- I hate to just quote Bill Simmons a lot, but he had something in his article that I related with, or at least showed how I feel:
There are so many incredible subplots, so much going on, such a perfect contrast of styles ... honestly, I don't know what to do with myself. It's like watching a bench-clearing brawl in baseball: What do you concentrate on when 50 things are happening at once? For the past few days, I have had more than a few friends and readers contact me just to say that they find themselves strangely captivated by this series, and they're not even really sure why.
Well, I know why. It's a fantastic series, that's why. Consider the following subplots ...
He then goes on to explain a bunch of the subplots in the series, but that's not really the important part. The thing is, this has been one of the most enjoyable series' for me to watch in a long time. Both teams are talented, have very good coaches (D'Antoni might be the best offensive mind in the NBA, Phil Jackson is one of the top coaches in NBA history), and are playing well this series. Both teams are trying to play their style of play. For 3 1/2 games, the Lakers have succeeded (Game 2,3,4, as well as the 2nd and 3rd quarters of Game 1). We've had a lot of dramatics - Kobe hitting the game tying shot and then the game winner in OT, Nash being named the MVP amidst much disagreement, as well as the ongoing subplot of Kobe doing a complete 180 in his game. It's just been an unbelievably enjoyable series throughout.
- Best player on the floor in Game 5? Try Boris Diaw. 25 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists. He was efficient, he has his mid-range game going as well as his post game, he finished very well and very strong at the rim, he rebounded, and he got others involved. He was a lot of fun to watch.
- For a while late in the 3rd and early in the 4th, we saw Kobe trying to be, well, Kobe of old (and my old I mean the regular season). The Suns built up a big lead, and Kobe started to look for his shot a lot more. Then, he got clotheslined by Raja Bell, and I thought this was where we would see him really take over, now that he had a little extra motivation. And indeed, immediately he drained a 3 to cut the lead to 10 points. But then the Suns just didn't miss. They hit back-to-back 3s, and that was that.
- I don't know if this needs to be said or not, but Jim Jackson is done. He can't play defense anymore, and he lost whatever shot he once had. He played 7 minutes tonight, had 1 assist, 1 personal foul, and 1 turnover. He was absolutely worthless out there, and it's really been like that all series.
- Phoenix needs to continue to get scoring out of Leandro Barbosa if they're going to win the series. He scored 15 in game 1, took a mini vacation, and decided to play again today, scoring 11 points and hitting a big 3 late. This is especially important if Raja Bell does get suspended, because then Barbosa may be forced to start, and might even have to guard Kobe, further increasing his importance.
- Game 6: Thursday night, 9:30 Central Time. Clear your calendar, it should be very entertaining.