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Damn the Suns have a cocky PF

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by wizkid83, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. wizkid83

    wizkid83 Contributing Member

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    And it aint even Amare. Steven freaking Hunter managed to talk some serious trash against their possible playoff opponent before he starts riding Amare's sack. I'm usually ok when it comes from a superstar or an all star, heck maybe even a starter or a key role player, but Steven Hunter?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3525/


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    Suns' win darkens Nuggets' rosy view
    Chris Tomasson, Rocky Mountain News

    PHOENIX - George Karl has worried about the Denver Nuggets getting too happy during their recent winning ways. He certainly has no concerns about his contentment.

    Karl picked up two technical fouls in the final minute and was ejected Monday night at America West Arena. He watched from the locker room as the Phoenix Suns finished a 123-114 victory.


    "I just snapped at the end," Karl said.

    With the Nuggets trailing 116-110, Karl became enraged when no foul was called after forward Carmelo Anthony missed two layups. He let his feelings be known at the other end to official Rodney Mott and was hit with a technical with 42.3 seconds to play.

    "I was just telling him to call another touch foul," Karl said. " 'Why don't you end the game right now?' I was challenging him. I deserved what I got."

    Karl figured he would go out in style. After getting the first technical, he charged onto the court and got in Mott's face.

    Karl was ejected. Assistant Scott Brooks coached in the waning seconds.

    The game was a possible preview of a first-round playoff series. If the Nuggets (38-31) remain in the No. 8 spot in the West and Phoenix (53-17) stays No. 1, the two will meet.

    The Suns lead the season series 3-0, but none of the games has been easy for them. Denver led 107-102 midway through the fourth quarter before Joe Johnson took over. The Suns guard scored eight of his team's next 10 points to put Phoenix ahead 112-109 with 3:43 left.

    "Joe Johnson was the silent assassin," said Anthony, who led the Nuggets with 22 points. "He put the team on his back."

    Johnson, who scored 23 points, had plenty of help. Forward Shawn Marion totaled a game-most 30 points and 14 rebounds and point guard Steve Nash scored 23 points and handed out 14 assists.

    But the Nuggets, who have won 14 of their past 16 games with both losses to Phoenix, were not in awe.

    "We came out and we did send a message that we can play with them," said guard Wesley Person, who shot 4-for-4 on three-pointers and scored 14 points as the Nuggets overcame a 10-point second-quarter deficit.

    A different opinion was heard in the Suns locker room.



    "We respect (the Nuggets), but if we play them in the playoffs, I'm predicting we pretty much beat them in four or five games," said Steven Hunter, who started at center in place of Amare Stoudemire, who sat out with a sore left ankle. "We beat them (Monday) without one of the best players in the league in Amare Stoudemire.

    "Whenever we turn on our game in the playoffs, (the Nuggets) won't even be that close."



    The Nuggets also were without a top starter in forward Kenyon Martin, who has a chest injury. Denver got back center Marcus Camby, who totaled 14 points and nine rebounds after missing two games with a sprained right ankle.

    "I'm pretty sore, but I'm all right," Camby said.

    Anthony sat out for a 31-second stretch with just under 5 minutes to play when he got banged on the right thigh. That was not the only place Anthony was sore after the game.

    "I got hit a lot of times out there," said Anthony, who agreed with Karl about getting battered in the final minute. "But I can't blame the referees."

    Karl was not as forgiving. After the Nuggets picked up a foul in the final seconds of the third quarter, he said to no one in particular, "Gifts. Gifts."

    "It's the consistency of fouls," Karl said. "Nash gets touch fouls. We get hit hard and we don't get any foul. The topper was at 114-109. The clock's running down (with 2:34 left) and Nash gets a touch foul. And then we go in there and Carmelo bounces three or four times and it looks like he gets hit on every shot. And we don't get any call.

    "We didn't lose the game because of the refereeing. We lost the game because we got beat by a team that's playing very well. But the consistency is frustrating."

    Also frustrating for the Nuggets was their lead against the Minnesota Timberwolves for the eighth spot was cut to two games. And they lost a chance to tie the Memphis Grizzlies, who lost at Chicago, for the No. 7 spot.

    Karl figures it could take 46 wins for the Nuggets to clinch a playoff spot. He would prefer the Nuggets curtail their happiness a bit until they reach that figure.

    Suns 123, Nuggets 114 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  2. tigermission1

    tigermission1 Contributing Member

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    Sorry, but I don't think he went overboard with that, he is pretty much accurate in his description.

    The Nuggets won't be even close to the Suns in the 1st round.

    What really dismays me is that EVERYONE is saying that the Suns are "not a playoff team" or "won't win it all" or whatever other crap they come up with; reality, however, is that this team is one of the top 3-4 teams in the league favored to win it all. Their record ain't no fluke, they ARE that good!

    I think if Duncan is not 100% and the Spurs are at the absolute top of his game, the Suns will make it to the Finals. They only have to worry about the Spurs, in my opinion.

    The Heat will come out of the East. It will be the Spurs IF (a big variable here) Duncan is back at the top of his game.

    That is just how I see it...
     
  3. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

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    It looks like a vote of confidence from Hunter. It's material for the Nuggets, but everyone knows the odds are stacked against them.
     
  4. RunninRaven

    RunninRaven Contributing Member
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    It's not that people are saying the Suns aren't a playoff team, in that they shouldn't even be there. It's more like they are saying the Suns are a team that is poorly built for playoff basketball success. When was the last time a run and gun, no defense playing team like the Suns won the championship, or even advanced far in the playoffs? Best I can think of is the Kings of recent years, and they could never make it past the Lakers. It doesn't happen very often for a reason. That fast breaking, run your opponents off the floor style of play doesn't work anywhere near as well because it's a playoff atmosphere and everyone is already amped up for every game. They shut down that running crap real fast. I'm sure the Suns get past the first round, but I doubt they get past any of the high seeded teams (save for maybe the Sonics, that have the same style).
     
  5. apostolic3

    apostolic3 Member

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    I'm still not sold on the Suns. Teams will adjust to them during a 7 game series and get back on defense, forcing them into more of a half-court game. Their style of play will be less of an advantage, especially after Game 1 of a series.

    My other major concern from earlier in the year is Nash usually gets run down by playoff time. In fact, he is already run down and hasn't been himself for the last few games and there are still 10-12 games left before the easy season ends. During the playoffs, teams will go out of their way to get physical and Nash will wear down even more. He effectiveness will dimish with each round if the Suns advance.

    There was a reason the Mavs didn't offer him a comparable contract. They've seen Nash up close and personal for several years. There are some guys who step it up in the playoffs year after year and Nash isn't one of them.

    Aside from Nash, we have D'Antoni. I give him major props for constucting and molding this team to get maximum use of their talent. It's almost a stroke of genius. But we don't know how well D'Antoni will make game to game adjustments during the real season. I guarantee you teams will try things the Suns haven't seen before.

    They will beat the Grizz or Nuggets in the first round for sure. Neither of those teams is likely to go far. But if they play the Rox or Mavs in the second round it will be a dogfight. At best, I see the Suns getting to the WCFs, where they will lose to whoever emerges.

    Nobody has said the Suns record is a fluke. That's why you have an 82 game season. Nobody said they weren't a playoff team. But people are right to be skeptical about them. Nash's durability, the high number of minutes their starters played this year, D'Antoni's inexperience, their porous defense, an unproven half-court game and playoff inexperience for most everyone on their team are major concerns that have not been answered yet.
     
  6. Willis25

    Willis25 Contributing Member

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    dude - wasn't this guy so bad he was CUT by the 21-61 Magic :confused:
     
  7. emjohn

    emjohn Contributing Member

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    What gets me is that I remember thinking this exact same thing about the Mavs when they were on that crazy regular season tear a couble of years ago (60 win season, 02-03).

    Playoffs came, and poof. Not the same dominant team anymore. Nearly get beaten by the Blazers (the infamous near choke after a 3-0 lead), slip past the Kings (4-3) after Webber's knee makes like an egg in game 4, and got dropped by the Spurs. Not as big a failure as a first-round and out, but anyone watching that year should remember that they looked bad throughout.

    Evan
     
  8. emjohn

    emjohn Contributing Member

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    Headcase. Major one. Heart of a mushroom.
     
  9. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    I also remember a similiar cocky team in the 90's that got beat by the Nuggets... the Seattle Supersonics.

    Maybe Karl (being the utter genius that he is), purposely told his team to play hard.... but in the end, if they lost, it would be just fine because Phoenix would simply get an even bigger head than they already have right now... and teams with big heads don't play good when the pressure goes sky-high in the playoffs. He already knows what over-confidence can do to a team... maybe he's trying to work that magic from the other side now.

    What Steven Hunter needs to realize is that you can't play "your game" when the playoffs come, unless your game is half-court sets, strong defense, and more physical play than the regular season allows.
     
  10. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I don't see what the problem is with what Hunter was saying. After all, he was bragging about Stoudamire and his team, not himself. I think he sees how he's scum. :)

    As for Phoenix, I do think they'll be a pretty potent force in the playoffs. There is a common wisdom that you can't run in the playoffs. But, the regular season has been a radical departure from years past, with scoring way up, and offenses getting more uptempo. If the regular season's changed so much, why couldn't it be that the realities of the playoffs will also change? I'm not saying it has, but I think there is some uncertainty now to what had been long accepted about playoff basketball.

    At the same time, Denver is not going to be a pushover. Their seed is low as it is because they were underachieving before Karl came aboard. I was skeptical of Karl (I used to think he was a great coach, but he's had some spectacular failures recently), but he's got them playing some great ball now. It looks like Denver did the right thing bringing him on, and they are now a much better team than their record. I won't be floored if they pull an upset. Even if they go down, I think their series will be quite a fight.
     
  11. tigermission1

    tigermission1 Contributing Member

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    Funny that you guys would come back examples of the Kings and the Mavs and how little success they had in the past.

    I wouldn't consider going all the way to the WCF a failure, if the "well-built" Rockets do that year after year, I will ecstatic:)

    The Kings just simply were better than every other team in the West, except for the Lakers (Shaq & Kobe ain't no pushovers, and the Kings played them very respectably, in fact, a shot here and a shot there and they would have beat the Lakers -- think Horry's dagger to get the Lakers back in the series, or the Kings taking the Lakers to 5 in the first round). So they didn't lose by much, they just couldn't get over the hump.

    As for Dallas, they played the Spurs respectably in the WCF before, and they will continue to have success in the playoffs.

    I think those two teams are hardly an example of "these type of teams" not doing well in the playoffs: count me in as one of those who think reaching the WCF and battling the eventual champions a success, no matter how you twist it.

    So it is probably a little stretch to say that their style of play 'doesn't work' in the playoffs.

    That was my point. I would be ecstatic if the Rockets have similar success this year. The whole point is being competitive.
     
  12. Nuggets4

    Nuggets4 Contributing Member

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    BINGO! I want the Suns. Badly.
     
  13. micah1j

    micah1j Member

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    The Suns won't lose a playoff series because of their run & gun offense - they will lose because they play NO DEFENSE.
     
  14. MLittle577

    MLittle577 Contributing Member

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    I also don't understand the comment Hunter made about them being without their best player makes it a blow out over Denver. They still scored 11x points without Amare, and they still scored 107 without Marion against us, and thier average with everyone in uniform is 110 a game.

    They are not gonna score anymore or less than that with or without one of those "stars" save for Nash. So it still could be close with Denver, even with Amare. More proof that Nash is the engine of that machine. Amare out, no change, Marion out , no change, Richardson out, no change, Joe Johnson out, no change, Nash out, BIG CHANGE.
     
  15. Two Sandwiches

    Two Sandwiches Contributing Member

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    I agree.

    That's not trash talking.
     
  16. calurker

    calurker Contributing Member

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    If the Rockets do that this year, I'd be ecstatic, but NOT "year after year." We're not Jazz fans here. ;)

    No championship = 'doesn't work'
     
  17. Nuggets4

    Nuggets4 Contributing Member

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    Hunter also forgot the part that we were without K-Mart.
     
  18. francis 4 prez

    francis 4 prez Contributing Member

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    what if a team is just better than you?


    if the suns lose to the spurs or heat this year, it won't be because of their style, it would be because the spurs and heat are just plain better (or close enough that it's just a tossup). i suppose if they lose while scoring 80 in every game and losing by 20 one could make that argument, but i don't see it happening.

    if they lose to seattle, dallas, sacramento, or denver, that won't mean anything either because those are high powered offenses as well.

    losing to the rockets could be an indictment of their style but we're hardly the grind it out half court team we used to be. we've been averaging close to 100 ppg for a long time now.

    detroit would probably be the only team they could lose to and it show their style doesn't work (though they'd already be in the finals so that would be kind of a weak argument). detroit would be the big time D that doesn't win as much as the high powered, fast breaking O in the regular season but wins b/c they're built for the playoffs.

    anyone other than detroit and i don't really see the "this style doesn't work in the playoffs" thing working.


    as for the kings and mavs, the kings made it to the WCF and were it not for a horrible ref screw job would've beat the lakers. even with that, no one else was beating the lakers so it's not as if they're style was stopping them. the lakers were just awesome.

    the mavs made it to the WCF as well and then lost nowitki after game 2, so it's not like the spurs just beat the hell out of them. even then, style or not, the spurs were just better.

    the suns will be a nice experiment but i don't expect to see that their style can't hang in the playoffs.
     
  19. Desert Scar

    Desert Scar Contributing Member

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    I agree with Tiger, Juan and 4prez on the Suns. I think they have a legit shot at the finals, I think they present a lot more problems than the Mavs or Sonics for instance. In fact I think they are one of 5 teams who have any kind of shot at all (Mia, SA, Det, Suns and Rockets--though I also put the last 2 much lower likelihood).

    As for Denver, noone should want to play them. I can't see them advancing to the WCF, but they could give anyone--including the Suns or a healthy Spurs team, a hard time in a single series. They are deep, have athletes, and can present a lot more difficulty IMO than the Grizzlies or perhaps the Kings.

    If I am Nash I want Hunter to put a sock in it. The last thing you want to do is motivate potential opponents.

    People do discount how close the Kings got to a title, as well as the Mavs when they made it to the WCF only to have Dirk get injured (further if Webber had not gotten injured the Kings might have won that year as well the previous year with that 7 game Lakers series everybody refers to). This Phx team is a lot like those teams but long and more athletic on the wings--thus potentially more formidable on the defensive end.

    We all look for simple rules. The team with the best player wins. The team with the best defense wins. Etc. But the best team wins and there are lots of ways to build the best team.
     

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