I had a Title all ready in the 1st quarter - "Suns Win a Laugher". Little did I know then that it would be the Bobcats that were almost laughing!
The Suns started out strong and were determined to put the Bobcats away. But the Bobcats had other ideas. They just kept shooting and rebounding and next thing we knew, the Suns were down by 7 and were playing catch-up. Luckily, if it's one thing the Suns style is good at, it's catch-up.
But it shouldn't have even gotten to that point. At halftime, the Bobcats were shooting 43%. But they had something like 5-6 more rebounds than the Suns. They ended the game at 44% shooting and had an embarrassing 13 more rebounds than the Suns.
Amare Stoudemire was ejected from the game with about 8 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter after getting his 2nd technical. The second technical was deserved. The first? Not so much. The refs definitely are watching Amare and are waiting for him to mess up. I think they like getting players ejected for a game. That's what happens when you get 16 T's in a season. And Amare is only two away from that. But you can't blame all of those technicals on the refs (well, technically you can since they call them all but Amare has deserved most of them). Amare needs to learn to control his temper. He has made so many improvements this year. He is passing to his teammates, he knows when to stop and shoot and when to barrel into the lane, he knows how to say all the right things and he's doing great things for kids off the court. But he acts like a baby on the court most of the time. Half the times he goes into the lane, he thinks he gets fouled. And maybe he does. But if the refs don't call it, instead of going down on the other end of the court and playing good defense he stands in the key with his arms outstretched showing up the ref. You think those guys are going to LIKE that, Amare?
Luckily, Barbosa came through to save the Suns again. He scored 32 points and shot 7-11 three point shots. The Suns made 19 total including another 5 from Raja Bell. Shawn Marion had 11 rebounds and Steve Nash had 11 assists.
But what killed the Suns last night was missing Amare. I know this is probably un-Suns-fan-like of me to say but it is Amare's fault that the Suns had to go to overtime last night. And it would have been Amare's fault if the Suns lost the game. It's one thing to be injured and not have any control over if you play or not. It's quite another to be in the game and get called for two technicals that didn't need to happen in the first place.
Please, Amare, don't become like Rasheed Wallace. He is an embarrassment to his team every time he tries to stand up the refs. I'm embarrassed for him. And if he thinks he wants to be a role model for kids as he so often professes he is trying to be, getting known as the hothead of the league isn't exactly the way to be that example.
As someone else said in the comments right after te game, let's put this one in the win column and move on. The next game is on Friday against New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.