Steve Nash gets into the NOLA spirit with a little air trumpet.

Regarding Arizona's complete dismantling of Duke last night: FLAWLESS VICTORY... FATALITY.

As for our Phoenix Suns, does anything more aptly describe their final 12 games than Mortal Kombat?  Literally, the Suns are fighting for their playoff lives. The "only" thing separating them from a trip to the postseason is a dozen games, including 8 against playoff bound teams and a brutal 8-day 5-game road trip that features games against the team with the best record in each conference.  Metaphorically speaking, they're trying to run the table on one quarter while playing with Johnny Cage (was he any good in the game? Because he's [spoiler alert] totally not in this awesome fake NSFW trailer for a MK movie.).  

After bouncing back from the triple OT monster against the Los Angeles Lakers with a nice victory over the Toronto Raptors a couple nights ago, there's little in the way of excuses for not going balls-out over the course of their do-or-die dozen.

The New Orleans Hornets currently sit at the 7 spot in the Western Conference and are 4 games ahead of the Suns in the conference standings.  This game looms huge for the Suns' playoff chances and the odds might actually be stacked in their favor for a change. The Hornets are coming off an overtime game versus the Jazz last night, which came at the high price of a potentially serious knee injury to forward David West who led the Hornets with 29 points in the game.

From At The Hive:

At the time of this writing, there's no additional news on the extent of David West's injury. An MRI is pending. It's being widely assumed around the web that he's done for the season, and with only 10 games left to play in the regular season, that seems likely. It's going to be tough for the Hornets to hang on to a playoff seed without West, but it could happen.

For Hornets fans, this is terrible news and I wish Mr. West a speedy recovery.  For Suns fans, this is blood in the water and we expect our team to feast.  Jump with me into the meaty center of our preview.

Point Guard-a-palooza: Chris Paul versus Steve Nash is always a good time.  The over/under on combined assists should be in the neighborhood of 30 or so. There's really not much in the way of slowing down either of these guys, so I expect them both to have stellar games with Paul picking up some of the scoring slack brought on by West's absence.  

Fun fact: Steve Nash has 8 20 point, 15 assist games on the season. The rest of the NBA has 7 combined. That means he's pretty good at scoring and passing. Better than a lot of people in fact.

2 Much Vince: At shooting guard, Suns' fan favorite Vince Carter will square off against Marco Belinelli.  Marco turns 25 today. Scott Howard has offered up VC as a human birthday candle. I think an "on fire" Vince Carter - in any sense - would be a welcome sight. Vince could have his hands full with the birthday boy though. Despite a 10.4 point per game average, the young Italian shoots 41.5% from behind the arc and recently poured in 23 points against the Boston Celtics.

Losers' Bracket: With both of their alma maters out of the NCAA tourney, I expect both Grant Hill (Duke) and Trevor Ariza (UCLA) to look to take their frustrations out on each other. For all his athleticism, Ariza's decision-making is um... well, let's just say he didn't go to Duke. Look for BAMF to get his BAMF on.

Freaky Frye-day: Channing Frye sat out the Suns' last game (a 100-95 road loss) versus New Orleans with his shoulder injury. You may remember this gem from Wil Cantrell's recap regarding his replacement:

Hakim Warrick:  17 minutes, 0-4, 0 points, 1 rebound, -8. Way to rise to the occasion, Hak. To think I once called you WarMachine this season.

This time, the Suns have the healthy starter and the Hornets are missing a key offensive piece (See? It's like they switched places like in those movies with Kirk Cameron and Dudley Moore and Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster and Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan! And it's a pun! That's a comedy two-fer right there.) at power forward.

Let's hope we see Laker Channing (32 points, 14 rebounds, massive alloy spheres betwixt his legs) instead of Raptor Channing (14 points, 7 boards, 4-11 shooting).

OHAITHEREEMEKAOKAFOR: So, last time out against the Suns, Emeka Okafor owned the Suns' big men to the tune of 16 points and 11 rebounds (against a combined 11 and 9 from Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez). Since then, he's also added ridiculous 20 foot buzzer beaters to his repertoire.

Lopez and Gortat need to spend their pre-game yelling in each other's faces (you'd pay to see this, yes?) and setting Vince Carter on fire breaking glass doors other adrenaline-pumping things to get properly amped. They've got their work cut out for them.

Deepest, Purplest, Our Bench Is Like a Shark's Fin: And in the end, this is why Phoenix should win. They are much deeper than the Hornets, especially with the loss of West.

Aaron Brooks, Jared Dudley et al, need to stay hungry and be prepared to finish off what the starters... start.  Brooks was big-time versus the Raptors and Dudley was practically the only Sun who showed up against the Hornets in their previous match-up. T

here's blood in the water, fellas... time to make like some underwater locusts and swarm.

TL;DR: A fresher, hungrier, deeper team ought to prevail.

Swing by At The Hive for the NOLA take on things. And perhaps check back here for some gameday updates (and pretty please someone... pics of Grant Hill in Arizona Wildcat gear.).

Bear down, y'all, and let fly with your best video game/crappy shark movie/crappy identity switch movie metaphors for the Suns remaining 12 games in the comments.



 

 



Because the Suns aren't on and you people don't have a life...happy threading and good luck Kemba and Jimmer. We love you.....(really, we just love your names).

Here's all you need to know about Duke vs. Arizona.

And here's about 10 times more than you need to know about the Diamondbacks who are right now losing to the A's 15-5. They are about to be 10-21 for the spring.

If there's anything else you want to know, just go to www.sbnation.com (or Facebook, because they rule the world).


Shook Ankles: Nashty Strikes Again

A friend of the site Michael Pina has started a blog called 'Shaky Ankles' which featured Steve Nash crossing over Chris Paul today.

It's worth a look for the memory and the reminder of how fortunate we are to watch this prodigy play night in and night out!


PHOENIX — In Mathletics, former Mavericks stats guru Wayne Winston found that playing on the second game of a back-to-back makes an NBA team play two points worse than average. If only Winston...

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

Very nice win for the very tired Suns who gave it their all in the triple overtime game in LA the night before.

Here's video from Nash, Gentry, Brooks and Frye. 

Also, don't miss this story about how Channing Frye become Mr. Clutch.

Channing Frye's Journey To 'Clutchville' - SB Nation Arizona
Channing credits a new mental approach this season to his ability to make these big shots. He's a guy who Suns coach Alvin Gentry described as highly competitive but also very sensitive. For Channing that often manifested itself as an inability to relax and handle the pressure.

 

 

 


 

Game Notes

1st Qtr

  • Not a pretty start
  • Brooks in at 5 min mark. Robin stays in the game instead of Marcin coming in
  • James Johnson when coast to coast on the Suns...ugh
  • Brooks is being aggressive...0-3
  • Gortat in now. Gentry's seen enough
  • Vince for three!!! 1st quarter All-Star!!!!!
  • There you go, AB. Score the ball
  • 5 for LB, 7 for AB
  • 32-26, Raptors

2nd Qtr

  • MP somehow hurt himself and was out of the play. Gentry was screaming for Brooks or someone to foul to stop the play. No one did. Raptors got a wide open 5 on 4 dunk. MP hobbled straight back to the locker room. No idea what happened to him.
  • Raptors in a zone to slow Brooks...I guess
  • LB looks like he's in one of those zones where his mid-range shot is falling. He's impossible to stop when he's shooting like that
  • Raptors have Calderon and LB on the floor and the Suns don't try to post either of them up with Dudley...who was once considered a power forward
  • He might not be able to dunk, but that up and under reverse was sweet
  • Suns hanging in w/ no Nash and no Hill in the 2nd quarter
  • I wonder if players can tell the difference between the fake "defense" (recorded) chants versus the real thing?
  • 3rd foul on Channing. Gentry's not happy but it looked like he reached in on Bargnani's shot and got his arm
  • Dudley got his 7th dunk of a curl...completely uncontested, one-hander
  • 61-55, Raptors
  • Good work by the bench. Hill questionable (flu) and Pietrus out (knee). Nash only played 6 minutes. Brooks 11 points and 7 assists

3rd Qtr

  • DeRozan is turning into a very nice player with a mix of skills beyond just dunking
  • God, Robin looks slow. Come on, big guy. You can do it!
  • 79-69, Raptors
  • Siler singing again on the jumbotron!!!
  • Brooks and Nash playing together for the first time
  • Good show from AB, ties game at the buzzer...hitting those insane angle shots from near (under) the rim
  • 86-86

4th Qtr

  • 6-0 run by Raptors to start 4th. Gentry goes to the zone
  • Nice attack by Zabian! Z running the point w/ AB on the floor
  • Frye!! That's two threes for him in the quarter. Suns up 93-92
  • Crowd getting pumped now...I kind of am too
  • Gentry screaming instructions when the Suns are on offense...these guys have never played together so no one knows where to go
  • Bayless and Frye scuffle! If there an altercation that Frye isn't involved in? Bayless gets the Flagrant 1. Offsetting T's for the jawing. Nothing happened.
  • Nash back in for Z. AB still on the floor giving the Suns back court zero defensive ability....so of course they go zone. Raptors however, have got their zone offense working and are killing the Suns on the baseline for dunks
  • 101-97, Rapors. Two Nash turnovers lead to four transition buckets for Toronto
  • Time out, Gentry
  • Nash three...wide open
  • Bargnani with Brooks on him in the zone just stops and calmly fires over him. Missed it though
  • 100-103, 3 min. Raptors can't hit these big shots
  • Nash sets up Gortat...again. 102-103
  • Now the defense chants are real, and Gorat gets the block on Bargnani
  • Three from Dudley off the Brooks dish!!!
  • 105-103
  • This is fun!
  • Nash sets up Gortat...again. 107-105
  • Another block for Gortat! Wow
  • Holy Cow! Brooks three off the Gortat dish!!! 110-105, Suns. 44 sec
  • Suns ball on video review
  • Great win


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