And so it's begun! The Suns start their 2nd half season surge with an 8-point win against the Hawks. This was a nice win overall, don't really have any complaints. The Suns beat a good team to go one game over .500 and that's all that matters.
They did their thing. They came out playing no defense, than they go on a tear(thanks to the bench) to build an 18pt lead which had them feeling really confident. In fact so confident that they decided to let the Hawks back in on purpose just to make the game more interesting for the viewers(how nice of them). Atlanta managed to tie the game 92-92 by a three from Josh Smith. That's when Nash looked at Frye and told him, "This is all part of the plan". Frye looked back at him and said, "I know" with a grin as he went on to score 6 points and block a shot to get the Suns back up by 8. Nash then sealed the deal with free-throws. Your typical Suns game. I mean nothing really out of the ordinary happened besides Dudz dunking, Warrick bombing and the bench playing ridiculously well the 2nd quarter. Yup, it was the usual, but hey that's what we ordered right? Well, as long as it gets us a win.
Highlights after the jump!
Besides Nash doing his thing- 13 points, 10 assist and poor shot clock management; the Phoenix Suns bench and Channing Frye really stepped up tonight.
I said Frye would have a big game and he didn't disappoint. 20 points on 8-14 shooting including 4-8 from downtown. He was clutch as always scoring 6 huge points under 2 minutes left in the game. He came up big tonight and that's what we need. Really, we do need that. Frye is the key to this team's success(besides Nash). Remember how if J-Rich scored 20 or more points we'd usually win? Well, if Frye plays well and hits his threes we usually win. Simple as that. Everyone give it up for Channing Frye!
Marcin Gortat- 13 points, 12 rebounds. Had his eye pocked in the 4rth quarter. Although it didn't hold him back it looked bad. Hope he's ok.
Mickael Pietrus- 11 points on his typical 3-10 shooting.
Hakim Warrick- 10 points including an awesome 3 point make that came at the last second as the shot clock winded down.
Goran Dragic- Contributed 4 assist and was the coordinator of a 28-16 2nd quarter for the Suns. Unfortunately he faded back to Goran Tragic in the 2nd half.
Jared Freaking Studley- 2 steals and 17 points on 6-9 shooting including 4-5 from three. Seriously, maybe he should be our starter instead of that guy with a beard who just happens to look like Vince Carter?
Together they combined for 50 points. They did well for the most part... Lets give it up for our bench!
It was a good win that got us back over .500 and it feels good to start our playoff surge that way. I just want to say that I really like Channing Frye. He doesn't get enough credit around here. He's a perfect fit for this team and I hope he's here for a long time. Of course you all know how I feel about Jared Dudley, but do you know that I think he should be a starter? Well, now ya do. I hope you enjoyed this game as much as me. It was a pleasure to right this recap for you. I love wins!
"I just thought we didn't do a very good job with our decisions at the start of the fourth quarter.We didn't do a good job executing and as I said, we get the ball right into the post, we got to be able to complete those. We stuck Grant (Hill) down there and he did a good job, we stuck Channing (Frye) down there and Channing came through for us," Gentry said.
I bet most of you are looking forward to this game, right? After all, it is the first game post all-star break, so why shouldn't we be excited? In a way it's like starting fresh kind of like your 2nd semester of senior year, right, I mean am I right? Speaking of high-school, 1st semester of senior year wasn't all that great for me. I ditched Greek and Rome History about half the time, chatted with friends and bro's during chemistry, slept in a lot and sometimes just didn't go to school at all. I never did my math homework either...until it was time to grade it(hey, we got to grade our own, so I just made it look like I did work and scribbled a bunch of numbers and problems that I bet I didn't even know how to solve)...probably why I wasn't doing so well on the tests. Anyway, you can probably guess what kind of grades I had and how many U's(Unsatisfactory/ citizenship grades) I had to make up in order to graduate.
Speaking of graduating, how many games do you think the Suns need to make up in order to make the playoffs?
I'll let you guys answer that because I'm not in the mood for math; I've had enough of it in the past. Anyway, the Suns seem to be in a similar situation as I was in 1st semester of senior year. They took nights off, didn't do there homework or read the scouting reports... and a lot of times they'd only show up for half the game. Sounds a lot like me doesn't it? Well, I'll have you know that I changed!
When 2nd semester rolled along I realized that I needed to pick up my game or I wasn't going to graduate. For a while I really didn't think I could, but I did. I proved myself wrong by doing all I could and that was enough. I gave it everything I had and I graduated. I made up my U's, I went to Greek and Rome full time, stopped sleeping in and arriving late to English class. I also did my math homework while even taking the time to go to the math lectures during lunch hour! As for Chemistry my friends dropped out, so that helped, although I hated it even more, but it was for the best as I passed with a C+! By the way that was my lowest grade for 2nd semester, everything else was an A or a B. Quite the improvement I'd say.
You see, I was able to make a 2nd half-surge and if I can do it than why shouldn't the Suns be able to do it? Really, why? Someone explain, I want to know.
Now if I were a teacher what grade would I give the Suns for their pre-allstar break performance? Well, prior to the Gortat trade they were 13-13 and then they sucked for a while in embarrassing fashion too. Who remembers that Denver game? I do of course because I had to write the recap. Lately they have turned things around a bit. They've gone 12-6 of their past 18 games. In that stretch they have beaten some good teams and lost to some bad teams.
Alrighty than, here's the report card;
Student Name:Phoenix Suns Class: NBA Teacher: Beavis Grade: F Teacher Comments: Has been absent too many times. Needs to make up assignments. Could be more attentive in class. Fails to turn in assignments on time and scores low on test and quizzes, although has shown improvement.
I bet you lovely parents of these Phoenix Suns are sitting there thinking, "What is wrong with you Beavis, how could you give my child an F!" Well, if I really were a teacher I'd give the Suns a D- because I believe that if you can successfully do at least half the work that should warrant you a passing grade. Unfortunately the NBA doesn't work that way at least in the West. The Phoenix Suns are currently sitting with a 27-27 record. That's a 50% grade, doy. In most places that means your failing and in the case of the Suns that's exactly what's happening. They're sitting 10th right out-side of the playoffs. Yea, I wouldn't call that passing.
Good news is that their fellow classmates and competition right ahead of them aren't doing so well and may even be on for a downfall. Sometimes out-side influences can affect your performance in class. It sucks, but that's just how things are, screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place. The Utah Jazz just had a nasty break-up with their coach and now star point-guard, yea, so they're not doing so well. The Nuggets best player just moved and who knows how his friends back in Denver will cope? Rudy Gay from the Grizzlies hurt his shoulder and will be absent for 4 weeks and OJ Mayo just recently returned from a 10 game suspension for steroids. Yup, just like school.
You see there is still hope and I believe the Suns can and will if they give it all they got, make the playoffs. Unfortunately, they'll need to do much better next year if they want to get that scholarship.
Onto the actual game preview which I'm sure is the only reason you've stuck it out and read this much this far. Reading can be a lot of work, I know, I've been there.
The Actual Game preview
You guys and gals all remember Joe Johnson right? Got traded to the Hawks for that French guy back in 05 who later got traded for some guy named Jared Freaking Studley. Well, he's still there in Atlanta averaging 19,5,and 4. I'm sure we all remember Josh Smith and Al Horford and how we wanted to trade for them or one of them right? Well, I still do. Josh is averaging 17 and 9, Al 16 and 10. We could sure use one of them. How about we trade Lo...kidding...sort of.
Now the Hawks are a good team. They have a 34-21 record, but are losers of their last 3 of 4 games.
"We've got a lot of work to do, a lot of things we need to clean up and we will do that," Drew said. "This league can do that to you when you don't stick to what you know and what works for you. And in some respects, we've strayed away from our plan here lately."
Not the way they wanted to enter the all-star break, so I'm sure coming out of the break they'll be more determined to kick butt. That's not good news for these Suns. I hope they see my report card on them and become even more determined to kick some butt than those stupid pigeons.
Well, I'm sorry, but I'll have to leave this preview a bit short because I'm hungry(time for dinner) and because I spent too much time sharing my life stories and comparing the Phoenix Suns to a school boy.
With that said, I hope these very interesting links can compensate for a short preview. Enjoy!
Young at Heart-"This is the first team I’ve ever been on where there are contests regarding how well you eat," Childress said. "Everybody will get on Jared Dudley just for eating a slice of pizza, and that’s just different, and it starts with Steve and his strict regimen. He’s just methodical in how he does it. He’s like a machine, and that’s why he’s able to play at the level he plays at his age."