In Opener Suns Give Glimpse of Futures Past
Suns fans had been saving some pent-up energy. That much was evident when they released what must have amounted to 1.21 gigawatts worth of an electric reception for both Channing Frye and Jeff Hornacek before Wednesday's home opener.
Sitting just feet from each during introductions, you couldn't help but feel the emotion they must have felt and the love the fans exuded. It was a homecoming of sorts for each as Frye hadn't set foot on the court in the regular season since April of 2012 and Hornacek hadn't done so as a member of the Suns since May of 1992. The crowd didn't let the moment pass, giving both a Beatles-esque receptions... OK, maybe a Hootie and the Blowfish sized one.
They were the type of moments which make you proud to be known as a fan. The kind where a group of strangers realize the magnitude of a moment and rise to the occasion to honor it. They also may have jump started an unexpected glimpse at what a Ryan McDonough and Hornacek production is meant to look like.
See, like Back to the Future 2 taught us, when you generate that much energy like the fans did and go full speed -- say 88 mph -- like the offense did, you just might find yourself in the future. At least for a brief time.
See, the Suns’ 104-91 victory is exactly what the general manager and head coach want this team to perform like and doing it consistently is what it will take to reach the goal Hornacek stated in his postgame press conference.
"I want to get the Suns back to where they belong," the first-year coach said. "The top of the NBA."
The performance seemed to put them on the right track, but it also came as a surprise to many, including yours truly. Mostly because it came ahead of schedule.
As I was driving home thinking about what had transpired at US Airways Center, the answer came in the form of a song on the radio. The song was called “Living in the Future” by Bruce Springsteen.
The refrain is: "We're living in the future and none of this has happened yet."
At first listen, it makes about as much sense as trying to use a government website to sign up for services does. Dig a little deeper though and it describes the Suns’ situation.
Last night was a picture of what the team will evolve into. It was a look into a bright future. Not only did it ignite the season, but it lit the spark of our imagination as to what Suns basketball can be again. But, like the song says, we are living in the future and none of this has happened yet.
Excitement is great and warranted after an amazing performance like the Suns put together on opening night. It is proof McDonough and Hornacek have a vision and a direction, and it is beginning to come together.
With a team whose most elder member just turned 30, though, there will be growing pains. This team will be exciting, fast paced and hard working, but it will also have to learn a new system and what it takes to be consistently great in the league.
The future is coming and it is bright. Until then, enjoy the glimpses of what will be. If they're anything like opening night, they will be fun.