02 May 2010
Summer time - and the living is easy.
We thought that might get your attention - and, yes indeed, we know that Suns fandom isn't really living "easy". Instead it is quite tense in the Land of the Desert and plenty of fingernails have been bitten to the quick.
Sure our Suns wiped the floor with an emotionally charged but physically hobbled Portland Trailblazers squad and we did it with efficiency and style as Phoenix grabbed 4 of 5 games. Yep - the Suns looked like they wanted it - and actually played like it made a difference as they won those four games by an average of 19 points.
So what's all the worrying about?
Well - now we are getting ready to take the court against the hard nosed San Antonio Spurs on Monday evening. That's the same Texas team that has buried the Suns in many a play-off graveyard and San Antonio has jelled since the beginning of March as Tim Duncan & Company have finally gotten serious about winning the Western Conference. And a Spurs team that is mentally ready to play will be tough.
But we have reason to be upbeat - and optimistic going into a Monday game that is slated to start at 10:30pm EST - or 7:30pm PST for you locals.
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The reason for optimism can be encapsulated in the names of two Suns scoring phenoms - Amar'e Stoudemire and Jason Richardson.
An unlikely pair, the veteran duo hit for a combined average of 46.4 points per game against Portland (J-Rich 25.4 ppg and Amar'e 21 ppg) for an offensive onslaught that accounted for nearly 45% of the Suns points all series.
The unlikely combination included extraordinary outside shooting by J-Rich as he nailed 3-pointers with incredible accuracy ( 80% in Game #1, 66% in Game #2, and 62.5% in Game #5) and Stoudemire doing his thing inside as he hit 38 of 66 from the field for 57% of his shots from the field.
If the Suns new Dynamic Duo can continue spreading the floor - and Steve Nash can get his Hall-of-Fame game back on track - the Suns starting unit can be deadly even against the vaunted San Antonio defense. And if Grant Hill continues his stalwart defense and shot blocking - well - the Suns will be bound for the Western Conference finals.
So get the popcorn ready and grab a seat on the couch because - despite the caution of my colleague here at www.sunsstufft.com - optimism is the order of the day going into Monday evening.
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