Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
I didn't ask for my money back Thursday night, but I did ask for another media pass.
One of the lasting impressions from the Mavericks game, other than Craig Sager following the Suns dancers around all night, was Michael Beasley playfully racing one of the ushers back to the locker room after pregame warm-ups.
The problem is, it was the most effort 'Beez' showed all night.
After trading San Diego-related barbs with Jared Dudley and Serbian jokes with Coach Igor [Kokoskov], I made it to my seat on press row. John Gambadoro was my seating partner who, as you know, is hardly a fan of Michael Beasley's. He quickly predicted that Michael would be benched by the Suns' next game.
Whether it's the 4 minutes he played in the second half or the quiet pow-wow Gambo had with Alvin Gentry after the game, something tells me he's right. When pushed on the topic postgame, Gentry pretty much confirmed that a lineup change was coming. However, when asked if Beasley was hurting the team, coach said "I wouldn't go that far."
I did notice that Alvin gave Beasley dap every time he walked over to the bench. Maybe it's time coach use some tough love with Mr. Beasley. Overall, the southwestern matchup vs the Dallas Mavericks reminded me of an old western.
Luis Scola was the best Phoenix Sun out there. He did all of the little and big things. The problem is, Luis can't be the best player on an NBA team. There are just too many athletes and high-flyers...this ain't the Euroleague. Scola's high IQ and solid play is wasted by a bonehead play or two (see Michael Beasley). He's tailormade for a veteran team that's playoff-bound.
Michael Beasley decided to go with a headband to start the second half.....maybe he shouldn't have. The Suns had a late start to the 3rd quarter, like 6 minutes late. It wasn't until Beasley and Brown went out for Tucker and Dudley that things started to get better. In the end, that 3rd quarter malaise was what cost the Suns the game.
Does Rick Carlisle owe Vince Carter money? Despite a hot O.J. Mayo on the outside and productive Brandan Wright on the inside, the Mavs' coach kept calling plays for VC down the stretch. The result was a nearly-blown game.
If not for the aforementioned Mayo hitting a huge step-through jumper to regain the lead, this one wreaked of overtime (which usually favors the home team). On the play in question, Vince actually looked over to Carlisle on the way downcourt. Rick held up a 5, which turned out to be a high pick n' roll for Collison. To be honest, it looked like coach was telling Carter to just go stand in the corner and not do anything. Either way, Dallas was able to get the momentum back and hold on for the win.
Equally ugly was the rash of 2nd half injuries...Jermaine O'neal poked his eye, Shawn Marion pulled his groin, and P.J. Tucker sprained his MCL. I have a bad feeling that P.J. won't be heard from this weekend.
The Phoenix fans really disappointed me tonight. With the Suns down 5 and 4:36 left in the game, a lot of them headed for the exits. That may be acceptable at a Laker game, but not in the Valley of the Sun. Sure, their team sleepwalked in the 3rd quarter and then let Brandan Wright terrorize them inside late, but four minutes is like four hours in an NBA game. If the fans are giving up in December, what'll happen in March or April?
But then again, they probably just wanted to get their money back before the Suns made a run. Don't blame them, blame the economy.
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