Suns Looking Forward to Spurs in Semis
Posted: April 29, 2010
R.I.P. Rip City… Now bring on San Antonio.
With their 99-90 road win over the Trail Blazers in Thursday’s Game 6, Phoenix now has a Round 2 date with the Spurs, who advanced earlier in the night after eliminating Dallas. With homecourt advantage against the No. 7 seed San Antonio, Game 1 tips off Monday night at U.S. Airways Center.
“The Spurs are always a tough team to play in the postseason,” Amar’e Stoudemire said. “They are always well-equipped and ready to go. They’ve won championships, so we have to study them the same way we did with Portland. Know their plays and attack them offensively.”
In addition to a 41-point performance against Tim Duncan and Co. in the regular season, STAT was the Suns’ leading scorer in all three matchups as his team won the season series, 2-1, Of course, as Jason Richardson put it, it’s all even now heading into Monday’s Game 1.
“In the playoffs,” J-Rich said, “everybody is 0-0 to start the series, so it’s about getting four of the next seven, so we have to forget about what we did in the regular season against them. That doesn’t count now. We’ll look at film Saturday and Sunday to see what we did right against them this year, but we are going to expect a tough matchup and try to win that matchup Monday.”
Eliminated by the Spurs in the postseason four times in their last five postseason appearances, Phoenix does have playoff success against their Western Conference foe at home, where the Suns are 47-22 all-time when hosting San Antonio.
“This is new history,” Hill said. “We have some new players. They have some new players. And we both have some of the same players. This team has been very focused and very much together. We’re sure they will be, as well. They won a tough series against Dallas, beating them on their homecourt, so we have to be ready.”
As Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry told his team after Thursday’s Game 6 clincher, past Suns-Spurs playoff history means nothing now.
“This team has never played them in a playoff series,” he said. “They’ll get everything we’ve got.”
“YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION”
While it’s no secret this Suns team gets along both on and off the court, Grant Hill’s take on the squad’s camaraderie came full circle as the regular season was winding down.
“We said we had to keep winning, so we could keep hanging around each other,” he said. “Once the season’s over, whenever that may be, you all go separate ways, so it’s important to keep winning.”
NASH TALKS J-RICH
Jason Richardson had yet another stellar game vs. Portland Thursday, this time racking up a game-high 28 points for the Suns. His latest shooting display came on the heels of his 29 points in Game 2 and a career playoff-high 42 in Game 3.
“He’s great,” Steve Nash said. “They made the decision to use their length and zone up, take the paint away and he made a lot of jump shots for us. He made a lot of threes, made some big threes tonight, and he obviously had some other big games in the series.”