Suns Vs. Sonics: A Prophecy Fulfilled
Truer words were never spoken. I told everyone to make sure that when the Sonics come to your town, you should go to the game. The Sonics came to Phoenix and gave the fans a close game that the Suns won – a great spectacle for the fans. Of course, I did not go. Bluntman got my tickets as payment for recent articles.
As some of you may know, Phoenix celebrated its 40th Anniversary against its first-ever opponent (a win), the Sonics. They decided to have a “retro night” complete with a black-and-white broadcast, go-go Suns Dancers – but no short-shorts.
Phoenix led 2-0 on their way to the 200th win of the Nash Era, and then Seattle went to work. They took a 33 to 13 lead at the end of the first period and held Phoenix to 22% shooting. That was when the Suns decided to take off their retro headbands and start playing in non-retro-style.
At halftime, the Suns were only down 45 to 43. At one point in the third period, the Suns were up 80 to 65, but the Sonics, used to playing from behind, made a run at the Suns. There was exciting play on both sides.
At 98 to 94, Amare Stoudemire jumped out on a high pick-and-roll, causing a bad pass and a turnover. Up 100 to 96, Nash and Stoudemire run a high pick-and-roll ending in a Stoudemire lay-up. On the next possession, STAT made another nice double-team on the high pick-and-roll resulting in a Raja Bell steal from Durant.
STAT finished with 34, 11 and 3 blocks, and the Suns improve to 12-0 when he goes for at least 20 and 10. Everyone knows what he has to do defensively for the Suns to win. His man-to-man D is still lacking, but his help defense is greatly improving. Who else can you think of that plays poor man-defense but dominantly patrols the lane? How about reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby? At least Stoudemire can make more of his dunks than Camby, though.
In another article, I’ll explain why Coach D’Antoni is changing his running system to keep feeding the beast that is Amare Stoudemire. After all, he’s shooting over 58% this season and that includes quite a few mid-range jumpers. If he could only play good defense against a good big man, the league would be in trouble (I’m not going to count his schooling of Chris “Captain Caveman” Kaman because he’s Chris Kaman).
The fact that Kevin Durant is still 19 is simply frightening. Once he matures and hits the weight room, he is going to be a beast with his 7’5” wingspan after he adds 20 to 30 pounds of muscle. Tonight, he hit 11 of 24 for 28 points; he only had seven boards, but he’s playing shooting guard so I guess he gets a pass? A 6’10” shooting guard? This team is going to go nuts in the next couple of years.
It’s such a shame the ownership is trying to take this team away from Seattle. In three years when the Sonics are on knocking on the championship door, I’m going to have to find a way to protest the finals being in Oklahoma.