NBA: Why Phoenix hopes it doesn’t advance

Why I may not want my Suns to advance to the 2nd Round

After tonight’s rout of the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series, my Phoenix Suns have seemingly instilled a sense of hope and promise for this year’s NBA Playoffs. Not only were they one of the hottest teams coming into the Playoffs, they’re healthy and have regained home-court advantage from the Blazers. There’s only one problem: they may very well face the San Antonio Spurs in the next round.

Since Tim Duncan’s entry into the NBA in the Fall of 1997, the Suns have gone up against the Spurs in the Playoffs six times and have lost five of these series, the one win coming while Duncan was injured. In three of these losses, the Suns had homecourt advantage, which they would have in a hypothetical match-up this year. Each year the Suns have come up with more and more creative ways to lose to the Spurs — the proverbial Charlie Brown-and-football syndrome.

Full details of these choke-jobs would be too gruesome, but 2007 stands out in my memory. Phoenix had home-court in the second round and had actually reclaimed that advantage with a dramatic Game 4 win in San Antonio. During one of the final plays of this game, a dirty foul was committed by Robert Horry on Steve Nash, prompting a mild reaction from the Suns bench. Unfortunately it was not mild enough, as Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were suspended for the pivotal Game 5, which the Suns lost at home. Game 6 went down to the wire, but the Spurs prevailed yet again for the series win. This was arguably Phoenix’s best team since their 1993 John Paxson-cursed squad. To make matters more frustrating, the Suns have been a speedbump in three of the Spurs’ four NBA title runs.

All this being said, don’t count on me rejoicing as the Suns put to rest the injury-riddled, undermanned Portland Trail Blazers this coming week. Bigger disappointments possibly await. Let’s go Mavs!


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