The Suns have lost four games in a row. Eleven out of twelve on the road and eighteen straight games on TNT. I think I've had to recap all of those games, so it's safe to say I'm linked to the curse too. You can call it the Panama/TNT curse. Truth is that it's not fun to be embarrassed on National TV and after watching the Suns play tonight, all that's left to say is that we are in trouble. As simple as that.
But the sky is not falling, not yet. People will come up with trade scenarios, they will go after Gentry's head, and they will even suggest that the Suns need to trade Nash. If you are one of those fans I respect your opinion and I understand where you are coming from but teams go through slumps and just as quick they can ride a winning streak and make us forget about all this.
I'm not a glass half full type of guy. You can ask Jason and Stan. I'm the first one to panic and get upset. But we have all seen how good this team can be and that gives me hope. At least for now.
Let's move on to the Game Notes.
The Grizzlies are not an easy team to beat. Especially at home. Alvin Gentry tried a different line up today, starting Leandro Barbosa over Jason Richardson and Robin Lopez over Channing Frye.
The Suns started out cold. The defense was non-existent during the first quarter as they fell behind by 14 points. Nothing would go in the basket. And I mean nothing. To make matters worse, Amar'e picked up 2 fouls and we all know what happens when he gets in foul trouble. Amar'e needs to be on the floor. Once he's benched he will be useless the next time he steps on the floor. That's a fact.
The Suns looked better in the second quarter. Sweet Lou was a big part of the energy boost. But cutting leads is not an easy task to do. It requires a lot of energy. Once you have climbed your way out of the hole the hard part is staying out of it. They couldn't do that tonight. The Suns took the lead but they couldn't hold on to it as the Grizz went on a 7-0 run to close the quarter with a 58-56 lead.
During the third quarter, we saw some great plays from Robin Lopez. Nash connected with him for an alley oop, while Robin also made plays for himself going for rebounds and going to the line to shoot free throws. But just when we thought we might start to have command of the game, the young Grizzlies fired threes, And 1 plays, hook shots from Gasol and all of the sudden they were in control of the game again.
The game was tight during the 4th quarter. That was until Memphis went on a 15-2 run to put the game out of reach. Or was it really?
The Suns were down by nine (119-110) with only a minute to go. Nash found Hill for an open three and on the next play Leandro stole the ball from Conley while Nash picked it up and passed it to him for an easy lay up. After a free throw from Gasol, Phoenix was down by 5. Leandro shot a three and missed. Nash shot a three and it was short. Hill got the offensive rebound and found Barbosa only to watch him miss the three point shot from the corner. Gasol went to the line after being fouled by Nash and Barbosa made three point shot but it was a little too late. Game Over.
I won't get into details of who sucked and who didn't. You can look at the box score. Basketball is a team game. The issues that the Suns have need to be fixed as a team. If Richardson or Barbosa or Frye are not playing well, others have to step up. Just like Robin did today. He was the only bright spot in this game.
As I said, it's not time to panic yet but they need to start playing better. Time is running out and teams are catching up. I hope they fix their issues soon...or I'll be posting trade scenarios really soon.