Sunday, April 27, 2008


Before the NBA Playoffs began, the marquee first-round matchup was undoubtedly the Suns-Spurs. With the history of the series a year ago, the Tim Donaghy scandal, and the all-in trade for Shaq this winter, there was every indication that this would be another classic.

But when the Spurs jumped out to a 2-0 lead at home, followed by a desultory Suns effort in Game 3, the only question was whether the Suns experiment had imploaded spectularly.

Now after the kind of effort that, frankly, have occurred in Game Three, the Suns are showing a pulse. As the Red Sox famously showed, 0-3 is not impossible (although it has not occurred in the NBA), and the defensive changes, together with the (re-)emergence of Boris Diaw (and the subsequent control of Tony Parker), means that if the Spurs don't win Game Five, the pressure starts to mount.

The other team that gambled to 'win now' -- the Dallas Mavericks -- are also looking into the abyss, and it appears that the Avery Johnson era may be coming to end in the Big D.

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