More photos » Jonathan Ferrey - Getty Images
PORTLAND OR - OCTOBER 26: Andre Miller #24 of the Portland Trail Blazers is defended by the Phoeinx Suns on October 26 2010 at the Rose Garden in Portland Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Well, Portland finished the game on a 18-1 run.
Nash tried to do too much. We won't know whether that was necessary until later in the season, but it was obvious to all of us on the game thread that he tried too hard and was gassed. Tunnel vision. Ignoring the other players. He has to know this in the future: you have to win with a team, not a single player.
Ok, off Steve's nuts now.
And onto the rebounding. Were the Suns actually trying to rebound the ball? Or were they trying to live up to their reputation/billing as a terrible rebounding team?
Listen, through the years the Suns have been competitive with one big and four smaller players. Last playoffs, the Suns outrebounded this same Blazers team with Amare as the only productive big. This time it's Robin.
So what happened to everyone else? Turkoglu didn't get enough boards. Neither did J-Rich. Neither did Grant Hill. Neither did Childress (though he has a good reason with a broken finger). Neither did Dragic, or Lopez or anyone else on the damn floor. Not one guy exceeded expectations in this area.
That's not gonna get it done.
Having said that though, the Suns had a 90-88 lead at about the midpoint of the 4th quarter. They played very well, with energy and aggressiveness. They worked hard and scrapped, just like I thought they would have to. And they made the shots they needed to make.
This team will be competitive this season. I feel better now about my 50-win, 6-seed prediction than I did when I made it.
Portland just made a lot more of them. And the Blazers just might be a pretty good team (they did win 50 games last season). Nate McMillan had a nice game plan to win on the boards and with their superior length. They got it done, and really played better than in any game in the playoffs last season, in my opinion. They resemble Utah, with burly guards who get after it on offense and defense. Then you put Aldridge and Camby in the middle (and soon to be Oden and Przybilla) and that's a darn good team.
Don't hang your heads, Suns fans. Look forward to a fun season.
The Suns couldn't rebound or take care of the ball (or stop / make clutch shots) but you guys brung it!
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Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images
J-Rich with the monster jam! (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Let's rock and roll, and hope Chilly does more damage to Portland than his index finger.
Expect the Rip City crowd to be loud and emotions to be high. Hopefully, the Suns will respond to Portland's initial fight and stand toe-to-toe. Sure the team is a work in progress, but you can fight hard while working!
Stand and be counted, Suns!
Rise, Phoenix! Soar across the court and breathe fear into the hearts and minds of the infidels!
Every second, every possession!
And when its over, let the opponent shake their heads in wonder at how they lost (again) to a less talented, less vaunted Suns team that just won't go away.
We are all witnesses to the first day of the 7th year of the Modern Nashian Age!
SB Nation AZ Game Preview - Seth's great preview of tonight's game
Bright Side Game Preview - A preview where the comment thread is much better than the article
Blazersedge - where I'm sure they're all saying wonderfully sweet things about us in the comments thread