Okay, okay! I couldn't stay away! With the SUNS playing only a 3 1/2 hour drive north in Minneapolis, I had to go to the game! I checked out ticket prices on StubHub on Sunday and there were some nosebleed seats selling for $0.55! That's right, 55 cents! I bought a couple of lower bowl tickets for 15 bucks each. Of course, the price of gas is crazy high, but I took my daughter and we had to go! The SUNS, man!
It's just so amazing to watch all the off camera stuff. Some observations form the PHX-MIN game:
During warm ups, while Telfair was shooting literally 35 foot shots, Steve Nash was demonstrating the purest stroke in the game. You're surprised when he misses a shot. It's like the basket wasn't where it was supposed to be. Most of his shots barely even move the net because they're so dead on accurate.
I sure wish I knew more about the hand signals that Nash is always sending to the bench during the game. He holds up a fist here, points to his elbow there, while he's on defense. Is he controlling Gentry? Telling him what to do next? Maybe Ray, or Seth, or someone, could let us know a little bit more about those signals-- not enough so that another team could figure them out, just what they're talking about in general.
Robin Lopez is a stud! He's not particularly fast, or limber, but he tries to box out the entire Twolf team. Tat went out with the three (dumb, dumb) fouls, and Rolo is banging on every play! The league has cleaned up guard play somewhat with the elimination of hand checking and that from years ago, but the clobbering down low is just brutal, and Rolo holds his own. Banging with Pek and Love, taking and giving elbows and forearms to the ribs, back, shoulders. Rolo earned a lot of respect from me in this game. I think we gotta keep him.
Shannon goes hard after the ball a lot and tries to be a distributor, well, a little bit, as like a fifth option, after shoot, shoot!, SHOOT!, and try-to-dunk-it, but his court vision is limited. It seems like he has only one eye, compared to Nash's 47 eyed omnivision. But Shannon is just brimming with energy and confidence (I know, it was only against the Twolves), but he was bouncing, jumping, snatching. Now, if he and Beasly were ever on the same team, they'd probably fight over the ball so hard, they'd rip it in two and each send half sailing toward the basket, but I did love Shannon's energy.
And it was awesome to watch this bench! (I never would have said that a couple months ago!) Redd with his crafty coasting down the lane, Bassy charged up, and revving. And Kieff! Banging down low, moving without the ball, then hitting jumpers, cutting in for dunks! The bench has definitely forged an identity-- with Bassy sparkpluggin', and every play starting off going to Redd as the shooter, and Rolo and Kieff as the high horns, setting picks, and cutting, and everybody giving hustle, hustle, hustle!
(Now, the Twolves did look spectacularly abysmal last night. I went up to watch them play LAC over spring break a month ago when both Rubio and Ridnour played and beat the Clips by a CP3 missed free throw.)
There were a couple dozen SUNS shirts in the house, a lot them Nash shirts like mine (and one little kid with a kobe shirt-- what?!). A lot of fans left early in the 4th, so my daughter and I moved down to some empty seats in the 14th row, right across from the SUNS bench. Gentry was standing up, giving some kinda non-stop commentary, and the bench was just cracking up. Nash smiling, Dudz about howling, everybody laughing and elbowing one another. Great to see that camaraderie! My daughter thinks Nash waved at us, but -- oh well.
I forgot to mention Nash's frozen ninja stretches by the bench-- kinda cool. And the trampoline dunkers were incredible, slamming it down while looking down the hoop! The wife guiding the blindfolded husband to shoot a basket was epically bad, but he finally made a shot after a bazillion or so attempts. At least two iPads were given away on the night, the Wolves must be doing better in the sponsor department. They used to only give away Klondike bars. Two fans were given iPads to run around and snap pictures of people in Twolf shirts, and whoever took the most got to keep his iPad. When the guy ran by us, I stood up and popped my Nash shirt, but he just shook his head like--what--?!
After the game, we went down and touched the floor and then stood behind Leander and Johnson at courtside. Well, we weren't allowed to get right behind them. Their table was covered with highlighted handwritten notes, and the floor beneath them was littered with crumpled up yellow post its. Kieff was the only one who came back out, huge bags of ice strapped to each knee. We yelled, "Good game, Kieff!" and then some usher escorted us out.
It hit 28 degrees on the drive home, and we got home at 3:00 am, but it was sooooo worth it!