Well that was a surprise.
Mike Bibby has had a few nice games this awful season, that OT Lakers game first springing to mind. But he hasn't played as well as he did this afternoon since a year and two months ago, when he went on a month-long tear in January 2006.
In that fourth quarter today, he could've started shooting from half-court and it wouldn't have mattered. Mark Jackson kept saying Phoenix was leaving him wide open, but they weren't - at least not in the second half. Bibby had a hand in his face 90% of the time and he was still raining.
Why did Mike shoot so well tonight versus his overall poor season? Tough to say, other than a hot streak. He was hitting them both off the dribble and spotting up. Not many of his baskets were assisted, and he wasn't abusing screens all day. We can't look at 9-12 from deep and start inventing reason why. It just happened.
If it happened regularly this season, there's no doubt Sacramento could've been an elite offensive team. This Bibby plus Kevin Martin with normal eyesight (get well, Speed) would be among the most potent backcourts in the league.
Sadly, it hasn't worked out that way. Maybe we'll never see the tandem in sync, with Bibby likely on his way out this summer. Still, it was nice to see this Bibby, for old time's sake.
What a win.
(I'd be remiss not to mention the balls-out play from Ronnie Price, John Salmons, and Francisco Garcia. Price and Garcia were linebackers out there, and Salmons was fantastic for three quarters before slowing down a bit late. Nice work from the bench.)