Up until he joined Phoenix, Channing Frye was a soft big man that was good for.....well, not a whole lot. However, Phoenix discovered that Frye has a 3-point shot and he has transformed himself into a 3-point shooting specialist. It's been well documented how he has tortured the Wolves with his exploits over the past two seasons. Well, he was at it again last night, tying his career high with 7 3-pointers. Below the jump is a break down of the defensive lapses that led to this debacle for the Wolves.
10:15 - Darko misses a hook shot. Frye rebounds and outlets to Nash. The Wolves get back fine on defense, although Love is trailing a bit behind due to coming from under the basket where he was trying to gather Darko's miss. Trailing the play in transition, Frye jogs to the right corner. Instead of following behind Frye to the right corner, Love runs into the paint. Nash spots Frye spotting up in the corner for a wide open 3-point attempt. Love did try to close out from where he was in the paint, but he wasn't even close to distracting the shot. He was way too late. Swish.
7:11 - Love makes the second of two free throws. Frye inbounds the ball and jogs down the court, trailing everyone else as you would expect from the guy inbounding the ball on the other end. Love, having made the free throw, was back on defense and awaits for Frye in the paint (as if Frye would ever even bother to go there on offense). A cutting Hill receives a pass from Nash around the free throw line and then kicks it out to Frye for a wide open 3 with 19 seconds left on the shot clock. Love was never close to him. Swish.
4:58 - Beasley commits a charge at 5:06. Love out of the game and Darko now matched up with Frye. Channing sets a high screen against Webster, but Hill goes the other way with it and Webster is able to stay in front of Hill. Darko hedged anyway in case Hill was able to get by Webster and left Frye wide open for a 3. Hill dumps it off to him. Swish.
7:33 - Brewer throws up what appears to be a wild shot (I think he thought he was ally ooping it to Darko on the roll off a screen. Of course Darko was no where near the ball) and it nearly breaks the backboard. Frye rebounds. Once again Love plants himself firmly in the paint after transitioning to defense off Brewer's miss. Flynn matches up with Dudley on the perimeter due to a switch while in transition. Dudley pump fakes Flynn from beyond the 3-point arc and Flynn bites. Dudley drives toward the paint where both Darko and Love await him. He makes the easy pass to Frye, who had been resting quietly at the top of the 3-point arc. The ball is released long before Love can even get close to him. Swish.
5:52 - Martell drives baseline and misses a reverse layup. Frye rebounds and gets the ball to Hill. Frye trails Hill in transition. All 5 Wolves get back. It's effectively a 4 on 5 with Lopez way behind the play. Hill and Frye are on the right, Nash trailing in the middle, and Dudley on the left. Hill gets picked up by both Ridnour and Wes as Frye runs to the right corner. Hill makes the easy pass to a wide open Frye. Had Ridnour and Wes communicated, one of them would have picked up Frye and shadowed him to the corner. Didn't happen. Swish.
5:20 - Love misses a baseline hook. Nash gathers the rebound. Darko matched up with Frye and Love now on Lopez. In transitioning to defense, Darko makes the exact same mistake Love was making earlier, setting himself up in the paint on defense. Nash runs a high screen and roll with Lopez. Love cuts off Nash's driving lane. Nash in turn continues his dribble back out away from the basket where he sees Frye resting peacefully at the top of the arc, with no Timberwolf in sight. Nash flips the ball out to Frye. Darko was playing so far off of Frye that Nash found himself standing between Darko and Frye after making the pass. Darko had no chance of closing out on the shot. Swish.
3:11 - Love on Frye again. Nash gets a half-step on Ridnour on a drive to the hoop. Beasley and Webster both await Nash underneath the hoop (Richardson by the way is wide open in the corner. Webster left him all alone). But Love decides he needs to sag toward the paint too, leaving Frye open again. Nash had two options: Pass to the wide open Richardson in the opposite corner or flip it back out to Channing for the strong side 3. He makes the easier of the two plays and gets it to Frye. Love actually closed out pretty well on this one, but it wasn't enough to distract his shot. Swish.
Once again, nearly every one of Frye's 3-point makes was preventable, meaning that it wasn't because we were killed by dribble drive penetration or badly outnumbered on fast breaks where we had to bring a guy to the rim to prevent a layup. This was just piss poor awareness and hustle by Kevin Love and Darko Milicic.
The tragedy here is that Frye missed all of his two-point attempts. All you have to do with these one trick ponies like Frye is make them put it on the floor. He's rendered useless at that point. You would think we would have learned that by now.