Planet News Views

Monday, May 08, 2006

Two-Time MVP Steve Nash And Suns Take On Second Los Angeles Team Of NBA Playoffs

Congratulations to Steve Nash on winning his second MVP Award!

Nash and the Suns were red hot in Game 7 to end the Los Angeles Lakers season, but the two-time MVP and his teammates aren't done with Los Angeles -- next up the Clippers -- as L.A. fans hope to avoid a second playoff heartbreak

By Scott McLean

The first round series for the Phoenix Suns wasn't easy, except for Saturday's Game 7 blowout of the Los Angeles Lakers. Steve Nash was doing a fine job distributing the ball, as usual.

L.A. can expect another exhibition of greatness by Nash this week when the Suns take on the Clippers, the other Los Angeles team.

The Suns biggest matchup problem could be trying to contain the powerful inside game of Elton Brand. Nobody has been able to really limit Brand's scoring this season, as he is an excellent shooter and rebounder.


This could be a huge test for the Suns defense, which struggled early in the series with the Lakers.

On the other hand, it's doubtful the Clippers can keep up with the Suns, a team that takes advantage of opponents in the open court.


Nash is among the best ball handlers and passers in the league, and his focus is on the team and winning, which is possibly the reason he was chosen for the MVP Award.

The NBA is dominated these days by superstars and their statistics, whereas Nash's focus is on making his teammates better and working hard to win a championship. But Nash has lots of talent around him on this Suns team.

Forward Shawn Marion had a great season, scoring and rebounding to pick up the slack when Amare Stoudamire was out with an injury.


Boris Diaw is also an important part of the Suns ability to score at will. Diaw is a great all-around player, which means he is a good passer, as well as a scorer and rebounder.

But the Suns offense is excellent because of Steve Nash, because of his remarkable talent to distribute the ball, to find the open man and his emphasis on team.

If the Suns don't look past the Clippers (meaning they must take the Clippers seriously), they could win the series in five games.

However, if they don't shoot well in Los Angeles and Elton Brand or Sam Cassell get hot, this could be another seven game series, something the Suns don't want, given they get to the conference finals against San Antonio or Dallas.

As I sit here thinking over the matchups, it's hard for me to see how the Clippers will have a way to contain Nash or Diaw, both of whom can take the ball inside and pass it back out to the open man.

The team that gets the most easy baskets should win this series because it won't be a physical series comparable to the Texas series between Dallas and San Antonio.

I'm thinking the Suns will get more fast break baskets, possibly shoot more free throws and get more wide-open jump shots.

Phoenix will be patient and make the extra pass needed to work the ball inside or find the man with no one guarding him on the perimeter. That's why my prediction is Suns over the Clippers in six games.

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