The Pacers porous defense ran into its worst nightmare Friday night -- a Suns team that was ready to run and make shots. The Pacers had no one able to slow the ball down which led to easy layups or open jumpers. The Suns executed all of the above and beat the Pacers running away, 115-90.
I really don't want to dwell too much on this game. It was simply discouraging to see an opponent play at a level that the Pacers can't match. The game was even more frustrating when you consider that two of the Suns top seven players were out of action. Shawne Marion and Boris Diaw didn't play and the Suns don't usually go too deep on the bench.
Sure enough, the available minutes pressed Eric Piatkowski and Pat Burke into action. Piatkowski hadn't played ten minutes all year and only made one 3-ball. Now, anyone with much fantasy experience knows, Eric P is a one trick pony. He's played 13 years but only had a handful of solid scoring stretches while playing for the Clippers. So what does he do? Shocker, he comes right out in the second quarter and starts launching 3s. Open 3s. Sure he only made two but they seemed like daggers at the time. I'm more upset the guy was able to get open. Certainly the Pacers knew he might play and in discussing his play, the only thing that needs to be said is, guard against the three. Burke is normally plays the role of the victory cigar player but he played heavy minutes. Combined Burke and Piatkowski scored 21 points equalling the output from Dunleavy and Tinsley. Fabulous.
Nash was incredible getting the ball deep inside the lane. Of course, he wasn't met with any resistance but still, his handle in traffic is otherworldly. And then there's the blur that is Leandro Barbosa. I'm not sure Dunleavy or Tinsley could tag that guy while he's dribbling if it was two-hand touch.
The Big Smooth pipes of Sam Perkins took care of the color commentary on FSN-I. You gotta love Smooth, but he may be a little too laid back for the TV role. Regardless, it was nice to hear him for a game.
If you want to read a "Sun"nier recap of this game, check out Bright Side of the Sun.
No time to feel sorry for yourself. The Pacers need to get well soon and no better place than in LA Saturday night against the Clippers. I have a little wager with ClipperSteve from Clips Nation hanging in the balance. Loser has to laud the winner in a diary.