Will from the Bright Side of the Sun is more organized than I am. As a result, he had my little ditty about the Utah Jazz up in his preview for this game. Clearly, still finding my footing in the blog thing, I had to make his insightful observations a whole new post. And frankly, I think it worked out better this way because I believe they stand alone.
Check em out, and my commentary, after the jump!
The Phoenix Sun's New Defense, Steve Nash, and tonight:
No one thinks the Suns played defense, or at least, that was the 'casual fan' opinion before this season. By watching their games, and looking over their stats, it became very obvious that they did play defense this year. And that the "all offense / no defense" crown did not fit the Suns any longer (I think the Golden State Warriors own it now). In a way, it was a constantly perpetuated myth; and as a small market team, people did not get enough exposure to the Suns to see that it was a myth. We've played two games against Phoenix this season, and lost both of them. We didn't lose because we couldn't stop their scoring; we lost because they stopped ours.
Here is what Will had to say:
"The Suns brought in Elston Turner as "Defensive Coordinator" this season. The Suns defense should marked improvement at the outset of the season with increases in rebounding differential as well as points allowed. There were stretches where the D turned atrocious again and the Suns gave up a lot of offensive boards. But during the second half of the season, the defense solidified. As the saying by many goes, defense feeds your offense, and the Suns played great basketball in the second half of the season."
"This could be Steve Nash's last few games as a Sun. I thought about it the other day and I tend to believe if this team doesn't get to the playoffs this season, the chance of Nash going elsewhere increases. That's part my opinion and or intuition and part based on the flimsy logic that if he goes out a loser, he may give some other offers more attention. He's carried this team the past few years, even this season you could easily say without Nash, this is a meaningless game and the Suns would have never had a chance to make the playoffs. I think that could prompt him to seek out a place where he isn't the big star, the pressure is lower on him to perform all the functions he does on the Suns. Why not sit back with a franchise with plenty of money, and let them be a big player in the FA and trade markets? Why not come into a situation where his team has been winning and is poised to be among the elite? Whatever happens, he will be talked about as one of the best Suns ever and a huge fan favorite. "
"Well on Bright Side I predicted a win for the Suns. But that's a belief based on faith rather than logic. The Suns, down at least one starter and playing in a hostile environment as they will have all the cards stacked up against them. The defense was awful versus the Nuggets. Have the days off to work on things significant? If so, the Suns could pull one out. But the Jazz aggressive front line is tough, quick, and active. Whether the Suns can play good D on the bigs while making them work on the defensive end will be the key.""I don't have high hopes for this one, but the Suns always surprise. They were picked by most as a lottery bound team in 2010-11 and went to the Western Conference Finals. A 12-19 team turn playoff seed isn't so far fetched is it? They can pull this out, but everything (EVERYTHING) has to go near perfect for them."