April 21, 2010
Last night the 3 seeded Phoenix Suns took on the 6 seeded Portland Trailblazers in the second game of the Western Conference Playoffs (First round).
After narrowly losing the first game at home, the Suns responded with a new game plan, ultimately resulting in a monstrous beating. The final score was PHX 119, POR 90.
Suns coach Alvin Gentry prepared his team for battle with a few changes to their gameplay. The biggest switch from game 1 was the positioning of Jason Richardson under the basket.
True, he has been spending time under there late in the season, but last night it was obvious that Gentry wanted Amar'e Stoudemire away from the basket. Stoudemire was practically shut down the first game of the series, but had a much less stressful night last night with the attention on Richardson at the low post.
Instead of Stoudemire taking a beating, last night the Suns defense found a way to hold both Andre Miller and LaMarcus Aldridge to just 12 and 11 points respectively. In game 1 these two seemed unstoppable compared to the Suns defense, but somehow the Suns did some damage control in game 2.
Last night's key players for the Suns: Jason Richardson had 29 pts, 6 Reb on the night. Steve Nash came away with his usual double-double, 13 pts, 16 asst. Amar'e Stoudemire finished the night with 18 pts, 3 asst, 7 Reb, and 1 blk. Strong work by Grant Hill ending with 20 pts, 8 Reb.
Portland's key players: Martel Webster off the bench led the team in scoring, finishing the night with 16 pts, 5 Reb, 1 stl. Nicolas Batum also had a good night (12 pts, 3 Reb). Andre Miller was still a key player although falling short of his performance in game 1; ended with 12 pts, 3 asst, 1 stl. Honorable mention to Marcus Camby for a great job rebounding. Camby finished with only 6 pts, 10 Reb.
Overall, Phoenix kept control of the entire game and shut down the Trailblazers every given chance. Looks like the Suns don't want to burn out just yet.
Even though they lost the first game of the series, the Suns are the higher seeded team and Portland's star player Brandon Roy is still out of commission. Put this knowledge against the fact that the next game is played in Portland and we have ourselves one exciting head to head game coming up.
The next game of the series is this Thursday April 22 at 7pm Pacific time and will be aired on NBATV.