More photos » Eric Gay - AP
9 days ago: Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash, center, reacts to a call during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Monday, Dec. 20, 2010 in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
But I'll tell you something right now: that magic is still there. You could fell it. This Suns team has heart and will figure out how to win this season. There's just too many fighters and winners on this team to struggle for the whole season.
10th man Josh Childress has some very scrappy skills - imagine what might happen if he really had 2 hands. He's kinda like a Marion without quite the size or natural talent level, but it's sure nice to see scrappy at the basket again.
And for the first time this season, it looks like Robin Lopez has two hands. With fingers to grip the ball with. I'm still waiting for a putback dunk on a missed shot - that will tell me he's back for sure. Till then, I'll take the high-percentage shooting and rebounding. And I'm really excited that he will have some big time competition in practice from now on for minutes.
The Spurs are riding high at this time. Everyone is hitting on all cylinders, and they are the only team to field the same starting lineup in every game this season. Well done on their part.
But the Suns kept it tight, didn't they? Even after getting down 19, they just kept fighting and fighting and made it a closer game than it might have been. Even Hakim Warrick was battling out there.
The only guy beating himself up was Channing Frye. He let his poor offensive game affect his defense. His name was littered all over the play-by-play in the third quarter. Missed 26-foot shot, shooting foul, missed 26-foot shot, shooting foul, turnover, etc...
Would have been nice to have some reinforcements out there when the guys were running on fumes. Maybe by the next game the Suns will have someone(s) to throw in there for big-man defense, or perimeter defense, or scoring...
Oh yeah, and Grant Hill is still THE MAN. 19 pts, 4 rebs, 2 assists, 2 steals... and the only + guy for the game (+4).
|Final - 12.20.2010||1||2||3||4||Total|
|San Antonio Spurs||27||26||40||25||118|
Ronald Martinez - Getty Images
Grant Hill IS A MAN! (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Hey guys and gals, we got ourselves a game tonight!
Wouldn't it be grand if the Phoenix Suns found a way to win another game on the road with a short rotation before accepting their new brethren into the fold to face the HEAT on national television on Thursday night?
Yes! The answer is a simple yes.
Great preview by our very own mother ship - SB Nation Arizona, and one of our favorite writers.
Still short on players, the Phoenix Suns head to San Antonio to play the Spurs, who have won eight in a row and lead the league standings at 22-3. It's going to be a rough one.
Keep reading after the jump for my own insights and rah-rah... (and maybe some press conference links too...)
U. G. L. Y. You ain't got no alibi! You ugly!
Well, maybe only Manu and Big Red fit that description, though you could make a case for Blair and Splitter in that discussion too.
But still, the Spurs are the Spurs. And they will be looking for a bit of retribution for the demoralizing hammer we hit 'em with in April.
But you know what? The Suns don't give a crap about retribution. They need a win. They need to prove to themselves that those incoming players from Orlando are not the end-all-to-beat-all, that the guys already on the road trip can GET IT DONE!
We got some playas that go by the names of Nash, Hill, Frye, Duds, Chill, Dragon, Hakim and RoLo. They're ready to lay the wood to the streaking Spurs in their building.
Expect the Spurs fans to be stoked for this one, looking for their team to get some payback on the Suns after last year's playoff run.
But if the Suns keep the game close through the third, you KNOW they're going quaking in their boots. Will the Dragon unleash himself on their butts, making everyone look like pedestrians by comparison? Or will Nash beat them with 10 points and 4 assists with one eye closed? Or, someone else step up?
These are questions that only 3-4 hours can answer.
But I can predict this: if the Spurs win, they will have won it in the first half with a big run the Suns couldn't muster the energy to overcome. If the Suns are close in the fourth, game goes to the Suns. There. I said it.