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June 01, 2010

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Steve Boese

Of course I have to weigh in, at least to take up the basketball decision by Gentry to pull Dragic and Dudley late in the game. The Suns had been playing uphill all night and while Dragic and Dudley did both help to lead the fightback, (aided by the incredibly stupid flagrant foul on Vujacic), for me it seemed like they had given all they could (Dragic missed his last two shots before being subbed out). Nash came in and promptly drove right to the rack and scored making it a three point game (the closest the Lakers ever got it would turn out). The Dudley-Hill switch is a little more debatable to me, but watching the array of incredibly tough shots Kobe made down the stretch, with Hill in solid defensive position, makes me think that no matter who was checking him Kobe was winning that game.

I think your larger point is valid though, at some point the leader has to make that tough call to pull the star performer and let the rookie have a shot. But you can't wait until the biggest game, with the season on the line to make that call. You have to give the new kid the opportunity to have that kind of experience (or as close as you can get to it), before Game 6 in the conference finals. Did Dragic ever lead the team all the way in the 4th in a close and important game before? If he had not, then that is Gentry's fault, but you could also understand why Nash was put back in. There are 10 other guys on the team that may not have been comfortable with a 'go with the hot hand' strategy if they had never seen Dragic step up under similar conditions.
The decisions in the 4th quarter, or in the preparation for the big sales presentation, are tough, but can be made a little easier by seeing past 'tonight's game' and thinking about the big prize.

Sackadamus

KD-

I watched the game as well and agree with you that the momentum was clearly in the Sun’s hands before they put their starters back in towards the end of the 4th quarter. But, I tend to take the manager MLB view of these types of coaching situations and play the odds. I like Dragic’s game, but he tends to play a little bit out of control, especially when he gets hot – he’ll take some real bad shots. So, I wouldn’t sit Nash – he’s an all-star, future HOF’er and flat out makes things happen. In a must win situation – I’m going with experience and odds – not the hot hand of a kid who doesn’t know when to shut it down.

I understand the importance of Momentum – but she’s a fickle playmate – and can change on you in a moment – like when Kobe hits two outrageous shots that no human alive should be able to make…

Brother – as my Daddy always told me – you have to dance with the one that brought you.

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