I've never been more happy to see the bad side of a back-to-back. Consider:
Suns want to quickly wash away the foul
smellfeeling that comes from playing in San Antonio. Best to get back on the horse and in the case of Mr. Richardson, back on the dunk. Speaking of which, if you are at the game tonight and don't cheer wildly when Jason's throws one down you are officially a lame-o.
- While is it technically a back-to-back, the Suns played early yesterday and therefore finished early yesterday and therefore returned to Phoenix early yesterday and therefore got a nice comfy night's sleep in their own beds. Or in the case of some players, other people's comfy beds.
- The Nugs played in LA yesterday and also lost. Not sure what the means except that they also didn't have the day off and they also lost.
This is third time we are seeing the Nuggets this season (1-1) but the first time they are coming to our town, where we can try to reverse their high-altitude advantage by flooding their lungs with extra air.
If that doesn't work, the USAC staff should try ordering Someberto's for their pregame meal which will leave them more concerned about their flaming assholes than proper rotations.
And if they catch on to that and ditch the Carnitas Fries smothered with red sauce, chili and cheese then we will just have to rely on out-working them on the floor. I know that's boring but it does work. And with the spastic Nuggets it can work really well (sometimes).
The stat that's been shoved down our throats this weekend more than any other is the Nuggets record vs sub .500 teams (16-9) vs their record against + .500 teams (23-11). I think the point here is that the Nuggets aren't the most focused team and are prone to mental lapses. Shocking news right there.
It does make you wonder why Carmelo doesn't catch nearly the amount of flack the Amare does for not living up to his potential, not playing consistent defense, and not being a team leader. Hmmm? What about that!?!
At the end of the day, despite the addition of uber-suber-duber-leader-dude Billups, the Nuggets remain a team full of talent and lacking in...character.
No player in the league personifies that more than the enigmatic jerkomatic J.R. Smith. He even earned the coveted Stiff of the Game award from sister site, Denver Stiffs.
-J.R. Smith: After stupidly calling out Bryant on his Twitter account, J.R. proceeded to embarrass himself today with a 3-for-12 (1-for-7 from three point range) shooting "performance". As we've become accustomed to with J.R., it always seems to be two steps forward, one step back.
The Nuggets are the second best offensive team behind your Suns but are a better defensive team according to the all-important defensive efficiency rates. The Nuggets are giving up 102.6 per 100 possessions while the Suns give up 106.4.
Over their past ten games, the Suns, however, are ranked a tad bit higher in opponent FG% (.458 vs .466) and the Suns are a better rebounding team. Phoenix is the 4th best at +4.60 in rebounding differential while Denver is 16th at -.50. How much fun is that! The PHOENIX SUNS are a better rebounding team and in the top 5 in the league!!!!!!!!
HOW COOL IS THAT!!!! THE PHOENIX SUNS ARE DOMINATING THE GLASS THANKS TO THIS GUY!!
The individual match-up I am most worried about is Hill and Melo. We all know how great Melo can be but Grant can do a decent job with him. In their last five meetings (since Hill became a Sun), Grant won 3 of 5 and in those wins held Melo to 16.33 ppg. In the two losses, Melo averaged 31 points.
Grant has been playing pretty well of late coming off his extended All-Star break. At least he was up until yesterday when he flamed out against the Spurs, going 30 minutes for only 6 points. He struggled with no rest already and took a pretty good shot to his back as well. In 13 games with no rest, Hill is scoring about 4 points less, shooting 7% worse, and grabbing 1 fewer rebound.
This one might well come down to Dudley stepping in and manning up with Melo.
Most Athletic Hands vs Most Athletic Player:
A Battle For The Ages!
Amare is Beasting!
For the month of February Amare has 25.3 ppg / 10.1 rpg and is shooting 53.2% from the field and 50% from three! (1 of 2)
He's been active and aggressive and fantastic. We know about the poster dunk yesterday, but the more impressive play was when he missed the reverse layup and went immediately after the rebound and grabbed it away and finished. That was a GREAT play and the kind of thing that makes us frustrated with Amare because we don't see him do this kind of thing consistently enough.
Whether it's because he's in contract mode or playoff mode or seek and destroy mode, he's doing it now. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Random J.R. Smith Tattoo Trivia:
Inside the Mystery of J.R. Smith\'s New Tattoos - Eric Freeman - The Baseline - Sporting News
As far as what exactly the new tattoo is, it's actually just additions to the tats we started back in November. We colored in and added some stars to his neck. We did "Family" on one side of the neck and "First" on the other side. We did the "Young Money" logo in the middle of his neck under his chin. And we did the "Autobots" logo with "Live Now" under it on one side of his neck, and we did the "Decepticons" logo with "Die Later" under it on the other side. Just recently we went back and added some red stars to fill in the space and we colored in the "family First" with red as well.
The Suns have 21 games left in the season. If they go 13 and 8 they will have 50 wins. If they go 9 and 12 they will match last year's total of 46.