This is not a replay! This was another one just like the other one. The other TWO, in fact – a third straight 140-point scoring game that brought back memories of the glory that was Rome (or at least the Italian that used to coach the team).
Three games into the Coach Alvin era the Suns are AVERAGING better than 140 points a game, and numbers like that would be other worldly even if the Suns weren’t being guarded (which by the way they haven’t been yet in the Coach Alvin era).
Not even the loss of Amar’e Stoudemire for at least eight weeks because of an eye problem was enough to dampen their spirits or cool their jets. And if nothing else, this latest Big Bang should dispel the notion that they are dead in the playoff water without Amar’e.
Without wishing to wax overly ecstatic over the successive shellings of three teams that ARE dead in the playoff water, this game can serve as a legitimate reminder of how much talent there is on this team even minus Amar’e. And it can also serve as a reminder that when Amar’e went down in 2005-06 the Suns went on to win 54 games and reach the Conference Finals.
And it also shushes complaints the Suns are not entertaining, are flunking chemistry, and aren’t even sure who they are. All of the above may have been true back in the day (i.e., last week), but none of the above are now.
No predictions of a great stretch run, mind you. It’s far too soon for that. But what can safely be said is these Suns are just bursting with merriment and togetherness, and know they are who they always insisted they knew they were back in the day.
Things don’t always figure to be THIS easy, of course. Far from it, in fact. The Suns haven’t morphed into an unstoppable juggernaut overnight. But the loosing of the coaching reins has freed them to be themselves, and if nothing else that promises some fun the rest of way.
And ironically, the changeover has even produced if not great defensive improvement at least some defense, as attested to by the fact the defense generated 33 of the latest 140 points, thanks mostly to 14 steals.
With the Suns back in their running shoes you turn the ball over 23 times and you are going to get buried under so many points even a Kevin Durant can’t dig you out. When the Suns used to play the Showtime Lakers the late Cotton Fitzsimons always had one piece of advice (a plea, actually). “Don’t help ‘em,” he used to beg. “They don’t need any help”.
That’s pretty much true about Showtime II (aka the Suns).
The bottom line: The bandwagon that was gathering cobwebs in a distant corner of Planet Orange is being cleaned up and readied for boarding.