When I went back and watched the first quarter of Wednesday's game I expected to see another lack-luster performance. Both the Suns radio and TV analysts repeatedly talked about the team once again lacking fire and not giving a good effort and certainly the 14 point performance on one end and giving up 33 points on the other would indicate that.
But what I saw in re-watching the game was something else which prompted me last night to write, "The Suns didn't lack energy to start this game. If anything they seemed tight and lacking in confidence but the effort seemed to be there."
Today, thanks to friends of our friends at Sports 620 KTAR we get the locker room post game audio from Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire that proves me right. I love being right. You may proceed to bow and grovel and throw coins at my feet. Or you can remain silent which I will take as your undying loyalty and adoration. Your choice.
That, by the way, was an example of too much confidence and included for rhetorical and metaphorical purposes only. We humbly continue...
Asked after the game about the team's effort Nash responded, "I think it's more of a lack of confidence. We didn't come out and really show that decisiveness and confidence that we normally show. That's why you saw the low point totals for most of the night."
That's not to let the Suns defense off the hook and neither Nash or Grant Hill did that. "It seems like when shots aren't falling, we stop playing defense. That's when you've got to really tighten down," said Hill.
Teams that don't play hard are difficult to root for. We saw that last year with the Suns when all of the distractions lead to many nights when the effort wasn't there.
The Trail Blazers are going through that right now. Listening to the Blazer's Edge Ben and Kevin Pelton's recent podcast you hear a lot of lament over the inconsistent effort from Andre Miller and even Brandon Roy taking plays off and how that's impacting the team. It all sounds so familiar and provides a sharp contrast to this year's Suns.
The effort has been there and in the couple of games when it wasn't the team was embarrassed by their performance and held themselves accountable.
Last night was disappointing but not due to a lackadaisical attitude and we should be proud of our team for that.
The confidence will return and in fact it did in the second half as the Suns scored 61 points once the pressure was off and they were able to play loose.
There's work to be done on the defensive end for sure and clearly some adjustments will need to be made to handle teams switching bigs on to Nash but there's plenty of time for that as long as the winning attitude remains.
Post game audio
Instead of a separate Links post, I am going to add today's batch here
Court Surfing - The Score (this is interesting to note only for what Triano said about switching)
"We look at the stats from last night, when we switched on Nash they were 13 for 31 on those possessions. I think that's pretty good defence." (note to all Canadians. Defense is spelled with an "s")
Who's To Blame? - Blazersedge
Oh the pain of higher expectations. Watching what the Blazers are going through this season is just all so familiar
Suns Spot | How Will the Suns Handle Adversity?
The Suns needed some adversity. All teams face it. The good ones overcome it. Now the Suns have their chance.
- The Official Phoenix Suns Blog " Blog Archive " Turbulence to Be Expected
LeBron\'s Full-Court Football Swish - Bethlehem Shoals - The Baseline - Sporting News
I seriously don't think there's anything LeBron can't do
Notes: Shaq solid in 1st game vs. Suns
Suns coach Alvin Gentry did not play forward Louis Amundson for the first time this season. Gentry said Amundson's play did not prompt the change. It was a need to get Robin Lopez more minutes in his return from a foot fracture.
Goran Dragic: What I’ve Learned From Steve Nash | Dime Magazine (www.dimemag.com) : Daily NBA News, NBA Trades, NBA Rumors, Basketball Videos, Sneakers
Playing behind greatness can do wonders for any young athlete. Think about how much having Joe Montana around helped Steve Young or how much Dr. J meant to
Suns Get Blown Out for Second Night in Row, This Time by LeBron James and Cavs. Next UP: Sacramento on Saturday - Phoenix News - Valley Fever
Nice to see the New Times pile on
Suns, Kings likely to see early success even out over season - Britt Robson - SI.com
It was just a month ago that the Kings and Bucks were perceived by many, if not most, fans as the doormats of their respective conferences. As we flip the calendar to December, the Bucks are 9-7, the Kings 8-8.
Wikio Ranking - Bright Side Of The Sun
42nd ranked Sports Blog in all the Sportsblogosphere...not bad. Not bad at all