Textbook game tonight. Too bad that textbook is titled "How To Lose To The Suns in 5 Easy Steps"
- Start by missing your top 2 players, playing your 3rd best player at half speed, and removing 2 other key subs. That's not making an excuse, just a fact that it doesn't help.
- Let them dictate the pace. You know, let them run, take quick shots, make rushed decisions when that's not your typical game.
- Let them get out to an early lead, because it makes it much harder to catch up to them. Especially when they are confident and relaxed and playing with swagger.
- Allow points in the paint and wide open looks from 3. Feel free to cover that area between the paint and the 3 point line, but make sure their shooters are as comfortable as possible. By all means, miss rotations and leave your teammates out to dry (looking at you Sheed).
- Take and miss rushed, desperation three pointers which lead to long rebounds and fast breaks going the other way.
I'm sure there are plenty of other bonus ways we found to lose tonight but I'm too disgusted to root them out tonight. I knew this was going to be a long night when they got up big on our starting unit. It isn't like we had much in reserve after that.
And I have to say it again (and echo the sentiments many have been making all week). Where were the kids (before garbage time) tonight? I'm not saying that Bill Walker, JR Giddens, or Lester Hudson would have made the difference tonight. But I can't say they wouldn't have either. What I know for sure is that Rondo played hurt, Ray played lots of minutes, and we saw a lot of Brian Scalabrine, which doesn't make a lot of sense against the Suns. If we are going to lose by 20 points or so, why not give the kids some non-garbage time minutes. I just don't understand it.
Ugly game. Worst of the year. Blame it on the injuries if you want, but this was poorly played from the start and the Suns took full advantage. So much for being a strong road team this year. The law of averages evened that out quickly. Oh well. It is still December and there's time to get healthy and get back on track, but tonight was one of those games you are happy to put behind you.