By ANDREW FLYNN, Managing Editor
Eight games in, the Phoenix Suns are looking like a professional basketball team. Kind of.
Don’t take the last two games as any sort of beacon of hope that they’ll breeze through the rest of the season, because they definitely won’t. They’ve been good wins, yes, but they’ve also been against teams that one could easily classify as sub-par…let’s break it down.
Most recently, the Suns played a tired and road-weary team from Milwaukee. Aside from the fact that the Bucks haven’t won in Phoenix since the second Reagan Administration (1987), they were 2-5 coming into the Valley of the Sun, and without their best big man, Aussie Andrew Bogut. Their star (relatively speaking) is good for solid enough defense and a 15-10 output on a regular basis. Not there, so there’s a hole. And where there’s a hole, the Suns can usually find a way to turn it into a track meet. When they have their athletic players in, anyways.
So the Suns won against Milwaukee 109-93 after putting the game in the deep freeze in the third quarter. That’s when they were able to rest Steve Nash, who can always relish time off of the pine and flat on his back. His aching, weary, almost-40 back. Can’t believe the guy dished out 17 assists in only 27 minutes the other night, that’s just flat amazing. Coach Alvin Gentry has said that Nash will also rest alongside aging swingman Grant Hill whenever they can, especially during the third game of the brutal back-to-back-to-backs, of which the Suns have two sets of this season.
We’re 4-4 at the moment, with a challenging game against the Lakers tonight. It’s not crucial that the Suns really win this one, I certainly don’t expect them to. The Lakers played last night at home against the Grizzlies, and eked out an eight-point victory. So this is where the Suns have a tiny leg-up on Los Angeles, they didn’t play on Monday night. Should we control the tempo in the first two-and-a-half quarters, winning will be possible. But it’s gotta be a tight, fast-paced tempo, and every player has to be laser-focused on whipping Kobe and what’s left of his Royal Purple & Gold Gang.
After this, the Suns will have 57 games left. Nobody pens them in for a playoff spot, at all. In the heart of hearts, I don’t even think they expect to playing in May. It is a long time until then, however. Should they all buy into the team like they appeared to during the last two games, a whole lot stranger things have sure happened in this life.
And that’s my giving a damn.