In light of the two thrilling Wednesday night matchups between four Western Conference contenders, I have a proposal for the NBA. But first, a quick recap of one of the two epic nail-biters...
New Orleans at Phoenix
Neither team led by more than four points following a Phoenix three made by Strawberry with 9:14 to go in the fourth.
The teams traded the lead several times until finally, Steve Nash nailed a fifteen-footer to give his Suns a 111-109 lead with about 40 seconds left in regulation. On the subsequent possession, Peja Stojakovic knocked down a jumper from the elbow to tie the game at 111.
Nash then proceeded to turn the ball over with 11 seconds left. Chris Paul missed a three on the following play, Phoenix rebounded the ball and called a 20-second timeout with less than a second to go. On the inbound, Stoudemire missed an alley-oop attempt and the game went to overtime.
In overtime, the Hornets built a four-point lead, but with timely threes by Barbosa and Nash, Phoenix tied the game at 124 with eight seconds left in overtime. Again, Chris Paul missed a three, this time at the buzzer, and the game was extended into an additional overtime.
In the second OT, the Suns again found themselves trailing, this time by three with just 14 seconds to go. Again, Barbosa proved clutch and connected on a deep three to once again tie the game. There were, however, three seconds remaining in the period. That would be plenty of time for Peja Stojakovic to hit a tough fade-away from 17 feet at the buzzer.
With the Hornets up 132-130, the game was finally over. Nash finished with 32 points, 12 assists, and ten turnovers. Chris Paul totaled 42 points to go with his nine assists and five boards. After beating the Suns for the third time this season, New Orleans pulled within a half game of Phoenix for the best mark in the West.
Now, my proposal:
I propose to the NBA that every matchup between two of the top 10 teams in the Western Conference should be televised.
I don't profess to know anything about the way national television works, and so I have no clue as to the plausibility of this, but please, if it is in any way possible, show me more Western Conference matchups. That may have been the best game in this year's regular season and unless you lived in Arizona or Louisiana, you had to settle for watching the highlights on ESPN.
Great games are meant to be watched. It's as simple as that. Make it happen.
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