No Wounded Tiger bounce for the Celtics tonight. Without KG, Pierce, Davis and Daniels and with a gimpy Rondo who had no interest in attacking the rim the Suns should have won this game. And they did win this game.
Coach Doc Rivers kind of disagreed but then talked himself out of it, "I expected to win. I think we pay everybody. As long as you do, you have to come in with the expectation to win..This was very difficult to win. They're a good team. So this game doesn't affect me at all."
As for the Suns, they were pretty happy. All expect Channing Frye that is who didn't want to talk about U of A athletics at all unless it was sport he was feeling confident about, "We're building on hoops. I'm always with the hoops but now we got to go to something that I'm going to get a guaranteed win in and that's softball. Killing in softball."
Channing set his season high with 26 points on 9 of 15 shooting including 6 three's. Many of those three's came at key points when the Celtics were making a push to get back in the game. His shooting tonight wasn't just on fire, it was clutch.
More impressive though was his 10 rebounds. He understands that his rebounding is as important if not more so to this team and he's certainly focused on that. He's also working hard on adding some dribble drive moves to his game.
"They're closing out so hard on him and that's something he's worked on in practice. He has to be able to put it down for one or two dribbles and shoot it or if there's an ally he's got to be able to take it to the basket. He's gotten pretty good at that," said Gentry.
Frye will continue to work on that and also talked about making the correct pass when help comes and keeping his dribble lower so he doesn't have the ball stripped.
Amare was on pace for a monster game before getting into foul trouble. Coach talked about that as well, "We talked to him about that and that's something that he's going to have to eliminate...We have to have him on the floor. We can't have him on the floor with three fouls in the early part of the second quarter."
To start the game the Suns were finding Amare in open positions and as Gentry explained getting him the ball in places where he could make good decisions.
Steve Nash said that they were just playing their game and even though Amare was hot (at one point 8 for 8) he didn't want to try to find him more, "We just kept playing the game which is important. If you start really trying to force the ball into him that's when we get in problems. That was a big product of our ball movement."
Happy New Year everyone! The Suns have the day off tomorrow and have a late 1pm practice time on the 1st.
That works great for me!!
Be sure to check out the panic over at Celitics Blog. They've now lost three in a row. I bet they will be talking about trading KG for Emeka Okafor and Rajon Rondo for Mario Chalmers.
Game Notes Taken in Real Time (Enjoy)
- In the Celtic's locker room pre-game 'Sheed has his head phones on and is loudly rapping. Takes his head phones off and continues. You had to be there but it was pretty damn funny. Dude doesn't give a shit about anyone or anything
- Perkins and Rondo posting up on first two trips. Wonder what their game plan is?
- Suns look crispy to start. Sharp passes. Decisive action
- Frye hits hit first look at a three. Good sign or just good shot? Ask me in 2 hours
- Hill hits his first look at a three. Good sign or just damn lucky? Ask me in 2 hours
- Suns D looks good getting their hands on a lot of balls (that's what she said). 4 early turn overs for C's. Helps that Hill can pretty much ignore Tony Allen
- Suns up 26-14. Max Contract 8/8 w/ 16 points
- I love when Max gets a hoop and just lets the ball bounce off his head as it comes through the net
- The Celtics clearly miss KG's presence...on the bench cheerleading
- LB drives baselines and throws the ball of the glass to Robin? Was that intentional? It certainly looked like it
- Suns D not giving Eddie House anything
- Suns second unit with Frye...I like it. Defense and rebounding from Lou plus shooting w/ Frye and Dudley, attacking from LB and Goran to run the show
- Sheldon Williams misses a running hook shot. Candace Parker would have made it
- Lou still can't hit uncontested 15 foot shots (aka free throws)
- Frye being more aggressive going to the rim and doing more with the ball off the dribble. He said after Monday's game that he's trying to add that to his game
- LB once again holds the ball too long and jacks up a shot three feet behind the arc. He made it but still...
- Hill gets racked across the face and goes down in pain. Amare the first one over to him. Gentry is seriously pissed that there wasn't a foul called
- Rasheed Wallace showed ZERO interest in event pretending to close out on Frye
Robin Lopez tried to break more glass but got hammered from behind (that's what he said). Unlike Lou, he hits his two freebies. Then hits two more despite having his feet 6 inches behind the line
- Celtics making push cut the lead to 48-39 after House gets an open 3 off an offensive rebound
- Suns getting a bit complacent. Amare getting benched w/ his 3rd foul hurt. It was a dumb foul in the back court too
- Nash getting aggressive looking for his shot. He's 3 of 7. Don't like how the Suns are closing out this half. Probably won't matter in the end but still
- Grant Hill checking back in! Yippie!
- Frye hits a couple of three's to push the to 59 points. Against the Celtics. 59 points
- Make that 61 points. Against the Celtics. 61 points.
- Amare picks up his fourth foul about 16 seconds in. He kind of tripped up Rondo going up court but it looked incidental. Refs must not want a blow out. Gentry leaves him in. Good call (Gentry, not the ref)
- Wonder what the line is?
- Wildcats getting blown out in the Holiday Bowl. Guess they weren't that good after all
- Rondo looking to pass every time he gets into the lane. Not even trying to attack the rim
- Sheed wants you to remember that he still has post moves
- Suns flat to start 3rd
- Nash iso'd on a big drives and draws help. JRich trails in behind for the drop off. Nice play
- Remember when 'Sheed could hit the three?
- Whoa! How did that happen. Suddenly the Suns are up 20
- Gentry has Dudley check Rondo. I think just for fun to see what would happen. Didn't last long
- The box score says Frye has 4-three's. I think it's more like 14. Feels that way
- Tweet of the game from CP3 (Candace Parker): man, nash is so good....amazing he is a 6 ft slow white dude but has mastered da game of basketball....imagine if a gifted, talented athlete paid that much attention to detail as steve nash...wow
- Suns up 15. Will there be full garbage time or will Nash have to come back in and close this one out? I am guessing no more Nash.
- Of course if you keep leaving Eddie House wide open...
- Frosty having a quiet game. He's saving it for Memphis and his rematch with Jamal Nutmeg Tinsley
- Dudley needs to not force his shot. If you are open, fire away but if not...
- Frosty with the behind the back move while driving full speed in the lane! Kid's got flair
- Gentry to entire Suns team, "DO NOT LEAVE EDDIE HOUSE"
- B Scal fouls out! This game is over for sure!!!
- Unlike Lakers fans, Celtics fans make me smile a little bit. They all look like such happy Irishmen
- Robin Lopez is much more focused on rebounds this year as opposed to getting blocks
- Earl Clark scores!
- Sheldon Williams picks up a questionable T. Barbosa missed the free throw. I head Sheed yell "Ball Don't Lie" from 20 rows up
- 2 minutes left. Suns up 114-95. I'm not leaving early this time like I did in the Memphis game only to miss something cool
- Btw - see bullet #4 in 1st Qtr section. Answer is yes.
- With Tucker gone Collins is getting his garbage time minutes
- See, I would have missed Sheldon Williams wiffing a wide open dunk