PHOENIX — At this point the Suns are either a desperate bunch emaciated for a win or just a tired crew that burned out after one month and for which the All-Star break can’t come soon enough.
Regardless of any of the Suns rumors swirling around or the malaise encompassing the recent losing streak, Phoenix must pull it together for a brutal stretch starting tonight against Dallas and continuing with an arduous road trip that includes stops in Houston, New Orleans, Denver and Sacramento next week.
This is a point in the schedule in which the Suns can get buried if they keep playing like the team that has lost seven of nine because of lapses in each game and porous execution down the stretch that costs them winnable game after winnable game.
Facing a Dallas team that’s a West-best 16-8 on the road isn’t exactly a perfect antidote for a Suns team that has only beaten porous/injured Milwaukee, New Jersey and Golden State squads besides a decent win in Sacramento and a solid home win over Houston since the big back-to-back wins over the Lakers and Boston in late December that seem almost inconsequential right now.
Phoenix also probably wouldn’t mind having good old Gary Bender do the play by play on Fox Sports Arizona tonight being that they have lost 18 straight games played on TNT. Of course, Bender did some pinch-hit play by play in the Portland game on TNT in December and that didn’t work, so if you have any ideas on how to beat the streak please post them in the comments. I’m plum out.
We all know that they have played a bunch of tough road games during this TNT jinx stretch, but losing 18 in a row at any time is something the New Jersey Nets don’t even do. I don’t think the players care about something like this, so I think crunch-time execution is more of a mental drain than a stupid network streak, but maybe someone needs to bring a billy goat or the ghost of Babe Ruth to US Airways Center to stop the skid.
This would be some kind of a time for Phoenix to break the streak, with the Suns finally falling out of the West playoff picture and seemingly falling apart at the seams, even if their captain is still preaching positivity.
“We have a good group of guys, everyone enjoys each other, so we’re not a team that’s going to start pointing fingers at each other or get down on each other,” Steve Nash said. “We just have to find a way to play at a higher level. We’ve got to just keep working and not get down.”
In the first month of the season I wrote a new post about chemistry seemingly every week, but I haven’t written one since.
Since then along with defense and rebounding issues that were miraculously masked in the first month, there’s just been something missing for Phoenix. Maybe it is that chemistry, that togetherness, that special locker room feeling that involved the bench pushing the starters and the starters the bench.
Those intangibles made the Suns a team that always found a way to win in the clutch instead of the team they’ve become that finds new ways to lose every night.
As Shawn Marion returns to US Airways Center for the first time as a Western Conference visitor, it’s time for the Suns to find that special chemistry once again.
The clock is ticking, and the Suns are running out of chances to turn around their season.