Home openers are the bane of my existence. I keep saying I'm not going back, but I do. After my second Guinness, I was kind of thinking that the Suns had a chance tonight.
Good things that happened:
1. I like the new player introductions, with the exception of Nash's wig. It's a little to Baron-Davis-Stepbrother-esque. Everything else was cool. The music was better, too. Although, there was something to be said for the Bolero-like crescendo and Shaq's penultimate scream of joy followed by seven, large looming men. The new one has a countdown and blast-off and stuff, so JSun2 should like the intro. I'm taking him on Saturday. I'll let you guys know how that goes.
2. My bartender is still working at Seamus McCaffrey's. That's a good thing. I only paid for two Guinness, but by the time we were walking to the game, I was telling Bluntman about how the Knicks would make the playoffs, so there must have been more than 2 in there.
3. My seats are getting closer.
4. A Goran Dragic-led second unit got the Suns to within 3 (I think, maybe 4) halfway through the fourth. But, then Nash came in and the Hornets ran away with it. Come to think of it, though, that was the same time that CP3 came back in. Maybe it had more to do with Paul than Dragic.
That second period sure was painful, wasn't it? This is why I hate opening night. Here is what I overhead when the second unit allowed the Hornets to get a 10 point lead: "Why isn't Nash in there? Is this the all-crap team? At least that dumbass D'Antoni was smart enough to know when to put the starters back in." So, the guy there on Amateur Night (that's what I call the home opener) who overpaid a scalper for his ticket knows enough to bitch about D'Antoni but doesn't know enough to make an intelligent statement about why D'Antoni was "allowed to talk to other teams"?
I guess the refs thought the second was so boring they had to liven it up. Paul must have said something really evil about that refs mother to get t-ed up. Not sure what Nash said, but Porter may have deserved it. Amare really shouldn't be doing the San Francisco wave after bad calls, but that wasn't a tech. Then, there was that make-up flagrant foul on Shaq. Armstrong did not go for Shaq's head on that play. I think Shaq should just start flopping when he gets fouled and land on people. That would be funny.
Even down 12 at half, I wasn't too worried. These Suns can still score. And they did. I blame Posey for the loss. That guy was just lethal. I'm sticking to my preseason pick as him being sixth man of the year.
I liked Boris taking it to Posey on the block, but 3 is more than 2. So, there you have it. Math. He did, though, come close to the Full French. He's had to above-average games in a row. Much more consistent than last year.
I think Shaq's bad free throw shooting is contagious. In junior high, we used to have this condition in American History class called "creeping brain rot." That happened when the dumb kids cheated off each other. Anyway, I think something like that is going on.
The Hornets took 10 more shots than the Suns. Oddly enough, the Suns committed 11 more turnover than the Hornets. There's that math thing again. The Hornets also got 10 offensive boards to the Suns' 7, but the leading rebounder was Chris Paul (2 boards away from a triple-double). More math. 14 more possessions leading to 10 more shots and 7 more free throws and 13 more points.
Lastly, here's something that's been bugging me: Why did D'Antoni -- and now Porter -- feel the need to run Bell off screens to get him shots like he Reggie Miller or Rip Hamilton or something? It might be wishful thinking, but I think there were less Bell-Ringers sitting over the Hawk tonight.