Archive for Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mavs will attempt to quell Nash again

May 28, 2006

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— Steve Nash took only one shot in the second half of the Suns' Game 2 loss to Dallas in the Western Conference finals.

But Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said he wouldn't tell the NBA's two-time MVP to shoot more often in Game 3 tonight.

Facing constant double-teams by the Mavericks, Nash looked for the open man. But the Suns shot 44.9 percent from the floor, and 43.5 percent from beyond the three-point arc. The result: a 105-98 loss that sent the series to Phoenix tied 1-1.

"When we lose and the other guys don't make the shot, you go, 'Oh man, (Nash has) got to take more shots,"' D'Antoni said after the Suns practiced Saturday. "But when he does what he does and has 20 assists and the other guys are knocking shots down, then he did the right thing. So it's hard to tell before (a game) what he has to be."

Dallas coach Avery Johnson, who ripped his team's defensive effort in Game 1, dismissed the suggestion that the Mavericks have figured out a way to stop Nash.

"We were fortunate enough for everybody to be on the same page and we just mixed in our coverages," Johnson said. "That's what you've got to do with him. You can't give him a steady diet."

After giving up home-court advantage in the opener, the Mavericks responded with a desperate effort Friday night. Johnson said he wants his team to play the same way Sunday.

"I hope we don't think we're in a decent position," Johnson said. "Everything with my team is mental. I hope we subconsciously feel we're 0-2. When we feel we're in a decent position or if we have a slight tad of overconfidence, we're not as good."

Dallas has been a rugged road squad this postseason. The Mavericks are 4-2, and the losses came by a combined three points at San Antonio.

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