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Celtics vs. Suns

2/22/09


Great NBA teams who have some pretty big voids to fill in the paint.

After the Phoenix Suns gave Terry Porter the ax earlier this week and appointed Alvin Gentry the interim coach for the time being the Suns exploded out of the gate as they got back to their patent run and gun offense.

By scoring 140 points in two consecutive games the verdict was in that it was the addition of Shaq or the age of the team that was keeping the Suns grounded, it was Terry Porter.

All anyone could talk about at the All Star game this year was where was Amare Stoudemire going to be traded to before the NBA trade deadline expired on February 19th. The answer was nowhere. The Suns and GM Steve Kerr decided that shipping Stoudamire out of town while his value was at its highest point wasnít the answer and they were right, at least for the time being.

Literally couple days after all the fans in Phoenix took a sigh of relief after not seeing their superstar Amare Stoudemire not being traded and the Suns playing at a high level again, Stoudemire has surgery on his eye of all things and could be out for the season. Right now they are saying eight weeks, which is a substantial amount of time, but donít be surprised to see him out for the rest of the year and the Sunsí season go in the toilet.

As for the Boston Celtics they received similar news recently when Kevin Garnett suffered a knee injury which needs an MRI. Granted not having these two players doesnít somewhat cancel each other out, but it is pretty obvious that the Celtics are a much better team without Kevin Garnett than the Suns without Amare Stoudamire.

The switching of coaches and changes in the Suns game play may be enough to defeat KG-less Celtics and Phoenix will be playing at home while Boston comes off a disappointing loss to the Utah Jazz.

The Big question will be the Big Ticket health. If the MRI comes back favorable he might be able to suit up against the Suns. If he does, I donít see Phoenix winning this match up.

The Suns will have the home crowd behind them and if they have their offense clicking like it did against the lowly Los Angeles Clippers they could make a game of it. That offense against the great Celtics defense would be interesting to watch, but a great defense usually beats a great offense which is partly the reason that the Suns have never been able to get to the NBA finals their seven seconds or less scoring offense.

This will definitely be a statement game for the Suns as it will truly be the test they need to see if their coaching change and new look offense can withstand the lockdown defense of the Boston Celtics. If Steve Nash can lead his Suns past the Boston Celitcs, even without KG, Phoenix could give the Los Angeles Lakers a run for their money in the Western conference once again.
 

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