[Editor's Note: Thanks for giving us the rundown SwingMan! Sounds like I need to spend a few minutes tonight watching the fourth quarter of this game on the archives.]
That about says it all for the largely uninspired play of the Suns this evening.
If you're going to collectively play like a bitch, expect to get treated like one - which is exactly what Miami did for the majority of the game. Hell, even the refs got into the act, basically ejecting Amare for getting smacked in the head by Shaq - TWICE!!!!!
The Suns were nearly Miami's elixir to all their ills thanks to sloppy, disinterested Suns play, where the defense has been as sickingly bad as I've ever seen it. Jason Williams made minced meat of Nash nearly all game while Udonis Haslem and Shaq sliced the Suns limp paint D to shreds. It was looking like the Suns were walking out of Miami - tails tucked - at .500.
Then, at around the 3 minute mark of the 4th quarter, Suns down 4, something happened that defies recent logic - you could almost see a set of light bulbs going on over each Suns player's head.
After Raja went down with an ankle tweak - thanks to Shaq going Bowen and stepping underneath him during a short jumper, the MVP went "Network", with his play SHOUTING out "I'm GAWDAMN MAD AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Steve then proceeded to impose his will on BOTH teams. First, he willed an elbow 3-pointer in - then another, at which point, you could see the expressions on every player's face saying "we got it, Steve. You shoot, we'll take care of the rest".
So, while Steve scored the next ELEVEN points single-handedly, Diaw, in the blink of an eye, got steadfast with Shaq and didn't budge an inch. Matrix, who had been boarding well up to that 3 minute mark, snagged another NINE boards in said last 3 minutes and Hill had a direct mainline channel to Scottie Pippen on D. Hell, even Barbosa was applying a full-court press!!!
And, thanks to the combination, Steve's 11 points went UNANSWERED!!! Yep, he outscored the entire Heat team 11-0.
What's even better is that, for the very first time in this young season, the team looked totally galvanized, united and - dare I say - in sync.
No way in hell this should've gone down to the wire like it did, but I for one ain't looking a gift horse in the mouth. Barbosa's shot is definitely coming back and Raja, before Shaq tweaked his ankle for him, looked like he was emerging from his slump as well.
Diaw? I really think the poor guy needs rest to get his ankles squared away. He was giving it his all down the stretch tonight, frustrating Shaq and driving.
After Shaq knocking Amare in the head twice, punching Hill in the gut and tweaking Raja's ankle, anyone besides me wish that Skinner would've come in and laid some wood to that sucker? No matter, Suns win going away, 106-101.
Some numbers for y'all: Raja - 4-8 shooting, 3-6 on 3's for 11 points. Barbosa - 6-18 shooting, 4-12 on 3's (missed his last 5 shots overall) for 17 points. Nash - well, you saw. :D Matrix - 17 points, 24 boards, 5 steals. Enough said.
Not a good game on the whole at all, but those last 3 minutes have been - by far - The Brightest Side Of The Suns yet this season. :D
Anyways, thanks much for reading, commenting and hanging out for the recaps. Time to hand it over to "jasonsuns1" for tomorrow's action @ Orlando.
Not a bad way to kick off the weekend, `eh folks? :D Take care and GO SUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!