The Suns are good to go. On the road that is. With five games on the road in the next seven days they felt going in that it behooved them to be sure to pack a 3-0 record along with their other travel gear, and they completed that mission by burying the T-Wolves under a barrage of their trademark threes.
And discount the caliber of the opposition to this point all you want, the fact is there are significant signs happy days (i.e., the heyday of the Coach Mike era) are here again.
And perhaps the most encouraging one in terms of looking down the road is evidence the Suns are once again starting to wear down opponents by simply running them into the ground.
It was a familiar pattern two years ago— other teams coming out hitting on all cylinders early on, and then gradually running out of gas. The Suns scored points in league-leading bunches last year too, but by the end of many games they were often the ones breathing extra hard.
This year Coach Alvin’s emphasis on running seems to already be paying dividends, and Sunday night was a case in point as the Wolves matched the Suns hoop for hoop through most of the first half before cooling off. Although a sloppy finish skewered the result a bit, the bottom line is the Suns looked much fresher down the stretch. And this was pretty much the case in their other two wins also.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that they were shooting threes even better than they were shooting twos, with Channing Frye continuing his remarkable spree with six of 10 from arc city. He is now 13 for 20 from long range, and having a 6-11 center that kind shoot that well from that far out really complicates what was already the unenviable task of defending the Suns.
“It really stretches the floor and opens things up,” said Coach Alvin. All five starters scored at least 14 points, led by Jason Richardson, who confirmed his great training camp by scoring 25 points in his first game since coming off suspension.
The bottom line: You give Steve Nash this many weapons to choose from and you’re looking at a team that’s going to be dangerous regardless of its well documented (over-documented, it says here) rebounding and defensive deficiencies.