Burns: Suns in control of series

May 6, 2010, 6:59 AM | Updated: Jan 14, 2011, 4:23 pm

It’s sorta like the really attractive woman you’ve been trying to go out
with for, well, forever actually. You flirt, you wait, you push, you back off,
and all you’re getting is nowhere and nothing. You’re starting to think
she’ll never go out with you. Until one day, for no logical reason….you get
her phone number. You’re not on that date yet, but with the phone
number on your speed dial, you’re now halfway there.

The Suns, now have the phone number and are halfway there to going on a
date with the woman of their dreams. They’re halfway to beating the San
Antonio Spurs.

How they got to this magical halfway point seems like a statistical
impossibility. They scored 110 points while shooting only 43%. How does
that happen?

It happens when you make more free throws (29) than the Spurs attempted
(22). It happens when you make 9-19 from the 3 point line (after a 1-7
start I believe). It happens when Channing Frye (15 points on 5-6
shooting from the 3-point line) and Jared Dudley (11 points, 6 rebounds,
one really big three and stellar defense in 28 minutes) gives you monster
effort off the bench (Dudley was praised by ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons who
was at the game and raved the crowd and the hatred for the Spurs). It
happens when you have a Grant Hill, who can guard the toughest guy on
the other side and come up with 8 big time fourth quarter points. It
happens when the Suns collect 18 offensive rebounds to only 7 for the
Spurs (resulting in 19 second chance points).

The Suns are in control of this series. Not complete control mind you, but
they have firmly established that they are the driver. After stifling the Mavs
in the first round, the Spurs can’t figure out a way to slow the Suns down,
as Phoenix has scored 111 and 110 points in the first two games. The
dreaded adjustments came (heavy doses of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker)
but the Suns found their tempo, the 3’s started to fall and the Spurs
started to unravel in the fourth quarter. You can’t say enough about the
bench and how they played in the fourth quarter, even after the Spurs
brought the starters back into the game.

I still suspect this is going to be a long series. It might take more than one
phone call to get this woman to go out with you (it usually does – at least,
usually did for me). But keep at it. You’re getting closer by the day.

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Burns: Suns in control of series