Dudley's Energy Spurs Suns

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Some things are harder to explain than others. For instance, the Suns hang their hats on out-shooting, out-running, and out-assisting the opposition, but they were outdone in all three categories this night.

You could, as they say, look it up. It’s right there in the stat sheet. The shooting percentages were 51 and 42 percent, the fast break tally 13-8, and the assist count was 28-19— all in San Antonio’s favor. So how in the world explain the 110-102 victory that put the Suns up two-nil in the series? [Read more...]

Suns Hold Off Spurs in Game 1

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Now was that SO hard?

Well, as a matter of fact yes. Certainly a lot harder than the final score would indicate. And arguably harder than it should have been for a team with the league’s best offense and most improved defense. (Of course, the flaw in this “argument” is that there is no easy way to beat the Spurs.)

So in spite of building 14 point leads in each half and getting a first-period performance for the ages out of Steve Nash it wasn’t all that surprising that the Suns still had to execute flawlessly at both ends of the court in the last four minutes to finally nail this one down. [Read more...]

Suns Rout Blazers Behind Bench

Another case of murder in the first degree. Third one in this feast-or-famine playoff series, in fact.

But this time it wasn’t the usual suspects that did it. True, the Suns’ trademark fast break and three-ball eventually kicked in, but it was two usually suspect phases of their game, rebounding and defense, that that laid the foundation for what was basically a rare 48-minute rout — a Portland rout the first 12 minutes, when the Blazers opened an 18-4 lead (mostly because the Suns’ defense forgot to put its teeth in), and a Phoenix rout the last 36. [Read more...]

Adjustments Are Key For Suns' Win in Game 2

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One of the most solemn articles of NBA faith is that the key to any playoff series is “adjustment”, or, in non-technical terms, what changes the loser of the previous game can make to turn things around.

So what “adjustments” did Coach Alvan and the Suns make to engineer a monster 34-point turnaround in Game Two?

Actually, while not discounting the significance of a couple of X and O moves, I’d have to say the biggest adjustment was an attitude.  One in which the Suns went from passive-aggressive on offense to aggressive-aggressive. [Read more...]

Despite Loss, There's Still Optimism

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When it came to casting for the playoffs in the West the injury-crippled Blazers got the role as overmatched but spunky underdogs, and so far they are delivering an Oscar-worthy performance.

Their well-respected defense controlled the tempo of the game almost all night, and their lightly regarded offense laid a 35-point lick on the Suns in the fourth period to give them an unlikely 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven first-round series. (Well, I though it was unlikely, and it’s my blog). [Read more...]

Playoff Prospects Look Good In Win

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Question: Has any team ever made a more emphatic playoff eve statement than the Suns?
I know, I know. Such “statements” are like oral agreements (i.e., not worth the paper they are written on).

But I’m just sayin…. [Read more...]

Suns Grab a Great Win

Now THAT was impressive! Not surprising though, wehave been one of the hottest teams in the league since the All-Star break, but impressive! Maybe as impressive as they have been all year at both ends of the court.

[Read more...]

Suns Thaw Out

This one became a question of which team would thaw out first, and fortunately it turned out to be the coldest one.

The Suns, who started out uncharacteristically chilly and kept getting colder until they finally froze solid in the third period, hitting only 18 per cent (4-22) from the field. But since the Blazers weren’t exactly on fire themselves, the deficit was only four going into the fourth period, in which the Suns hit 60 per cent (9-15) to salvage the victory. It didn’t hurt, by the way, that the Blazers apparently caught cold from the Suns and hit 23 per cent in the final 12 minutes.

[Read more...]

Suns Impress in Win Over Timberwolves

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Okay, so it was like shooting at fish in a barrel. And okay, it was a small barrel and the fish were dead. But even adjusted for inflation caused by Minnesota’s 29th ranked defense, 152 was still a very impressive number.

What with the Suns not exactly in a lockdown defense themselves this was a fun night all the way around. The Wolves got as many good looks at the basket as did the home team, and even though they don’t see as well still scored 19 points above their average.

[Read more...]

Suns Show They Deserve to Be in Playoff Hunt

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

It tells you a lot about both teams that although the Suns were not only without a key player but also without their A game that the Lakers still had to sweat out a hectic fourth period stretch to stagger away with the victory.

What it tells you about the Suns is that they very much belong in the middle of the wild scrum for playoff seeding in the top-loaded Western Conference, and what it tells you about the Lakers is that they have fallen from Super Power status into, if not the middle, at least into that scrum. [Read more...]