For the Phoenix Suns, their current 6-game Eastern road trip could not have started out worse after being destroyed by the Boston Celtics. Down by about 30 points all game (after 2nd quarter), it was obvious the Suns just didn't have it on their 2nd of back-to-back games. After narrowly escaping with a victory against the Toronto Raptors the on Sunday, the (tired) Suns could not handle the pressure the Celtics applied early.
Total domination... nothing else can explain the loss.
- Amare Stoudemire finished 0-7 FG, w/ 3 pts and 1 rebound. Way to show dude...
- The Suns committed 10+ TO's in the 1st half (think closer to 20).
- Fast break points - Adv. Celtics, Points in the Paint - Adv. Celtics, 2nd Chance Points - Adv. Celtics
Too bad for the Suns. They looked like a JV team out there against the Celtics. KG, Pierce, Allen and Rondo had their way w/ the Suns, including Shaq who was clearly slower after playing in Phoenix' two previous games.
Nothing else to say really... no bright spots in this loss.
Best thing to do is put it in the past and move on to the next game.
The Phoenix Suns started sluggish against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night, but put together a late run in the 4th quarter to push a 110-110 tie w/ 0.9 seconds left. Unfortunately, the defensive scheme didn't take into consideration that Danny Granger was lights out on the night, and they allowed him to get open at the top of the key and drain a 3-pointer. The Pacers defeated the Suns 113-110 in Phoenix... stunning the home crowd, who like me, saw this game going to OT.
Shaquille O'Neal sat out the game w/ back spasms - it was a gametime decision to keep him out. Despite this, the Suns still outrebounded the Pacers, who rank 2nd in the league currently.
The loss can be pegged on several key factors IMHO:
- Indiana was physical and the refs weren't calling sh**. The Suns were routinely gouged, slapped, etc. but most went uncalled. I'm not going to say the Pacers got more breaks, because I think the game was called pretty evenly, but it was more physical than the Suns could handle.
- The Suns, once again, committed a slew of turnovers. The turnovers occurred as a result of many unforced errors, but also due partially the physicality (Bill Walton's favorite phrase).
- Steve Nash was late to the party. Yes, I'm calling out Nash in this one, even though he picked it up in the 2nd half and hit a couple clutch 3's for Phoenix. He started poorly and I believe it affected the rest of the team.
Positive signs from the game include the rebounding and play of Louis Amundson, who pulled down 14 rbs in the loss (subbing for Shaq).
We haven't seen much of the bench recently - not sure why Terry Porter is getting D'Antoni's same habits, but it isn't a good sign at this point of the season. I watched the last 3 quarters and don't recall seeing Brown, Dudley or Lopez in the game at anytime. Certainly Dudley and Lopez could've thrown a few elbows and forced the Pacers' forwards to back off a bit. Earlier this week, Jeff Foster broke Carmelo Anthony's hand - that should tell you all you need to know about how physical this team is.
Bad loss for the Suns. Poor effort to start the game. Poor defense to close out. Record is currently 19-13, which is respectable, but not good enough in the Western Conference.