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Monday Post Suns Game Links

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I know this is boring, but I'm not going to be doing any sort of super-special write up on yesterday's game because it just wasn't a super-special game. I guess the loss could concern me it any part of me I had just seen the Mavs best not be good enough, but that wasn't the case. The whole point of the regular season, is to figure out how good your team is, and how good it can be. I already know the answer to that question, so as the season winds down, all I really care about is Dirk's ankle, Dampier's shoulder, Howard's ankle, and George's knee. I'm not worried about the complacency the Mavs have seem to played with the last three or four games, or the Suns, or the Spurs. I've watched 73 games, and it's taught me that Dallas can only beat themselves.


Eddie Sefko's game recap is all about the defense that allowed the highest FG% in a game this season - by any team.

"We never left the hotel and when we did get here, we weren't focused," coach Avery Johnson said. "We had a poor level of concentration, and they had a lot to do with that."

"We made a lot of mistakes, gave them too many layups, wide-open 3s, and they really had us going both ways," Nowitzki said. "Everybody was really struggling. To allow 50 points in the paint - we never really found a way to contain their offense."

Several players, along with Johnson, talked about how the Mavericks lacked attention to detail defensively, failing to follow the game plan that was devised.

"Our defensive coverage had a lot of breakdowns," Devean George said. "We were kind of confused out there, confused on our game plan and our coverages. I think we were just a little out of whack."

Art Garcia asks a great question in his game recap.
So after the Suns took a shockingly easy 126-104 win at a playoff-frenzied US Airways Center and knotted the regular-season series 2-2, what really changed?

"That's all it is, a season series, and we split," Jerry Stackhouse said. "It doesn't have anything to do with much. We still have a pretty comfortable lead. We just have to go out and close out the regular season the way we should, and we'll see what happens.

"We know this is a team we could very well face again, but a lot has to happen for that to happen, on our side and their side. So it's been some great games, but unfortunately for us, they won the last couple. I'm sure their confidence is high about matching up with us, but we know we're better than what we showed."

Paul Coro of the Arizona Central seems to think the Suns can play like that whenever they want.
The Suns rose up again and showed they can beat any team, knocking off the 61-12 Mavericks for the second time in the past 18 days. That ability to lift their games on demand comes in awfully handy when they play only the best in the postseason.
A statement not even Mike D'Antoni agrees with.
"That's about as good as we can play," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Gil LeBreton had some telling quotes in his article today, with Steve Nash echoing D'Antoni and Devin Harris saying that playing the Suns pace was part of the gameplan.
"When we play well, no one is going to defend us well," Nash said. "This was one of those games where we were close to our best."
"We never got to our style of basketball," Mavs guard Devin Harris said. "They were playing their style the whole game.

"It was their pace, their game. Defensively, we never found ourselves. We never really got into a rhythm."

Kelly Dwyer breaks down yesterday's showdown games and says that Avery should have sat Dirk the rest of the game after he landed on Marion, that Phoenix and Dallas have the best offenses in the NBA, and has this on people who would consider changing their MVP vote after yesterday.
As usual, they need to be reminded of how well he played down the stretch of the two Dallas wins against the Suns earlier this season, and pay more attention to the season that starts Oct. 31, and not an imaginary one that starts around the same time the SI Swimsuit Issue comes out. Base it on 82 games, I implore you, not two.

Jennifer Floyd Engel compares Mark Cuban to Terrell Owens but never explains why or tells us where to get some of what she is smoking.


Mike Fisher writes about yesterday's game "stream-of-consciousness" style. The most common complaint - ABC.
Is it just me, or is ABC's lower-bowl camera angle nausea-inducing? Not only can I not see the action as I conventionally like it, but in addition to my pen and notepad, I need to equip myself with a barf bag.

Marc Stein has a mini-blog entry about Dirk landing on Marion's ankle.
"I thought he undercut me a little bit, but it doesn't matter at that point," Nowitzki said. "There was no foul called, so we kept on playing."

Asked later if he thought Marion intentionally slid his left foot into his path before turning and chasing after the rebound, Nowitzki said: "I don't think so. But I've never had anyone land on my foot [as the defender]."

Injury Update Here's Erick Dampier on his shoulder.
"It's just sore, and I'm having trouble moving it up to the side," he said. "Hopefully, it's just a strain. We'll see how it feels after a couple days of treatment."
It's not considered serious, but he currently has no timetable for a return.

Josh Howard had to get stitches in his eye after the game.

And Dirk will be ready to play on Monday. The real questions is, should he?