The Phoenix Suns had no legs tonight, unable to keep up with the Rockets on either end of the floor. The Rockets stayed true to their M.O., grabbing every rebound and loose ball they could reach. And with the Suns playing at 3/4 speed, that was a lot.
Frankly, this Suns team doesn't have the talent to compete unless Steve Nash is playing at his very best. Nash looked a tiny bit slow tonight, which basically means he looked only marginally faster than the rest of his teammates but a tick slower than the Rockets.
Should we be surprised at the outcome of this game? No. The Rockets are 10-3 at home, while the Suns are 4-8 on the road. The Rockets rebound very well on both ends, while the Suns don't rebound well at either end. Channing Frye once again looked like one of the worst PF in the league: soft on defense and anemic on offense, providing no support for the always-steady Marcin Gortat (another double-double 15 and 12, plus 3 blocks and 2 steals).
And did Goran Dragic even bother to smile at the camera and offer hello to his all-time biggest fan? No.*
The sad thing is that the Suns couldn't even force the Rockets to play really hard. Sure the Rockets played quick and smart, but the Suns never made them play HARD. Never made them work. Budinger had an easy 12 and 10 in 24 minutes. Kyle Lowry was hardly noticeable with his 5 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds in only 20 minutes of action. Betcha didn't think he was that close to a triple-double, did ya? No Rocket starter had to play more than 25 minutes tonight. Ugh.
*But at least he didn't kill the Suns. Dragic had 10 points (1 3-ptr), 3 assists and 1 rebound and 4 miscues in 19 minutes. Thanks buddy!
The Rockets are somehow 4th in rebounds per game, that ranking boosted mostly on offensive rebounds. As far as Suns killers are concerned (besides rebounding, that is), Rockets players Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry and Samuel Dalembert (and even Chase Budinger) always do well against the Suns, while Kevin Martin usually plays poorly.
Yet despite those Suns killers, the Suns have won the last 7 matchups when Steve Nash plays.
Speaking of Nash, the Suns' all-time assists leader, he sure moved well for having a major charlie-horse didn't he? Lets hope nothing swells up in these last couple days. Let's also hope Markieff Morris feels good about himself, having hooked up with his brother for the first time since training camp started, and plays like the savvy rookie we loved in the season's first two weeks.
But let's be honest. BSotS eyes are glued to one guy, and that guy isn't even in the starting lineup for either team. We're all just biding time till late in the first quarter when youknowwho steps onto the court, looking down at the floor while wiping his hands off on the back of his shorts as he walks to midcourt. We're all just waiting for that herky-jerky guy to run the Rockets' second-team offense, hit a couple of threes, commit a couple turnovers and make a couple good passes. We're just hoping the still-Slovenian and former Sun Goran Dragic doesn't make a ton of threes on us, like a lot of other former Suns have this season.
Goran, if you're reading this blog (and you might, since you're a fan of overlord Seth and all), please know that we love you and miss you. You've got nothing to prove tonight. There's no need to take a bunch of shots, no need to play superhero like you did against San Antonio in the playoffs a couple years ago. Just smile into the camera, mouth "Hi Jennifer!" and play your usual game. K? Thanks!