As I read the blogs on Pound the Rock, I can't help but feel that Spurs fans are in denial. Now I know this is only my second post, but I have been following Seth Pollack and all you others for quite some time (probably over the last 2 or 3 years). So forgive my newbie ways, if you will.
I sit and watch ESPN and NBA TV every morning with my coffee, and all I hear is that the Suns aren't as talented of a team as the San Antonio Spurs. 8 out of 10 ESPN analyst have the Spurs beating the Suns. Even analysts like Jalen Rose, who is a former Suns player, albeit he wasn't one for long, have said that the Suns aren't a good enough team to win. But why is it then that the Suns are the #3 seed, and the Spurs a #7? Oh, wll it's because the Spurs didn't pick it up until later in the season, the Suns fluked into the #3 seed, injuries on the Spurs roster, blah, blah, blah. It's due to the fact that the Suns are the better team! I knew right away that the Suns were a different team under Alvin Gentry and his coaching staff. Already we are seeing the benefits of Dan Marjle's contributions, and the defense that Alvin has brought to this team. But even in the first round the Suns were picked to lose by the "Experts" (not all of them of course).
The refusal to accept the that the Suns are a good team runs deep in the NBA world. Only Suns fans believe in this team. But as I watched the post game last night, I noticed that we're seeing doubters. "Oh, well we underestimated the Suns", or "The Spurs aren't playing good D", or even "The Suns are good at home, but will fold in San Antonio". BS! I watched Kenny Smith switch sides last night, and have watched as ESPN analyst are starting to turn. Band-wagoners!
Enough with my ranting, lets get to the statistical side of things. The Spurs played some great D in the first half, holding the suns to, I think, 33% shooting. The Spurs also played a great offensive game, shooting a hot 50.6% throughout the contest. But the Suns still won. The Suns bench came out to play, with Dudley having 2 quick And-1 buckets in the 2nd quarter to keep the Suns in it. Frye finally warmed up later in the game and by the end had hit 5 of 6 from behind the arc. J-Rich scored under 20 (19), and the Suns still won (I only mention this because Kenny Smith said if he doesn't score 20, the Suns will lose). Nash had an average game with 19 points and 6 assists. Whereas the Spurs' Tim Duncan had a great game with 29 points and 10 boards. Manu had an off shooting night, but with 11 assists, it wasn't horrible. TP had 20 pionts and 7 assist. I'm sure you guys already know these things, but in a game I thought it looked like the Spurs should've won, the Suns still pulled it out. And why? The defense wasn't great (allowing, as I said, almost 50.6% shooting), and the shooting sucked.
Back to where I started. I think the Suns pulled it out because they want it more. It's only a 2-0 series lead, and I know the Spurs came back to win the series against the Hornets after dropping the first two, but I don't see it happening again. The Spurs era has come to an end, and the Suns will finally take a series from the 4-time champs and prove it to all. But I think that the underdog status fits us well. So, to that end, keep doubting Spurs fans. You give me hope and fuel the fire for the Phoenix team that no-one thought could even make the playoffs, let alone grab the #3 seed and beat the Spurs. If the Suns can steal a game in San Antonio, then I see them walking away in 5, and meeting the Lakers in the WCF. And I'm sure the Lakers fans think the same thing you do... but that's another rant.