FanPost

Open Letter to Suns Fans

 

"When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before." — Jacob Riis

 

Welcome to Pounding the Rock.

Blam!...
Blam!...
Blam!

Fresh off the Spurs 5 game win over the Suns I'm in great spirits. We quickly dispatched of a first round opponent many had picked us to lose against.

Suns fans, on the other hand, are living through much darker times. For the third time in four years under Mike D'Antoni's Fun in the Sun style they have been ousted by the Spurs. Each time with a "what if". Joe Johnson, the suspensions, Grant Hill, and a Tim Duncan 3-ball. Not only that, but the team seems to be one in transition. Rumors started immediately after the game that Mike D'Antoni . Midway through the Spurs thrashing of the Suns in Game 3 I decided to head over to The Bright Side of the Sun to revel in the misery of the whining Suns faithful. Much to my surprise I found very little whining. Not only did I not find much whining, I found a mostly intelligent discussion of the Suns situation and very insightful analysis of the teams strengths and weaknesses (insightful in that it matched up with my opinions) I hate to say it, but I quickly developed a fondness for many of the (what appear to me) BSotS regulars.

You can't surf the web today without reading an obituary on the Suns. I'm here not to tell you things will be OK. I don't know the path your team will choose to take nor do I predict an outcome for it. I can only try to explain to you why I think your team lost and how it gives you something to look for in the future.

Blam!...
Blam!...
Blam!

A "what if" doesn't mean you should have won. It doesn't mean you were a better team or even as good a team. And most importantly, it doesn't mean you were "this" close. The team that wins a seven game series is the better team. Period. In the Tim Duncan era, I don't honestly believe we were better than any team that beat us. I think we were as good as the Mavs in '06. But not better. That series, though, was one of the greatest 7-game series of all-time. Of the teams we've beaten, I think only the Pistons in '05 were really close to being as good. (The qualifying condition on "The team that wins a seven game series is the better team. Period." is that I mean among the two teams playing. Just because Golden State beat Dallas last year doesn't make me think Golden State would have been a more dangerous team for the Spurs. I'm saying that in the way two teams match up, the better team wins.)

I highly recommend a book called The Fine Green Line by John Paul Newport. It's about a guy who spends a year on the Pro-Golf Mini-tours. "The Fine Green Line" is the lesson of the book. The author learns that what appears like a minor difference in results to an outsider is really a tremendous difference talent, preparation, and execution. The basic premise is that making yourself 1-stroke better per round may seem like a trivial amount to a non-professional but that the difference between you and the guy that beat you by one stroke is much greater than you might think and you are fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

Blam!...
Blam!...
Blam!

Why do I bring this up? I don't think the Suns were really that close to beating the Spurs this year or any other year for that matter. I think that once you throw out the two blowout games you see that the Spurs won because they out-executed the Suns and that, my friends, is no accident and certainly not a coincidence. The Spurs play all year to prepare for the playoffs. Not one player was asked to do anything they hadn't done all year on several occasions. Well, out side of Tim's 3-pointer in Game 1. But, I think you understand my point. It wasn't the first time Finley hit a 3 to send us to overtime and it wasn't the first time Udoka played big minutes to give us a defensive post presence against a low-post bully like Diaw.

The Spurs play the same way all year. They come to camp in shape, they play tenacious defense, they run their offense, they don't talk much trash, they play physical, they flop, they complain, etc. The intensity isn't always there, but the style is always the same. To me, you don't have to look any further than a couple Steve Nash quotes after Game 1 this year and last year. This year he said,

We had the game won a few times and just weren't tough enough or disciplined enough to make every single play when it counted


and after last year's Game 1 he said,

"Very surprising, very frustrating," he said. "How many times can you talk about it? We just have to have a bigger heart and continue to push through these invisible barriers that seem to pop up. I don't know what they are, but sometimes we just don't play as hard as we should."


The playoffs aren't the time to learn to execute. They aren't the time to learn to be physically tough. And they certainly aren't the time to learn to be mentally tough.

Blam!...
Blam!...
Blam!

I don't know what your off-season holds for you or how you will fair next year. My inclination is to think that you won't be as good. It appears that Kerr has decided to make the team a more traditional style team and I don't think you really have the personnel to do it. Nash, Stoudemire, Barbosa, and Marion when he was there are not well-suited to a half-court grind it out game. D'Antoni's fast break style did a fantastic job of playing to his players strengths and minimizing their weaknesses. Shaq and Hill are pretty old and squeezing a full healthy year out of them will be tough if not lucky. Your bench is thin. You are over the cap and your owner doesn't want to spend money.

It's a crazy world in the NBA. The Suns were 2 games out of first place in the Western Conference and came out the 6 seed with a first round exit. Your team had a good yet frustrating year. They played well enough for you to drink the Kool-Aid, but not well enough to make a grab at the ring. Now, it seems change is inevitable and you may not be infatuated with the Kool-Aid man. But, there is hope. Don't hope that you are as exciting. Don't hope that you stay healthy. Don't hope that Amare learns to play defense. No, you should hope that your team executes their game plan relentlessly. Hope that they learn to Pound the Rock. The goal isn't to be the most exciting, the funnest, or the MVP. The goal is to be the last one standing. Everything you do should be with that singular goal in mind.

Blam!...
Blam!...
Blam!

Don't drink the Kool-Aid BSotS'ers. Make the Kool-Aid.
See you next season.

With great respect,
AusTechSpur

This is fan-created content on PoundingtheRock.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pounding The Rock

You must be a member of Pounding The Rock to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pounding The Rock. You should read them.

Join Pounding The Rock

You must be a member of Pounding The Rock to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pounding The Rock. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker