Suns Sweep Spurs, Demons, Out the Door

Matt Petersen@@TheMattPetersenCorrespondent IMay 10, 2010

SAN ANTONIO - MAY 09:  Guard Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns talks with Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 9, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas.  The Suns defeated the Spurs 107-101 and win the series 4-0.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

First of all, I called thisΒ before the season started (check upper-right written date). And yeah, I'm rubbing it in the faces of anyone who read and ridiculed.

True to their Cinderella status, the Suns used their brooms on the team responsible for kicking them down again and again.

Phoenix got a lot of help from the Spurs, too. San Antonio failed to execute, or handle the ball that matter, in the methodical manner that saw it triumph so many times in the past.

It was only fitting the game play out in the nail-biting, injury-riddling manner that has defined the history between the two teams. In the end, Phoenix could only ultimately exorcise their black-and-silver demons in conditions that previously caused them to fall.

The signs didn't add up to a Suns win as obviously as the previous three games. In fact, they probably reminded Suns fans of the bitter past.

  • Tony Parker, bum shoulder and all, reacquainted himself with the paint, getting layup after layup.Β 
  • The game was on track to be a low-scoring affair.Β 
  • Steve Nash featured a mangled mug in crunch time.
  • The Spurs managed to make Suns' fans hearts sink into their stomachs after the game was seemingly in hand (see: George Hill's four-point play)

The sun-darkening nostalgia didn't come full circle, however.

Nash still saw better than the majority of point guards despite featuring half their physical vision. Pull-up threes, running jumpers, no-look assistsβ€”it had to be the most vindicating performance of Nash's career given both the opponent and the conditions.

Amare Stoudemire took full advantage of the Spurs' newfound fear of Phoenix's role players, diving to the rim or shooting his jumper with similar success, especially in the fourth quarter.

Speaking of the role players, they weren't bad either.

Dudley and Frye hit timely second-half threes. Goran Dragic kept the ship afloat while Nash was getting sewn up. Amundson put in defense and (yes, it's true) free throws to thwart Popovich's uncharacteristically low-character intentional fouling spat.

Give Grant Hill a ton of credit for slowing down Manu Ginobili. On or off the ball, Hill was the first Phoenix Sun to really focus on containing the Argentinean Assassin (including the concept of actually forcing him right).

Despite shooting horribly and being forced to a slower pace, the Suns prevailed (again). While it's doubtful that will hold against the Lakers (who will advance) due to their superior height in the post, this newer model of the Suns should at least keep the discrepancy from completely demolishing them.

For now, the Suns will take the sweep and the accompanying rest, while hoping the Jazz can steal a game or two so the Lakers are at least off-kilter when the Western Finals begin.

The Suns in the Western Finals. I love it when I'm right.


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