Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Last night's Game 5 of the Phoenix-Portland NBA playoff series definitely was a game of spurts. As shown in this play-by-play sheet, the Trail Blazers blazed to a 14-2 lead, only to have the Suns go on a 12-0 run to tie the game at 25-25 with a minute remaining in the first quarter. Phoenix edged ahead over the next 19 minutes or so, taking a seven-point lead, 65-58, at roughly the six-minute mark in the third quarter. At that point, the Suns caught fire, outscoring the Blazers 26-10 in the span of roughly eight minutes to take a 23-point lead, 91-68, with around 10 minutes left in the game.

I've enjoyed Phoenix's uptempo style in recent years, a style that may be particularly conducive to scoring spurts. The Suns have always fallen short in the playoffs, however, and probably will again this year, although they lead Portland 3-2 in the current series. One thing Phoenix has done to improve, in my view, is to make use of younger players from its roster such as Jared Dudley (age 24) and Channing Frye (26), to complement aging stars Steve Nash (36) and Grant Hill (37).

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