Suns Open 2008-09 Season w/ Win Against Spurs

San Antonio Spurs

The new look Phoenix Suns win their season opener in a tight contest against their nemesis, the San Antonio Spurs.  Phoenix looked good going into the 4th quarter and survived an onslaught by Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, who both finished w/ 32 pts for the Spurs.

San Antonio opened the game w/ the "hack a Shaq" routine, w/ Michael Finley wrapping up Shaquille O'Neal as he crossed halfcourt after the tip.  In this instance, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was simply making light of Shaq's early comments that the practice was cowardly.  Both coach and player shared a quick laugh, but the Spurs resorted to the hacking later in the first half in an attempt to keep the Suns from getting too far in front.  At one point, Shaquille shot 8 straight free throws for the Suns (he made 5), helping Phoenix keep it close.  It seemed that after each foul, the Spurs were able to run straight down and get 2 pts, so the strategy worked partially.  I was really surprised to see them not take the same strategy late in the 4th quarter, w/ the Suns leading by a few points.

New Suns coach Terry Porter displayed quite a few differences in his first game, as compared to previous coach Mike D'Antoni (who won is debut w/ the Knicks):

  • The Suns bench played a critical role in the game, playing a pretty high number of minutes.  The highest Suns starter only played 33 minutes, so it would seem that Porter intends to keep his players fresh throughout the game.
  • The Suns played some defense.  Sure, there were some mistakes throughout the game, but beating a Spurs team on their homecourt is a great accomplishment, regardless of the situation.

The opening game win is certainly a confidence booster for the Suns, who faced a lot of question marks coming into the season.  Phoenix plays New Orleans tomorrow night at home, so they will not get time to rest and enjoy the victory.  The Hornets are a much younger & faster team, so it will be interesting to see another side of this Suns team.  The Spurs are slow and deliberate, while the Hornets more resemble the previous Suns (running & scoring at will).

Congratulations to the Suns for the victory... we need to keep it up!

Published Thursday, October 30, 2008 1:10 AM by chowell
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