Monday , May , 07 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Steve Nash & The Phoenix Suns Lose A ‘Bloody’ Game One To San Antonio

San Antonio has jumped out to an early 1-0 series lead, taking home-court advantage away from Phoenix. Steve Nash’s cut was the talk of game one, but Phoenix should be more concerned with tempo. Yes, tempo. The Spurs played the Suns’ brand of fast-paced basketball and still won. This must be a worry for Phoenix’s coaching staff heading into game two … Click here for all this and so much more

What Happened: Game one showed that the Western Conference Semifinals between the and will be a close and competitive series. And the difference in Sunday’s series opener may have been a fourth quarter gash to ’s nose.

Nash was in and out of the game in the final minutes due to a cut on his face. With the two-time MVP on the bench, and hit a pair of baskets to seal a 111-106 win for the Spurs on Sunday afternoon in US Airways Arena.

Duncan and Parker had strong games for San Antonio. Duncan  scored 33 points to go with 16 rebounds, while Parker chipped in with 32 points and 8 assists.

Nash, despite the injury, led the Suns with 31 points and 8 assists. only made 6-of-19 shots to finish with 20 points and 18 rebounds. scored 18 points,  while scored 11 in the final quarter to end up with 16 points.

The post-game focus was on Nash’s nose. He sustained the injury banging heads with Parker. After the collision, Nash immediately started to bleed. Parker bounced back and fell to the ground.

The Suns will attempt to even the series in game two on Tuesday evening.

Reaction of Phoenix guard Steve Nash
on his injury:
"There was nothing I could do. It was obviously frustrating, but it was really out of my hands." (ESPN)

 Reaction of San Antonio forward Robert Horry on Nash’s injury:
"You only see things like that in a boxing match. Where a guy cuts his nose and it won’t stop bleeding. You feel bad for the guy because you want to have the best team out there at the end of the game, and he wasn’t out there." (CNNSI)

Reaction of Phoenix guard Steve Nash on the Suns losing focus:
"Very surprising, very frustrating. How many times can you talk about it? We just have to have a bigger heart and continue to push through these invisible barriers that seem to pop up. I don’t know what they are, but sometimes we just don’t play as hard as we should." (ESPN)

My Take: The Suns have a few concerns. First, they lost game one at US Airways Arena. This means they no longer hold the all-important home-court advantage. The Spurs only have to win their home games to advance. That’s a problem.

Second, the Suns lost even though they forced the Spurs into playing their run-and-gun style of basketball. This is big. Phoenix thought they would beat San Antonio if they could just dictate the game’s tempo. Well, they dictated the tempo in game one and still lost.

Third, the Suns and the rest of the NBA better start realizing that the Spurs are probably the league’s best team.

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