The Suns played really good basketball last night even when sporting a political message across their chests. Was the content a major factor in this game? Considering it resembled game 1 in outcome, how much could it have done?
Of course, the important part of that is Phoenix had the courage not typically associated with apolitical professional sports franchises, the mantra of “Republicans buy shoes too” weighing on their commercial minds (note: not a statement against Republicans, just respect for both sides of the aisle), to act on legislation that impacts their fans, at times on a civil rights level.
Amare has come to play, as he always does against San Antonio. Nash was typical. Dudley was the motivating force to the rampant comeback in the 2nd quarter, providing hustle, energy, and invaluable and-1s for a team that was struggling to score at that point. Channing Frye scored 15 points on five 3-pointers (5 of 6 shooting).
But what was most surprising is that the Suns (Los Suns, if you prefer) were able to come away with a victory with Jason Richardson scoring only 19 points. Especially given that Duncan resembled Duncan again and Parker contributed 20 off the bench.
The possibility that one or more of prime Phoenix contributors will slack off away from home is highly probable, it is just typical of any role player. Away from the comfort of the home crowd, those 3-point daggers can turn into bricks that spur fast break opportunities. This series isn’t nearing the finale, only the second act.
The Spurs are too veteran to not send this thing to at least 6 games, 7 being more likely. They have played too well to not at least warrant the notion that they will hold on their home court. Plus, there is that whole notion that Phoenix is bound to have something catastrophic happen (knock on wood).
It is a strange feeling, sports meddling with politics, but not in a bad way. The Spurs were also hoping to don their Latin Night special jerseys for game 2, unable to secure them before tip-off. When there is thought and method to these messages, it can only help the conversation and, quite reasonably, the outcome. The Suns and by association the players aren’t demanding voting patterns in Arizona, only attempting to enlighten the misinformed or uninitiated about the circumstances surrounding the legislation.
This type of involvement is healthy. Talk, as long as reasonable and thoughtful, should be and is welcomed. Maybe some people prefer to only have players play and owners pay, but once the ball is tipped off, basketball is basketball. The Spurs weren’t any less motivated, they could have really used a victory on the road. This was a case of the Suns being better than San Antonio for two games now.