They said it couldn’t be done, and in the end the Suns couldn’t do it. But if they gave medals for trying this would be the most decorated team in the entire sports pantheon today.

 

What it lacked in offensive manpower, it made up for in heart and defense. But alas, while it never ran out of those two items, it did run out of gas late last night.

 

The Game 5 loss left them down 2-3 heading back to San Antonio, but they are in better shape than most teams in such a predicament.

 

This wasn’t a must win. Friday is a must win, and Sunday is a WILL win! (Trust me on this one. There is no way the Spurs win a Game 7 in Phoenix against a full strength Suns team. No way!)

 

“We know we can beat these guys,” said a far from dispirited Coach Mike. “We’ve shown it and we’ve done it.”

 

And I’m most definitely with him.

 

Although they came up short, the Suns demonstrated that even without Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw they can defend the daylights out of the Spurs, and that’s the main reason I still very much believe Phoenix will advance to the next round.

 

That “D” was almost enough to get the job done, even with a huge chunk of the NBA’s best offense on suspension. And I’m expecting Amare to come out smokin’ hot Friday.

 

There’s something else, too.

 

It has seemed to me almost from the start that much of the national media seemed to frame this as a case of the Suns trying to upset the Spurs, something I think both teams sort of bought into early.

 

That, of course, was an upside down view. The right side up, of course, is that the Spurs are trying to upset the Suns, who have a better record, are higher seeded, have a decent defense of their own, and a much, much better offense.

 

Part of the reason for the upside down view, of course, was rooted in the last few years, when the Spurs were indeed the gold standard in the NBA. They’re still very good, of course, but not THAT good.

 

The bottom line: See you Sunday.