, Los Suns still won Game 2—as predicted by yours truly.

As predicted by yours truly, the bench proved to be the key to winning Game 2. The Suns got 31 bench points—Frye with 15, on 5 of 6 from rainbow distance; Dudley with 11; Barbosa with 3; and Amundson with 2—outscoring the Spurs bench who had 24 points from just two players: Parker with 20, and Blair with 4.

Truly, these two teams are very much different from past versions of themselves.

Game Analysis

—Though STAT didn’t shoot that well from the field (6-15), he did get to the charity stripe the most of any player that night and shot extremely well, 11-13.

—It appears that the Suns have finally learned the value of gang ‘bounding: every Suns team member that Gentry played in Game 2 had at least one rebound, which translates to them outrebounding the Spurs, 49 to 37, 18 to 7 in offensive boards. I never thought I’d see the day.

—Jared Dudley was in fact the difference-maker in this game, when he led the bench effort in the second quarter that turned the tide of the game.

Once again, if you’re a Suns fan, the one thing you have to be most pleased about with this win was that even though the Suns trailed by 11 at one point, they were able to patiently climb back and didn’t let themselves be blown out by the visiting Spurs. They also defended impressively and executed their offensive plays better than the Spurs during the final minutes of the game.

Clearly, this game is another testament to the reality that the overtly underestimated Suns are legitimate championship contenders.

Prediction: I’m quite tempted to say that the Suns will go up 3-0, but I’d rather err on the side of caution this time, and say that the Spurs emerge victorious in Game 3, which is a must-win game for them, after all. But if the Suns do take a 3-0 series lead, that would be awesome!

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