Who was the MVP of the now very famous Valley Oop?
(BTW, are we sure we’re settled on Valley Oop? Some other contenders from listeners/twitter followers: “The Full Monty” “The De-alley Oop” “The Bananas Foster”...okay, yes, we’re sure its the Valley Oop)
Here are the candidates for the single most improbable play in years in the NBA playoffs:
- The video from his angle is astounding. He threads a needle better than Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes. It helped that DeMarcus Cousins was out of position but still this is a 1% inbounds pass. My first reaction was his pass actually went in, like a Steph Curry trick shot. The pass was absolute perfection.
- Only Suns fans who have closely watched the team this year would understand this but out of timeout play calls has been an Achilles heel for Monty this season. The Suns have relied heavily in iso/hero ball in the final seconds of games, often having to settle for tightly contested Devin Booker jumpers. In this game, this moment the Suns head coach dialed up the perfect curveball and had the foresight to remind Deandre Ayton what to do with the ball if he got the chance.
- The redemption story. Ayton fought through traffic, used his superior athleticism perfectly and snagged the perfect pass while throwing it down so quickly it almost couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. The only thing more perfect than Ayton's dunk was how he handled himself in interviews after the game, largely giving all the credit to his teammates. It was a moment for the #1 overall pick after watching Luka and Trae have theirs, DA got the last laugh so far.
- Foster’s trigger happy replay finger set the table for Monty Williams’s perfect play call. After Mikal Bridges missed a wide open corner three, the rebound was tapped out of bounds fairly clearly off of the Clippers. Instead of trusting his eyes or his crew, Foster decided a replay of the rebound was better and handed the Suns an extra timeout on a silver platter. The rest is Valley history.
- In Devin Booker’s 6 years with the team, everyone has visualized the Suns biggest moment of the postseason belonging to Booker. But no one knew it would be on an off ball back pick against a seven footer. Instead of the Suns sinking or swimming on a Versace smooth DBook jumper, they sent a busted nose Devin Booker to do the Suns ultimate dirty work. His selflessness at the biggest moment of his career may be more defining than any game winning jumper could have been.
The MVP winner is:
Jae Crowder - The pass was crazy, one more look.