Another addition to the W column is all that matters, Yes?
Tonight the Phoenix Suns did what they had to in order to dispatch the Minnesota Timberwolves, 128-122. It wasn't pretty, and perhaps a Suns fan would hope for a greater margin of victory against one of the worst teams in the league, but let's face it people, a win is a win is a win.
The Suns hit 7 3-pointers in the final period to erase a 7 point deficit, serving the knock out punch to a spry Timberwolves squad. The heroes were many for the Suns, so lets hit the bullets:
The Suns out rebounded the top rebounding club in the league 46-39, yet gave up 58 points in the paint while committing 16 turnovers resulting in 20 Minnesota points. All things considered, the Suns hit the buckets when they needed to and D'd it up when they needed to. Love got his, but that was fine, the Suns kept the rest of the Wolves off the boards and played decent enough defense on the rest of squad.
This wasn't a good matchup for the Suns considering the size of the front line of the Wolves. But Robin Lopez returned from injury to play 24 quality minutes (12/8, +9), and Grant Hill neutralized Michael Beasley. With Richardson hitting shots, Frye turning it on in the 4th, and Nash getting the squad involved to the tune of 19 dimes, Minnesota had no answer for the Suns in the end. Night night, losing streak, let's get on with it.
[Note by Seth Pollack, 12/15/10 10:17 PM MST ]
Phoenix Suns Defend Home Court With Win Over Minnesota Timberwolves, 128-122 - SB Nation Arizona
It's a win and a nice close-out against a young, tired team, but you can't be pleased with all the open shots the Wolves got in this game -- they shot 53.8 percent on the night. The Suns are last in the league in opponent field goal percentage allowed.
Audio: Lopez postgame 121510
Something evidently called a blizzard happened in Minnesota over the weekend. I guess it's a cold weather thing which desert rats like me don't quite understand. However I am fairly certain the Minnesota Timberwolves are overjoyed to come out West and play basketball to escape this raining snow situation. But will 80 degrees be too hot for them? I'm guessing the climate will favor the Suns in this one. Of course I've been wrong before.
Tonight the Suns face the number one rebounding team in the league. The good news is Robin Lopez is slated to start. Of course, this is bad news for those of you who already purchased your Earl Barron jerseys. Don't worry, he may still get some time off the pine before he's jetisoned back to the D-Leagues or wherever his next destination will be. Plus, you'll have an excellent Suns obscurity to break out when entertaining friends and family.
Aside from the obvious questions such as how ready is Robin, how effective can he be after the injury and layoff, The Suns have some other pressing questions:
The Timberwolves present some obvious front court challenges for the Suns. Kevin Love is the second coming of Rodman (in the rebounding sense), only with less piercings, tats, and strange phone calls into radio stations for no apparant reason other than to flaunt the fact he had a hooker with him. Darko's a load to deal with and is coming off of a 25 and 11 game. Michael Beasley is bringing 21 points per game, good for second in the league among forwards.
I'd love to break out some highly technical analysis on this one, but we all know what has to happen for the Suns to win: body up the T-Wolve bigs, hit some shots, and play with some heart. And for the heck of it, check this quote out:
"Our team needs to learn that if they don't play hard every night, we are not going to win...We did not give a maximum effort. We gave them too many second chance opportunities and turned the ball over too many times."
Numbers are Fun:
Game Day Links:
Asked how the 255-pound 7-footer has looked in the final stages of his comeback, Frye grinned and said: "Great. That boy is crazy. He's everywhere. I forgot how big and long and active he is. "I think that's the biggest thing. He helps us in practice rebounding, and him and Garret (Siler, 6-11, 305) just go at it, it's like Godzilla and King Kong down there."
MN Star Tribune:
Beasley's all dressed up but has a long way to go:
The Wolves' new go-to scorer wears a headband, dreadlocks, tattoos that make his entire body look like a Ren & Stimpy cartoon, pads on his right elbow, ribs and tailbone, and white sleeves with shin pads on both calves.
[Note by Seth Pollack, 12/15/10 4:33 PM MST ]
Nash has been using this time off to try and get his body right:
Phoenix Suns Schedule Kindly Delivers The Minnesota Timberwolves - SB Nation Arizona
"Since I got hurt, I've been shooting like 20 percent from three, so it's been really difficult for me. Hopefully, if I get healthy again, I can obviously shoot it better," Nash said about his 2-for-10 three-point shooting so far in the month of December.
And more on the Grant Hill is Awesome story
Steve Nash Agrees, Grant Hill Having His Best Season As A Phoenix Sun - SB Nation Arizona
The case for Grant Hill to be in the NBA All-Star consideration goes beyond the numbers. His coach and MVP teammate Steve Nash are, not surprisingly, two of his biggest supporters, but that doesn't mean either is just blindly blowing smoke when it comes to Grant's play. These are the guys that go to battle each game with Grant and understand better than anyone how well he's playing.