There has been much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth regarding Games 1 and 2. Coach D doesn’t play the bench. The Suns lack leadership. The Spurs are dirty. And so on and so forth, ad nauseum.
Allow me to give Planet Orange a few pointers after the jump...
1. Let go of the past. John Paxson, Gar Heard, the bloody nose and the suspensions do not matter. I will not brook any of this Bucky bleepin’ Dent, Bartman Ball, Curse of the Bambino and Billy Goat nonsense. If Cubs fans can stop believing in jinxes, so can we.
2. Make peace with dirty play. These are the playoffs, not practice. The Spurs will take their shots; the Suns will take theirs. Embrace the pushing, shoving, grabbing and physical play. We’ve got the biggest damn player in the universe on our team!
3. Continue to mock the Duncan face. He’s the greatest power forward of all time and this is his signature move? That’s his fault, not ours.
4. Bury your #31 jersey. I loved Shawn Marion. Gifted athlete, exceptional defender, jumping jack rebounder, and Nash alley-oop finisher par excellence. He’s gone. Shaq’s here. Get over it.
5. Remember the Phoenix Suns do have something to prove. At 40 years old and despite having a .558 franchise regular season record, the Suns have never won a championship. Until we beat them, the Spurs are the better team (Sorry, Coach D).
6. Stop whining. We’re down 2-0. We’re in a hole. We woulda coulda shoulda won games 1-2 if only we had <insert D’Antoni’s shortcoming/Pop’s genius here>. Wah, wah, wah. Save that for the off-season. It’ll give you something to do between the Finals and D’Backs’ playoff run.
7. Relax. We’re not the ones playing the games. And believe it or not, the world will not end, your spouse will not leave you, and the summer will not be any less bearable if the Suns don’t win. I promise you this.
8. Have faith. This is an awesome freakin’ basketball team. They will answer the call. If Stoudemire doesn’t, Nash will. Bank on it.
9. Make some noise. Hey, rich people at the games! If it starts getting quite at US Airways Center, you’re doing something wrong. Be the jackass that yells "C’mon!" to break up the eerie silence. The players feed off of you as much as you feed off of them. That’s why they call it HOMEcourt advantage.
10. Start swaggering. Where’s Paul Westphal when we need him. To co-opt some of his pragmatic braggadocio: "We’re going to win the next two, go back there and win one, come home and close out and everyone will talk about what a great series it was."
There, see how easy that is? Now, for the love of all that is holy… GO SUNS!
P.S. - One more link to get you fired up. It's Time.