You stink! Well, you stink more!!

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You stink! Well, you stink more!!

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Alright - here are the facts.

  • The Suns win 88-71.  Against the best team in the Eastern Conference.  We all knew that would happen right?
  • The aging Celtics did play a physical game against Portland last night...
  • The championship contending Celtics are looking forward to a big and super-hyped game against the Lakers on Sunday...
  • The Suns had an amazing bonding experience yesterday that involved a circle of love
  • There is not one negative thing I have to say about any one single player that stepped on the floor for the Suns tonight.  Everyone came to play - effort and heart included.
  • Nash was Nash, Hill was Hill, Garnett was A DIRTY SCUMBAG was Garnett, and Marcin Gortat was a possessed beast (Career hight 19 points and 17 rebounds) that looked like he was the starting center for the Western Conference Allstar team.
  • I'm sick of talking about turning points, but I'm hopeful this win does something for the struggling Suns
  • The Suns are still a sub-.500 team
  • The Suns played actual Defense.
  • Kendrick Perkins is back - and still mad at the world.  Lighten up dude - you make millions of dollars and win championships - is life really that aggravating?

If you didn't get to see this game it was really an entertaining and physical game that sported two ejections (Coach Doc Rivers for arguing with an official and Garnett for stepping under Channing Frye and reaching out and intentionally popping Channing in the family jewels while he was in the air... watch it for yourself.


I didn't watch the ESPN feed - but judging from this commentary during the clip I'm glad I didn't.  Garnett stepped under Frye for the second time on that shot and punched him in 'the gonads" (as Amare would say).  That's a foul.  That's a tech.  That's an ejection for getting back in Channing's face with your raptor-looking mean mug.  What's that Garnett?  You've never actually been in a fight?  You just yell, cheap shot, put your foot in your mouth (or under jump shooters with intent to injure), and menacing glare at any and everything that moves?  Oh that's right - you're just a (*put your very descriptive adjective in the comment section folks!)  JUMP IT!

Alright - I'm going to do something a little different here.  I'm going to hand out a couple of awards for this game. 

MVP - Most Valuable Player

Marcin Gortat - He set a career high 19 points and ripped 17 rebounds.  Absolutely sick.  He also (along with Robin Lopez who had a really great game as well) played BIG.  When the best team in the East rolls in, and when that team has a seemingly bottomless pit of 600 pound 7 foot Centers to throw at you, Marcin and Robin stepped up to the challenge and dominated the game.  He dunked, he blocked, he stayed tall, he was a peacemaker, he hit a buzzer-beating 3 pointer - no doubt you earned this highly coveted Eutychus MVP.  Congrats bro, I'll tweet you later.

MVT - Most Valuable Tweeter

So instead of writing a sweet analysis of all the great things I saw tonight, I want to recognize all the tweets in twitterland that best described this game, made me laugh, made me #SMH ('shake my head' for you textilliterate) .  But the one who caught my attention with the most amazing, worthwhile tweets throughout the entire duration of the game was hands down Paul Coro.  Congrats homie.  #YouDaBomb

Enjoy these - and put your Twitter name (if you're cool and you're on Twitter and you want me to follow) in the comment section below, you never know when I'll throw you some respect.

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Oh wait - on that note I have one more award to hand out -

BOS - BASKETBALLS OF STEEL

Channing Frye wins the BASKETBALLS OF STEEL award.   Because just like Paul Coro says, if Frye doesn't get up and take some pride in being punked by Kevin Garnett, the play doesn't get reviewed, the Suns don't get the 6 freethrows (techs and fouls during the scuffle that followed the Garnett thwappie) that followed and the Celtics possibly continue to chip away at a Suns lead.  But instead the play was reviewed - Garnett was ejected, the Suns hit 4 of 6 from the line and went on to seal the deal and win the game.  In an interview after the game Channing said (something to this effect), "I'm not going to comment on that, I'm just sorry I was cussing and stuff - that's not me".  Now that's a classy guy, and guess what, is Channing Frye "soft" anymore?

Encouraging game - hope this can be influential and motivational for this group of talented guys.   It was very entertaining.  Look for some sweet Seth notes coming soon!

GO SUNS!

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[Note by Seth Pollack, 01/29/11 12:14 AM MST ]

Video: Channing Frye And Kevin Garnett Mix It Up After Cheap Shot From KG - SB Nation Arizona

 

"I heard that Suns are soft and everything like that. That's not going to happen this year. We're not soft. I'm going to make sure when we come out on the floor, we come out hard," Pietrus said 

Post game audio...

Game Notes

1st Qtr

  • There might be more Celtics fans in the building than Lakers fans when they come to town. Wow. I think it should help the overall crowd energy level and the Suns fans will be forced to make some noise to counter the green.
  • If Lakers fans have a distinctive look when they come in this building, I have to say the Celtics fans do as well. A much different look mind you but they do all tend to look similar.
  • Suns run the pick and roll with Robin and Nash right at Shaq. Shaq fouls Robin. Need to pound that over and over.
  • Nice job Robin, go after the big guy. 2nd foul on Shaq, just 2 min in.
  • Ray Allen is going to kill Vince Carter...if his shot is falling.
  • Shame that Robin's free throws and mid-range aren't going. Hopefully he settles in.
  • They are calling this game tight...can't decide who that helps. Ask me in about 2 hours.
  • Carter gets to the line! He tried to spin away from contact but they called Perkins anyway. See above.
  • Rondo pestering Nash, denying him the ball. That's a tough match up for Steve
  • 2nd foul on Perk. So far....
  • Frye fronting KG = KG lob dunk
  • Robin looks really gassed. Hope he gets his rest but then comes back in. He's played well.
  • Gortat scores over Davis. That's a good match up for him.
  • I lol at Dudley sprinting the floor like Hill and Nash ignoring him b/c he knows that Dudley isn't Hill.
  • Good aggressive move by Marcin on Erden and then he flops against Rondo on the other end.
  • MP in for Vince. Dudley, MP, Nash Frye and Gortat
  • Good aggressive, confident ball movement and shooting for Suns. Helps that the Celtics look tired.
  • Gortat hits a completely uncontested fadeway...You might ask why fadeaway if you are not being defended. It's a good question.
  • Dumb foul by Ray Allen on Gortat who was never going to be able to dunk that ball.
  • Warrick, Gortat, Dragic, MP and Dudley. Where's the offense coming from?
  • Up 27-14, it might not matter.
  • Gortat beats the buzzer with a three! There's your answer. 30-16. That's pretty good.

2nd Qtr

  • Warrick has been working on his jump shot...he needs to work more, but he did hit that one.
  • Why have Shaq in the game and not post him up on Gortat?
  • Well now...Gortat playing him with balls.
  • Suns miss a couple of shots but the pace is good. Keep running ‘em.
  • In this game, there's no such thing as a quick shot. Keep firing!
  • Starters plus Gortat in...still shooting quickly. 40-25. Gortat's playing great, but still want to see Robin get a chance to finish the half.
  • Doc Rivers tossed. Guess he wanted to get an early start on his nap. Javie don't play.
  • Robin back in! Gets a pick and roll dunk too.
  • 3rd foul on Rondo on that charge. Could have gone either way, but w/ the way the Celtics are chirping at the refs, they certainly aren't getting those 50/50 calls. Wordapp.
  • Ray Allen missed both free throws but C's got the rebound.
  • Offense got bogged down there a bit, but Nash hit a three off a Robin screen.
  • Gortat in for Frye...twin towers, aka the Gorpez Show.
  • 49-35. That's pretty good.

3rd Qtr

  • That was some pretty execution from the Celtics. Hill had to foul Shaq to prevent the dunk. Shaq's free throw shots look worse than they did a few years ago.
  • Not a great move there by Robin...gets his shot blocked by Shaq.
  • Crowd gets amped as Nash iso's Shaq after a switch.
  • 4th foul on Rondo. Not that he's having a good game or anything but still.
  • 4th foul on Frye. Warrick in. 54-38, Suns.
  • Allen hits a three...don't let THAT guy get hot.
  • No way Warrick can defend KG in the post. Going to have to bring help on that.
  • 10 point game now. 60-50. 12-6 run by Celtics sine Warrick came in for Frye.
  • Nice three from Vince. Early in the clock. Good shot, Vince. See we can love too.
  • There are very few players Dudley can actually stay in front of, Pierce isn't one of them.
  • Perkins is spent. Understandable.
  • Vince with the last 10 points for the Suns. This is what he needs to do. 70-54.
  • Pierce trying to give the Celtics something. 14 points of something so far but MP is answering.
  • 75-58

4th Qtr

  • Suns slowing the offense down now with a 75-58 lead in the fourth. Not taking those quick shots.
  • Not scoring either, but neither are the Celtics.
  • Wow, Grant. Still staggered from a blow to the head, he gets up and blocks Von Wafer in full flight.
  • Fist pump cam? Really? How about we just do the Michele Bachmann Don't Look At The Cam Cam
  • MP and KG jawing a bit at Pietrus blew him up with a forearm to the face on a screen. Flagrant One for MP. Seems like a fair call to me.
  • 78-62, Suns. 7:09
  • Uh oh. That fired up the Celtics. Allen hits a three and Gentry calls a time out.
  • 11 point game.
  • Yup...this one getting a bit scary. 78-69
  • Ok, so KG pops Frye in the man parts on that jump shot. Frye jumps up and steps into KG for words. Perkins comes in and shoves Gortat of course.
  • KG called for the foul and then tossed. Perkins and Nate Rob T'd up also. 6 free throws coming for the Suns. That should do it.
  • That did it.


24 more (AP Photo/Matt York)

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FINISH THEM!


COMPETE. 48 MINUTES.


20 - 24

12

Lost 3

38




Phoenix Suns 88, Boston Celtics 71 PHOENIX — Lately, the Phoenix Suns have not been taking care of business against teams that the should. They might try taking a cue from the Boston...

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Remember winning a game?  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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Remember winning a game? (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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Tonight the Boston Celtics pay a visit to the Valley of the Sun for a matchup against our beloved. At 35-10, the Celtics have some things on their minds that are much different than our Phoenix Suns, namely Championship Basketball. While the Suns were doing a much needed Kumbaya yesterday, the Celtics were most likely pondering which finger a potential NBA title ring goes on.

True, this is a game of two squads heading in different directions. True, these squads have one small similarity going into the game tonight: lineup and rotation uncertainty. For the Celtics, Shaquille O'Neal may play or may not play, depending on the condition of his hip. Paul Pierce left last night's game against Portland with a knee injury and is also questionable. For the Suns, Grant Hill is questionable as is the rest of the squad, with the exception of Steve Nash, who has double-doubled his way through January in all but a handful of games.

Here's a hint that the Suns could be changing things up yet again, even if Grant Hill can go tonight:

Alvin Gentry:

"I wanted to establish a constant starting five and then a rotation. At some stage, if it's not working out, obviously as the head coach it's my responsibility to maybe look elsewhere personnel wise and maybe make some changes in the lineup and our rotations. That's what you have to do when you're not getting done what you expect to get done..."

The starting five of Nash-Carter-Frye-Hill-Lopez and bench of Dudley-Dragic-Gortat-Warrick worked out for 5 games and then took a monstrous dump at the end of the East Coast trip and beyond. So who is left? Who will get a shot at rotation time and perhaps a crack at the starting lineup if Hill can't go tonight? Here are some amature ideas:

  • Josh Childress:   All man crushes aside, why not give Chill 5 games in the rotation with 20+ minutes? We know we will get effort, hustle, and the culmination of it all, the all important GRIT. Childress has calmly waited on the sidelines for his chance. Time to get him some consistent minutes and see what the Suns have.
  • Mikael Pietrus: AKA, the chukker, Pietrus can D it up and on occasion, catch fire from the outside. Again, time to see what the Suns have with this guy.
  • Jared Dudley: Personally I'd like to see Dudz starting next to Nash. Personally I don't care if Vince Carter plays another game for the Suns let alone in the NBA. Nothing personal, but what does Vince really have to play for? A legacy? He's not going to the Hall, and rumor has it he's retiring at season's end. Is there a small market for his "talents" to a contender down the stretch? Yes he can put up 20 on any given night, if he wants to. But sitting him or reducing his minutes doesn't exactly equate to losing out on getting rid of him for some kind of return. Further, the Suns are in experimentation territory (as they were from game 1 this season). Dudz has shown with larger minutes comes larger numbers. Give him 30+ and bring Vince in later, or um, like send him out to Mrs. Fields and see if there's time for a little basketball when he gets back. Who cares anymore?
  • Goran Dragic: Another option to start or play significant minutes alongside Nash in VC's absence. His aggressiveness has been encouraging the past couple times out. It's all confidence for Goran, and if he can find it and maintain it, then maybe you find a way to get this guy more consistent minutes whether running the point or off the ball. Like Dudz, more minutes usually equates to more production.
  • Garrett Siler:  No, no, no he doesn't deserve minutes. But maybe you send a message to Lopez: "Hey pal, 7 foot centers are supposed to rebound. Put the comic books down and start watching some old Wilt Chamberlin vids. Hell, watch some Brooke Lopez vids." And the ultimate insult would be to drop the Silo in to take some Lopez minutes. How the hell else does one motivate Lopez? Doubt anyone knows anymore.

Just some ideas, perhaps desperate, perhaps failures in the making. But if Sarver isn't just spinning the whole "we're a playoff team," which is a very good possibility in order to continue selling tickets  (and in my eyes a knock on Gentry), then there must be a combination that can produce some W's.

On To the Game

48 minutes of heart, grit, determination, freakin' pride. And most importantly offense and defense. Compete, man, compete. Maybe some of the Phoenix Suns players will consider that their fans have suffered through 10 home losses thus far this season, some more pathetic than others. Give them some enjoyment, return on their investment. Why not knock of an elite squad from the East? One night of enjoyment for your people. 

Other than that Suns can hope for absences of Pierce and O'Neal, and a  gassed Celtics squad that played last night. Oh and maybe the trust tree exercise from yesterday did something positive....

[Note by Seth Pollack, 01/28/11 2:40 PM MST ]

Marcin Gortat Respectfully Calls Kendrick Perkins A Little Dog - SB Nation Arizona
Grant Hill and Shaquille O'Neal Both Expected To Play

Grant Hill, who wasn't able to finish the Suns last game on Wednesday due to a knee sprain that was aggravated when a Bobcats player fell into it, will play according to Coach Gentry.

Shaq, who injured his hip when he slipped on the ice and has missed the Celtics last three games, is also expected to play as per a member of the Celtics media (Comcast) who travels with the team.

Onward, to the Game Day Links:

 

Phoenix Suns 'Circle' Meeting Led By Robert Sarver And His Creative Ideas On Team Building -  SB Nation Arizona 

The team gathered in a circled on the practice floor, sat down, and Sarver had each player turn to the player to his left and say something nice about him. This per one Suns player who participated. 

And while it might seem a bit unusual to pull a team building exercise out of a management book (or maybe from an episode of The Office), it really doesn't compare to Sarver's approach two years ago.

 

Phoenix Suns Face Boston Celtics In Game Of NBA Basketball - SB Nation Arizona

After talking in generalities about how physical the Celtics are, Gortat went to a pretty interesting place when it came to center Kendrick Perkins. He literally compared him to a little dog but managed to do it in a way that both made sense and wasn't offensive. At least I didn't think it was offensive.

 

Phoenix Suns Player Thermometer, Week 13: And Things Go Bad Again - SB Nation Arizona

When the team loses, it's generally because of their always-porous defense and because Steve Nash's offensive help disappears, as was the case for most of the last week. As a result, not a lot of the Suns players are what one would consider "hot." So again, this week's thermometer is more a scale of least bad to most bad.

 

 

 

Suns Owner Tries to Stay Upbeat: Az Central Paul Coro:

Some excellent gems in this one, including:

"At this point, Steve is still playing at a very high level and is a very important part of the franchise," Sarver said. "I don't see us making a trade (involving) him this year. I just don't see it.

Phoenix Suns Circle the Troops: AZ Central Paul Coro:

Been waiting to hear about the inevitable NBA team meeting?

Something must change. The Suns failed to take advantage of the soft part of their schedule and now face Boston, the East leader, Friday and New Orleans, the NBA's hottest team, on Sunday. Given how the Suns lost seven of their past 13 games against teams with losing records, facing elite opponents is cause to circle the troops.

Suns Face Boston Celtics in Game of NBA Basketball: SB Nation (Seth):

One thing hinted at by Coach Alvin Gentry is some tweaks to his lineup or rotation that would probably mean more time for Mickael Pietrus while trying to cut back on minutes for Grant Hill to help prevent running the poor guy into the ground in what has basically become a lost season. Hill left the game on Wednesday versus the Charlotte Bobcats with a knee injury. No word yet on his status for tonight.

Can a human fit through an NBA rim?

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