Game 4 preview: Suns at Spurs

Western Conference Semifinals Game 4

Suns 107, Spurs 101

Suns fans must be wondering when they’re going to wake up and realize that taking a 3-0 lead on the San Antonio Spurs, thanks to Goran Dragic no less, is all a dream.

But no, as much as this series seems like something that could have only happened while you’re asleep, the Phoenix Suns really do have a legitimate chance to sweep the San Antonio Spurs in today’s Game 4 in the Alamo City.

The Suns know, however, that they’re playing a four-time world champion that won’t just back down at the first sign of adversity.

But you’ve got to wonder where San Antonio’s heads are at right now.

In Game 1, the Spurs responded to Steve Nash’s dominance with 12-0 and 13-0 runs in the second half, but still fell short. In Game 2, they limited Phoenix’s transition game and held the Suns to a low shooting percentage, but still lost. In Game 3, they built an 18-point lead, limited Amare Stoudemire to seven points, got to the line much more frequently than the Suns in the early going and seemed to really have Phoenix rattled …… but still lost again. With Nash, Amare and Richardson on the bench no less.

The Suns essentially took the Spurs’ best shot in Game 3, yet bounced right back up to deliver the knockout punch themselves.

The loss demoralized the Spurs so much that Manu Ginobili later told reporters that the Spurs “are going to have to play the perfect game” to win Game 4.

Play a perfect game? For the Spurs to beat the Suns just once? What world are we living in?

We will once again get to see what kind of killer instinct the Suns possess tonight. In Game 4 in Portland they had a chance to put a stranglehold on that series, but instead they played their worst game of the playoffs and saw the Blazers score the victory behind the emotional return of Brandon Roy.

The Suns are certainly in the driver’s seat, but you don’t want to give the Spurs any hope. Although no team has ever rallied from an 0-3 deficit in NBA history and the Suns haven’t lost consecutive games — not to mention four in a row — since January, if there ever were a time it would happen it would be in a Suns-Spurs series.

As down and out as San Antonio seems now, one win can change all that. And once momentum switches the other way, the next thing you know you’re playing in a Game 7.

The Spurs are a wounded animal right now, but if the Suns don’t put them out of their misery when they have a chance, they could be in trouble.

At the same time, I fully expect the Spurs to play near a perfect game, like the Suns did in Game 4 of the 2008 series after falling behind 0-3. Aside from one time against the Shaq-Kobe Lakers, these Spurs just don’t get swept, and the Suns would be in good position to close it out in Game 5 even if they drop this one.

But a sweep would send such a strong message that it would be the perfect revenge for all these years of torture.

This isn’t Orlando-Atlanta, this is the Suns and the Spurs, the captivating series in which the Spurs always break Phoenix’s heart and then devour it.

To finish off the sweep the Suns will need a new hero to step up, as they have seemed to have every game.

My prediction for this game? Amare Stoudemire.

After the Suns’ guards torched them in Game 3, I expect a bit less attention to be paid to Amare, and I expect him to enjoy his signature game of the series.

For all that has happened in that building for the Suns, from the Horry hip check to the Duncan three, sweeping the Spurs in that arena would exorcise many of the demons from past seasons.

By winning Game 3 this has already been a good trip, but one more win can make it the perfect revenge.

ValleyoftheSuns on 48 Minutes of Hell podcast

I stopped by the 48 Minutes of Hell podcast on Saturday to give my thoughts on the series. Be sure to give it a listen before Game 4 tips off.

  • Hell yeah!

    Oh man, I have been waiting for this day for a long time. I really wanted to see the Spurs get their ***** handed to them here, but a clean sweep of the series will have to do!

  • liberalvirus

    I think Game 4 is a “win or go home” game for both the Suns and the Spurs. If the Suns don’t close it out today, I suspect the weight of past failures will overwhelm them in games 5, 6 and 7.

  • Wes

    Hats off to you Suns, y’all were absolutely the better team and I am rooting for you to take it all.

    - Wes (Die Hard Spurs fan)

  • Oli

    yeah, Suns!

  • Mavsfan

    Thanks for taking care of those Spurs.
    Good luck with the Lakers – NBA is all about the match-ups though and you guys better hope that they miss a lot of shots so you can go on transition…no other way I see the Suns winning.
    And oh yea, you better take Game 1 from them -
    Jackson is 46-0 (after the Jazz series) when his team wins Game 1 – that is beyond ridiculous

  • John (GoSpursGo)

    Hats off to the Suns. Your team is full of classy players like Steve Nash and Grant Hill, and I can’t feel bad about those guys keeping their chance for a title alive. Y’all clearly showed you were the better team as well, both tonight and throughout the whole series. Here’s hoping you guys go all the way :)

  • Patrick M

    ‘Twas a one-eyed man with a nashty cut over the other eye that dealt the death blows to the Spurs! A one freakin’ eyed man!

  • Zach R.

    Congrats Suns fans, we fought as much as we could, but you were the better team this time around. I’ll definitely be rooting for yall the rest of the way.. its much more palatable when you lose to a class organization and I respect this group way more than those punks to the north.

    I hate the Dallas Mavericks.

    Also out of anyone in the league not in a Spurs uniform, I’d like to see Steve get a ring the most, the dude deserves it.

    And for the record, ’07 was on you, not some Stern sent boogeyman.

    Zach R. (Go Spurs Go)

  • The Z. Man

    What a good feeling to relive this.

    Suns did not go all the way but they sure put a scare into Kobe & Phil.

    Next year, our MOST important goal will be to keep the unusually good chemistry of the team. This can be accomplished by keeping the players who helped the team win as much as they have done. This will send the right message to the rest of the guys. MUST KEEP Barbosa, Louis & Frye.

    MUST start and also finish with LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!