Friday, May 02, 2008

Another year, another Suns-set

Four the third time in the last four years, the Suns have gone down, and to the same team. Every team except the eventual champion, though, ends up disappointed. Someone who is not disappointed in this result is John Depoe, who has highlights on this link.

The coach is facing a lot of criticism, and some of it is deserved. D'Antoni plays a short bench, while Popovych has a role for everyone on the team, even if they receive short minutes. In both game 1 and 5 the Suns were disadvantaged by foul trouble for all their big men, O'Neal, Stoudemire, and Diaw. A longer bench would have helped prevent this. Still, if either Finley's or Duncan's three-pointer had rimmed out in game 1, the series might every well have been very different. I have heard a lot of talk radio slamming the organization, the coach, and the players. But there can be only one champion and a the Suns were facing the defending champions who are experts at winning playoff series.

Finally, it is interesting to see a coach who leads his team to a big turnaround be given Coach of the Year plaudits. Of course this is another of those "regular season" awards that strikes me as a little silly. Should coaches who put rings on their teams' fingers year after year be regarded as the best coaches?

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