It feels as if to some degree the Suns season has ended and yet it still drags on.
Lots of other teams' fans (Raptors, Grizz) have been in this place for weeks and in the case of some teams (Wizards, Clippers, Thunder) since November. It is an unusual place for Suns fans to not have something to look forward to but there is evidence that other fans have survived extended periods of non-contention and we will too.
I've seen and heard a lot of talk about tanking so as to get a better draft spot. That's not going to happen (yet) nor should it. The fans that pay to see this team play deserve the best possible effort as do the other teams still in contention.
As Nash said yesterday, "The only thing worse then not making the playoffs is not playing and playing hard."
At least for several more weeks look for the Suns to continue to "give it their all". Anything less is not acceptable.
Here's what I will be looking for specifically:
- Effort and energy
- Continued work on an offensive game plan that incorporates Shaq and Nash. So far, as I've said, this hasn't worked. With the pressure off lets see if they can come up with something that does. It will be important going into the off-season to know if these two MVP's can share the floor successfully
- Defensively continue to work on perimeter defense, rotations, etc. The Suns can only go up from here and they should at least try and do so
- Development of the youngsters. Lopez, Dragic, Tucker and Dudley should and can see more game time without going into full tank mode. Again, this will be important for this the summer rebuilding plans to know what's there and to build for the future
- Fun. The most important thing is try and find some joy in playing the game. There is no question that if the team is having fun that will translate to the fans
It starts tonight with the Cavs who feature the best player in the game and a solid roster that has been greatly improved this season with the addition of Mo Williams.
The Cavs play good fundemental basketball and if you are fan of the game like I am there is no reason tonight's matchup shouldn't be enjoyable regardless of the meaning or importance of the result.
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