Mike Conley is really good at stealing because he's allowed to two-hand check the ball-handler.  Cool.

The preview read "It's the Final Countdown" - and indeed after tonight's loss and considering our very difficult schedule to finish out the season the light at the end of the "No Playoffs" tunnel begins to dim rapidly. The Memphis Grizzlies walloped the Suns to the tune of 104 - 93 and avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Suns.

Coming into this game I had two questions. 1) Can Jared Dudley guard Rudy Gay? Tonight we learned the answer is a resounding NO. My other question was whether or not Robin Lopez could quell the rumbling Zach Randolph of the bench and he coupled with Rookie Markieff Morris did a decent job on Z-Bo.

Unfortunately Marcin Gortat and Channing Frye could not get the job done tonight defensively. It wasn't just Zach Randolph, but Dante Cunningham and even the guards like Quincy Pondexter that repeatedly fought for offensive rebounds or shook their man to become available for a wide open looks under the rim. An extremely disappointing night for our starting bigs. Let's discuss a little more after the jump.

Tonight was an extremely frustrating night for the Suns starters - yet an impressive night once again for Sebastian Telfair, Robin Lopez, Markieff Morris and Josh Childress who was given a great opportunity to earn PT due to the struggles of Jared Dudley defensively on Rudy Gay.

The Grizzles jumped out to a huge lead (11) at the end of the 3rd quarter but Sebastian Telfair and his Bench Mob closed the gap and propelled the Suns to be tied at one point (81-81) - but then it was decision-time for Alvin Gentry.

Should he have taken Telfair out? What would you have done?

We know now in hindsight that taking Telfair out might have been the worst decision possible as the offensive and defensive energy for the Suns dropped immensely and the Grizzlies blasted a 13-4 run to end the game after Gentry replaced the core Bench Mob with 3 starters.

Let's review the Euty-Keys to the game:

Turnovers? 13. Not terrible... but many of those turnovers came at the worst possible time in the game stunting the growing momentum of our offense and affecting our defensive concentration. Steve Nash made a few passes in this game that sincerely had me cocking an eyebrow - he demonstrated visible frustration with the Gortat pick-and-roll and even picked up a technical. (1 of 3 GROSSLY UNDESERVED techs.) Not good signs at this point.

How'd our BiGS do? Terrible. Already discussed.

Continued Bench Mob? Check still hot, in fact I remember this that a Chinese Philosopher once said,

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be TELFAIR and generous.
-Lao Tzu...kind of

This game was a must-win and we failed. In the end this game was very winnable and the starters didn't seize the moment or match the energy of the bench's effort.

We'll take a look at what this will do for our Playoff hopes tomorrow - but Captain Obvious can tell you right now, "it aint nothing good."

Time to look forward to Houston and just continue to try and take care of our own business.

Roll Call
Total Users: 58
Total Posts: 1088
Total Threads: 2

Name # of Posts
Omaha Sun 93
waxmonkey 68
phxpurple 65
djturbolence 64
brian13 51
NashMV3 49
wedge1039 47
shawndy 38
MMotherwell 36
the new Bradfather 34
nashran3 34
haremoor 32
PHXSunsRunNGun 30
Scott Howard 30
JoeWisco 29
KnowGood 29
Piotr Szczesniak 27
Antwuan 25
Juac 23
Colton Dodson 21
flagsuns 20
AZBengal18 20
noonoo 18
Aztiramtempe 16
Genesius 16
The Rising Phoenix 13
WaveOcean 12
raxado 12
Ceek 12
cgcardzfan 11
Suns R Us 10
atkammoh 10
East Bay Ray 8
SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist 7
Eutychus 6
grego85 6
WilliAG 5
ilintar 5
SS21 4
suns68 4
nashtyish 4
Toon Army Sun 3
AcucracK 3
ThatOtherCanadianKid 3
sports_dude33 2
sreekar13 2
Chafid Ahmad 2
ryansunsfan 2
modernage13 2
Catamaran1 2
Fritzy 1
Ohforf 1
SunKing 1
Suns2flyy 1
ArizonaCactus 1
Mint 1

These came up when I typed in Suns... obviously.

Some Defense would be nice...

Party Time

My friends - our battle is upon us. Prepare for war.

RT @ddockett: @JaredDudley619 I need yall to make the playoffs so I can come to the game! Let's go,! ( Let's get it !!)

— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) April 11, 2012

The #Suns face another hot team trying to climb the West standings in Memphis. Game-day Orange Slices: bit.ly/HBaNuu

— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) April 11, 2012

Next Game

Phoenix Suns
@ Memphis Grizzlies

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012, 5:00 PM MST
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Shannon Brown...Channeling His Inner Kobe!

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Memphis Grizzlies 104, Phoenix Suns 93 The Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies just might be two of the most improved teams since the All-Star break, and they’ll meet tonight in attempts to...

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Tonight, with only nine games left to play in the irregular season, the Phoenix Suns take their road party to Memphis to face the Grizzlies for the final time. The first two matches were in Phoenix and closely contested - but in the end it was Phoenix that pulled out the victories.

Here is the scenario - the Memphis Grizzlies currently sit in 5th place in the Western Conference Playoff scheme and are looking to chase down the Los Angeles Clippers who they trail by only a 0.5 game for a coveted home-court advantage. They should be playing with a lot of determination tonight for that reason alone - but add to it the fact that they are 0-2 against the Suns and would make a bet that the Grizzlies will come out with some serious intensity tonight.

The Suns on the other hand - in theory - should be playing with more urgency given their current place in the playoff hunt, just one game out a spot altogether. Also of note is the reality that these are two of the hottest teams in the league right now since the All-Atar break and both are peaking at just the right time for a strong end-of-season/playoff push. This will be a difficult road game to win. This is the final countdown - nine games left on the schedule and the remaining games are no walk in the park (@Houston, @Spurs, Portland, OKC, LA. Clippers, Denver, @Utah and again against San Antonio to end the season). I believe the Suns can extend their current winning streak to three and they are going to have to win this game if they want to continue to fight for a playoff spot ... but there are a few things that concern me - more after the jump.


To get things started let's all chug some illegal Russian energy drinks and take a look into the past before we peer into the future. What happened in those first two meetings at U.S. Airways Center?

Memphis Grizzlies 84 - Phoenix Suns 86

Sat, Jan 28, 2012

And now a look at my own game recap -

Phoenix Suns Delete the Grizzlies and Find a Rare Home Win 86-84 - Bright Side Of The Sun

Nash, Dudley, Hill, Frye and Gortat got the starting nod as Alvin Gentry went back to the original starting 5 that began the season. All but one of these starters came out with fire in their eyes and we'll talk about Channing Frye in a second. But it was another double-double for Marcin Gortat (though he shot poorly from the field going 6-17, 35%), a season high 20 points for Jared Dudley, a 21 and 6 night for Steve Nash and Grant Hill was the BAMF we have yearning to see with his legs back and kept Rudy Gay in check as he only poured in 18 (7-15) which is well short of his usual 25 points he lights up against the Suns on average. With the scoring of Zach Randolph missing that was just enough to give the Suns a victory.

Two elements in this game we won't see tonight? 1) Grant Hill in, 2) Z-Bo out. We will get back to that later. It's crazy to remember all the lineup shifting Gentry did at the start of the season - also for kicks and giggles check the comments section and remember what you felt like when the suns were just 7-12.

Next game = another Suns victory. Check it.

Memphis Grizzlies 91 - Phoenix Suns 98

Sat, Mar 10, 2012

And a look at the rage-post thrown up the next day at Straight Outta Vancouver ... Tee hee hee.

Grizzlies vs. Suns Video Highlights: Grizzlies Fall In the Inevitable Let-Down Game - Straight Outta Vancouver

We almost saw this coming. For some time now, it only seemed like a matter of time before we would fall in what we like to call a "let-down" game. And last night against the Suns, in a 98-91 loss, we saw our 5-game win streak snapped at the hands of a Suns team who is starting to make a nice surge of their own. Don't get me wrong, we're still a better team than the Suns, but last night we ran into a hot-hand in Jared Dudley and failed miserably off the glass. There's no reason to be giving up 17 offensive rebounds. None.

I won't deny that the Grizzlies are a better team ... or will I? My brain tells me that Memphis has a better roster with better talent and sport a better record - but my brain is also telling me not to count the Suns out because we have seen what kind of run a Steve Nash / Grant Hill-lead team can make in the playoffs when they are counted out ... so I just listen to my heart and eat pizza.

But once again in that win there were two elements of note. 1) Grant Hill in, and 2) Z-Bo out. Again we'll mention that later because it might be important tonight.

Let's take a look at tonight's match-ups.


Steve Nash Mike Conley
Shannon Brown Quincy Pondexter
Jared Dudley Rudy Gay
Channing Frye Marreese Speights
Marcin Gortat Marc Gasol

Key Memphis Subs: OJ Mayo, Zach Randolph, Gilbert Arenas, and Dante Cunningham (remember that one Time Amare facialized ... ah the memories) - Tony Allen is questionable for the game.

So this is what scares me - no Grant Hill in the line-up to check Rudy Gay, and Zach Randolph coming off the bench for the Grizz. That is where I question - can Jared Dudley stay in front of Gay? Is Robin Lopez playing at a high-enough level that he can hold his own against the mulit-threats of Z-Bo?

These questions are what make me a little anxious for this game tonight. Here are my keys otherwis:


Limit Turnovers - we did great against the Lakers (only 3 turnovers all game) ... and then turned it over 9 times in the first quarter against the T-Wolves. Memphis is very good defensively and thievery is a definite strong-point for these guys. MUST. PROTECT. THE. BALL.

I like my BEASTS Down LOW, down low, down low ... - Our 4s and 5s are going to need to be on point. Like I mentioned already, Z-Bo off the bench? Marc Gasol is a load, very skilled and strong, Speights is a workhorse and they might even bring Haddadi in to bang a bit. It is going to be on Channing, Marcin, Robin and Markieff to stop these guys and play sound defense in the paint. No more of this stupid quick-foul-trouble habit Gortat has developed.

* Note: I also expect Hakim Warrick to play a few minutes, maybe 8-14 given the track-record of Gentry to always let Hak get some burn against his former team. Players morph into mutant players when they play their old teams and A.G. knows that.

Continued Bench Mob - Our bench has been great, and they are the reason we have been playing so well as of late, so logic would only suggest that we need the bench to continue to ball-out if we want to extend this winning streak and better our chances at a PO spot. Paul Coro wrote a nice little piece about the bench last night, have a look for yourself.

'Organized chaos' paces Phoenix Suns' bench crew
When the all-reserve crew of Sebastian Telfair, Michael Redd, Josh Childress, Markieff Morris and Robin Lopez have played together, the Suns have outscored teams by 26 in those 96 minutes. It does not match the rate that the original starting five has outscored teams, but these subs play at a faster pace by 4.6 possessions per 48 minutes.

That is it for me - I'll see you in the game thread, ROLL CALL in full effect so bring your A-game.

Peep the comp - good preview over at the Grizzly-den.

Straight Outta Vancouver

Suns vs Grizzlies coverage


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