Monday, May 02, 2005


So many things were impressive about his night, but three things more than anything else jump out at me. First, he wasn’t forcing or playing out of the offense. In fact, when he got tired, he found Collison and Lewis for buckets instead of forcing it. His defensive intensity was at a high level in the second half as well. Finally, the #1 game plan of the Kings is to take him away in the playoffs and they can’t do it. The Sonics have negated Peja at time. The Sonics have made Bibby’s life difficult. The Kings can’t do anything to Ray Allen. He is too complete a player. He can go either way, he can finish with both hands, he can stop and pop or rise and fire. When he is on his game his shot release is the quickest in the NBA. He is unguardable. It is the elite, elite of the NBA.

Ray Allen’s unusual reaction after Game 3 now is beginning to make so sense. Allen was furious after Game 3. I spent a good deal of time with him and I was really mystified about why he was so upset. After Game 4 and talking with him again today it makes sense. Allen wasn’t just hot last night he has been like this all series and he thought with a few more opportunities on Friday he could have willed them to a win the way he did last night.
That is what makes a superstar. He has the complete belief that given the opportunity he can will his team to a win every night. He was unreal last night. Before tonight’s show I am going to re-watch a lot of last night’s game because I am convinced that he got very few good looks and he created all of this on his own. That is the ultimate in awesome.

Nate deserves huge kudos is how he handled his team between games 3 and 4. These guys flipped out after Game 3. They were snipping at each other in the locker-room, they were pointing fingers in the huddle, they were blasting the coaching staff in the post-game interviews and at halftime they were a zoo inside the locker-room. It was a vast over reaction. It felt like they were on the verge of a terrible collapse. I was wondering if the adversity had arrived and they were about to fold under the pressure.
Instead, McMillan addressed his team and told them stop worrying about everyone else and put the focus on yourself and take care of your own energy. Do your job and stop wondering if someone else is doing their job. The credit also goes to these players because they responded.


One of the issues was Rashard Lewis and his touches. Here is an interesting note on Rashard and his touches. He had 25 touches in game 3, which was more than in both Games 1, and Game 2 but he had 39 in Game 4.

Nick Collison taking three charges was amazing. Moreover, after struggling badly in the first two games he finally came out and did what makes Collison great. He executed the defense and he was in the right place at the right time all night ….. Jerome James defensive rebounding in the second half of Game 4 was terrific. It was the best I have ever seen out of him and it was the most impressive thing I have seen him do all series. Yes, including his absurd offensive production, his defensive rebounding was awesome …. Nate McMillan has an incredible feel of his team and the game. Antonio Daniels has been so terrible in this series. At the end of the first half I was wondering if Nate could afford to play him in the second half and I am betting Nate was wondering the same thing. Instead, he rolls him out their and he closes the game and did it well. That is incredible. Give Nate huge credit again for having the faith in his players and having an environment where they can succeed.

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