Pregame Leftovers from Philly
THANKSGIVING AT THE MORRIS HOUSEHOLD
While some may credit hard work and hustle, it may have been a little home cooking that helped Markieff Morris to six first quarter rebounds on Sunday. Back in his hometown of Philadelphia for the start of his team’s six-game road trip, Morris received a late Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of his mom – but he wasn’t alone for the feast.
“My mom knew some of the guys weren’t able to make it home this year for the holiday so she invited everybody to come over and make a dish,” Morris told Suns.com.
The team took the Morris’ up on their invitation. In fact, the entire team took them up on it.
“Everybody was over there, the whole team,” guard Goran Dragic said with a smile. “We had some chicken, some turkey… we had a lot of food.”
Dragic – who played last season with Markieff’s twin brother, Marcus – said it was the first time he had the opportunity to meet the rest of the Morris family, and was a night he won’t soon forget.
“It was a great night and a great chance to talk to guys on the team about things other than basketball for a change,” Dragic said. “Those types of experiences are great from the standpoint of building chemistry and getting to know each other better. I think the more you know somebody away from work, the better it becomes to work with that person.”
ZELLER WATCHES IRISH FIGHT THEIR WAY TO TITLE SHOT
Saturday night was exceptionally sweet for center Luke Zeller. In addition to dinner, Zeller also had the opportunity to watch his alma mater, Notre Dame, clinch a spot in the BCS Championship Game.
The win not only meant a perfect season for the Fighting Irish, but gives them a chance to play for the National Title. Making matters even sweeter was the fact that the victory came against an arch rival.
“Anytime (Notre Dame) plays against USC it’s big, so it was going to be a big game for us regardless,” Zeller told Suns.com. “I’m a big fan of Notre Dame football and it feels pretty cool to finish the season undefeated.”
Suns At Cavs 11/27/2012 Quicken Loans Arena
Intros: Suns came out to the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” while the Cavaliers came out to some rap song I’m not familar with. I’d say we’re already up 1-0.
1st Quarter 8:45: When they were looking to hype up the crowd in Philadelphia, they played the “win” clip from Rocky. It felt right away like you were up against immeasurable odds. “Rocky… Philadelphia… No way we can overcome this.” I’m anxious to see what they use here in Cleveland. Maybe something from Raging Bull?
1st Quarter 7:55: Anderson Varejao starting to turn it on. Asked about the Cavs star before the game, Alvin Gentry said, “He’s not only rebounding great, but he’s expanded his offensive game… The way he’s rebounding the basketball, you can only compare it to (Dennis) Rodman… He plays every shot like a missed shot and I think that’s the advantage he has over most guys.”
1st Quarter 4:55: Following that Beasley basket, the scoreboard showed a clip of the Beast from Disney’s Beauty & the Beast looking down in shame. Much better than the previous clip they showed of some random guy banging his head against a wall.
1st Quarter 2:40: Another basket from former Syracuse standout Dion Waiters. I asked another former Syracuse guy, Wes Johnson, before the game where Waiters ranked among the university’s top scorers. Said Johnson, “It’s a pretty impressive list, but I would say he’s definitely up there… He’s explosive and what’s he gets it going, he’s a really hard guy to slow down.”
1st Quarter 2:28: Will Smith’s “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” is being played. Apparently they received my request.
1st Quarter 56.3: Scoreboard showing some classics following scoring plays for the Cavaliers. So far in this first quarter, we’ve gotten Smurfs, Fraggle Rock, and Chris Farley.
2nd Quarter 11:06: Not the Jared Dudley dunk we were hoping for. Prior to the game, Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro and I were teasing Dragic about Dudley finishing this season with more dunks than the guard would. Dragic did not appear overly concerned by this.
2nd Quarter 7:38: Official scoring is giving Dudley a dunk on that last play. I will decline further comment.
2nd Quarter 21.0: Suns take a 20-second timeout. Thinking we’re going to Shannon Brown here to close out the half on a strong note.
2nd Quarter 9.0: Or we’re not.
Halftime: At the half, the Suns still lead, 37-32. Michael Beasley leads all Phoenix players in scoring with nine points behind 4-of-6 shooting.
3rd Quarter 8:53: You can add Lion King and Toy Story 3 to the list of movie clips we have seen here at Quicken Loans Arena.
3rd Quarter 8:10: Shannon Brown knocks down the jumper. The former Cavs guard was welcomed warmly by the local media here before the game.
3rd Quarter 6:50: Tyler Zeller checking back into the ballgame for Cleveland. Before the game I asked Suns center Luke Zeller if he and his brother were competitive growing up. Said Luke, “We were always competitive. It didn’t even have to be basketball, it could be seeing who could drink their water faster.”
3rd Quarter 2:55: Suns find themselves in another tight contest. Before the game, Alvin Gentry said he was still happy with the team’s hustle, but that moral victories, “Don’t do much to help you in the standings.”
3rd Quarter 2:03: An in-arena video encouraged fans to clean up after their dogs. It then illustrated this point by showing somebody cleaning up after their dog using a Boston Celtics jersey. Not bad, but why not just really own it and use the jersey of a certain Heat star?
3rd Quarter 1:33: Several members of the Cleveland Browns in attendance for tonight’s game. All were met with light applause until runningback Trent Richardson was shown and received a rousing ovation. Kind of rude to the other players, but they do love their runningbacks here in Cleveland so it’s understandable.
4th Quarter 11:55: Each time I look away from the game to type, the Suns increase their lead. Hence why I am now writing this irrelevant and unnecessary note that doesn’t offer much insight.
4th Quarter 8:49: Things are getting chippie out there. It gives us a perfect opportunity to explore the several sections of the arena named after various Cavs players. These include but are not limited to “Tristan’s Town”, “Alonzo’s All-Stars”, “Boobie’s Big Timers” and “Kyrie’s Kids.”
4th Quarter 5:22: Sing-a-long time with Livin’ On a Prayer here in Cleveland. I have seen inspirational clips from Rocky, and you sir, are not an inspirational clip from Rocky.
4th Quarter 4:12: Starting to understand why Goran isn’t overly concerned about who finishes the season with more dunks between him and Dudley. The Slovenian guard just connected on his third shot from beyond the 3-point line. Last time I checked, those shots are worth more.
4th Quarter 3:14: The Cavs fan behind me yelling random gibberish is making a lot of good points right now.
END OF GAME: Would like to point out that the Suns are a perfect 1-0 when I keep an in-game blog. Goodnight everybody.