More photos » Ralph Freso - AP
Gentry is not amused by your whining, Timmy. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
In the midst of the fourth quarter run by
San Antonio Richard Jefferson just a couple nights ago, it got me thinking. How many games have the Suns lost because of some timely corner pocket three-point shooting? The answer I unfortunately do not have the time or energy to find, but if one of you feels so inclined to find the response to my query, I'll give you a gold star. But I digress.
This timely, lead-cutting run by San Antonio got me thinking: despite some key defensive possessions on the Suns end just prior to Richard Jefferson doing his best Roger Mason, Jr. impression, what really happened? Seth has deftly explored that it may have been a mixture of miscommunication on when to switch to the zone and heat checks by the villainous Jefferson. While these may be true, the inability to close out games has been happening far too often for it to be coincidence.
I'm not a naysayer, but something's got to change.
While almost every angle on this has been covered (even the ridiculous angles), I'll toss out a few more options. Why not, right? It's game day, the Suns are desperate for a win, and as a blogger, you can basically say whatever you want.
Option 1: Gradually, over time, move each sideline closer to the three-point arc. It's fool proof. The league doesn't actually get out there and measure the courts before each game, do they? No! So let's get a petition going for the Suns to move the sidelines in ever-so-slightly. This will inevitably force even the best corner three-point shooters to step out of bounds sooner or later, effectively negating teams abilities to utilize the corner three. If it worked for Jim in The Office (the ol' "nickels in the phone" prank), it has to work for us. Right?
Option 2: Play a lineup of Lopez, Siler, Frye, Turkoglu, and Clark/Warrick. They can't shoot over 5 almost-seven footers, can they?
Option 3: Actually have a set defensive rotation for late game scenarios. I know, this is an actual suggestion. But, if teams are preparing for the Suns as a track meet with lots of points and no defense, you can guess their offensive plan near the end of games is to spread the court with shooters and have a drive-and-dish mentality. I know the zone leaves the mid-range game more open than man-to-man does, but it at least eliminates the drive and the three-pointer more effectively.
Obviously, each late game scenario will be different. And they won't always be nail biters like the first few games have been. But consistency is something this Phoenix Suns team needs, and having a set game plan never hurt anyone. It's always better to have a set plan and change it if it's not working than to have to adapt on the fly because you're getting beat.
And, though Nash was the bearer of tired legs the other night, here's a quote from Yahoo! Sports' team report:
"We fought for it, didn't have a great game, but I feel really good about our team. We're playing hard, we've been in every game and we just aren't quite clicking yet, so we have a lot of improving to do, which makes me feel optimistic."
There you have it, folks. Steve Nash is still optimistic. Even though he looked pissed off, frustrated, and generally like he didn't trust half of the other Suns on the court, he's optimistic. Call me a naysayer all you want, just know you'll have to answer to Steve "This Is Me Putting On My Good Face" Nash.
P.S. It feels really good to write again, even if it's random, incoherent blotches of words compiled into one "story". I've missed you guys!
P.P.S. To end on a high note (also via Yahoo! Sports):
The Suns actually had to issue a press release Wednesday to announce that Steve Nash was not retiring in two weeks. A local tabloid ran a mock story that claimed Nash had informed the Suns that he would be walking away from basketball on Nov. 15 to run for mayor of his hometown, Victoria, British Columbia. The story was, of course, a hoax, but raised enough questions that the Suns felt the need to address the issue.
Where, oh where, would we be without the tabloids?