18 February 2012
Sometimes you wish that the brilliant hardwood play of individual players could be awarded at the end of an individual NBA game even though their team went down in flames. We're not talking about being picked for the All Stars - although that wouldn't hurt - or being nominated for some other league award. No - we mean something that would recognize the brilliant play of an individual in a game in which their team is otherwise lacking.
If you are puzzled by the idea - just look at the incredible play of two Suns stand-outs (Marcin Gortat and Steve Nash) in valiant efforts to salvage a win for Phoenix last night. Unfortunately the game saw the Suns go down to a 111 - 99 defeat at the hands of the LA Lakers but that shouldn't take away from the excellence shown by the above dynamic duo.
During that game the Suns built a 25 - 21 first quarter lead but 12 minutes of playing time later found themselves facing a first half deficit of 57 - 48. That's a 13-point swing in the wrong direction during just one quarter of play and subsequent quarters saw little relief as the Suns dropped the third (30 - 25) and edged the Lakers by just 2 points in the last 12 minutes of play (26 - 24).
Yet through it all - Marcin Gortat and Steve Nash proved that they are nothing but brilliant when it comes to dominating their respective positions. Gortat's 21 points and 16 rebounds came on top of 2 steals for the big man from Poland and Nash's 11 points and 17 assists were complimented by two steals of his own.
Stunning performances by both that deserve incredible gratitude from the restless masses of fandom here at www.sunsstufft.com.
As for the rest of the roster - Shannon Brown was excellent with 15 points and rookie Markieff Morris continued to impress with 14 points including 6 from beyond the arc. Deduct the strong performers and the Suns went 16 of 39 from the floor and ran into trouble when Robin Lopez proved incapable of defending against quality NBA talent like Andrew Bynum and /or Pau Gasol. That left Gortat on the floor for a full 42 minutes as Coach Alvin Gentry tried to stem the bleeding by putting Lopez on the bench after just six minutes of playing time.
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