The 2010 NBA Playoffs have not had a lot of memorable games, but I would venture to say this was the best one so far.
Every good game has to have a good backstory, and this one starts with Suns coach Alvin Gentry getting food poisoning before the game. If you believe Reggie Miller, Lakers fans did this on purpose. Of course, you should never believe Reggie Miller, but it was an interesting story nevertheless.
It provided us with this lovely moment where Gentry throws up in a trash can on the bench. But anyone who rocks Malcolm X wasn’t going to let a little food poisoning slow him down.
As far as the actual game, the Lakers were in total control, killing the Suns on the glass and playing much better defense.
People are so fascinated with the Summer of LeBron and where the rest of the free agents will go that they are overlooking the brilliant postseason play of Kobe Bryant. It isn’t the scoring that is impressive, because we already knew how dangerous he is with the ball in his hands. What has been impressive is how he has controlled the game, and his assists totals are Nash-like. He is totally locked into his Jordan ’98 Zone, and I hope people aren’t taking it for granted.
With that being said, the Lakers got a big lead in the 3rd quarter but got complacent. You can never relax playing the Suns, and Steve Nash – who played brilliantly himself – helped get the Suns right back in the game.
This all leads to a wild sequence that ends the game.
Ron Artest takes a three that absolutely no one in the building wants him to take and bricks it. Jason Richardson banks in a three on the Suns third opportunity (oh, the irony) to tie the game.
Everyone in the building thinks Bean (that’s Kobe) is going to win the game, but the Suns play great defense on him, forcing an air ball. Artest blows by Richardson (once again, the irony), catches the ball in midair, and flips it up for the game winner.
He then proceeds to have a very Artest-like interview with Craig Sager and his Grapefruit suit talking about Queensbridge (Mobb Deep would be pleased).
The Suns didn’t seem too broken up about the loss; if anything, they seemed to be more confident.
To end the evening, Amar’e decided to break out the Nation of Islam goes to South Beach attire.
Did the Lakers get away with one? Was Kobe’s foot on the out-of-bounds line? You make the call: