The Suns got back to their old ways on Monday but it took 2 Mike D'Antoni pulling an Amare Stoudemire to do it. Referee Ron Olesiak decided he had heard enough of Mike D'Antoni spouting every synonym of cow poop he could think of and kicked him out. When that happens, the game never seems to stay the same. Either the team gets pumped up and blows their opponent out or they get scared and get blown out by their opponent. In this case, the Suns decided to play hard for their ousted coach and they began running the Rockets into the ground.
Of course, it started much earlier when Yao Ming had to be pulled 9 minutes into the game because the Suns were already running him ragged. Ming shot 1-9 and scored 10 points. I wish I would have put that on my blog because I would have looked like some sort of genius. I predicted to my wife before the game that Yao would score 10 points on less than 25% shooting. But alas, I didn't put the prediction online.
The Suns had a combo attack with 6 players in double figures, Raja Bell almost getting there with 7 points. Shawn Marion had 15 rebounds. But the player of the game goes to Leandro Barbosa. He is REALLY stepping his game up and doing well. He scored 32 points again last night on 12-18 shooting. He made 5-6 three point shots.
Also, if you look at Kurt Thomas' box score line it looks like he didn't do much. But that doesn't show what he truly did. Towards the end of the game he had two consecutive blocks on Yao Ming and you could just tell that Ming was frustrated. Having Kurt Thomas back in the lineup and back in game shape is doing good things for the Suns.
This was a good warm-up for the Suns. The big game is on Wednesday against the Mavericks. I'll have more on that game and why the Suns have to win the game (but why it won't matter to them if they do) later.