More photos » Matt York - AP
9 months ago: Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, left, looks to drive against Phoenix Suns' Jared Dudley during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
"The way the seats are and the way everything is situated, to me, unless you look up and see the moon, it still feels like you're in an arena."
Gentry knows. One team is going to howl at the moon, act the part of wolf, while the other will slink back into the shadows, expose its neck and await its fate.
On Thursday night, the Suns were the sad victim. Tonight they have the moon above them for strength. Will the wolf arise from their hearts? Will the JRich-less Suns attack the Nowtizki-less Mavericks? Or will they once again turn their cheek and expose their necks?
The Phoenix Suns play on NATIONAL TV tonight against the Dallas Mavericks (6:30 AZ time on TNT) at Indian Wells Arena in Palm Springs, California. The Suns are 0-2 in their previous forays under the moon and stars, despite being the event host.
Ex-GM Steve Kerr will provide color commentary. For once, I'll actually be listening to the color guy as he dissects his former team. How many times will he use the word 'we' instead of 'they'? Will he blast new acquisitions, or inanely applaud them? Will he be critical of any Suns players? We shall see. Or hear, that is.
No word yet whether Channing Frye will play. He is being paid a lot of money to take the court. Who cares that its only preseason and his baby is not yet a week old. He can hire nannys if need be. The Suns need a win! These games matter!
Yet, preseason is preseason.
We can't and shouldn't expect too much, especially this early. Even in the final games of preseason last year, the Suns posted a 20-point loss to Portland and 22-point loss to Philly (bookending a 3,000 point game against the Kings).
In those losses, the Suns were outrebounded badly. Fans were quaking in their boots. Doom. DOOM! Suns should blow it up and start over, they said. Just give up the season, trade Nash and Hill to winners, and start over. Wow would be the 2009-2010 season.
Then the Suns went on a 14-3 run to open the season anyway.
So, don't worry about that happens in preseason, folks. Gentry is experimenting. The players are just playing, without a gameplan and without much purpose, other than trying new skills.
One game the Suns will look unbeatable, another game they'll look like the worst in the league.
Have fun watching the game tonight. Drink a beer or the beverage of your choice, and give your blood pressure a rest.
Just focus on individual players skills. We (and the coaches, I guess) can see how players respond in different lineups, and how their skills may or may not have improved since last season.
But that's it. Don't look at the final score. Don't even look at rotations. Garret Siler and Gani Lawal will not be on the floor with Hill and Turkoglu and Dragic this season. Really, they won't. So don't stress when this lineup fails, and don't cheer if it's successful.
Enjoy the Suns. And enjoy listening to Steve Kerr try to sound objective.
Here's some links to enjoy...
The Suns have a lot of improving to do to win their first preseason game of the 2010 season after opening with two bad losses. Over the weekend, they'll head west for a Palm Springs outdoor game.
Phoenix Suns aim to fix issues in outdoor game, Notes: The Suns are not ready for prime time but are about to be exposed to it and the elements.
New Phoenix Suns forward Hedo Turkoglu said he had seen the NBA Outdoor game at Indian Wells on television. On Friday, during the Suns' shootaround at Indian Wells, Turkoglu got to experience the tennis stadium turned basketball arena. One word came to mind.
Talk to people throughout the Phoenix Suns organization, and they all will say Steve Nash makes the whole franchise better.
Say what you want about Amare Stoudemire and his lack of rebounding. He averaged almost nine a game in his career in Phoenix. Now he is gone and so are those rebounds...
Okay, get talkin' you crazy BSotS fans who made this site the #3 basketball blog!