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5-on-5: The best moments of the Suns' 2013-14 season


The Valley of the Suns crew is going 5-on-5 to reflect upon the Phoenix Suns’ memorable 2013-14 year. First up, we give our two cents on what we think are the most memorable games of the year.

1. What’s the most memorable moment of the 2013-14 season?

Ryan Weisert: The March 6 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Suns had lost to the Thunder 11 straight times, and after surrendering 41 points in the 1st quarter, a 12th straight loss look imminent. But then the Suns, as they did so many times this season, clawed their way back. They took a lead in the second half thanks to a career-best night from Gerald Green, and carried it late into the fourth. But the Thunder were too strong, pulling ahead 118-116 with just over four minutes to play. At that point, it looked like OKC had all the momentum and a clear path to victory. But the Suns wouldn’t be denied. Two Goran Dragic buckets put them up for good, and some great team defense helped them secure an unexpected win at home.

[RELATED: Gerald Green, Morris twins bring the thunder]

Dave Dulberg: It has to be the final 3:47 of the third quarter in the Suns’ 128-122 victory over the Thunder back on March 6. As the game wore on it became more and more apparent that the two teams were still separated by a sizeable gap in talent, as OKC toyed with Phoenix en route to building a 96-80 advantage. And then it happened. The Suns closed the quarter on a game-altering 21-2 run, highlighted by Gerald Green, who scored 14 of his quarter-high 25 points in that span. It was in that moment that thoughts of staying in the postseason hunt really materialized into something more than a distant pipe dream.

Michael Schwartz: The Jan. 8 game at Minnesota. This was a game the Suns should have lost following an ugly defeat in Chicago shortly after the Bledsoe injury. We didn’t know if the Suns could stay in contention without the UK product quite yet. Phoenix trailed by six with 1:35 left but pulled out an improbable win when Gerald Green made an impossible shot in the final seconds. That win symbolized the spirit and never-say-die attitude of this Suns team. Every time it looked like the magical season would end, it didn’t right down to the last week.

Jeff Sanders: Opening night, when the Suns ran the Portland Trail Blazers — a team that could make a long run in the Western Conference playoffs — out of the gym. Vegas odds-makers had the Suns pegged for 16 to 20 wins and the fan base thought this team had finally gone “all-in” to tank for the draft. But the Suns went to Portland and dominated opening night with a 104-91 win in the kind of way that made you realize that this team may not be that bad.

Kevin Zimmerman: It’s hard to choose between all the great moments for Goran Dragic. His best games seemingly came when he was furthest from 100 percent. First, it was scoring a then-career-high 34 points against the Golden State Warriors, his first game in front of his son. But the moment the Suns bench swarmed The Dragon after he dropped 40 on the Pelicans beats that by a nudge.

  • EBJM

    Marcin Gortat this afternoon against Chicago shooting both left-handed and right-handed hook shots!

  • EBJM

    Vintage Vince Carter nailing the three to best the Spurs and go up 2-1!

  • EBJM

    Robin Lopez battling Dwight Howard in the 1st rd of the playoffs, helping the Blazers to a 2-1 series lead.

  • VK

    Jared Dudley drinking water as the Clippers lead GS 2-1.

  • EBJM

    Now that is funny!

  • EBJM

    How about Boris Diaw eating pastry on the Spurs bench while they trail 1-2?

  • DZ

    Lol. Seriously though, for me the most memorable moment wasn’t really a moment. It was the period of time when people on this board stopped talking about how bad the Suns would be this season, “Riggin for Wiggins” and arguing about whether they hated the new uniforms or not and started talking about the team possibly making the playoffs.

    Since I brought it up… how many people still hate the new unis? I’ve grown to like them although I think there is still some room for improvement.

  • EBJM

    I don’t like them. When I see the shorter young guys I instantly think soccer.

  • JK

    The Suns have the best sleeved jerseys in the league, but I am still not in support of the sleeved look. Hopefully the sleeves disappear from the league next season.

  • Kevin Zimmerman

    It is true. The orange sleeves and the black Noche Latina night ones even weren’t so bad.

  • EBJM

    Robin Lopez taking a page from Alvan Adams playbook hitting Batum with a pass from the high post for a lay-up late in the 4th with the Blazers coming back to get within three!

  • BCrayZ

    Bringing Barbosa back.

    The “Blur” is still one of my favorite Suns.

    Last time we made the playoffs, he teamed with Gogi, Louis, Dud & Frye to form “that killer bench unit.” This year, we went 11-4 from the time he came back from a separated shoulder until he broke his hand. Then, we lost 7 of our next 10 until Eric came back to the starting line up to replace GG14. With a healthy LB, we would definitely have made the playoffs & if Gogi had a healthy left ankle, who knows how far we could have gone. Make it so Ryan.

    MUST resign LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • Foreveris2long

    EBJM, that dime Lopez gave to Batum was priceless. Lopez, whom some in Portland are now referring to as RoLo (stole my name), had a nice stretch in the 4th quarter where he had a semi hook shoot on the low block and blocked one of Howard’s dunk attempts. LA encouraged an applause for RoLo when he fouled out. That was another great playoff game.

  • EBJM

    Jared Dudley sits at the end of the Clippers bench behind former Suns Hedo Turkoglu, Matt Barnes and former Pacer Danny Granger.

    Louis Amundson sits at the end of the Bulls bench.

    Amir Johnson is perhaps the 2nd worst starting PF next to Frye yet he is killing Pierce who is playing PF because he is too slow to play SF. Frye couldn’t take advantage of a mismatch like that.

    Barbosa? Obviously irrelevant. Next season is Archie Goodwin’s time.

    Suns needed help at center, why didn’t they ask favorite sun Alvan Adams to help out? He is at US Airways Center anyway, he is V.P. of facility management.Why not ask K.J. to come back also? He is involved with the NBA being the Chairman of the National Basketball players association.

    MUST play ARCHIE GOODWIN.

    MUST draft young TALENT!!!!

    OUT with the OLD!!!

    MAKE it SO McD!!!!

  • EBJM

    Forever, it seems Robin actually wants to be a great player now. His basketball IQ and skills are showing now whereas before it seemed like his heart simply wasn’t in it.

    Unlike so many others he has always been fundamentally sound. As you recall from out posts from years ago him and his three brothers were always playing ball as kids. Brother Alex is 6′-10″ and played college center. Brother Chris is the smallest at 6′-7″.

    Interesting enough Chris and Robin would be paired against Brook and Alex. The following is the difference between the Lopez’s and a player like Dwight Howard who was a phenomenal athlete but wasn’t much of a player:

    “Alex and Chris were not the twins’ only hoops tutors. Another was Ade Kido, a family friend and former high school and AAU coach who lives in Southern California. Kido worked out the twins whenever Ledford could find the time to load the boys into the family van and drive the four hours from Fresno to Brea—about five times a year. Kido emphasized fundamentals like dribbling, passing, jumping and blocking shots—”using the wrist, not swatting with the whole arm,” he says. Whenever one of the twins blocked one of Kido’s shots correctly, Kido rewarded him with a comic book from a list of titles the boys had helpfully provided.”

    For whatever reason Robin has awoken from his years-long slumber and has decided to compete and while not nearly at LA or DH’s level he is easily a better all-around player than Omer Aisk.

    I’d love to see what he could do in the next series against Dalembert or Splitter because LA will destroy either old men Duncan or Nowitzki!

  • Foreveris2long

    EBJM, absoluetly he is more engaged now than in prior years. However I attended a couple of games when they had the playoff push with Amare on the team and RoLo was fully on deck with the team. The herniated disk, the team/coach not openly telling the public he was playing through pain and limitations, not receiving a contract extension, all had to play a part in his demeanor.

    I will never forget it wasn’t until the offseason that Gentry finally admitted Lopez lost 6 inches in his vertical. Then Gortat was made the starter in RoLo’s final season. Some fans were making an issue of him not going to a summer workout with The Dream. Despite him recovering from a herniated that he chose not to have surgery on, fans and perhaps management were questioning his heart. However by season end RoLo was taking some of the quality minutes from Gortat.

    The Suns knew he was close to being his old self but chose to trade him and hold onto Gortat. There were a ton of factors into RoLo only being a shell of what he has become today. I begged the Suns to have foresight but it just wasn’t meant to be. My low point was after the RoLo situation the team drafted Marshall instead of John Henson which was after they had traded Dragic and a 1st round pick to Houston.

    The above were my toughest days to be a Suns fan. To their credit they have turned it around quicker than I could have ever imagined. I love the team now and admit as much as I like RoLo I think Len can be better. However today I love watching RoLo play and therefore hope they beat the Rockets.

  • EBJM

    The biggest difference I see in his game in the Rockets series is he chases down rebounds now.

  • Foreveris2long

    A lot of that in my opinion is coaching EBJM. Just look at how Doc Rivers has gotten D. Jordan to elevate his game. Good coaches can make a huge difference in getting players to perform at the maximum level. Coach Horny is doing something similar with the Suns in getting players to improve.

  • EBJM

    Well Terry Stotts is killing McHale in coaching. I thought the lack of Blazer depth would be their undoing but it is McHale who has altered his season-long rotations.

    McHale abandoned the Asik-Howard twin towers early because it was ineffective. He isn’t using Casspri or Garcia in this series. T-Jones has been sitting more.

    Even Harden has altered his shot selection and tasking more mid-range shots which is against McHale’s philosophy of no mid-range shots.

    The Rockets will have an interesting summer after their 1st rd exit.