Although the Suns could only facetime Chris Paul for this game, they didn’t miss a beat and showed everyone why they are legit title contenders, and how great their system is.
Let me elaborate on that. What up everybody, my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
First thing is the ball movement. With or without Chris Paul, look at how the ball is flying around the perimeter, especially after Booker gets double teamed.
Right here we got an example of that, and as soon as Devin gets rid of it, phenomenal recognition by Cam Johnson as he already sees ahead what’s about to happen.
So as Morris needs to cover up top, Johnson sets a screen for Crowder to come out and opens up in the corner, the extra pass, the open shot and the three.
Again, late in the shot clock, the Clippers throw another blitz at him, but we got the swing swing, and Bridges is alone in the corner. The Suns are shooting 45% on corner 3’s in the playoffs so of course this one goes in as well.
Would you be willing to bet that Phoenix will have the most assists in a playoff game this year the one time CP3 didn’t play?
No I wouldn’t either, but they had 31 assists in game 1 and you can see just how they’re flowing even without the point god on the court.
Which brings us to number 2. The balanced attack.
As you look at this shooting chart, you see how it’s all evenly spread out between the paint, the midrange and the three point line. That’s what makes them so tough to defend. They have efficient players who take good shots and ones that are comfortable for them within the flow of the offense.
Look at Cameron Payne putting pressure on the defense with these penetrations. He attracts multiple Clippers on him, the great find to Ayton who dunks it in.
Again off the pick and roll. The hesitation up top freezes the defender, the hard drive inside forces the help leaving the big man once again for the easy finish. This is beautiful basketball.
And speaking of that, look at how beautiful yet simple these 2 possessions are for Cam Johnson at the free throw line. First the cut to the basket, and then this simple 1-2-3 happening in the blink of an eye that he ends it with the acrobatic finish. Amazing.
We already talked about how they got some of the 3 point looks, which takes us to the midrange, and my third point about this team.
It certainly helps to have a mercurial star who can go into heat check mode and score 18 points in the third quarter, almost all of them on midrange jumpers.
Devin Booker seemed unguardable during this stretch and you can see how he was hail bent on getting to that exact spot on the court where he feels most comfortable to raise up and knock down shot after shot.
He ended the quarter with these almost exact same 2 possessions in a row. Receives a high screen, snakes his way to the elbow and fires over the big man who at this point is at his mercy.
Thing is, there was no mercy from Booker in this game as he ended with 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. His first career triple double when his team needed it the most in the conference finals without their leader. Talk about coming up big in the clutch.
While we still don’t know whether Paul will play in game 2, what is obvious is that this team is extremely dangerous even without him on the court, so I can’t wait to see how much better they can be with Cp3 running the show.
That’s it for now, subscribe and talk to you in the next one. Peace out.
21 Ιούν 2021