The 6'7" DeJuan Blair was able to exploit the Suns' weak interior defense to his advantage. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

In a movie we've all seen before, the Phoenix Suns lacked the firepower necessary to climb back from a first half 14-point deficit to the San Antonio Spurs. Making the game just barely close enough to keep the fans watching and anticipating throughout, the Suns managed to claw back from a first half deficit to 5 points, with 5 minutes left in the game, when everything fell apart again.

A "rested" Steve Nash carried the Suns on his back for most of the game, logging 35 minutes, 20 points and 10 assists, most of which went to Marcin Gortat, the other bright spot tonight for the Suns. In keeping with his NBA-leading field goal percentage, Marcin went 11-20 for 24 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Markieff Morris had another great game for a rookie, going 6-10 from the field for 14 points, and Jared Dudley added to the fun by finally making a three, going 2-2 from behind the arc and notching 12 points.

How did the Suns lose, then? Well, everyone else was pretty bad.

The Spurs capitalized early on the Suns' absolutely atrocious defensive rotations, getting the ball to DeJuan Blair and Tim Duncan early and often. Duncan was able to notch a season-high 24 points and matched his season high with 11 boards, while Tony Parker sliced up the Suns' "matador-style" defense as per usual with 17/9.

How about those other Suns?

0-7 Channing Frye

2-5 Grant Hill

0-4 Michael Redd

0-2 Hakim Warrick

0-3 Robin Lopez

5-10 Shannon Brown (I begrudgingly give him a full 5 makes, though. Some of those shots were hideous chunks in the general direction of the basket)

The Roll Call is after the jump.

All of the Suns were a - in the +/- column.

This was a win that the Suns needed badly in order to come out of this road trip with a win or two. Steve Nash looked absolutely tired and broken at the end of this game. I wouldn't blame him if he was tired of getting everyone open shots only for them to miss every time.

Ronnie Price was another bright spot tonight, I should mention. He ran the bench unit very well and ended up with only one turnover to go along with 7 assists in a game where assists were very hard to come by. He played his heart out and I have to give him credit for that.

This is a team that we all know needs TIME to gel and to work well together. There are a lot of new faces. Things like this take time. The problem is, time is one thing that is running out. With this condensed season and without training camp there isn't an opportunity to make sure your rotation and defensive schemes work before you have to go on a five-game road trip against the Bulls, Celtics, Knicks, et al.

Forgive my negativity but I know that this team still can make it work. It just takes more time.

Game Thread Roll Call: PHXgp, East Bay Ray, Airwave, Sun God, Aztiramtempe, Toon Army Sun, SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist, Lino Canaan, rsavaj, Spit_Fire, suns68, Fritzy, sonicking, sacardsfan, phxpurple, Juac, atkammoh, AcucracK, SUNS PORTUGAL, shawndy, 36_Chambers, ArizonaCactus, jc79, Dragic_is_Magic, CKH, good like a-1 beer, rzyn, MMotherwell, steve13nash, raxado, KD1, ilintar, TheAlexSkinner, ClipperBEAST, 7footer, silverandblack_davis, lixuec, RogerM, Migonads, Skii, iceythril, 2NASHTY, jog, noonoo, Jim Coughenour, Colton Dodson, Turambar, u_must_chill, Will Slaven, the new Bradfather, blanke, Berecki, paulimer, SuperSteve, keiththejourno, N8lol, WaveOcean, Suns R Us, sidepart, Pedro Ivo, sun-arc, Larfleeze, txzona
Total Users: 63
Total Posts: 1480
Total Threads: 2

Name # of Posts
Sun God 194
shawndy 170
Lino Canaan 134
PHXgp 95
lixuec 86
CKH 81
Airwave 66
MMotherwell 66
Aztiramtempe 43
AcucracK 40
East Bay Ray 33
SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist 32
ClipperBEAST 31
Spit_Fire 28
Juac 26
SUNS PORTUGAL 24
Jim Coughenour 24
rzyn 23
iceythril 23
ArizonaCactus 22
Dragic_is_Magic 21
Colton Dodson 19
noonoo 15
phxpurple 13
the new Bradfather 13
u_must_chill 12
ilintar 11
Suns R Us 10
Skii 9
Berecki 9
Turambar 9
Migonads 8
sacardsfan 8
suns68 7
WaveOcean 5
atkammoh 5
Fritzy 5
KD1 5
SuperSteve 4
steve13nash 4
raxado 4
Pedro Ivo 4
7footer 4
RogerM 3
keiththejourno 3
jc79 3
Toon Army Sun 3
2NASHTY 3
sonicking 3
jog 3
rsavaj 2
silverandblack_davis 1
sidepart 1
sun-arc 1
txzona 1
Larfleeze 1
36_Chambers 1
Will Slaven 1
good like a-1 beer 1
paulimer 1
TheAlexSkinner 1
N8lol 1
blanke 1

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Come on Suns! Let's get our mojo back in the second half.

Box out. Rebound. Drive. Those are some hints to help get you started Suns.

Click the Jump for the Roll Call...........

Roll Call: PHXgp, East Bay Ray, Airwave, Sun God, Aztiramtempe, Toon Army Sun, SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist, Lino Canaan, rsavaj, Spit_Fire, suns68, Fritzy, sonicking, sacardsfan, phxpurple, Juac, atkammoh, AcucracK, SUNS PORTUGAL, shawndy, 36_Chambers, ArizonaCactus, jc79, Dragic_is_Magic, CKH, good like a-1 beer, rzyn, MMotherwell, steve13nash, raxado, KD1, ilintar, TheAlexSkinner, ClipperBEAST, 7footer, silverandblack_davis, lixuec, RogerM, Migonads, Skii, iceythril, 2NASHTY, jog
Total Users: 43
Total Posts: 597
Total Threads: 1

Name # of Posts
Sun God 82
shawndy 77
Lino Canaan 46
PHXgp 46
CKH 32
East Bay Ray 31
MMotherwell 30
lixuec 25
Airwave 25
Aztiramtempe 22
AcucracK 19
SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist 16
Juac 13
ClipperBEAST 11
Dragic_is_Magic 11
Spit_Fire 9
rzyn 9
SUNS PORTUGAL 8
sacardsfan 8
phxpurple 7
Skii 6
KD1 5
ArizonaCactus 5
suns68 5
atkammoh 5
Fritzy 5
iceythril 4
ilintar 4
Toon Army Sun 3
RogerM 3
7footer 3
jc79 3
Migonads 3
raxado 3
rsavaj 2
2NASHTY 2
jog 2
steve13nash 2
TheAlexSkinner 1
36_Chambers 1
good like a-1 beer 1
sonicking 1
silverandblack_davis 1


Let's make the Alamo City cry.....cry I say!

But really let's get a win. And be good sports on the game thread.

G-G-G-ET your Flailin' Fingers Flexin' Fellas (and Ladies)! Roll call will be E-E-E-EPIC tonight.

EDIT: I have been informed that the Spurs' Malcolm Thomas is out with a stomach thing. We got this one in the bag.


San Antonio Spurs 102, Phoenix Suns 91 PHOENIX — Every team will face arduous stretches during this truncated season, but few will match what the Phoenix Suns will encounter the next week and a...

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Next Game

Phoenix Suns
@ San Antonio Spurs

Sunday, Jan 15, 2012, 7:00 PM MST
AT&T Center

WHEN: 7 PM MST

WHERE: SAN ANTONIO

WATCH: ESPN, FSSW

Complete Coverage >

Today, the Phoenix Suns kick off their five-game road trip in a trip to my home state to face the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio is off to a dominant 8-0 start at home, with an 8-4 record overall.

The Suns are reeling from a three-game losing streak capped by a Steve Nash- and Grant Hill-less loss to the New Jersey Nets on Friday. The past two losses have seen the Suns give up big numbers to opposing point guards Kyrie Irving and Deron Williams, a problem that could continue today against the Spurs' Tony Parker, the team's leading scorer at 17.8 ppg.

The Spurs are playing without star and team leader Manu Ginobili, who broke his shooting hand two weeks ago, while the Suns may be without Steve Nash and Grant Hill, who are both questionable with sore legs and Steve's chronic back pain.

After compiling the best record in the Western Conference and promptly losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Spurs are out to prove that their run as an elite NBA team isn't over yet. The Suns are struggling in a similar vein, trying to remain competitive while transitioning from being an elite team to a rebuilding one.

The Suns look to improve on their 1-3 record last season against the Spurs, and the Spurs are seeking to even the all-time wins between the teams at 72 apiece.

A look at the Spurs' stat lines:

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Manu Ginobili 5 23.0 5.8 9.8 59.2 2.8 5.4 51.9 3.0 3.2 93.8 0.4 3.4 3.8 3.0 1.6 1.2 0.4 1.4 17.4
Tony Parker 12 31.8 6.3 14.1 44.4 0.0 0.4 0.0 3.4 4.3 78.8 0.4 2.3 2.8 7.4 2.2 0.9 0.0 1.3 15.9
Richard Jefferson 12 30.8 4.4 9.3 47.7 3.0 5.7 52.9 0.8 1.2 64.3 0.4 2.6 3.0 1.4 0.9 0.6 0.4 2.2 12.6
Tim Duncan 12 25.9 4.9 11.0 44.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 3.0 66.7 1.2 5.4 6.6 2.9 2.0 0.7 1.1 1.6 11.8
DeJuan Blair 12 23.5 4.5 8.4 53.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 3.1 67.6 3.3 3.2 6.5 1.2 1.3 0.9 0.3 3.3 11.1
Gary Neal 7 21.4 4.3 9.7 44.1 1.1 3.4 33.3 0.4 0.9 50.0 0.1 2.6 2.7 1.6 1.4 0.4 0.0 1.4 10.1
Kawhi Leonard 12 23.1 3.5 6.9 50.6 0.3 1.1 23.1 0.7 1.4 47.1 1.8 3.3 5.1 0.8 0.6 1.3 0.3 1.0 7.9
Tiago Splitter 12 21.0 2.8 5.1 55.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.7 2.4 69.0 1.1 3.7 4.8 1.0 1.7 0.4 1.3 2.4 7.3
Danny Green 12 15.9 2.6 5.6 46.3 1.1 2.3 48.1 1.1 1.4 76.5 0.9 2.5 3.4 1.4 0.8 0.7 0.9 1.0 7.3
James Anderson 12 14.8 1.8 4.8 38.6 0.5 2.2 23.1 0.8 1.0 75.0 0.4 1.4 1.8 1.0 1.0 0.2 0.0 0.9 4.9
Matt Bonner 12 16.7 1.8 4.3 40.4 1.2 3.1 37.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 2.3 2.7 0.7 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.8 4.7
T.J. Ford 10 15.5 1.5 3.5 42.9 0.2 0.7 28.6 1.0 1.2 83.3 0.3 1.1 1.4 3.8 1.8 0.6 0.2 1.8 4.2
Cory Joseph 5 4.6 0.4 1.6 25.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.8
Malcolm Thomas 1 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Game Notes:

Tim Duncan vs Channing Frye: "Timmeh" is averaging career lows of 11.1 points and 6.6 rebounds at age 35. His game as a forward is opposite that of Channing's, and it'll be interesting to see whether Channing remains on Duncan or whether Gentry decides to put Frye on Dejuan Blair and Marcin Gortat on Tim Duncan. Either way, the Duncan/Blair duo makes for matchup problems for the Suns.

Tiago Splitter vs. Markieff Morris: my grandmother will no doubt be sitting in her San Antonio home cheering on Tiago Splitter, her favorite young Spur. Spurs fans love this Brazilian guy and he just scored a season-high 14 points Friday. Markieff Morris can handle him, though. 'Kieff has been a great early surprise this year and a bright spot for Suns fans.

If there's any game for Robin Lopez to 'get his' it's this one. He'll likely match up with Matt Bonner, who he should be able to handle in the post. Lopez, despite solid per-48 numbers, has been unable to get the minutes that he perhaps deserves behind the Suns' best scorer, Marcin Gortat.

Jared Dudley and Channing Frye are crucial elements to Suns' success. Can they find their game and help save this season?

Upcoming Road Trip

The Suns' recent struggles have caused over-reaction by many fans, including myself, who are calling the season a loss already and are hoping for a high draft pick next year. The season is still young, however, and the Suns still have a chance to right the ship. Let's start that tonight and with this road trip.

Road Trip Schedule:

Today: at San Antonio Spurs

Tues: at Chicago Bulls

Wed: at New York Knicks

Fri: at Boston Celtics

Mon: at Dallas Mavericks

yikes. Let's get a win today!


GAME DAY LINKS

Phoenix Suns prepare for daunting road trip (AZ Central)

Phoenix Suns in need of transition 3-pointers (Coro/Tuscon Citizen)

Pounding the Rock Game Preview

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