More photos » Alonzo Adams - AP
7 days ago: Phoenix Suns' Josh Childress, right, goes up for a shot against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Nick Collison during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
If tonight was any indication of the Phoenix Suns mindset after the deal with Orlando, perhaps we can all put our white flags away.
In the first half the Suns looked sharp moving the ball while shooting 55% and extending their lead to 11 points. The Thunder shot 1-11 from beyond the arc, and 27%. But in the second half the Thunder went on a 12-3 run with Russell Westbrook scoring 9 of his squad's 40 3rd quarter points, alleviating the Suns lead.
In the 4th, Grant Hill scored 10 and Josh Childress locked down Kevin Durant (as much as anyone can) and the Suns battled amid an awakened Thunder squad. A solid Suns defense created 6 Thunder turnovers, Josh Childress had a huge steal of Durant, and the Suns survived a last second half court Jeff Green miss that hit the front of the iron.
Master of the Obvious Thought and Analysis:
The Suns had every reason to lose this game. But they nutted up and didn't back down from the Thunder. Grant Hill is simply amazing. He said he was pissed about his performance in the Dallas game so he went off. From inside and outide.
Robin Lopez looks very good. Of course he wasn't battling a top tier center tonight, but he's active, aggressive and seemingly injury free. He worked well with Nash tonight on the two man game and only missed one shot.
The Thunder shot 16 more free throws than the Suns. Some of the calls by the oficials were atrocious, and Kevin Durant was the beneficiary of many of the calls. Still the Suns didn't piss and moan about it, they played hard and loose, like they had nothing to lose. If one thing remained from last year's team, it's heart. There are nights our boys don't look in it, but they are few. Tonight is why you love your Suns, why your tears are purple, and why you put up with front office shenanigans. The Suns usually bring in guys that want to play, that don't need effort coached into them. And perhaps Nash is a huge part of the Suns attitude. You aren't going to quit when Steve Nash runs your squad.
Steve Dykes - AP
The era of Vince will begin Monday. For better or worse (AP Photo/Steve Dykes, File)
This game will most likely be uninteresting. The Suns will not get thei Orlando booty on Monday most likely. Thus, the Suns will be short handed against a tough OKC team. Jared Dudley will be starting at the 2 in place of Jrich or Vince Carter, depending on your point of view.
It will be interesting to see what the Suns show in the way of effort tonight. It appears Nash will be playing and Gani Lawal is active. I would expect to see Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick playing extended minutes, which could be fun to watch. Seeing Earl Barron though doesn't sounds fun to watch, and we'll probably have to endure watching him.
Nevertheles, I never count the Suns out, and it's possible to win this game. Not very, but with Nash playing there's always a chance, right?