The preview read "It's the Final Countdown" - and indeed after tonight's loss and considering our very difficult schedule to finish out the season the light at the end of the "No Playoffs" tunnel begins to dim rapidly. The Memphis Grizzlies walloped the Suns to the tune of 104 - 93 and avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Suns.
Coming into this game I had two questions. 1) Can Jared Dudley guard Rudy Gay? Tonight we learned the answer is a resounding NO. My other question was whether or not Robin Lopez could quell the rumbling Zach Randolph of the bench and he coupled with Rookie Markieff Morris did a decent job on Z-Bo.
Unfortunately Marcin Gortat and Channing Frye could not get the job done tonight defensively. It wasn't just Zach Randolph, but Dante Cunningham and even the guards like Quincy Pondexter that repeatedly fought for offensive rebounds or shook their man to become available for a wide open looks under the rim. An extremely disappointing night for our starting bigs. Let's discuss a little more after the jump.
Tonight was an extremely frustrating night for the Suns starters - yet an impressive night once again for Sebastian Telfair, Robin Lopez, Markieff Morris and Josh Childress who was given a great opportunity to earn PT due to the struggles of Jared Dudley defensively on Rudy Gay.
The Grizzles jumped out to a huge lead (11) at the end of the 3rd quarter but Sebastian Telfair and his Bench Mob closed the gap and propelled the Suns to be tied at one point (81-81) - but then it was decision-time for Alvin Gentry.
Should he have taken Telfair out? What would you have done?
We know now in hindsight that taking Telfair out might have been the worst decision possible as the offensive and defensive energy for the Suns dropped immensely and the Grizzlies blasted a 13-4 run to end the game after Gentry replaced the core Bench Mob with 3 starters.
Let's review the Euty-Keys to the game:
Turnovers? 13. Not terrible... but many of those turnovers came at the worst possible time in the game stunting the growing momentum of our offense and affecting our defensive concentration. Steve Nash made a few passes in this game that sincerely had me cocking an eyebrow - he demonstrated visible frustration with the Gortat pick-and-roll and even picked up a technical. (1 of 3 GROSSLY UNDESERVED techs.) Not good signs at this point.
How'd our BiGS do? Terrible. Already discussed.
Continued Bench Mob? Check still hot, in fact I remember this that a Chinese Philosopher once said,
In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be TELFAIR and generous.
-Lao Tzu...kind of
This game was a must-win and we failed. In the end this game was very winnable and the starters didn't seize the moment or match the energy of the bench's effort.
We'll take a look at what this will do for our Playoff hopes tomorrow - but Captain Obvious can tell you right now, "it aint nothing good."
Time to look forward to Houston and just continue to try and take care of our own business.
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