If there was any question as to who was the best team in the Pacific Division (there was through Dec/Jan), the Phoenix Suns pretty much erased all doubt on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
From the start (21-4 I think the score was), the Suns ran away with the victory. Let's put it this way... they scored more points in three quarters than about 10 teams in their entire game(s). Steve Nash led the way, but James Jones, Tim Thomas (aka 'TNT'), and the Matrix all played solid ball. On two similar plays, Thomas drove the lane against Chris Kaman and threw down the dunk(s).
The victory over the Clippers puts the Suns 7 1/2 games ahead of them for the division title. Next up for Phoenix are the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, who've been on cruise control throughout the season. They're currently seeded 3rd in the Western Conference which could hurt them in later playoff rounds because of the home-court advantage. The Spurs are nearly unbeatable on their home floor, but playing in Dallas or Phoenix could be troublesome.
There's a lot going on with the Phoenix Suns right now, so I'll just break down each item:
- Kurt Thomas - Has been playing with a stress fracture in his foot, but will now miss 6-8 weeks; likely the rest of the regular season.
- Amare Stoudemire - Started 5-on-5 practices the other day and looks good in his recovery from knee surgery. Still no timetable on his return though.
- Bryan Colangelo - The ex-Suns GM/President is now the Toronto Raptors GM/President. The Suns are looking to promote from within, but have indicated they'll not rush to fill the position.
- Jim Jackson - Waived by the Suns yesterday. After not playing for the last 24 games and voicing his frustrations over not being traded, the Suns waived the guard/forward.
Player of the Month
Photo: Associated Press
- Andre Barrett - Replaces Jim Jackson in the lineup. Signed to a 10-day contract. Previously played in the D-League.
- Suns win 8th straight - After a sluggish start the Suns simply outran the Milwaukee Bucks last night enroute to their 8th straight victory. Shawn Marion led the way with 29 pts and 18 rbs - Steve Nash had 23 pts and 13 assists.
- Shawn Marion - Selected the Western Conference Player of the Month for February. Last week's snub for player of the week honors doesn't look so bad anymore. Many in the game are mentioning Marion's name in MVP discussions for the first time ever.
- Tim Thomas - The disgruntled Chicago Bull is apparently being waived under the condition he signs with a Western Conference team. The Suns called Thomas' agent and that's all it took to get him out of Chicago. The Bulls will pay the full $14 million remaining on Thomas's contract and he'll sign with Phoenix after he clears waivers.
All in all it's been a busy week for the Suns and their fans. It doesn't look to calm down anytime soon because the Suns are trying to get homecourt advantage for the playoffs and they're without a true center. The addition of Tim Thomas should help out quite a bit though.