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Here's the scene. The game was tied 59-59 with 2:55 to go in the third quarter. The Suns then went on a 12-0 run to end the period and never looked back. I went back and watched the stretch of play a few times and is often the case, some things that weren't apparent while watching live stood out.

Suns lineup: Dragic, Dudley, Beasley, Scola, O'Neal

Cavs lineup: Pargo, Miles, Gee, Zeller, Varejao

It's worth noting that Waiters was on the bench. While he didn't shoot the ball very well (7-20) he did have seven assists on the game and ALL of them came during the 9:52 he played during the third quarter. Five of those seven assists were to Varejao on pick and pops.

When Waiters left the game, the Cavs offense fell apart completely. Pargo was ineffective in all aspects of play. He went 0-2 and had a horrible pass. The missed shots and turnover allowed the Suns to score half of those 12 points in transition. C.J. Miles contributed his own three bricks to the cause. And while the Suns (Scola) did a better job staying with Varejao, the Cavs had no one on the floor who could break down his man and draw help. In other words, with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters on the bench, Cleveland was hopeless on offense and the Suns pounced.

You can read the play-by-play of how the Suns scored during that stretch here.

As stated, six of the 12 points came in transition. The other six were as follows:

- Side pick and pop with Dragic and Scola. The Suns ran the same play in their previous half court set and Scola missed. This time, he was money from his money spot.

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- High pick and roll with Dragic and O'Neal. The Cavs rotated to cover J.O. which left Dudley open at the high arc. The defender closed hard and Jared did his little escape dribble thing and penetrated into the lane which drew another defender. Dudley dished off to O'Neal for an open shot. This was classic read and react, pick and roll basketball. Beautiful.

Screen_shot_2012-11-28_at_10

- High pick and roll with Dragic and O'Neal. Goran reads the defender cheating over to hedge the screen so he craftily "denies" the screen and drives the lane. Scola's man has to help to stop the ball and Dragic delivers a sweet little pass in traffic to Luis who catches and finishes at the front of the rim. Another very nicely executed play that's mostly just letting your best player do smart things with the ball.

Screen_shot_2012-11-28_at_10

As you might imagine with a 12-0 run it was a combination of factors that led to the stops and makes. Most impressive to me where the three buckets in the half court although all three transition finishes were nice as well.

The Suns also went on a big fourth quarter run to put the game to bed and they did that with an entirely different style of play -- a low post, inside/out game. This kind of offensive versatility is very encouraging.


Hand an NBA team an opponent that’s shooting below 30 percent, turning the ball over at a high rate and without its best player, and most teams would make due. The Phoenix Suns didn’t...

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The Suns looked like they were in for an easy night against a tired team when they jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead and at one point built an 11-point margin. But the Cavs battled back on the strength of their offensive rebounding and forced turnovers and turned the tide with a 17-6 run that started in the final three minutes of the first half and stretched into the third quarter to take their first lead of the game.

Folks, it was ugly out there as the two teams combined to go 27-77 with 22 turnovers in the first half. Two bad defensive teams created some kind of negative polar attraction that resulted in the metallic rim repealing the leather ball.

Those forces realigned a bit in the second half as the defensive deficiencies started to show themselves more which allowed Anderson Varejao to get loose for 14 points on 7-of-8 mostly wide open shots. The Suns, however, adjusted their pick and roll rotations to cover the one Cav with a hot hand and managed to open up a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

It was mostly transition offense (10 fast break points) and a mix of shots from a variety of Phoenix players that put 34 on the board in the third.

The Suns put the game away in the fourth thanks to something we've not seen since Shaq was in town, a legit low post game. It was simple old school basketball with the ball going into the post to either the rejuvenated Jermaine O'Neal or the crafty Luis Scola. On two consecutive possessions the Cavs doubled the post only to have the Suns swing-swing-swing the ball to an open Dragic who nailed two corner threes in a row to put the game to bed.

- Strong effort from Michael Beasley. It was only 15 points but he played well and was an efficient 6-8 shooting. Hard to say if his finger is feeling better, if he's mentally more engaged or relaxed or whatever, or if he's just coming back to his historic scoring norms. Then again, it's only two games so let's not build him a statue just yet.

- The Cavs ran out of gas...and talent once the Suns ended the madness that was leaving Varejao wide open. Andy finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds to build his case for an All-Star spot. Rookie Dion Waiters had 16 points but took 20 shots to get there.

- Dragic finished with team-high 19 points and had those nice threes in the fourth but his ability to push the ball quickly in transition in the third quarter was a big key to the win.

- It wasn't one for the highlight reel, but the Suns took care of bidness and walk away avoiding an embarrassing loss.

Suns are now an exciting 7-8 with a chance to reach .500 (!) with a win over Detroit tomorrow night.


Final - 11.27.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Phoenix Suns 19 18 34 20 91
Cleveland Cavaliers 13 19 27 19 78

Complete Coverage >


Fear The Sword


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The Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers lived up to the billing and put on a display that featured ugly, dumb, and yet at times somewhat entertaining basketball. The Suns started strong, let the Cavs back in the game, but put the hammer down to close strong.

It's Tuesday night. You have no life. You are a supporter of the Phoenix Suns Professional Basketball Club. Young stud Kyrie Irving is sidelined with a broken finger. Old stud Anderson Varejao is playing like an All-Star (see, this is what an All-Star caliber center looks like...and I quote: "Anderson Varejao was once again a total monster. He hauled in 22 rebounds (8 offensive) to go along with 15 points. If this man isn't an all-star, it's a damn crime."). The Cavs are coming off a three-game road trip including a loss in Memphis last (Monday) night. The Suns are rested. The Cavs have some nice intriguing young players. The Suns have P.J. Tucker. The Cavs don't have LeBron James. The Suns don't have Steve Nash. Phoenix is 22-27 all-time in the city that rocks. This is now the worst paragraph ever written. My deepest apologies.

But seriously, you try and make a story about the Phoenix Suns vs. the Cleveland Cavalier even mildly interesting. These teams just aren't that good but the Suns, one would think, should be slightly better.

Let me repeat and embolden that bit of brilliant analysis in case you missed it.

These teams just aren't that good but the Suns, one would think, should be slightly better.

You can stop reading now and just skip to the videos.

The Cavs feature Tyler Zeller (insert Zeller brother joke here) (or don't) (screw you too); Tristan Thompson, who is a less athletic and less talented version of Derrick Favors but gets more minutes because he plays on a bad team; and Dion Waiters (insert "waiter" joke here) ( or don't) (ok, screw me too) who shoots a lot (15 times per game!) and sometimes can score too.

They play kinda hard under former ASU Sun Devil Byron Scott but have no depth at all and outside Andy and the ghost of Luke Walton's father's feet, not much in the way of "veteran leadership" either.

Some of you clowns like numbers so here's some numbers. The rest of you clowns can just skim over these in a drug induced haze that you perpetually live in....and don't try and tell me half you aren't stoned all the time and the other half are just waiting for your next chance to light up.

- With an offensive rating of 103.1, the Cavs are 18th in the league in putting the ball efficiently through the twine. Their scoring, shockingly, hasn't dropped off that much since Irving decided to break a finger four games ago.

- The Cavs are 1-3 since Kyrie's latest injury (not that I'm calling a guy who's on his 4th major injury while only weeks into the second year of his NBA career "injury prone") but the team has played balls out during that stretch.

- Jeremy Pargo dropped 28 points on Jrue Holiday in a win over the same 76ers the Suns just lost to. Let me repeat that, JEREMY PARGO.

- The Cavs scored 108 points and had eight players in double figures against the mighty Miami Heat...and lost by only two points.

- And last night in Memphis they scored 78(!!!) against the Grizzlies!!!

- Defensively, they are horrible. The Cavs are ranked 27th in the league giving up 108.7 points per 100 possessions. That's ridiculous. It's like they aren't even trying to get stops. Heads should roll when your defense is that bad. The Suns are worse.

- So folks, please let's make a pledge to stop talking about what the Suns are or aren't doing on the offensive end until they are least are ranked around 20th on defense? k?

- I don't care how many long twos they are taking. I don't want to hear about Beasley driving to the basket or not. Post up Gortat. Don't post up Gortat. Whatever.

- We need to collectively recover from the Steve Nash years and remember that basketball is played at both ends of the floor and the Suns have been promising us better defense since Steve Kerr took over. They are NOT BETTER ON DEFENSE AND WE SHOULD BE FORMING A LYNCH MOB OVER THAT!

Oh, right, we were talking about numbers...

- The game starts at 5:00 pm in Arizona and 7:00 pm on the East Coast where the cool kids all live. And by "cool", I literally mean cold.

Speaking of colds, here's Goran Dragic sounding rather stuffy while talking to Suns.com from a mystery practice court somewhere in the depths of Ohio, a place no one should be forced to go.


Check out Fear The Sword, where they are funny and rock and after watching this tourism video I now want to move to there! Who's with me!!!

Not convinced yet? Watch this and you'll be packing your bags before you can put down your pipe.

Bright Side of the Sun likes you, won't you LIKE us back?

- Lucas Cameron Harangody is also injured.


156944964

It's Tuesday night. You have no life. You are a supporter of the Phoenix Suns Professional Basketball Club. Young stud Kyrie Irving is sidelined with a broken finger. Old stud Anderson Varejao is playing like an All-Star (see, this is what an All-Star caliber center looks like...and I quote: "Anderson Varejao was once again a total monster. He hauled in 22 rebounds (8 offensive) to go along with 15 points. If this man isn't an all-star, it's a damn crime."). The Cavs are coming off a three-game road trip including a loss in Memphis last (Monday) night. The Suns are rested. The Cavs have some nice intriguing young players. The Suns have P.J. Tucker. The Cavs don't have LeBron James. The Suns don't have Steve Nash. Phoenix is 22-27 all-time in the city that rocks. This is now the worst paragraph ever written. My deepest apologies.

But seriously, you try and make a story about the Phoenix Suns vs. the Cleveland Cavalier even mildly interesting. These teams just aren't that good but the Suns, one would think, should be slightly better.

Let me repeat and embolden that bit of brilliant analysis in case you missed it.

These teams just aren't that good but the Suns, one would think, should be slightly better.

You can stop reading now and just skip to the videos.

The Cavs feature Tyler Zeller (insert Zeller brother joke here) (or don't) (screw you too); Tristan Thompson, who is a less athletic and less talented version of Derrick Favors but gets more minutes because he plays on a bad team; and Dion Waiters (insert "waiter" joke here) ( or don't) (ok, screw me too) who shoots a lot (15 times per game!) and sometimes can score too.

They play kinda hard under former ASU Sun Devil Byron Scott but have no depth at all and outside Andy and the ghost of Luke Walton's father's feet, not much in the way of "veteran leadership" either.

Some of you clowns like numbers so here's some numbers. The rest of you clowns can just skim over these in a drug induced haze that you perpetually live in....and don't try and tell me half you aren't stoned all the time and the other half are just waiting for your next chance to light up.

- With an offensive rating of 103.1, the Cavs are 18th in the league in putting the ball efficiently through the twine. Their scoring, shockingly, hasn't dropped off that much since Irving decided to break a finger four games ago.

- The Cavs are 1-3 since Kyrie's latest injury (not that I'm calling a guy who's on his 4th major injury while only weeks into the second year of his NBA career "injury prone") but the team has played balls out during that stretch.

- Jeremy Pargo dropped 28 points on Jrue Holiday in a win over the same 76ers the Suns just lost to. Let me repeat that, JEREMY PARGO.

- The Cavs scored 108 points and had eight players in double figures against the mighty Miami Heat...and lost by only two points.

- And last night in Memphis they scored 78(!!!) against the Grizzlies!!!

- Defensively, they are horrible. The Cavs are ranked 27th in the league giving up 108.7 points per 100 possessions. That's ridiculous. It's like they aren't even trying to get stops. Heads should roll when your defense is that bad. The Suns are worse.

- So folks, please let's make a pledge to stop talking about what the Suns are or aren't doing on the offensive end until they are least are ranked around 20th on defense? k?

- I don't care how many long twos they are taking. I don't want to hear about Beasley driving to the basket or not. Post up Gortat. Don't post up Gortat. Whatever.

- We need to collectively recover from the Steve Nash years and remember that basketball is played at both ends of the floor and the Suns have been promising us better defense since Steve Kerr took over. They are NOT BETTER ON DEFENSE AND WE SHOULD BE FORMING A LYNCH MOB OVER THAT!

Speaking of defense, the Suns are speaking about defense and, you guessed it, promising improvement!

Defensive woes mount when Phoenix Suns ‘lose focus’
“The concentration from the neck up has been a problem,” Turner said. “We lose focus on game-plan matters and situations. If (New Orleans’) Ryan Anderson is the shooter at the beginning of the play and they pass the ball around five or six times, he’s still a shooter at the end of the play. We just get lost. We don’t maintain concentration a possession or a game, for that matter.”

Oh, right, we were talking about numbers...

- The game starts at 5:00 pm in Arizona and 7:00 pm on the East Coast where the cool kids all live. And by "cool", I literally mean cold.

Speaking of colds, here's Goran Dragic sounding rather stuffy while talking to Suns.com from a mystery practice court somewhere in the depths of Ohio, a place no one should be forced to go.


Check out Fear The Sword, where they are funny and rock and after watching this tourism video I now want to move to there! Who's with me!!!

Not convinced yet? Watch this and you'll be packing your bags before you can put down your pipe.

Bright Side of the Sun likes you, won't you LIKE us back?

- Lucas Cameron Harangody is also injured.


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