Grizzlies 106, Suns 89 – Mostly meaningless

Memphis' defense pressured Dragic and the Suns into 22 turnovers. (AP/Lance Murphey)

Meaningless is not the right word, but it is the first word that comes to mind.

The Suns’ 106-89 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies fittingly begins one of the most disappointing four-game stretches in recent Suns history.  Two days after being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the Suns put forth an unbelievably lackadaisical and unenthusiastic effort.

They got beat up on the boards, 45-37, and lost any chance in this one after yielding a 10-2 Grizzlies run to start the second half that expanded Memphis’ lead to 16.

“We didn’t come out in the third quarter,” head coach Alvin Gentry told “The starters didn’t come out.  They weren’t ready to play.  That’s when they got separation.  We never got back in the game after that.”

The fourth quarter possibly portrayed the future of the Suns with Goran Dragic, Leandro Barbosa, Jared Dudley, Lou Amundson, and last but certainly not least Robin Lopez running the floor.  This squad made a slight run with apparent offensive chemistry.  However, there needs to be some growth defensively as there wasn’t much communication.

Lopez deserves credit as he announced his presence with authority by totaling three blocks and four enforcing fouls.  For today, I didn’t see half of the Twin Towers – he was a Bash Brother.  (I can’t believe I just said that.)

The last five minutes of the game played out how the second team All-Star Game would with high-percentage, flashy shots and for the most part completely effortless defense.

The ending fit the entire season: run-and-gun with flashes of brilliance, but still no sign of defense. 

On a side note, the Suns would be perfect for this movie I was thinking about making: How to lose a shooter in four seconds or less.  I think Kazaam’s Shaquille O’Neal’s Hollywood experience and weak pick-and-roll defense will make this film a certain hit.

But this game was about more than another common loss.

Amundson posted very respectable numbers of 13 points and nine rebounds.  I would love to see Amundson in a Suns uniform next year.  He is a true representative of fundamental, gritty basketball and an asset to any basketball team.

Dragic is starting to impress on a regular basis.  Tonight, it was his court vision and ball discipline that produced seven assists in 25 minutes.

Dudley, although he didn’t quite show it tonight with his seven points and four rebounds, has been a force defensively and has scored in double figures in three of his last five games with a surprising three ball.

Tags: Jared Dudley

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