April 24, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) blocks the attempted dunk of Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during the first half at Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

You have to hand it to the Phoenix Suns. They had every excuse to roll over and lose this game tonight. While they did lose the game, and the chance to play in the postseason, they gave it 100% with what they had. At crunch time, they had nothing left to give.

Yes, playing the biggest game of the season without the offense Channing Frye can provide and the defense Grant Hill provides every night hurt the Phoenix Suns. Further, Starting an inconsistent rookie and depending on Hakim Warrick at PF to defend and produce is not an ideal situation

The only good thing to come out of this loss is the Spurs won't have the chance to screw the Suns again.

Here is how it went...

In the first, the Jazz shut down the Suns offense while their bigs dominated the paint. The defense swarmed and smothered Marcin Gortat and Steve Nash.

The Suns allowed 54% Jazz shooting while shooting 40% themselves. But the Suns had problems with transition defense. Every Suns miss, and there were many, was met by a Jazz fast break bucket. The Jazz scored 20 points in the paint and converted 10 fast break points. An 8-0 Suns run in the second evened up the game at 25. A jam from Lopez and the Suns went up 27-25. The Jazz responded promptly, reeling off 8 straight points off of Suns missed shots and turnovers. The Suns missed 5 straight shots and went scoreless for 3+ minutes while the Jazz went 1-13.

Marcin Gortat missed all 3 of the shots he took in the lane, with 2 getting blocked by Derrick Favors. Things got uglier as Gortat was blocked 2 more times before the end of the half and given a reported "talking to" by Suns GM Lance Blanks who met him as he entered the locker room.

At the half the Suns were down 7, giving away 9 turnovers which led to 20 Jazz points while getting swatted by 8 Jazz blocks. All that kept the Suns in the game were the 3's by Shannon Brown and Michael Redd, along with Utah's 40% shooting.

In the second half, Steve Nash committed a turnover on the Suns first possession. That was the foreshadowing of things to come. Both teams traded hoops until a 10-0 Suns run trimmed the Utah lead to 1. But Alec Burks responded with 5 straight points while the Suns missed everything they tossed up. The Suns outscored the Jazz 26-24 in the 3rd, yet trailed 73-68.

The Suns seemed to be heating up as Michael Redd nailed a 3 to start the 4th. The boys continued to claw and fight, tying the game with 11 minutes left on a Sebastian Telfair bucket. With Michael Redd going to work on Alec Burks, the Suns briefly took the lead 76-74, which they quickly relinquished. The Suns went 4 scoreless minutes while missing 5 straight shots and found themselves down 80-76 with 8 minutes left.

Gortat and Nash returned with 6 minutes left. But Gortat was as useless as he was in the first 3 quarters and was pulled with 3 minutes left after missing a layup and letting Al Jefferson spin by for an easy dunk. The Jazz went on a 10-2 run and the game was effectively over, even with the Suns finding themselves within 2.

In they end, they couldn't score, couldn't get enough stops, and couldn't manage the Jazz bigs.

Commentary

The big story tonight was the lack of a Gortat presence. He was flat abused by Favors and company. The man that helped carry the Suns throughout the season didn't show up tonight, or perhaps played to his ability against a tough Jazz front line. No one said Gortat was a finished product, but one still has to wonder how high the ceiling is for him.

Other Stories:

  • The Suns committed 15 turnovers which resulted in 19 Jazz points
  • The combination of Nash/Gortat and Morris shot a total of 8-27 from the field. I'm sure Nash was tired and something in his back or hip was hurting, as wide open 3's clanked, and nearly everything else he put up looked short.
  • The Suns allowed 3 different Jazz players to rebound in double figures. Favors/Jeff/Millsap totaled 42 boards between them

Fin

Give the Phoenix Suns credit, they fought and battled, but they were over matched. They were forced to play a Jazz style grind it out game. They couldn't shoot and couldn't stop the Jazz big men. They needed to do that in order to have a chance.

As for the end of the season, it is sad and there are many unknowns ahead. But let's be honest with ourselves, our squad made it interesting until the very end. That is something none of us could have predicted after such an awful start. This team ended up overachieving.

Now we just have to trust in the Suns think tank and ride out a several months of questions.


April 24, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry during the first quarter against the Utah Jazz at Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

has steve nash played his last meaningful game for the suns?
will hill and lopez be back?
how will bobsarv spend his money?
who will the suns draft?
will alvin gentry be extended?

should be an exciting off season.
but for now, let it out. let it all out.
Poll
Is Steve Nash Returning Next Year?

  439 votes | Results


thread

Roll Call: PHXSunsRunNGun, wedge1039, KC_Suns_Fan, ThatOtherCanadianKid, KnowGood, blanke, PHXgp, 2NASHTY, NashMV3, grego85, Wil Cantrell, nashran3, quixilver, MMotherwell, CKH, Not Disclosing My Name, SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist, Omaha Sun, wwert, raxado, Lino Canaan, Juac, The Solution, Walter ChronKite, thedoovage, lhellum, Antwuan, suns68, ArizonaCactus, Aztiramtempe, Officer_Chan, Jim Coughenour, u_must_chill, the new Bradfather, LHCbruin, SS21, Airwave, AZBengal18, JoeWisco, Scott Howard, sunnydays, SUNS PORTUGAL, modernage13, Migonads, WaveOcean, Ohforf, Spit_Fire, HarvMel, Colton Dodson, djturbolence, brian13, East Bay Ray, Piotr Szczesniak, REneeR, nashtyish, ajcarleton, jatrex4suns, glory, noonoo, Ataraa, troglodytes, rainmann, AcucracK, Dantre, PhoenixSons, steve13nash, Wichita SunSteeler, sonicking, phxpurple, Suns2flyy, ClipperBEAST, LJ Hann, Beavis 25, Suns R Us, 7footer
Total Users: 75
Total Posts: 811
Total Threads: 1

Name # of Posts
SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist 54
NashMV3 51
Antwuan 39
PHXgp 36
Scott Howard 33
Omaha Sun 30
modernage13 29
MMotherwell 29
CKH 27
KnowGood 26
djturbolence 25
Airwave 25
wedge1039 23
ThatOtherCanadianKid 22
ArizonaCactus 21
the new Bradfather 20
Jim Coughenour 19
brian13 18
Aztiramtempe 16
rainmann 15
PhoenixSons 15
The Solution 12
noonoo 11
suns68 10
SUNS PORTUGAL 10
WaveOcean 10
nashtyish 9
AZBengal18 9
Juac 9
raxado 9
HarvMel 8
lhellum 8
u_must_chill 8
PHXSunsRunNGun 8
JoeWisco 7
Piotr Szczesniak 7
Walter ChronKite 6
Beavis 25 6
Wichita SunSteeler 5
Ohforf 5
Spit_Fire 4
Suns R Us 4
nashran3 4
2NASHTY 4
Colton Dodson 4
East Bay Ray 4
thedoovage 4
grego85 3
phxpurple 3
KC_Suns_Fan 3
Dantre 3
blanke 3
ClipperBEAST 3
Migonads 3
Officer_Chan 3
AcucracK 2
sonicking 2
LJ Hann 2
7footer 2
troglodytes 2
jatrex4suns 2
sunnydays 2
REneeR 2
Wil Cantrell 2
Suns2flyy 1
Lino Canaan 1
Not Disclosing My Name 1
wwert 1
ajcarleton 1
SS21 1
Ataraa 1
glory 1
steve13nash 1
LHCbruin 1
quixilver 1


fight, fight, fight


Join the ValleyoftheSuns team and other special guests as we break down the showdown of the season between the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz with pregame, halftime and postgame shows.

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Page 875 of 1517

875

Sponsored Ads