At The Hive, the SB Blog supporting the New Orleans Hornets, has thus far given Robin Lopez's hair a better shot to win this game than the complete Suns team by a margin of 6-3. By print time, this margin could change. Now, I'll be the first to point out that Robin Lopez's hair has been a vital contributer to the success of this season's Suns squad, and his hair's recent pubic bone issue has been a reason to be concerned. Nevertheless, he is expected to play tonight as is Steve Nash.
In all seriousness though the Suns are not in excellent shape. Nash is slated to play, but how much he can contribute is questionable. Channing Frye is out of course, so the Suns face a Western Conference foe, the Hornets tonight, handicapped. This is a big one. But they are all big ones, so no point in stressing the importants of W's, no? Find a way to win. That is all.
In the last matchup, the Suns held on for 104-102 victory. Gortat was huge with 25 and 11, but things were made a little easier as Emeka Okafor left early with some sort of hip injury. Up until then, Okafor was eating the Suns alive inside with 7 offensive rebounds and 10 points in 16 minutes of play.
Tonight Okafor is healthy. The Suns need to body this guy and keep him from the easy putbacks and rebounds. Oh and slow Chris Paul. Anyone got any ideas to do that?
And now to what we are all thinking about...Brooks, Carter, Pietrus, and Lopez....The following I shall believe to be obvious:
- The Suns play drops off when Nash is on the pine
- Aaron Brooks was brought in to back up Nash
- Zabian Dowdell backs up Brooks.
Now, clearly it is too early to bash Brooks. The kid needs a little bit of time to get things together, learn his teammates, and hit them where they can be successful. As an example, don't get Hakim the ball at 29 feet away from the hoop with 2 clicks on the shot clock left and expect good things to happen.
Brooks has shown some excellent play-making instincts at times during his short tenure with the Suns. He also has shown the ability to hit shots. AG has given him the green light "play like you did in Houston..." but in my simple mind, Brooks, understandably looks a bit lost on the floor. He was brutalized by Kyle Lowry last time out. Lowry was too big, quick, and strong for Brooks.
I expect Brooks to play the bulk of the backup minutes tonight, but I think he'll get a short hook if he starts getting abused. Zabian Dowdell played excellent versus Houston and deserves more court time.
"It's too bad we didn't play the first half with a sense of urgency."
-Vince Carter, after losing to the Houston Rockets.
Does this quote anger you like it does me? "It's too bad?" When have you heard Marcin Gortat utter, "it's just too bad..." What are we 10 year olds in little league? Come on Vince, sure $17 million dollars may make a loss a little easier for you to take. But try to at least mask your disappointment...Cripe man...And it isn't so much that Vince holds the key to the Suns success. He could be a positive factor when he isn't tossing up 22 fall away 28 footers a game. When he's not going to the hoop drawing fouls instead of hoisting up lazy jumpers. I really want to like the guy, but I have a hard time.
I am at a loss....Move your feet Robin, play some D. A little consistency? 10 and 5? Please do something to keep Okafor from embarrassing you tonight.
I suppose most SG's are streaky. JRich was. But what is Pietrus? This guy has the strength and quickness to get to the hoop. Instead we too often see him tossing up contested threes. CLANK. I get the green light, and maybe he has it. But perhaps Mickael, we can stop bitching to the ref's (who clearly do hate the Suns-obviously (by mandate of David Stern), and play like you have a basketball IQ
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