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Suns React to Suspensions

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I'm as incensed as every Suns fan is (and Rockets fan for that matter) regarding the suspensions handed out today to Barnes, Nash, and Alston. 

Although I've always been a "by the book" guy and believe that rules are rules, some ounce of subjectivity must come into play when making decisions regarding fines, suspensions, etc.  These are situations that must be dealt with on a case by case basis while maintaining as much consistency as possible.  The only consistency, it would seem, is that Stern and the NBA are inconsistent. 

Based on reaction from the players, they are just as upset as us fans.

Paul Coro caught up with Matt Barnes, Steve Nash, and Terry Porter regarding the suspensions during the Suns shoot around this morning. 

Matt Barnes was confused as to why he deserved his two game suspension.  "It’s just overblown. They went above and beyond the call of duty here. They didn’t call a foul in my situation. We got in a little pushing match and I get suspended for two games? Rafer gets two games and Rafer threw two punches at Steve. Basically, what they’re saying is you might as well throw two punches because you got the same suspension as someone who threw two punches. Steve comes and tries to break it up and gets thrown to the ground and he gets suspended and T-Mac (McGrady) doesn’t get anything. Ridiculous."

Nash, rightfully so, was even more frustrated.  As everyone can tell from the video, Nash slipped on a random player's foot and bent backwards before he could make any impact on the situation...and then was shoved to the ground by McGrady. 

"I’ve never been this mad. Unbelievable.  They said I escalated the situation. I was surrounded by three Rockets and one was attacking. What was I supposed to do? I went to go and separate guys from each other, especially when I get there and I get pushed from the side and the guy (McGrady) doesn’t get suspended.  Rafer punched me in the chin."

Though I am probably biased as evidenced by the Steve Nash shrine in my house, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that for a two-time MVP, Nash gets very little respect from the refs and the NBA respectively.  Nash played the same role as Joe Johnson did against the Celtics last year in the playoffs and even got pushed to the ground...but Nash gets suspended?  

Nash is in disbelief as well.  When asked by league officials why he went over to the skirmish, Nash responded, "I said, ‘I just wanted to go and help protect him because he was surrounded. I understand I did run over to the situation but who are they to judge if I was an aggressor or a diffuser. I got pushed to the ground. At that point, what was I supposed to do? Get thrown on the ground and get trampled? If I wanted to throw a punch, I could’ve. I just tried to grab guys to get them out of them. I was on the floor most of the time. I got pushed around twice. I’ve never been this (ticked off)."

The best way the Suns can stick it to the leauge is by responding tonight with energy, confidence, and playing hard to bring home a win.  This is a key night for the Suns bench to step up and show they are capable of being consistent contributors...especially (like tonight) when we have a few key players out.

Perhaps more importantly, a win would be a nice confidence builder leading into a test for our offense this Sunday against the Pistons.  

Let's hope the Suns rise to the occasion tonight in face of adversity and are the "bigger" they have always been.

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