January 2006 - Posts
The past week has not been kind to the once hot Phoenix Suns. After suffering an uncharacteristic blowout loss to the Sacramento Kings last Tuesday, the responded and won games over the LA Clippers & Lakers. That's where the wins end though...
On the same night Kobe dropped 81 points, the Suns waged a battle with the Supersonics that ended up being the highest scoring game in the NBA since 1995. The game went back & forth with big shot after big shot being made by both teams. Ray Allen led the Seattle with 42 points and hit the game winner, a 30 ft. 3-pointer over Shawn Marion, to defeat the Suns 152-149 in double overtime.
Last night the Suns weren't able to score in the last few minutes against the Magic and it cost them. Despite great games from both Marion and Steve Nash, Phoenix couldn't take advantage of a weaker opponent this time and lost 111-102. Orlando has been playing well since Steve Francis return, but I don't think their luck will last too long.
Next up for the Suns - @ Miami, @ Atlanta, @ Cleveland, and @ Philadelphia. My prediction is they'll go 3-1 over these four games.
The Suns continue to play well and impress critics across the country. Aside from an overtime loss to the Knicks in New York, and another 3OT loss to the Nuggets (in Denver), Phoenix has been destroying everyone on their schedule. The past 2 weeks have gone well for the Suns with victories over Miami, San Antonio, Cleveland, Golden State and Philadelphia.
Led by last year's MVP, Steve Nash, the Suns are playing better than every team not named Detroit. Nash continues to lead the league in assists, while Marion is racking up stats in every category imaginable (Yahoo! Sports #1 ranked fantasy player so far). Raja Bell, Eddie House and Boris Diaw continue to boost the Suns with the scoring, defense, and all-around play. Amare Stoudemire is still about 2 months away from coming back, but they don't appear to need him very much right now. They will need him to advance in the playoffs, but that's still down the road.
The Phoenix Suns easily handled the 76ers on Wednesday and have improved their lead in the Western Conference's Pacific Division (over the Clippers). If the playoffs started today, the Suns would have the 2nd seed - not too shabby for a team picked by most to struggle without Amare Stoudemire. Steve Nash is proving to everyone that he's an MVP-caliber player in this league. Eddie House once again lit up the scoreboard with his hot shooting.
There's a good article from Charley Rosen on FoxSports.com about the Suns today:
He's right on with most of his comments, but I think the article puts down the Suns quite a bit and leans mostly on the negative side, in terms of their accomplishments to-date.