After the Phoenix Suns got blown out in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, free-agent-to-be “big man” Amar’e Stoudemire called Lamar Odom’s 19-point, 19-rebound game “lucky” and added that Odom had “snuck in” for all those rebounds. Wow. Is Lamar a ninja? Does he have real ultimate power? Amar’e seems to think so.
Meanwhile, Stoudemire finished with three boards…so apparently he needed to do a little more sneaking around.
When the “lucky” comment were brought up to Odom, Lamar dismissed Stoudemire’s words as something said in the heat of post-game irritation at the loss itself and with nagging reporters who were bragging up an opponent. TNT analyst Charles Barkley agreed.
However, yesterday morning, Stoudemire was given the chance to retract his earlier statement…but refused. Because you never want to back away from a silly statement. You’ve got to own it, even if owning it is kind of stupid.
Said Amar’e: “Nah, I’m gonna always be myself. That’s just my character. It’s just what I was feeling. … He had a solid game. I’m looking forward to keeping him off the boards and containing him as much as possible. He had a great game so we have to focus in on him a little bit more.”
Odom didn’t go for 19/19 again, but he did finish with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a blocked shot while shooting 7-for-10 from the field. Meanwhile, Stoudemire scored 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting to go along with 6 boards, an assist and a co-game-high 5 turnovers.
So much for focusing on Odom and keeping him off the boards. And did I mention that Amar’e had the same number of defensive rebounds (3) as Steve Nash? And this isn’t a new thing: In 12 postseason games this year, Stoudemire has nabbed 5 or more defensive boards only three times. In the Suns’ first round series against the Portland Trail Blazers — which went six games — Amar’e had 14 defensive rebounds. Odom had 12 of them in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
Can you tell this bugs me?
What’s worse, the Lakers’ big men were able to slip past Stoudemire — and easily — throughout the game, which ended in a 124-112 loss for the Suns and an 0-2 deficit in their best-of-seven series. Check out this pick and roll defense (courtesy of AnacondaHL of Basketbawful):
Fortunately, I’m reasonably sure that Stoudemire is no better than a Plan E or F for the Bulls, and also that the Suns will probably do all they can to re-sign him.
Update! Here’s video of the play Ryan referred to in the comments section…where Amar’e gets his shot blocked by Kobe Bryant and then misses a follow-up dunk.