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Will from Bright Side of the Sun talks Suns Vs. Jazz, Nash, and Defense


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."

- Will Cantrell, Bright side of the Sun
I think what Will points out is painfully true. We Jazz fans only have to look back at our recent playoff exits to see the truth of it. Anyway, the Playoffs are the goal for this season; the goal for tonight has to be making life hard for All-Universe Point Guard Steve Nash. Nash has been around the block a while. I'm happy he's no where near John Stockton's records; but I've grown past insecurity to really embrace and enjoy Nash's play the last few seasons. Who is the next most pure point guard in the league after he leaves? Goran Dragic? Yeah. Purists will miss Nash a lot.

"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. "

- Will Cantrell, Bright side of the Sun

I think the entire NBA will miss Nash. I've never met anyone who didn't love him. But at least for one night, I guess, I'll be booing him (which is hard to do as a Canadian). Tonight our teams are dire foes. There can be only one, and yadda yadda yadda. Here's what Will had to say about tonight:

"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."

- Will Cantrell, Bright side of the Sun

Thanks again Will for this. Our teams both deserve to make the playoffs this year. Sadly, only one of ours will.