It was a fun game to watch and the best thing to happen to the Suns (and the fans) was Shaq's early foul trouble. Shaq is simply not productive or useful when the other team goes to a 4 guard lineup. Amare was faster, stronger and bigger than any Warrior on the court. Why go to someone who is bigger and slower? Shaq has been great all year, but games against the Warriors are nights he can take off.
It's a shame no one was paying enough attention to the game.
The Warriors are a bad team, make no mistake about it, but they are dangerous. They've lost a ton of buzzer-beaters and taken good teams to the limit recently. It's kind of like when Mike Tyson got sucker-punched by an insane person in Canada (this was before prison and the public's general knowledge that he was certifiable). It's kind of like when Jean Claude van Damme getting too drunk at a strip club and bounced by some bouncers. (Well, I'm not really sure if those rumors are true or just stories, but, if they are, you get my point). I mean, it can happen to the best of them. Especially when you're not paying attention.
Don Nelson doesn't seem to have the genetic makeup to coach great teams and great players. If he was involved in the MJ-Pippen-Rodman scene he'd probably either walk away in disgust or end up in the police blotters. He relishes the "puncher's chance" with a group of misfits. He's a dangerous guy.
What do you do with guys like that? Level them. Don't dink around. Go straight through them.
Remember how Al handled this little mouse? All decides to re-live (once again) his high school days, remembering how he manned-up to that monstrous linebacker and ran straight over him:
Fortunately, Amare is more athletically gifted than Ed O'Neal. Doubly fortunate is that Shaq got gassed in the face in the form of 2 fouls in 2 minutes.
I don't know enough about Amare's issues to get into his head. And, even if I did know enough, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to help. I do know this, however, when Shaq was "The Big Role Player" Amare was unstoppable and the Suns' defense was suspect. Now, Amare is stoppable and the defense is slightly better, but still suspect.
I think Panama Sun and I are on the same page when we complain about Shaq's first half "explosions" of 15-20 points and his second-half fade-outs. I've said it before and I'll repeat myself. Coach Mike had the rotations right with Shaq playing the first 5-6 minutes, then subbing him back in when Nash left at the end of the first period. Then, rest Shaq for the stretch. It is even doubly true now that Shaq is no longer a horrible free throw shooter (I won't call him mediocre yet) and he can be in at the end of games. Shaq in the post and the Stoudemire-Nash pick and roll are probably 2 of the top 10 offensive weapons in the game today. Coach Mike's rotation allowed Amare to be engaged early on, allowed Shaq to attempt to get going, took playmaking burden off of Barbosa with Nash out and Shaq in and saved his big guns for the stretch run.
The defense is improving a little bit, perhaps, but who cares? Really. Let's keep hoping for improvement and let's hope the Suns keep working on it. Remember that episode where Peggy went on strike? Here's the minisode for you:
Here's a link to the full episode, too, for those of you with a longer attention span.
Anyway, when Peg goes on strike, Al is feeling wonderful. No more worrying about whether he'll get hot food, because he knows he won't. Once you accept it, it's freeing.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about the team -- I'm talking about the fans. You know that AA prayer?
God, grant me the serentiy to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Yeah, that one. Al Bundy accepted that guidance. Let's all do the same in regard to the Suns' defense. Mabye we can loosen Terry Porter up, too.
Oh, back to the game. Guess I lost my focus, too.
Grant Hill! Grant Hill! Grant Hill! Who does not love this guy? What a game. On both ends. He was just monstrous guarding the perimeter an his offense was back to Grant Thrill. I fervently hope that the Suns turn this around just so that he decides it's a good place to stay.
Did anyone catch his interview after the game on Fox Sports? He responded to Amare's comments about the captains needing to motivate the team. But it was the way he said it that was so wonderful. I'm paraphrasing, but he said something like, "Yeah, I'm a leader and I stunk it up last Wednesday. I need to do better. We all need to do better. We will do better." He also mentioned that sometimes, players get emotional due to the crisis and say things they really don't mean. That is great leadership. He's right, too. There is a difference between the written word and the spoken word. A writing allows the writer to consider and make sure he wants his words to be immortal. Spoken words are more extemporaneous and often reflect a fleeting thought, feeling or emotion. However, when spoken words are transformed into written words, they take on a meaning that is not always appropriate for the medium.
You've all said something ether inappropriate or only half-true. However, very few of you have written it. You might have started to write that letter or email and then decided better of it. How would you feel if everything you said was transcribed and used against you?
Last night, the floor was open, the teams were moving the ball and the Suns made just enough stops to take the win. In the clutch, the big boys proved why they are the big boys and the Warriors are that crazy guy in the corner with a twitching eye.
Lost in all the hoopla of the 1-year anniversary of The Big Acquisition was the release of this gem:
Check out the website here. Apparently, it's not playing in the Valley yet, so, you know, write your Senators and stuff to make sure it gets to a theater "near you" soon. Also, can someone explain to me what a "widget" is and how I can use it to help promote this movie?
See you in Detroit.