Suns mistakes cost them game & season

In last night's 92-87 loss to the Spurs which eliminates the Suns from the playoffs, Phoenix showed they're still not ready to compete at a championship level.  There's plenty of blame to go around:

  • Costly turnovers with the game on the line - The Suns had 4 turnovers in their last 7 possessions while within 1-3 points of the Spurs.
  • 17 missed free throws... 17!!!!!!!!!!!  Shaq missed 11 of them.
  • Pick & Roll was missing completely - Amare finished w/ 22 pts (combined) in the last 2 games, after averaging close to 30/game prior.
  • Coaching - The Spurs outplayed & outcoached D'Antoni and the Suns, pure & simple.  The stubbornness of keeping Shaq in, despite the hack-a-Shaq being employed by San Antonio, may have helped cost D'Antoni his job.
  • Steve Nash - He rarely gets called out for playing poorly, but he did not lead the Suns in the closing minutes and committed 2 costly turnovers with the game on the line.  He also couldn't hit the broad side of a barn last night, shooting 25% (4-16 FG) and only going to the charity stripe 2 times.  He had no assists in the first half and only finished w/ 3.
  • Leandro Barbosa - One part of the killer B's (Bell, Boris & Barbosa) that couldn't find his stroke in Game 5.  Leandro finished 1-7 from the field and only 5 points.  The other B's played well, combining for 36 points and 16 rebounds.

I do want to acknowledge the Suns defense effort in Game 5, however, as they did play better defense for close to 46 minutes.  Unfortunately for Suns fans, the Spurs played D' for 48 minutes.

No one knows what the offseason will bring, but there is obviously conflict and doubt in the locker room and in Suns management.  I don't expect to see the same team and/or coaching staff take the court next year.  It will be a shame, but as a basketball fan, the writing's on the wall - this team can't win the way it's setup now.

Published Wednesday, April 30, 2008 10:47 AM by chowell

Comments

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 5:02 PM by NBA Dave

# re: Suns mistakes cost them game & season

Sure, it was a tough loss to the Spurs. Plus, losing 4-1 in the series made it seem like the Suns didn't put up much of a fight. But, I thought the Suns lost that series in the first game. They had game 1 in hand down the stretch and let San Antonio back in it. Phoenix has to learn how to go for the jugular when they have a good team down - especially a championship calibur team like the Spurs. As for next season, I for one hope the Suns maintain most of their current roster. Just add some more depth in the offseason. Giving away Kurt Thomas to the Sonics last offseason really came back to bite them. I know the team was somewhat strapped financially. But, you don't make a trade like that if you're REALLY serious about winning it all. Though I think they should not break up the roster... I do think they should go in a dfferent direction with the coaching staff. Mike D'Antoni is a good coach with lots of experience (mostly in Italy, however). But, I'm always amazed and disappointed by how much he screams at the refs - all game long, every game. If the Suns can hire someone who's a little more low-key during games - and someone who can really command the respect of the players... then I think that would be a move in the right direction.
Thursday, May 01, 2008 10:05 AM by EDSUN

# re: Suns mistakes cost them game & season

I like D'Antoni but there are problems. Defense and perhaps a better intergration of SHAQ and team strategy. You have an aging Steve Nash AND Shaq so breaking up the team or trying to rebuild would be a bad move IMHO. Even though Shaquille O'Neal may play only one or two more years he should spend the next six months shooting foul shots. Make a change-win one more championship!