So a while back, G.C. here wrote a blog about why the Suns will always choke in the Playoffs. And almost every one of the reasons were way off, and wrong. Last night the Suns, were yet again, eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs. For the 4th time in the past 6 years. Now, is that choking? No. The Suns are a 6th seeded team, the Spurs are the defending world champions. I think everyones main problem is ever since Shaq came to Phoenix, expectations went flying through the roof way too soon. As for me, I said from the start, I do not expect the Suns to win the title this year. Next year yes. Even though winning it this year, would be nice too. But why not this year? And now, why not next year? Reasons.....
1. Suns Coach Mike DAntoni. Many people like to blame the players for most of the things. But they never realize there is someone behind the players that are drawing up these idiotic plays, and keeping key players on the bench while keeping a cold shooter on the floor. Mike DAntoni doesn't understand Playoff Basketball. He doesn't understand that once the Playoffs roll around, there is no more time to experiment with things, shake up line ups, try things out. It's time to lock it down, and get business done. 3 years ago, the Suns made it to the conference finals. Last year they made it to the semi finals. This year only to the first round. Mike makes stupid decisions, he panics, and in turn causes his players to panic. Last minutes of games, even though Steve Nash is not hitting his shots, but players like Raja Bell are hitting everything. He will still draw up a play for Nash. And Nash will miss. He will draw up some idiotic play, the players will go out there and attempt to execute this play and turn the ball over. He will keep players like Boris Diaw, who in Games 1 and 2 were throwing the ball away, shooting poorly, and playing poorly in the game, while players like Brian Skinner, sit on the bench. Mike DAntoni never plays his deep bench, they sit almost the entire season, so when someone gets injured, the Suns are hurt all around. Like this series with the Spurs. Grant Hill, one of the Suns key players goes down with an injury. And since Mike never played his bench, he puts someone in and they can't perform well because they've been riding the pine for 82 games. And if that is not enough, lets look at what Mike has to work with....
Steve Nash - 2 Time MVP. And will soon be the ONLY MVP to not make it into the NBA Finals.
Amare Stoudemire - 2003 Rookie Of The Year and future MVP.
Raja Bell - 2006-07 All-Defensive First Team
Grant Hill - 1995 Rookie Of The Year. 2005 and 2008 Sportsmanship Award Winner
Boris Diaw - 05-06 Most Improved Player
Shaquille O Neal - MVP, Rookie Of The Year, 3 Time NBA Finals MVP, 4 Time NBA Champion
Leandro Barbosa - Sixth Man Of The Year
And with that line up, with those players all on the same time together. STILL can not reach the NBA Finals? Rumors have gone all over that if the Suns could not get it done, DAntonis future would be in question. And I hope so. Mike and Suns General Manager have argued over many things recently. And Mike DAntoni is rumored to be pissed at the lack of support he is getting from the head office of the Suns. Uh, hey Mike, CAN YA FUCKIN BLAME THEM?! Sorry Mike, but when it comes to whose said I will be on between you and Kerr, I think I am going to side with Steve Kerr. Kerr has 5 NBA Championship Rings on his hand. Mike has ZERO. So when it comes to what it takes to win a Championship, I think Steve Kerr knows what hes talking about.
2. The Conspiracy. Last year, Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were suspended for 1 game during the NBA Playoffs against the Spurs. For this little incident.
Amare and Boris were suspended for "leaving the bench area during an on court altercation." Even though, earlier in that game, Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen left the bench area during an on court altercation.
And now, this year....
A scuffle. Players on the Celtics team on the floor, leaving the bench. And guess what. NO SUSPENSIONS. And what makes it even better, is that DAVID STERN is in the crowd watching this. Same situation, but for some reason, no one gets suspensions this year. Hmmmmm...........
Hey look at this!
Last night, Mvs vs Hornets, altercation on the court.... Hey look! Players running onto the court! No suspensions. No fines, no nothing. Hmmmmmmmmm.........
Last night, Suns vs Spurs, the calls were pretty fair all game, some were stupid calls, but it was on both ends of the floor. But the strangest thing happened. The Suns were down by just 1 point, with under 2 minutes to go. And all of a sudden, EVERY call is going against the Suns, when some are CLEARLY supposed to go against the Spurs. Tim Duncan has the ball blocked by Shaq, the ball is knocked off of Tim Duncans hip and goes out of bounds. It is called out on Suns. They show the replay on TV, and confirmed, ball clear as day, out on Spurs. Nope, Spurs ball, they get the ball, score, thanks. I think my favorite moment though was when Tim Duncan was dribbling the ball under the hoop, and tripped on his own, leg. Falls to the ground. Foul on Suns. I guess Tim Duncans left leg is a Suns player? Dunno. But when one of the worst officiated games of the playoffs this year just happens to once again, be a Suns game. And once again, all the shitty calls go against the Suns. Just seems kinda fishy to me.
Anyways, all is said and done, another year gone. Was I expecting a championship this year? No. Do I expect one next year? Yes. This season I was saying theres no excuse for the Suns to not win it all, and there kinda wasn't but. Next year, there really is NO excuse. This season the Suns had a HUGE shake up, a major change in their lineup, and only had 20 games to get things together. But now, with having a full off season ahead of them. Plenty of time for everyone to get healthy, to get practiced, to get things locked down. But, with teams like the Hornets becoming what they are, and the Lakers getting their shit together. And the Celtics getting stronger. I feel like the window for the Suns to win a championship, may have closed.