The Clippers had success with the zone in game 5 so they started off with it again. However, Phoenix was expecting it and, check out the response this time. Crowder cuts along the middle creating the misdirection, all the attention is right here, but at the same time, Bridges takes off to the basket and gets a back screen from the big man, and you can already see it happening. The lob and the dunk.
Next possession, we got the screen up top, allowing Chris Paul to penetrate in the middle and he kicks it to the corner. The pass is not perfect but a good catch by Crowder, fires and knocks down the three.
The Suns started off blazing hot from downtown in the first quarter forcing LA to switch to a man to man defense and with that neutralizing the advantage that they had last game.
And that’s only the beginning of this story, one that finally had a happy ending for CP3.
What up everybody, my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
The type of defense didn’t matter for Devin Booker in terms of his approach for this game. He was going to attack at all costs. You could see him early on pushing in transition, and either going all the way to the basket, or stopping at his favorite spot right here at the elbow for the pull up and the swish.
Booker and the Suns didn’t wanna allow the Clippers to set up their defense, and that worked extremely well for them early on.
In the half court however, all the looks that Devin got, involved movement.
Right here, he starts at the elbow, and great maneuvering going under the screen, leaving Beverley trailing behind as he goes on the outside. So there is no stopping as he catches the ball, rather going straight back to that right elbow where he fires and hits the jumper.
Again, starts off ball at the wing, great handoff by Payne stopping Batum on the chase. Book goes around the Ayton pick and is all alone for this three pointer. You know that he’s going to punish the Clippers.
Pretty much the same play in the second half. The handoff, the big man is waiting here, but actually slips the screen this time. So now you can see we got a 2 on 1 situation, Cousins leaves a lot of room for this floater and of course it goes in.
And once again, only this time it’s contested way better but Devin is already in a nice rhythm so even the good defense doesn’t make a difference on this possession as we got another floater.
And, I criticized Deandre the last game for the lack of aggression, so you can see him sealing the smaller defenders inside the paint and actively looking for the ball. As he should be. I mean, there’s no way that this small lineup that Los Angeles had on the court could contain him.
I still think that this is not enough touches. Dude went 8/10 from the field. That’s 80%. Let’s try to see if he can go double that, 16 for 20. All night until the opposing team does something about it. Anyway, 16 points and 17 rebounds, another big night for him.
Phoenix had a comfortable lead for a big portion of the game. But as the Clippers started to make a run, and you could feel the game getting close at the end of the third, it was none other than Chris Paul that took control and would not let go of the lead. 3 straight possessions in a 90 second span, of straight iso CP3, to get the lead from 7, all the way back up to 15 to enter the 4th quarter. He single handedly stopped the momentum of the home team, and continued even harder in the last 12 minutes of the game.
31 of his 41 points came in the second half with everything on the line. An unbelievable performance. You could see him sensing that this is the moment, the time for him to take matters into his own hands and after so many heartbreaks and missed opportunities, to finally step on the biggest stage that we all agree he deserves to be on. The NBA finals. For the first time in his career at age 36. Never say never baby.
At the end, you could see how emotional Paul was, and how much this means to him.
To be honest, I am super happy for Chris. As a person who appreciates smart and efficient play, to me he is the player when you talk about basketball IQ so I’ve been pulling for him to finally win the championship. Whoever comes out of the east, the Suns and CP3 certainly feel they have a great chance to win it all. I absolutely agree and wish that they do it. One time for the point god.
Let me know in the comments who do you think come out of the east, and who you got in the finals. That’s it for now, subscribe and talk to you in the next one. Peace out.
1 Ιούλ 2021