The Phoenix Los Suns: They shot an ugly 42.4% from the field, including a sub-par 6-16 from JRich, a not so STATy 6-15, A big Yugo from our Yugo 0-5, a McLaction Supreme 0-3 from our "does it really matter which Collins?" center, and a 1-5 from energy guy Lou including 4783652 blown layups. A quick trip to Basketball-Reference shows that in the postseason, the Suns are 8-32 when putting up this kind of performance since 1991, and with further filtering, 3-12 against the Spurs with a brickfest like that.

Even Steve Nash couldn't get things going, dishing out only 6 assists. Nash is only 10-21 in playoff games when limited like that!

The Phoenix Los Suns: They allowed the Spurs to open with a 30-point quarter and were held 35% shooting at the half, while the Spurs shot 51% themselves. Tony Parker led the Texan bench with 20/3/7 on 8-14 shooting, Tim Duncan delivered his classic fundamentals, 29/10 with 2 blocks, and Padface flopped to a double-double of his own (11/11ast). Even Richard Jefferson gave Nyets fans a flashback of what could have been, submitting an 18/10 on 8-13 shooting with 2 blocks of his own.

What in the hell were you doing, Suns? Too busy kicking up political statements and leading The Rev around the city? Well of course, this all led to a gigantic Suns los-...



Alright, you guys got me, I can't keep that going anymore.

The San Antonio Spurs: You mean to tell me, after all that, the Spurs still ended up losing 110-102?

The San Antonio Spurs: Hey, you know that saying, that benches win home games and stars win away games, or whatever? Or maybe the Spurs decided to deny any pre-existing home/away splits data, as Channing Frye went 5-6 from downtown, with J-Rich going 3-6 himself, and Dudley contributed 11 points.

Duncan Frye
Wait, you're defending me? What has happened to my life...

The San Antonio Spurs: But let's not forget those plucky starters. Even Amar''''''e managed to wrangle 7 defensive rebounds, following Game 1's stunning performance of 9. Uh, hint for those not paying attention, in the six-game series against Portland, STAT managed to collect 14 TOTAL defensive rebounds. For reference, Nash collected 12 in that series.

Overall, The Los Forgot Our Protest Uniforms At Home surrendered 18 offensive rebounds! To the Suns! While Tim Duncan gathered 6, the rest of the Spurs only got 1! The Sols's aggression continued, attacking the basket early and often, ending with 37 FTAs. (Why, of course I looked it up! 13-6 in the post season!)

The San Antonio Spurs: A stunning textbook example of how to defend the pick and rol-...

The answer is Yes: I could watch this all day.

The San Antonio Spurs: Things got a little sourpuss when Pops started (hilariously) getting facetious with question responses, regarding the urgency of winning Game 3. Geez oh whiz! The questioning continued below, (right around 1:06), when Pops gives us a stunning revelation: The Spurs are, infact, grown men:

Could embedding from NBA.com suck any harder?

The San Antonio Spurs: An officials change? At the start of the 4th quarter? You guys call that in or something? And you STILL couldn't get it done?

Nah, I jest, of course. I can't actually blame the Spurs for this move, since the replaced official WASN'T Joe Crawford. (For our more sensitive readers who demand minimal journalistic integrity, it was Ron Garretson who left with an Achilles tendon injury)


The San Antionio Spurs: Looking back at the two games in this series, it feels like some sort of Bizzaro Land. These felt like games that San Antonio had locked as wins, or would have in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2008. What more can the Spurs do? Game 1 should have been the Suns blowing multiple leads, but instead it was like the Suns toying with a cat with a string. Game 2 just looked awful, but the Suns gutted out a win.

Congratulations, Spurs, you are officially a Shrodinger's Playoff Team. Sure the series can still goto 6 or 7, given Manu dropping a classic with 35 and Frye dropping some away game stink bombs. Throw in some shady officiating to take the crowd out of it in Game 5 and the Spurs are right back in this thing. But seeing things look like they're going your way, only to walk away with the loss, boy do I know that feeling.

Charles Barkley: It's too late. You're in too deep. We're gonna get this done. This has to happen. This will happen. You can't back out. Somehow, we have to have Ernie tase you on live television. You may have gotten out of it tonight, but with a few more games, no logistics too great can stand in our way.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Could it be? Will the Suns finally beat the Spurs?

This is a dream come true for Suns fans.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I have no idea if that NBA.com embed is working or not, so just goto NBA.com or YouTube to find Pops' postgame. It's actually pretty funny hearing those reporters, unsure when to laugh, and kinda afraid at the same time.

Anonymous BigBadCarter said...
While I understand what Los Suns were trying to do with the jersey change...wouldn't have been more accurate for them to call themselves "Los Sols"?

It reminded me of the Brad Pitt scene in the great movie "The Mexican" where he rents a car in Mexico, and tells the guy working at the counter he wants to fit in, so he wants to rent a "Mexican Car".

The worker tells him "How about a n El Camino?" and Pitt readily accepts his offer. The worker then looks at him and says "You're going to get in a lot of trouble down here"

Blogger Cortez said...
"Wait, you're defending me? What has happened to my life..."

Perfect caption.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I agree with AnacondaHL -- great job today, btw -- that Games 1 and 2 felt like classic Spurs wins...only they weren't. Especially last night. The gritty defense, the efficient offense, roleplayers like George Hill and Richard Jefferson stepping up. That's when the Spurs always beat the Suns.

But not now.

With the way Alvin Gentry has used the SSoL offense, developed his bench, and gotten the Suns to play just enough defense when they need to...I can't help but feel that Gentry is a superior coach to Mike D'Antoni. If I had a Hot Tub Time Machine, I would go back and let the 2010 Alvin Gentry coach the 2005-2007 Suns...and watch magic happen.

Blogger nohandle said...
Anaconda --

Re: that pick & roll; I could watch that all day as well. I almost wore out the rewind button on my remote last night after seeing that, and Kevin Harlan exclaiming "OOOOHHHH, STOUDEMIRE! Up High, down HARD!!" only made it that much better for me.

My favorite part of the clip (besides the massive, wide-open, one-step-below-the-foul-line jam, of course,) is Timmy's body language as soon as Amar'''''''''''e takes off. Such shame, such dejection, such resignation...

The Spurs got beasted by that pick and roll alllll night and there was nothing they could do about it.

Blogger beep said...
Look at McDyess' _efensive effort on that STAT dunk.
I would make much better effort even if I can't play basketball at all.

Blogger JHaas said...

Totally unrelated, yet totally bawful.

Anonymous DKH said...
Does Manu catch Nash's leg there? And where was he aiming? Because it wouldn't be the first time he went for a Suns player's man region.

Blogger Andrei said...
I simply don't get Pop's refusal to start Parker. He's been abusing Nash or whoever else has been guarding him the first two games yet he's sitting for a good chunk of these games. He's clearly healthy and always has huge games against the Suns.

Careful Anaconda, you calling the Spurs a Schrodinger's playoff team is borderline "We knew we were a playoff team from the start of the season." We all know one timely hip-check can turn a series pretty quickly.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: so would Gentry have been a better coach for the 09-10 New York Knicks as well? :D

Anonymous AK Dave said...
I almost vomited when I saw George Hill (I think it was him- maybe Parker) knock down one of Bruce Bowen's patented corner-3's where he just stands there for the whole possession, calmly, then drills it with 3 seconds left on the shot clock.

Hopefully Dragic can pull his head out of his ass and Nash can shake loose for the next game in SA. The Spurs did a pretty good job of forcing the ball out of the point guards' hands; usually that is the key to beating the Suns.

I just hope PHX wins game 3, and we can officially stick a fork in the Spurs.

Blogger Dooj said...
Just came across this on youtube. yes I'm still bitter at Joey Crawford...


Suns played a really high energy game. I just hope the tides turn when the Spurs go home.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Andrei: Uh, I think you missed the point of the Schrodinger's playoff team, because that's exactly the point. A hip-check leads to the "alive" state, while continuing the play from games 1-2 leads to the "dead" state. I also mention in my writeup that crappy officiating in Game 5 (like many game 5s this postseason) could take the homecrowd out of it and SA could steal one like that.

It's not impossible for SA to still win in 6 like many of the "experts" etc. predicted. SA fans just don't want to look in the box right now.

Bawful: You know something scary? I had planned to use the phrase "just enough defense" too, just I forgot to use it. It's really the key for anyone to beat the Suns, timing. Push stronger after Collins is taken out, and at the start of the 4th quarter, and it'll distrupt the Suns' game plan of timing their defense. (The big example being bringing Nash back in too early in the 4th, then exploiting his defense).

AK Dave: Just an off night for Dragic, he's still getting his chops. I'm wearing the conductor's hat on the Dragic Train, all aboard!

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Is anybody else a little baffled by the over-the-top outpouring of praise and adulation for this edition of the Suns? The "best" Suns team of the Nash/Seven Seconds or Less Era, according to quotes from Duncan and Pop after the game... huh?

Now I love this squad. Jared Dudley was a steal in the Richardson trade, Charlotte got fleeced there. Dragic is a baller; Ananaconda, get me a sleeper compartment on that train, I'm in for the long haul. Amundson is a poor man's Varajeo. Channing Frye, who knew he could shoot?

But.. the "best" suns team? Better than the ones with Joe Johnson and Q-Rich and Marion, in their primes? Raja Bell and Eddie House? When I look at the rosters of those 04-08 teams, I see A LOT of talent.

The Spurs got older and their Kryptonite doesn't work as well. Replacing Big Cheat Shot Bob with Matt Bonner probably didn't help that much. Not to mention Richard "Who Knew I'm Useless?" Jefferson. Yes he brought it last night but we all know the guy has been a ghost this entire season.

Anyways, I love Los Suns.. I am, after all, freaking Canadian.. but let's not get carried away. The team has a good balance of talent and scrappy/energy guys. Let's hope they can finally slay the dragon and beat the Spurs. The Best Suns team of this Era? Very debatable at best, rampant hyperbole at worst.

Blogger Dan B. said...
The Other Chris -- To be fair, here's a lot more to making a good team than just individual player talent. Marion certainly has some talent, but has no idea how to successfully use it, for example. He's a head case and in my opinion not a very good, consistent part of a working, efficient team. (And beyond that, he also can't create his own shot very well from what I've seen since he parted ways with Steve Nash and the Suns, so we can't even just blindly say he's really talented)

Blogger chris said...
Dan B. - And he clearly didn't have the financial acumen to accept being a secondary option in Phoenix based on vague "abilities," which has placed him in the current state of being regular trade bait AND not garnering a contract anywhere near what he would've had he just been okay with not being "the man."

Anonymous AK Dave said...
I agree with the Other Chris.

The Suns success is not as attributable to their improvement as it is to the Spurs' deterioration. Timmy is on Geritol, Manu is nothing more than a giant bald spot with a tampon on his face, TP has lost half a step, and they haven't gotten a real franchise-type player since, well, Manu came on board.

If Nash and the Suns win this series, it won't be because they got better, its simply because they outlived the Spurs. Credit to Nash for keeping his body healthy this long playing the way he does, but to prove The Other Chris' point, could you imagine THIS SUNS team beating the '05 Spurs?

Me neither.

And in any event, does anyone see either of these two teams beating the Lakers?

Blogger Preveen said...
Is it just the Spur that like going after Captain Canada's nads? I remember seeing a "Bruce Bowen is a dirty player" video compilation where he jumps in the air and kicks Nash right where it hurts. And then does the whole "what? me? foul? how?" look thing. I think the term used here is the Duncan Face?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
AK Dave "Manu is nothing more than a giant bald spot with a tampon on his face"

You complete me.

Anonymous JonR. said...
Unrelated but with Riley talking about going back to the Miami Bench, even more reason for Wade to create the Chicago Double D's. D Wade & D Rose could be some entertaining ball.

Anonymous Karc said...

Look, I get that the man is happy to be exonerated, but this quote bothers me when the guy realized that he actually was going to sit courtside.

"Towler at first thought it was a joke. But as it sunk in, he beamed with more joy than when he learned he was being released."

Really, he was happier to be seeing King Crab than being released from jail for serving 29 years for a crime he didn't commit? Really? Makes me wonder, would anyone else in Cleveland be willing to serve 29 years in jail to see LeBron win a title. Who am I kidding? These guys sellout Cleveland Browns games. Of course the answer if "yes."

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
If you're all asking are the 2010 Suns without Robin Lopez and an injured Barbosa better than the 2005 Suns without Joe Johnson, I'm giving you an emphatic yes. (All the weak-sauce fans by now I'm sure have forgotten about the freak faceplant injury, and subsequent front office lowballing of JJ). The offense is about the same, but the defence and bench depth is soooo much better (or "good enough"), despite what the overall team DRtg says. Alvin Gentry is doing fantastic with the rotations, even Pops can't figure out wtf is going on with Collins as the starter. Loooouuuu and Amare playing for ORebs, Dudley is a slightly less offensive, slightly taller Raja Bell, and Q Rich sssuuuuuuccckkkkkked in the playoffs (another thing you weak sauce fans forgot. Trading him due to his stinkers was the best thing the Suns front office did during that era.) Oh, also good to see production from JRich and Grant Hill revitalized by Sprite.

And finally, our boy from Yugo, Dragic, has played a fantastic role as Nash's backup, so much it helps us all forget that it could've been Rondo. Wrap it up with an Amar''''''e contract year, and I say this team is the best we've seen, minus maybe the gigantic WHAT IF Joe Johnson never got hurt. Extra bonus points for never getting that same "arrrgh fuck D'Antoni fucking call a timeout look at the momentum the opponent has!" feeling of frustration from Gentry.

And yes, I know the 2007 team had a higher SRS than the 2005 team, but fuck you Boris Diaw and Marcus Banks I will never call you the best team of the SSOL era.

I've almost had enough Kool-Aid to believe the Suns can take the Lakers if Kobe's still busted up, and Robin Lopez comes back... ughh...

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Barring injuries, Suns won't beat the Lakers. Can Stoudemire cover either Bynum or Gasol for an entire series? Can Frye? How much rust will Lopez have? Grant can slow Kobe, but for how long? And what if Ron-Ron and Kobe decide to play lock-down defense on Richardson and Nash (a fantasy, I know, because it requires Kobe giving up his offensive game)?

L.A. will live with Nash killing them, that's what has happened all season, but L.A. beats Phoenix with their inside game. Even though the bench has been awful (except for Game 5 of OKC), they've won one series and are close to putting away a second.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
aaahahaha, check out this coincidence: Best Suns Team Ever? blog post at basketball-reference

wv: fights. Wow.

Blogger beep said...
D'Antoni playing his 7 men or less rotations during playoffs was killing that team. I'm just sayin'

Talent wise these teams aren't much of a difference imho. Coaching matters!

Blogger Bakes said...
And what if Ron-Ron and Kobe decide to play lock-down defense on Richardson and Nash (a fantasy, I know, because it requires Kobe giving up his offensive game)?

I seem to remember Kobe giving up a lot of his offensive game when he completely eliminated the Westbrook threat in game 5 against OKC by guarding him exceptionally well. He took 11 shots total, which I believe is below his average. This was more a decision on his part because Westbrook was just having his way with LA's defense, especially in games 3 and 4 until Kobe said he was going to make the switch.

It's not as much of a fantasy as you think.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Sorbo: That's not a dream, that'd be a nightmare...for Lakers fans. Who the heck would Fisher/Farmar/Walton be covering? God forbid, if 2 of them were in at the same time.

Grant won't be slowing Kobe alone, in fact, Dudley will probably get a majority of the work. Aside from Bynum and Gasol going off in the series, I can't agree with anything else you questioned about that matchup.

Wait, except for the Lakers bench being horrible (and inconsistent). I agree with that, and I think that'll be the key to a Suns win. In the past, it was the Lakers bench sans Kobe that would get the team back in the game. Now, the Suns' defensive unit is the one creating those runs. The Suns defensive plan should be to bait Kobe into 25-30 shots per game, literally throw Collins/Lopez/Lou at Bynum/Gasol, and sink 3s at a good pace. Especially Frye, who needs to sink 3s in order to pressure either Bynum or Gasol out of the paint, or off the floor.

The key for the Lakers, honestly, is Shannon Brown. If he plays 4 games well, negating the Suns bench, it's over. Odom is also the nightmare of the Suns, and could single-handidly win a game. Not a good outlook for the Suns, but not a "won't" situation either.

Anonymous Alek said...

Oh yes......its gonna happen

Anonymous Sorbo said...
Anaconda: That's assuming Lopez is okay and not rusty. I mean, the guy is a second-year player, and by no means used to playoff basketball. I don't know if Phoenix can put their whole strategy on Kobe over-shooting. He's been picking his spots in Utah. And Dudley is going to stop him? That's a big question mark.

L.A.'s defense has been awesome so far, particularly the starting 6. Again, the bench sucks, but they may not need the bench to win games. I would say to have L.A. just trot out a big line-up(Kobe/Ron/Odom/Gasol/Bynum), which matches up pretty well with Phoenix, but Phil likes to have regular rotations and often shies from doing things he's not used to (hence why Kobe had to ask to guard Westbrook).

Blogger Cortez said...
"Grant won't be slowing Kobe alone..."

You guys have to get off of this fantasy train year after year.

Every year some overrated bum is trotted out as the one to slow down Bryant.

The only thing that's going to "slow" Kobe is an assortment of injuries.

Hill and Dudley will get ate alive as the Suns back line defenders are near useless.

Blogger Shiv said...
I think, that of all things, the difference between these Suns and the Suns of yore might be locker room chemistry. I mean think about it. This Suns team actually seems to enjoy playing with each other as opposed to tolerating each other for the opportunity to play with Nash. That, and the fact that there is a !GASP! solid 9-man rotation (I'm not including Jarron Collins) including !Gasp Gasp! an actual back-up point guard!