U go, Channing, U Go! (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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U go, Channing, U Go! (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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It would have been easy for the Suns and us fans to let this one go, remarking, "well they got in at 4 A.M. from the Bay Area, second night in back to backs, ok, I can accept defeat." But we all would have known that this game was one the Suns should have won. The Suns are simply better than the indiana Pacers.

So now we Phoenix faithful can rest easier tonight knowing that the Suns won a game they shouldn't have lost.

Channing Frye led all scorers with 29 points off of 11-16 shooting, including 5 threes, while tossing in 3 blocks, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals to boot. A tiny Indian tear drips down my cheek as I write this recap, knowing that Frye is doing what the smart people said he couldn't do in his prior life as a Knick and Trailblazer. The guy is playing D. He's really playing D!
Our Phoenix Suns play best when they get contributions from many sources. And tonight was perfect example:
  • JRICH 21 and 5
  • Nash 12/11/5
  • Hill 8/2/2 and a mammoth +17
  • Dudz played inspired ball and dropped 12 points along with 3 boards, 2 steals and 2 assists.
  • Dragon shook off 5 To's and hit for 9/6/4
  • Hell man, even Earl Clark saw some minutes and played decently well
On an night when the Suns had every excuse to lose a game, they sucked up some pride and won it. Danny Granger was awful, and we can credit the Suns D for his 2-13 night. We can also credit the Suns for forcing 25 Pacer turnovers which resulted in 22 Suns points. The Suns also benefited from 33 free throw attempts, in which they sunk 24 free tosses. The Suns were out rebounded by 10 tonight, but in the end it didn't matter. They D'd up when it mattered, made shots down the stretch, and seized the momentum in the second half and outplayed the Pacers.

What the crap is a Pacer anyway?

A good win. Aw screw it, a great win. While we can all make the excuse that the Suns are searching for the right chemistry: the right guys playing together at the right time, the bottom line is that every game matters. No, I am not saying every game is a must win. No, No, No. However, when the Winter fades and the playoff hunt begins, every game will matter. And a victory in November could make the difference between an 8 seed and a no seed. So my friends, beating the Indiana Pacers at home is something to feel good about.

And now, in case you missed it, here were some wonderful quotes from our respected friend, Eddie Johnson:

"Earl Clark can play this game...It's only a matter of time before he gets some consistent minutes." 
"You could probably give Granger a tennis ball and he couldn't throw it into an ocean." 
"Jason Richardson's been in the zone for like 8 months."

Indeed, Eddie. You could tell me the Earth was flat and i would believe you. 


Suns Find Energy For Second Half Comeback, Beat Pacers 105-97: SB Nation:

Say what you want about it "only" being the Pacers, this was a good win for the Suns thanks in large part to another great all-around game from Channing Frye. Take that Earl Watson, where ever you are.

Pacers vs Suns coverage

Pacers vs Suns recap

Pacers vs Suns boxscore

Indy Cornrows

[Note by Seth Pollack, 12/03/10 10:37 PM MST ]

Audio: Gentry postgame 120310

Game recap w/ lots of quotes:


Channing Frye's Big Game Lifts Phoenix Suns Over Indiana Pacers, 105-97 - SB Nation Arizona
"I thought it was a really good team win...It was probably as good of a win as we've had all year, considering the circumstances. The style of basketball and quality of basketball that (the Pacers) play, you know, they got a win at Miami, they got a win at the Lakers. They've been playing well. It was a great win for us," Suns Coach Alvin Gentry said


Play of the Game Breakdown

Phoenix Suns Play Of The Game: Nash To Dudley To Hill - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
The Phoenix Suns were leading 97-92 with two minutes remaining and the ball. Needing a bucket to help secure the win, Steve Nash ran a high pick and roll. The high pick and roll has long be the Suns standard go-to play but this one was quite a bit different.


Game Notes

1st Qtr

  • Wait, why are the Suns intro's going first? That's weird
  • Goran said he got about 4 hrs sleep last night. Same for Grant
  • Lots of empty seats tonight. I guess Phx doesn't hate the Pacers all that much after all
  • Frye's feeling it early. All five Suns points
  • Josh McBob taking / hitting outside shots? WTH is that about. He's supposed to just be a thug life guy
  • Suns got bailed out on that call. No way Hibbert fouled Barron
  • Second foul on Hibbert, this one legit but stupid. No way Barron was going make that reverse layup
  • McBob cooling off from three, Frye not
  • There's EB using those long arms to win an extra possession....and there's EB trying to pretend he can create his shot of the bounce like JRich. Stay within yourself, big guy
  • OK, so enough of the pick and pop with Earl. Give him some more time on the floor before asking him to score the ball
  • Suns getting a lot of calls their way so you can live w/ the questionable Grant Hill O-foul
  • Uh oh, McBob on fire again...if you call one shot on fire and for him I do
  • Bench time a bit early in this game....back to back
  • Suns bench getting brutalized by TJ Ford, ugh. Really ugly, sloppy, funky, smelly and crappy play
  • 28-20, Pacers. Suns outscored 11-0 to end the quarter. Bench gave up 9-0 run

2nd Qtr

  • Better job by bench to start qtr, Dragic trying to take charge of the mess. Suns bench at least score 4 pts which is 4 more then they scored in the 1st quarter
  • Dragic three in the face of Solomon Jones...he looked a bit livelier pre-game than I've seen him. Happier perhaps
  • Not sure who's idea it was to post up Josh Childress on Mike Dunleavy but it failed miserably. How about iso Warrick on Solomon Jones at the elbow
  • Hedo not hitting shit
  • I think the league has figured out that Jared Dudley really isn't quick enough to stay in front of anyone
  • Nash and friends back in with 6 min to go and a 41-32 Pacer lead. Suns bench -9 which ain't what the team needs on a back-to-back
  • So much for better defense, Suns given up 44 points with 5 min to go in the half
  • Dudley gonna come in for Hedo who's sucked up the joint tonight
  • JRich left wide open for a transition three. Brandon Rush answers right back which mathematically isn't going to help close the 12-point Pacer lead
  • Time out, Gentry. Down 52-42 with 2:40 left in the half. Guessing Gentry is saying something like - PLAY THE DAMN GAME AND CUT THIS F#$KING LEAD BEFORE THE G-DAMN HALF
  • Pacers 7-11 from three which is a lot of they've mostly been wide open
  • JRich bailed out w/ that call
  • This crowd is not helping anything...dead quiet
  • Good to see TJ Ford healthy and playing well...that neck injury thing a few years ago was scary
  • Suns getting to the line tonight...15 FTA's
  • Great deflection by Dudley. That one goes up on the board in the locker room
  • 6-2 run since timeout...scratch that, Rush 3 makes it 6-5
  • Hibbert hasn't played but 5 min and the Suns still down 59-52 at the half

3rd Qtr

  • Barron got completely picked and let Hibbert get a wide open dunk
  • Fucking McBob insane 3-pt shooting. 4-5 on the night, he's a career 28.6% but is shooting 36.4% this year so...OK, not as fluky as I thought
  • Smart move by Frye to attack the rim instead of take the open J. Hibbert was way out of position and picked up his 4th foul just 2 min in
  • 24 sec violation on the Pacer, good D by the Suns. Defense is back!!!
  • OK, I think we can all agree that Barron can't finish around the rim, but we knew that so lets move on
  • Suns on a little run, cut it to 67-65. Getting some stops
  • Barron with the aggressive move on the pick and roll draws 3rd foul on McBob. Can't finish but if he could, he'd be making $8m / yr and not the min on a non-guaranteed contract
  • T for Barron after complaining about a non-call. He got blocked, legit. Probably was mad at himself for the weak ass up move
  • Nash has some great head/shoulder fakes..freezes TJ Ford but missed the 8 footer
  • Earl Clark coming in for Earl Barron...shoot, was hoping for the Double Earl
  • Nash has had some bad turnovers and missed a lot of easy looks. Tired Canadian
  • Dragic in...he needs to take over this game and bail Steve out
  • Frye hit a three but I was more impressed with the defensive rebound on the other end
  • Tie game off Channing's three. Front-running Phx crowd finally responds
  • Much better quarter for the Suns, 76-74 Pacers. Suns win qtr 22-17

4th Qtr

  • Gentry's not giving much of a leash to Warrick, Turkoglu or Childress lately
  • Hedo back in now though, let's see what he got
  • Frye on FIRE, 25 points. 5-7 from three. He did not want to get out-shot by McBob
  • TJ Ford mid-range game getting it done
  • At that might have been the best Earl Clark move we've ever seen. Attack and pass to open Frye for a dunk
  • Very nice energy and hustle from the bench unit now, crowd appreciates same
  • Clark staying in after time out, he's been marking Granger. Pressuring him tight and getting blown by but the help has been good
  • Good example there of why Dragic and Hedo can play well together. Hedo runs pick and roll w/ Clark which forces defense to rotation and collapse, kick out to Dragic who attacks the out of position defense
  • That was a nice, brave, aggressive move from Hedo on the break, easily could have pulled up but dribbled right into the hard foul
  • Earl back in for Earl....crowd applauds Earl
  • Suns up 86-84 w/ Nash and Hill and JRich on bench
  • Hibbert takes a shot to the face and drops like a stone...not idea what happened to him but his up
  • Hill back in to check Granger, Nash and JRich still on the bench. Warrick MIA
  • JRich and Nash coming back in
  • Frye three
  • Dragic really needs to hit those FTAs
  • Nash and JRich in, 4:45, 91-88 Suns
  • Another rebound for Frye
  • JRich set up by Channing Frye block, kicking it in gear now but still 4:04 to go and only 6 pt lead
  • Good defense but gave up the OReb
  • Dudley 3!! He's playing w/ his old fervor
  • 97-92, 2:20
  • Ooooh, aaaah That was a beauty of a play by Nash, Dudley and Hill. Want to see that replay
  • Poor Grant Hill's legs are shot tonight
  • JRich w/ dagger three. Ball game, 101-94, 50 sec
  • Love that Gentry has the balls to bench a guy like Warrick if he's not playing well and look for the hot hand or at least the guys that will bring energy
  • Very nice win, very very nice


This Will be a Good Win.



What Will Earl Barron Do Tonight?
December 3, 2010 - 9:00PM EST
US Airways Center
Radio: 620 AM KTAR TV: Fox Sports Arizona
Probable starters:
Darren Collison PG Steve Nash
Brandon Rush SG Jason Richardson
Danny Granger SF Grant Hill
Josh McRoberts PF Earl Barron
Roy Hibbert C Channing Frye

Coaches Notes:

  • Indy coach Jim O'Brien was refreshingly candid about his game plan. He's going to try and pick up Nash full court on all dead ball situations and chase him over screens on the pick and roll and trust the weak side defenders to know when to help and when not to
  • Brandon Rush will start and try and crowd JRich while at the same time preventing him from getting easy driving lanes. Good luck with that. He called Nash the most crafty point guard to ever play in the league. He also pointed out the Suns 30th ranked defense and so he wants his team to attack and not settle for bad shots
  • Earl Barron will continue to start for the time being. Gentry was pleased with the way the team played with him on the floor even if his stats weren't good. He also is trying to get the rotations more solidified so guys know their roles like they did last year
  • In the Suns locker room is a new board on the wall that has the top 15 teams listed by opponent FG% and then shows the Suns, currently at 30th place
  • They've also added a chart on the white board that tracks each player's deflections, steals and then blocks and charges
  • There's an old adage in business that what you track is what you value so by publicly and visibly tracking these stats, Gentry is reinforcing his emphasis on defense. It's a solid move from a management perspective
This is a winnable game for the Suns but by no means a "should win". The Pacers are playing well and do good on the road. They are rested while the Suns are most definitely tired. Guys didn't get much sleep last night after arriving home late from the airport so they are going to have to really power through tonight and dig deep to get a win.

Phoenix Suns 105, Indiana Pacers 97 The last time Indiana traveled to Phoenix, things got a little feisty. In early March of last season, Channing Frye and Earl Watson got into an on-court skirmish...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Take yourself back for a moment to when Taylor Griffin was still a Phoenix Suns and the Derek Anderson era was just a gleam in my eye. Yes, I'm taking you way back to those halcyon days of March of 2010. March 6, to be exact -- the day Danny Granger and his basketball playing pals from Indiana invaded US Airways Center.

On that day, you probably said to yourself, "The Pacers? Pfft. What possible problems would we have with those delightful scamps?" But you would have been wrong. Dead wrong. 

The Suns came into the game having won 11 of their last 15 and were a strong candidate to roll the 20-42 Pacers, taking revenge for a 24-point blown lead in January, which was around the time the Suns had blown leads down to an art.

This game began like you'd expect a game between a good team and a bad team to go. Phoenix held a 12-point lead close to halftime and, though the game was tied on multiple occasions throughout the third quarter, it never really felt like Indiana could win the thing. Call it the calm before the storm.

With under a minute to go in the third quarter, Channing Frye and Earl Watson (he of causing Steve Nash's bloody lip in the January meeting) got into it and well ... I'll let the video do the talking after the jump.


As you can see, Frye and Watson had a cute little slap fight going, but it was Danny Granger coming to Watson's aide that escalated matters. J-Rich was displeased and appeared ready to do physical harm to Granger.


Once the melee settled down, the Suns settled in and closed the quarter with a 7-point lead. But ol' Mr. Granger was just getting started.

With the emotions of the game riding high, Granger hit an early fourth quarter jump shot and raised his index finger to his pursed lips to simulate a hush sound. That's right, friends, the bastard was hushing the crowd and Suns fans certainly weren't going to stand for this. 


A chorus of Granger sucks (and enough hateful vitriol from one BSotS columnist to nearly get him thrown out of the arena ... whoever that was) rained down from the US Airways Center faithful for the remainder of the contest, one which the Suns won 113-105. Eat that, Indy.  

Due to the Granger-hate, this seemingly innocuous March game with a non-conference opponent immediately turned into a playoff atmosphere. For my money, this was the most delightful in-arena regular season experience in all of last year (and I only missed two games).

Now, almost nine months later, the Pacers are coming back to Phoenix. Though Earl Watson may now be a member of the Utah Jazz, Danny Granger's stupid face still remains. 

I, for one, hope the USAC crowd can summon up some of that hateful enthusiasm that was present last March. Boo Granger, chant that he sucks, just generally hate him. You know I will. I bet if we work hard enough, we can show Cleveland fans how anger is done.

If that isn't enough, you should know that last March wasn't the first time the 6'8 forward from New Mexico came into USAC and disrespected the Suns. He's also responsible for this during the 2008-2009 season:

What a jerk.

So consider this a call to arms, my Suns fan friends. Let's get some solid hate going for a team that we should not otherwise hate. You're going down, Indiana. Down to the ground.

If you need help getting angry, go ahead and listen to this. It'll help.

[Note by Seth Pollack, 12/03/10 12:54 PM MST ]

Since this has turned into the game preview, I'm gonna add some more preview stuff. Like this:

Phoenix Suns Host Hot Indiana Pacers, The Bitter Rivalry Continues At 7:00 P.M. AZT - SB Nation Arizona
The Suns will likely keep Earl Barron in the starting lineup to match up with Hibbert who is averaging 9.2 rebounds per game. That will let Channing Frye play against the bruising but shorter Josh McRoberts.

Barron grabbed four rebounds in 25 minutes in his first start with the Suns last night but his impact was felt on the overall team effort thanks in large part to his solid box outs of the opposing big man as can be seen below.

and this:

IC Cold Links: Pacers look to improve to 3-1 on their west coast trip against Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns - Indy Cornrows
This should definitely be a fun one to watch tonight, but can the Pacers continue their improved defense against an offensive heavyweight?  Also, we need to watch the rebounding match up tonight....the Pacers struggled against the Jazz on the boards and need to get re-focused.

See, defense and rebounding aren't just curse worse in Phoenix.

Phoenix Suns' Earl Barron starts vs. Golden State Warriors
"I try not to reminisce, but I miss those guys," Amundson said. "I know I could do my thing there right now." Amundson has not played this season after fracturing his right-index finger during the preseason and having Oct. 18 surgery. He wants to return for his birthday Tuesday. "I don't want to put on a deadline on it, because then it seems like I'm not making progress," he said. "It's just getting better. It's just going to have to be something where I see how my legs feel and how my hand is. I'm shooting with my hand now, and that's progress."

Here's more examples of Barron's impact on the glass:

1) You can see that Biedrins has inside position on Barron right before the shot goes up.


2) But Earl out works Andris and gets inside and uses his length (Robin Lopez, please take note of the use of both hands when rebounding) and gets the ball.


3) On this one, you can see how well Barron is doing with his box out on Biedrins which allows Frye to easily get the ball. He's in a good low position so he can't be shoved in the back and his arms are wide to prevent Beidrins from going around him. Solid play.


Compared to this where Warrick has all the inside position in the world as the shot is going up from the far corner.


2) But completely ignores JR Smith streaking in to grab the ball.


I think Gentry is sending a message to Warrick that he needs to play hard on both ends of the floor if he wants to play at all. With Barron, there's a sacrifice on offense and I doubt he would play in the fourth quarter, but if he continues to bring this kind of energy and solid play on the glass he's going to be hard to get out of the rotation.

It's not always flashy, but the basics matter...and yes, so does size. And yes, I am well aware that's what she said.


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