The Oregonian’s John Canzano decided to initiate the smack talk early in this article yesterday. While his comments about how the Blazers have overcome a lot to be in this position bring a fun tingle to my spine, the unnecessary swipes at the Suns and their fans rivaled a pair of ten-year-olds arguing about which team is better.
“The Suns aren’t a likable bunch.
They talk trash. They act tough. Center Amare Stoudemire fashions himself the baddest dude in a series that could be titled, ‘No Country for Old Men.’ ”
Wait a second. Grant Hill is one of the kindest, most soft-spoken NBA players in the league today, and Steve Nash may be one of the most charming and intelligent.
Earlier this season on “Hispanic Heritage” night at US Airways Center in Phoenix, Nash answered Pedro Gomez’s simple question about the change of pace playing against the Trail Blazers with, “Estaba esperando el ‘fastball’.” I was expecting the fastball, he joked in nearly perfect Spanish, and then continued with a surprisingly colorful rendition of what are usually dull halftime interviews.
In addition to winning the 2010 Joe Dumars Sportsmanship Award in the NBA, Grant Hill funded an organization in his hometown to support financially needy students’ quests for better education, put his face on a READ poster in an effort to increase literacy, he supports a daycare founded by his father, has attempted to increase awareness about Staph infection–after surviving it himself in 2003–appearing in service announcements for a non-profit organization…etc. Oh, and he served as vice chairman for the Special Olympics Committee in 1999, he has a four-year degree from Duke University, as well as a large collection of African art that he has put on exhibit both in museums and at Duke University, and he appeared on an episode of Home Improvement once with Tim Allen.
Then there’s Channing Frye, a great proponent of the Rose City who has also had an important hand in helping the Suns to the third seed in the West.
Amare himself is definitely a tough guy who plays very physically. That style of play will lend itself toward some verbal sparring and extra-curricular elbow movements from time to time, but it’s all part of the game.
Yeah, Canzano, a real bunch of shit heads these guys are. Boy I wouldn’t want my kids growing up to be like them.
In other news, to the game! The Blazers defense is going to have to show up again. During both wins this series, that D allowed 99 points per 100 possessions. But in the three losses, the Suns have scored 123 points per 100 possessions! A difference of 24 points, Yikes! The difference in offensive scoring for Portland has been just 9 points between the two wins and the three losses, so the weight of the series would seem to rest heavily on how well Portland can stop Phoenix’s offensive assault.
Thursday. 7:30. RIP CITY!