The Suns got down to business preparing for the Spurs...again.
Of course, the hometown media who got their first crack at the team since putting away Portland was focused on the "storied" playoff history between the Suns and Spurs.
The party-line was that it doesn't matter. Only three guys are left on the team from 2007. Yadda, yadda.
The reality is the Spurs have owned the Suns and they know it. We know it. The players on both sides know it and Steve might have even let it slip a little when he talked about the series.
"I feel like it is a pleasure to play against a franchise that's been as strong as they have and the battles we've had in the past. To get another chance to play against them is great. These are the things I think you'll remember more than most things when your career is over, so to have another crack at it and go up there and compete and try and knock them down finally would be a lot of fun."
At the same time, Nash thinks all this talk about this history is misguided, "That's what you guys do best is lack creativity and come up with that stuff."
Nash said a better storyline is that you have two teams that people thought were left for dead, "That I think what's unique about this series is that the two teams with a lot of new pieces that were kind of in a transition period and found great chemistry and strength and it set itself up for a really good series."
The assembled horde scoffed at that. No blood, no story.
At least Amare understands that, "It's always been a dramatic series. Looking forward to it. It's going to be a lot of fun. It's going to be great for the TV ratings."
Steve Nash Health Update
Anyone else find it ironic that our "old man" has a hip problem? No? OK, moving on then.
Nash, who sat out of practice today to receive treatment, said it was a good thing there wasn't a game today or tomorrow. He originally strained his hip in shoot around before Game 3 where it really bothered him. He said it was better for Game 4 and 5, but was at its worst in Game 6.
Steve is really optimistic that he will feel great on Monday for Game 1 versus the Spurs.
- I played against them so many times, I know what they are capable off. The young guys need to watch the film and learn.
- Any time you make a mistake, they execute on your mistakes. We have to limit our mistakes.
- Best thing about us is that we're playing great defensively. It's going to be a battle again.
- They are different than the Portland team. They will push the ball with Parker and Hill. If they don't have it, they will go to Tim. 25 touches per game for Tim.
- Don't see it being a low scoring series unless the teams don't shoot the ball well.
- Plan is to give Duncan different looks. Won't give him anything he's not seen over his career.
- Keys: Pace still important to us. Defending Tim in the post and Ginobili, Parker and George Hill. Stopping dribble penetration. (Gentry mentioned Duncan and Ginobili the most)
- Spurs are smaller than in the past. More of a pick and roll team. Looking to get in transition. They still have the usual suspects, know what to expect.
- George Hill really turned it on. He'll be a big factor.
- Our bench is a huge part of our team. Not a top team talent-wise. Our depth, chemistry, our ability to go 10 deep is huge part of our success.
- Got guys that don't get to play as much, chomping at the bit to get on the floor so when they get out there, they play with a ton of energy.
- We can have a long playoff run.
- "Fans going to remember. I wasn't here. Dudley wasn't here. You can go down the list of players who wasn't here."
- We're a different team, we're going to establish something new.
- Fans feel like they got cheated out of a championship, but it's something new now.
- Determined to get out of the first round and don't want the season to end.
- Spurs will key in on me, but I have to move and find ways to get easy baskets.
- Our bigs got to block out their bigs and our guards have to come get rebounds.
- When you're on teams when you are scoring a lot and losing, they look at you as a selfish player.
- 7 1/2 years of my career, I was the go-to guy. Come here and adjust and find other ways to contribute. It was easy to accept, but hard to find ways to keep myself going.
- It wasn't hard to accept a lesser role as long as we're winning.
- I can feel from my teammates when I need to be aggressive. I have a good feeling when I need to get it going and when I don't.
- We have to do a good job containing their three guards, but if they are going to play a point guard on me or Grant, we have to take advantage and go to the post.
- Jason turned his ankle in Game 6. It was painful, but I wasn't going to go off the court. Not in a game like that.
JRich talking about Grant's dunk on Bayless
"They look at Grant and think he's an old guy that can't jump. I never seen him get up that high in awhile. I've seen him get a couple of blocks but to get a guy coming face on from the weak side and straight up on him. That was an amazing block. Probably the best block I've seen this year."
When Grant makes plays like that it lifts the rest of the team. The guy comes in, works hard, never complains and goes out there and gives 110%. Young guys have to follow along.
- Defense is better then it used to be. We've been working a lot more on it. We didn't used to play a lot of defense but Coach knew we needed to work on that all year
- I played against Tony Parker 4 years ago in the European championship. The Phoenix Suns scout saw me there that game and I had a really good defensive game
- I just have to stay in front of him and if he's going to make shots over him that's ok, but I have to stay in front of him
I came across this from a couple of years ago. Does it still apply?