Finally, a win! The Suns really needed this one and they played like it. The intensity, the passion, the fire, hustle... it was all there. The defense was pretty good for the most part as evident by the Pistons scoring only 75. The rotations were great and everybody looked like they knew what they were doing thanks to a simplified scheme. Yes, it did help that the Pistons had no clue what they were doing. With Rodney Stuckey out it didn't help them even more that the Suns were trapping T-Mac out on the wing every time he got the ball. I thought they defended the screen and roll very well and for a first in a long, long time, they didn't give away jump-shots!
The game was pretty ugly to start the quarter. Both teams combined for 11 quick turnovers and thats when the Mighty Jared Dudley stepped on to the court to propel the Suns to 11-3 run to end the quarter. Much of the same happened in the 2nd quarter although something unusual happened as well. Dudz drove in for a lay-up got foul'd and for some odd and strange reason the refs gave the ball to Dragic and he went to the line. Dudley's trying to tell the refs, "hey, ahh, I'm suppose to shoot those free throws" while everybody else on the court is looking at him like he's crazy. Meanwhile, you've got Gentry laughing in the back ground because the refs obviously put the wrong guy at the line. Finally, they realize'd it and Dudz knocked down 2 points to go with his game high 19. Some times I just don't get the NBA referring? Anyway, the Suns ended the half with a 50-32 point lead. They eventually got it up to 68-49 off of two, straight Nash 3-pointers until the Pistons lead by Ben Gordan caught fire and went on a 9-0 run. Things got a little scary right there, but the Suns D'd it up in the 4rth and hit timely threes while holding them to 17 in the quarter.
Post Game Quotes
"It was a much needed win for us," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "I thought we were aggressive from the start."
“Yeah just like frustrating was last game I got to tell you that it was a totally different team today and a huge, huge step forward," Suns center Marcin Gortat said. "We did everything what we’ve been talking about the day before and a tremendous effort , tremendous will of winning."-Suns.com
“I told the guys ‘We are going to start judging our defense from this day forward,”’ Suns coach Alvin Gentry said.-Yahoo!Sports
- Goran contributed 8 points and 5 assist. He looked much more confident and comfortable and it showed in his play. Steve Nash only had to play 19 minutes.
- Marcin Gortat was active on the boards collecting 8 and contributing 5 assist..,weird.
- Channing Frye was quiet for the most part until the 4rth quarter where he hit some big shots to give himself 8 points.
- Jared Dudley's presence was the most felt as it was he who changed the game and got the Suns rolling. He lead the team in scoring with 19 points on 6-10 shooting, hitting 3-6 beyond the arc while collecting 5 rebounds. Dudz is just awesome. According to Eddie Johnson, "He's got an old-man's game and will be in this league a long time because of that".
- Vince Carter played 37 minutes which I found interesting. Although, he didn't come off the bench he was on the floor with Goran most of the night. His presence seemed to make things easier for the 2nd unit because he's constantly drawing attention from the opposing defenses. They just looked more comfortable knowing that they had a scorer to go to. Vince was that guy and I've actually been impressed with him so far. He doesn't seem to be getting in the way of the offense, but rather letting it come to him and finding his opportunities at the right time. He had 19 points on 8-17 shooting including 3-6 from three to go with his 8 rebounds. I really like him with the bench, but I question whether he can play 37 minutes consistently?
Great win, it was much needed and the defense looked great. Of course it was the Pistons, but you can't ignore the effort and the hustle that was there. I'm still not convinced though. If the Suns have shown us anything this season, it's that they're consistently inconsistent. Still, I have faith that this new and simplified defense will lead to good things. Hopefully, tonight was a turning point in the season and we can see the Suns play more consistently and get better(instead of worse) from here on out.
Happy New Year! Hello, 2011!
For all you Dudley lovers out there!