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Suns Bench Stuffs Hawks In Defensive Grind Fest: 88-80

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The Phoenix Suns bench played solid defense against the Hawks, holding them to 80 points in an uncharacteristic defensive win for the Suns. (Photo by Max Simbron)
The Phoenix Suns bench played solid defense against the Hawks, holding them to 80 points in an uncharacteristic defensive win for the Suns. (Photo by Max Simbron)

If you want to know why the Suns won this game, just play the following audio:

With Steve Nash suffering from self-described back and lower abdominal issues and what Coach Gentry loosely described as Post Olympic Torch and Cauldron Lighting Fatigue Syndrome, the Suns bench stepped to the mound and stuffed the Hawks with a defensive gem.

Let's play a little game I call, Guess the Quote:

  1. "Their second unit came in and did a heck of a job against our first unit. Momentum plays will just hurt you when you aren't blocking out and rebounding the basketball. We can't run unless we block out and rebound."
  2. "We didn't run the offense with good pace."
  3. "They came out with a lot of energy. They made a run that we never recovered from."

If you guessed these were Suns quotes from December, you might be right.

They certainly sound familiar enough but no - tonight those come from 1) Mike "No Eyebrows" Woodson, 2) Josh "Dunkenstien" Smith, and 3) Joe "No Nickname Fits His Boring But Efficient Ass" Johnson.

Lets play another silly game. Guess what these numbers mean:

  1. Nov 15, 2009
  2. 90

Answers after the jump...

  1. The previous game with the lowest Suns point total in a win which came on that date against the Raptors. The Suns scored 101 points and won. They scored 88 tonight. Btw, their previous low point total in a loss: 88 against the Lakers on December 6th.
  2. The previous lowest opponent point total which came on November 8th against the Wizards

You get the drift now? The Suns didn't score a lot of points but they held the Hawks to even fewer points.

That's a rare thing for the Suns except to Steve Nash, who said, "That's what you get when you play the Suns."

I think we should discount what he says, though. He's all screwed up physically right now. Pains. Aches. Torch Fatigue. Perhaps even YouTube Overexposure (which I hear can be painful - but I wouldn't know).

The quote of the post-game came from Jared Dudley. Always candid, JD said this when asked about the Suns going away from the zone defense, "I'm glad, to be honest with you. We're not a good zone team because we don't communicate well defensively. Sometimes we get lazy. That's basically what the zone is. Zone is for people that can't guard anyone. Sometimes we can switch it up and keep them off balance, but for the most part, to be successful in this league, you have to play man to man."

Sweet.

Here's a picture that could give you nightmares...good night now

Robinjr_medium

Post Game Links:

Post Game Audio:

Notes Taken During the Course Of The Game Instead Of Watching The Game


1st Qtr

  • JRich has Bibby in the post, he passes out to re-post, Nash blows the 2nd entry pass, Bibby steal, Josh Smith dunk. Only the first decision in this sequence needs to be reexamined...
  • Fan just yelled, "Sign the extension" while Amare was at the line...I always take my career advice from the bleacher dwellers
  • Amare looking....very Max so far on both ends of the wooden square surface
  • Robin with the great chase down "block" on Josh Smith in the open court. SWEEET
  • Suns need to get JRich some touches...typical game so far where he can't buy a look
  • Robin's dropped two fouls and 4 points on All-Star Horford
  • Amare w/ 10 points already = good
  • Gentry has completely stopped using the zone...at some point a few weeks ago he just gave up on it
  • Jason Collins is wider (fatter) than Jarron Collins. But Jason is on the floor and Jarron is on the bench so he's got that
  • I've noticed that Frye and Robin always cheer for the other one from the bench...very supportive of each other
  • Decent defense. 23 points on 38% shooting. Of course Horford and Smith both were in foul trouble
  • 26-23 Suns

2nd Qtr

  • I really should be paying more attention to this game. I am having attention deficit fatigue syndrome
  • 2nd unit playing great D. Lots of deflections and what not
  • Josh Smith just backed off Frye and starred at him take a 15 foot J. That's the DPOY???
  • Hawks have scored 2 points in the quarter until Frye whiffed on a wide-open lay up leading to a run out
  • And by whiffed on a wide open layup, I mean he like didn't even get the ball to the rim
  • Goran goes right at Josh Smith and gets the little pull up J in the lane...what a vet move
  • Nash and Amare have rested a long time in this quarter
  • Welcome back to the game Amare. Here's your two points
  • Our number 15 is outplaying their number 15 and lets not forget that our number 15 was drafted with their draft pick
  • Josh Smith does a Channing Frye and misses and open dunk. Channing thanked him
  • Robin Lopez the second leading scorer...has anyone gone from zero to hero faster?
  • I don't understand how this game is close...Suns are shooting 10% better. TOs and OReb are about even. Each team has 2 three's and now Suns are down 1?? SMH
  • Way to let down to close the half.

3rd Qtr

  • Ice cream!!!
  • Just when Nash finally finds Jason for a corner three. Lopez gets called for the 3 sec
  • Great recognition and/or communication there...trust me. It was
  • and Robin gets in on the act with his own missed dunk
  • Ok - so I am starting to think I should be blaming JRich. He is touching the ball but he's not doing anything with it. Either a quick pass or a couple of dribble and nothing
  • Just watching the way Grant talked to him during free throws, I think players like Al Horford. I do
  • Neither of these teams are playing very hard nor is the crowd cheering very hard nor am I writing very hard. I blame me
  • That was good patient offense. Hawks switch Smith on to Nash. He finds Amare in the post. They double him. He kicks it out. Swing pass to JRich for an open three. Miss
  • Tie game. Crowd got a tab bit fired up on a no-call but that won't last...everyone is waiting for the fourth quarter to show up
  • Nash to the bench with 5 min left in the 3rd quarter? Odd. Very very very odd
  • Tom Leander is clean shaven now. He's sitting in front of me
  • I would say "nice second effort by Frye" but that sounds so cliche and overused so "very well executed by Channing on the subsequent attempt"
  • I love that Goran has a mid-range game already
  • Grant Hill is playing like a guy who didn't go to Dallas for the all-star game but instead went to Mexico with his family to get some rest
  • Twice the Suns had three pointers just a tick after the clock
  • Hawks with 66 points through 3...but the Suns don't play defense. 

4th Qtr

  • They don't but they are doing ok tonight
  • Frye working hard against Horford to deny the entry pass. Like it
  • JRich with 2 points. What's the Suns record when he score 2 points?
  • Teams combine 4 for 24 from three
  • How did Lou block that? I have NO IDEA how he got high enough to get that ball
  • Nash still not in. He's not being treated or anything. Just not in. Not playing. Not balling. Not shooting. Not not defending
  • Lou w/ the OReb, feet shuffle, no-call, put back!!!
  • Frye fighting for rebounds!!!
  • ....with Amundson
  • Suns up 10! Thanks to bench
  • SHOOT THE BALL
  • Great pass from Goran to Lou. Lou of course can't finish which is why Goran has no assists but at least Lou got to the line and made 1 or 2
  • Suns now up 13! This hustle unit for the Suns is getting it done
  • Joe Johnson is still very good
  • Suns are just running simple stuff. Taking advantage of mismatches of switches and finding the open man. Playing hard, solid D. Go figure
  • WOW! SWEET TOUCH PASS FROM JASON TO LOU!!!!
  • Mr. Josh Smith. You can feel free to take jump shots all you want
  • Amare and Robin in. Channing and Lou out. No Nash
  • Nash back in!
  • Jamal Crawford just fouled Robin Lopez to prevent his full court break?
  • 9 point game, 2:44 to go. 85-74. A real grinder this one
  • Amare doubled in the post does what Amare does best...makes the wrong pass
  • Suns keep going to Amare baseline against Josh Smith and you know what...IT IS NOT WORKING
  • Hill in for Jason. Gentry leaves Dudley on the floor. Smart decision
  • Hawks TOTALLY blow the inbound pass!!! bahhhaawwwaaahhhaaaa
  • AND NASH w/ the circus shot at the shot clock!!! Suns up 88-79 w/ 42 sec to go. Jamal at the line
  • that's it!! WIN