Two days ago everyone was predicting a championship out of the Suns after they beat the Dallas Mavericks. This morning I'm reading comments saying the Suns won't even get out of the first round. What a difference a loss makes.
Granted, this was an especially ugly loss. The Suns tried coming out with fire in the first quarter but it just didn't work. I think after a double-overtime win to the team with the best record in the league, any game is going to have some sort of a let down. Look over at the Dallas score. They only beat the Celtics by 5 points and they were down late in that game. So it's not just the Suns that had a let down. The difference was the Suns had to play the top team in the East while the Mavericks had to play the worst team.
But really, there wasn't much excuse for what the Suns let the Pistons do. The Suns didn't run at all. They let the Pistons dictate their style of play - very slow. They let the Pistons shoot 54% from the field and 57% from three-pointers. Meanwhile, the Suns shot 13% on 3's.
Amare had a pretty good game shooting 50% on 9-18 shooting, scoring 24 points and getting 15 rebounds. But he also had 7 turnovers - many of them at the absolute worst time. The Suns were down by 4 a couple of times when Amare got called either for an offensive foul, a travel or just got the ball stolen. So while his box score looked good, he played just as listlessly as some of the other players.
You can't really blame Steve Nash for only having 6 assists since once he passes the ball it is up to the other players to score in order for him to get that stat. He also shot 8-9 from the field. It seems like he was really the only one who didn't have a letdown from the previous game. Shawn Marion shot only 5 times. Raja Bell shot 8 times but was 0-5 on three point shots. Barbosa was 3-11.
Boris Diaw was an enigma last night. He shot 5-5 from the field. But he didn't have even one rebound and only 3 assists. So the shooting was great. He just didn't stick around on the defensive side to get any rebounds.
Luckily, the Suns can put all of this behind them tonight when they play Denver. I'll have a game thread on that later today.