Let's take a break from the misery that is the Phoenix Suns 2011-12 "No Fight" season where the team is 3-7 over their last 10 games with an average margin of loss of -15.6 and an average margin of victory of just 4.3. There's no fun to be found there, but fortunately we have Blake Griffin to ogle as he throws down a SAVAGE dunk on Kendrick Perkins.
Not surprisingly given our short attention span and the media's constant need to stir up trouble, Blake's dunk is already being called one of the best ever. Hold on, folks.
For my money, Amare's dunk is far better. It came in the fourth quarter of a close game and literally turned the tide and gave the Suns the win.
Game situation aside, Amare gets far more power on his dunk whereas Blake barely gets his finger tips on the rim. Both guys did go through a defender and Perkins is more formidable a road block than Tolliver, but Anthony had more force moving towards Amare while Kendrick was jumping straight up.
No contest, Amare's dunk wins...and also makes us remember just how much fun this Suns team used to be.
This was not a fun game to witness. The Mavericks were scorching all night long and held the Suns in check defensively converting their rare misses into buckets. With Steve Nash sitting, the Suns never had a chance tonight.
The Mavericks dropped 10 of 16 threes in the first two quarters, including 6 straight to end the half. Once again a former Sun did major damage. This time it was in the form of Vince Carter (cringe), who went for 15 points on 6-9 shooting, including three out four 3-pointers. The Suns were out rebounded 23-13, with the Mavericks scoring 15 second chance points. While the Suns looked decent from a numbers standpoint: 48% fg, 4-7 from beyond the arc, and only 5 turnovers, missing 5 of their last 6 shots to end the 2nd quarter left them down by 18 at the break.
Said Suns defensive guru, Elston Turner: "..We blew assignments and allowed too much dribble penetration..."
Sound familiar? Need to read any further?
In the second half, things got no better for the Suns. The Mavericks extended their lead to as many as 26. The Suns had a couple of late runs, but it was too late. Late enough for Robin Lopez to get playing time.
The Mavericks went 14-27 from beyond the arc and shot 55% overall
The Mavericks scored 20 points off of 10 offensive rebounds
The Mavericks outrebounded the Suns 44-33 and out dished the Suns 31-21
Former Suns Vince Carter and Shawn Marion went for 41 points and +36 combined
"They shot the heck out of the ball tonight...It's hard to play catchup against that team especially when they're locked in like they were...They force you to get into rotations...You gotta try and double Dirk...he opens up other guys and they shot the ball extremely well...Their 18th in the league in shooting and we forced them to make shots and they made them...You have to play the averages..."
On Josh Childress
'He's playing well. he's a true professional. He came every day and he worked...We gave him an opportunity and I think he did a great job."
"...We played really bad on defense tonight...they made us pay. They got hot early and they kept it going."
Alvin Gentry sounded tired and somewhat apologetic of his players when commenting on this game. Without Steve Nash, the odds are stacked very high against the Suns this season. But tonight there was much talk about the defensive rotation, how helping out Grant Hill defend Dirk Nowitzki left the Mavericks with a lot of open shots. They just happened to hit those shots. Steve Nash most likely wouldn't have made much of a difference in defending the Mavericks onslaught tonight.
Gentry sounds rational, you play the averages. I get it. But maybe after two quarters when you give up 66 points you ditch the averages when you see it isn't working. What do you do to contain Dirk? On a normal day in a normal season I would have been more concerned about him. But this is not your normal Dirk whose averaging 17.1 ppg, his lowest average since his rookie year. This is tired Dirk. Dirk who had to take a week off because he was out of shape. Maybe you rough him up with Frye, Morris, and Warrick. That's 18 fouls you have to give. Then again Dirk's a decent free throw shooter.
Although I'm not much of a fan of Tom Chambers commentary, the guy seemed to disagree with Alvin Gentry: "You can't allow 55% from the field. You can't allow a team to shoot over 50% in threes." While Gentry seemed resigned at his team's defensive performance, Chambers had a different view as did Jared Dudley. Odd?
Nash won't go (but you knew that already). He couldn't "contract" or "push off". Price will start so we'll get to see Marcin Gortat in some different situations. Gentry said that if it were a playoff game Nash could have "gutted it out" so don't expect him out for long.
Gentry said key for Price is to not try and be Nash. Suns will run less pick and roll and more movement. Gentry compared Price backing up Nash to the QB for the Colts having to play behind Peyton Manning.
On Frye's poor shooting, Gentry said he's getting good shots and shooting with confidence. He just needs to keep at it.
Gentry said Jason Terry does not get enough credit for hitting big shots in clutch situations (he hit a big one lat night against the Spurs).
Gentry stressed that everyone knows there roles on this team. He wasn't asked about that but wanted to make sure we wrote it. Apparently someone, somewhere either wrote or said something about that. Whatever.
Gentry said he would like to lock down a nine-man rotation but the guys aren't playing consistently enough for him to do that.
Coach said the Suns were too slow initiating their zone offense against the Grizzlies. They need to get the ball moving earlier in the clock to create openings in the zone.
Oh, and remember when Shawn Marion hit a bunch of threes against the Suns when they last played and Dirk was..."injured"? Gentry said he's fine w/ Trix taking threes but we should remember that Shawn can make threes. He just hopes his players close out on him with a hand up.