For me it is hard to judge a game when you're there. It's just different. There's a lot more to see for one thing. And they don't show every replay. Plus, you can't really go get food or take bathroom breaks during timeouts or halftime without having to wait for hours in line and missing half the game anyway. I usually end up sitting for the first half, through halftime and into the third quarter. Then I take a risk and go to the team shop, get more food, etc. In this case, when I decided to go out, the Suns also decided to go on a run. So while we were up 7-8 points when I left we were up 18-19 points when I got back. Maybe the Suns should just let me come to the game to wander the halls of US Airways Center during the games to cause more blowouts!
There were a lot of good things during this game. Amare Stoudemire bounced back from his poor scoring performance last game. And when I say he bounced back I don't mean one of those flat basketball kind of bounces. I mean one of those really inflated rubber basketball bounces. He went from scoring 4 points against Minnesota to scoring 33 points and getting 21 rebounds! He also had 3 blocks and only two turnovers.
Boris Diaw also seems to be thriving while coming off the bench. Fifteen points and fourteen rebounds in 29 minutes isn't too shabby. In fact, the entire team played pretty well last night. Of course, it helped that the Kings were missing three key players and for once the Suns actually looked bigger than the opposing team.
The Suns outrebounded the Kings by 25. They doubled the number of offensive rebounds the Kings had. They shot well from the field. The only "bad" stat of the game was the 3-point shooting. At one point they were 0-12. It just wasn't going for them in the first half. If it weren't for Jalen Rose at the end of the game, the Suns would have made only 2 three point shots all night. But I don't think that is a bad thing. The Suns are a three-point shooting team. You can't stop shooting just because you have an off night. Especially when you're beating a team pretty good. That's the time to keep shooting the ball and to get your groove back.
The scary thing for me was the end of the game when Leandro Barbosa landed on his back. We didn't really see it at the game because we were all talking and saying our goodbyes to other fans as the seconds ticked off the clock. The next thing we knew, Barbosa was laying on the floor with the entire team around him. He eventually did get up and was holding his back but he definitely walked gingerly off the court. I haven't read anything about him this morning so I hope everything is ok.
Overall, this was a good game for the Suns. On Sunday the Kings should at least have Ron Artest back. He wasn't at the game because of the storm that pummeled Phoenix before and during the game. Even still, as long as the Suns play their style of basketball and as long as Barbosa isn't hurt, the Suns should be able to beat the Kings on Sunday as well.
It was good to see Rose get some playing time and hopefully he'll continue to get more as the Suns get closer to the playoffs. He could come in handy during the playoffs when veteran leadership becomes more important. It will be good to see him out there helping the team.
What'd you think of the game? Of Leandro's fall? Of Amare's monster night?