From now on, I’ll try each day to make a recommendation for an NBA game you all should pay attention to. I’ll try to talk about nationally televised games as often as possible, so you all can watch them. Now tomorrow, I know you’ll all be eager to watch the NBA and not any of those stupid college games (nobody watches those, right?). Accordingly, here’s my suggestion for Friday, March 19:
Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns — 10 PM eastern
I always love watching this matchup, as it pairs teams with two of the most successful point guard–power forward combinations in the league: Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer for the Jazz and Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire for the Suns. Boozer is outstanding in his pairing of offensive fundamentals (jump hooks, turnaround fades, authoritative attempts at the rim) and his rebounding prowess. Stoudemire, whom I consider the best offensive front-court player league-wide, is absolutely devastating diving to the rim off the pick-and-roll with Nash and adds a shooter’s touch from the free-throw line and out to 17 or 18 feet. Nash and Williams bring the same consistent effort to every contest, Williams the favorite on the scoring end, Nash on the distributing end.
In the standings, the 6th-place Suns trail the 4th-place Jazz by two games, so this matchup has some playoff implications. This is the third game of a four-game series for these two teams, and the Jazz won each of the first two meetings. Boozer posted 21 points and 20 boards in the first game, while Nash contributed 15 dishes in each game for the Suns. Expect a close one, folks.