Monday, November 15, 2010

The Suns' Brilliant Shooting and the NBA's Terrible Refereeing Hand LA Its Second Loss

Despite Phoenix’s history-making blitzkrieg of three-point shooting this Saturday, it’s still pretty easy to blame the Lakers for losing. Because while Phoenix’s 22 three-pointers were only a few shy of breaking an NBA record, it was accomplished against an LA defence that was as ineffectual as it was lazy.

As it became increasingly clear the Suns were shooting well, Los Angeles’ defensive strategy seemed to proportionally devolve into standing around and waiting for Phoenix to inevitably start missing shots. With LA not getting hands in the faces of jump shooters like Steve Nash (21 points, 13 assists), Jason Richardson (35 points, 13-for-20 from the field, 7-for-10 on threes) and Channing Frye (20 points, 7-for-12), the Suns shot the lights out.

However, the Lakers did manage to kill the Suns on the glass, pulling down a 49-33 overall rebounding advantage and topping the Suns 20-10 in offensive boards. Outscoring the Suns by 40 points in the paint, the Lakers managed to stay close and were only down 2 points with 54 seconds left.

Enter Commissioner David Stern’s new dainty technical rule and what should have been an and one from Lamar Odom.

First of all, it’s clear Hedo Turkoglu did hack Odom on the play, and it should have been a foul. Secondly, Odom’s reaction was justified and certainly did not warrant a technical foul at such a crucial moment in the game. Commissioner Stern needs to repeal what has become a draconian, boring and trumped up regulation against self-expression on the court.

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