Argh. Work is totally getting in the way of this blog. I hate it when I can’t sneak off and throw up a post at work.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about two things the Suns need to do tonight, adjustment-wise, to get this shit going and not go down 2-0 (which is to say “series over” more than likely). Here’s what I think:
The Suns need to be more aggressive. Straight-up, across the board, but especially STAT. Go at ‘em and see what happens. If they’re gonna be calling a lot of offensive fouls, you back off. But do everything you can to get the starters in foul trouble. Because we know the Blazers don’t go real deep these days. In the same vein, I’ve read it 50,000 times, so I’m just gonna reiterate real quick: they need to get the ball to STAT on the move and away from Camby. He’s the kind of defender that STAT cannot play against straight up. Get clever, Suns.
Also, Alvin needs to be prepared to actually do some coaching. This is it, coach. You need to be ready to think on the fly and make moves. You need to ride the hot hand. You need to, as much as I hate to say it, get Nash out of the game if he’s getting crushed on defense and you don’t have any help behind him. Maybe if you’ve got Amundson back there for the help, it’s alright. But if everybody’s expected to play one-on-one defense, and Nate’s playing ‘Dre and Bayless together, Nash can’t stop either one of ‘em. Put Hill or Richardson on ‘Dre and Dragic or Barbosa on Bayless.
Finally, I at last got to look at the BlazersEdge post dekko linked to in a comment (sorry I didn’t approve it earlier, dekko). It’s good, and really helpful to see what happened to Amar’e. But I read this:
Of course the ideal adjustment is for Phoenix to drastically increase the game’s tempo, getting out in transition more regularly and more purposefully. These two Stoudemire dunks came in secondary transition.
See, I don’t know if the Suns are capable of increasing the tempo against PDX, and I think this is where I drastically underestimate the Blazers. I think the Suns oughta just push that tempo, but we’re sixteen quarters into head-to-head, and it just ain’t happening. The Blazers are in total control of the pace. I need to spend a little time figuring out exactly HOW that happens, but that’s what’s happening. So I guess they just need to go ahead and make those open threes, no matter when in the shot clock they take them (!).
If anybody’s around, I’ll be trying some quarterly updates tonight, so check in. And I’ll be tweetin’ it up, too (@sun_n_gun). Here’s to a good game!