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After watching the Suns blow two games in a seemingly ridiculous fashion, I must say that in all honesty and sincerity, I give up on this team. The first stike against them began even before the playoff brackets were decided and signaled the death knell of one of the most prolific scoring and entertaining teams in the league:
Shawn Marion traded to the MIA Heat for Shaquille O'Neal.
For those that know me and read my blogs, it is common knowledge that I was not nor am I now a fan of this trade. We mortgaged our future for the present and bought into the "win at all costs" motto. While I do understand the reasoning behind the move, it's not quite worked out as it was expected. Immediately following the move, the team plummeted from first place in the Western Conference to sixth and team chemistry was severely disrupted. Sure, positives did come from the trade and the most important of those positives was the blossoming of Amare Stoudemire due to his move back to the PF spot that he's so desired for four years.
After the team settled out and the playoffs loomed, I considered the bitter irony of a first round pairing with the hated and much reviled Spurs. Thoughts of cheap shots and visions of dead Spurs players filled my mind. How quickly I rubbed my hands together and cracked a malevolent grin while considering the revenge for last year's untimely demise. How would it pan out? Would the Suns even let the Spurs win a game? Would there be retaliation for Robert "Cheapshot Bob" Horry's actions? I certainly hoped that these questions and more would be answered once the series began...
The second strike and perhaps the final one? Actually GETTING that Spurs matchup.
Here's how it's gone so far as much as I see it...
The Suns squander a seemingly sizeable double digit lead and allow the Spurs to come within striking range by the fourth quarter. With the shot clock running down and nearly out, what does our MVP do? LETS IT EXPIRE WHILE DRIBBLING THE DAMN BALL! You're the PG Steve-O, yoU of all people should know just how much time is left on the clock! So, this gives the Spurs just the opportunity they need to tie the game with a Finley three pointer. No worries, I think considering the Suns come out hot. As the game plays on, it's the usual crap.. Phoenix playing poor defense and, in a moment of utter and total disbelief, they allow Tim Duncan almost a full three seconds to get into position behind the three point line, take a dribble, square up, and fire. I knew it was going in as soon as it left his hands and also knew that if it did, the Suns were finished. Sure enough, the Spurs squeaked out with a two point win and another kick to the Suns' collective sack.
Again, the Suns come out strong and undeterred by their unbelievable loss. They once again build a solid lead only to once again have it erased in typical Suns fashion. Does this team have no heart, no killer instinct, no I'm going to kill your dog and punch your grandmother spirit? Apparently not. I watched in horror as the Spurs closed the distance nearing the half and witness the Suns come out flat and ice freakin' cold in the third. The Spurs put on their patented "in your shorts and slap your face" defensive pressure and annihilate the Suns which, not surprisingly, works much better than I expected and crushes their heart. Stoudemire plays like crap the rest of the way and the Spurs win.
Where do we go from here? I fully expect out of the playoffs within the next few games. I know the Suns can beat them at any time, but they need to BEAT THEM. PUNISH THEM. DESTROY THEM! Until someone stares each one of them down and asks if they really want to win or to be forever talked about in the circles of the intimidated and unwilling to do what it takes to win, this team is finished. I give credit where credit is due and tonight, most disgustedly, I nod my head in the direction of the Spurs. Take that for what it is and have this middle finger to go along with it.