Just got back from the game and am extremely hoarse...quick impressions:
MONTA!!! The dunk where he posterized Barbosa was absurd, and he follows up with the 3 point play - yep, he did get fouled by Marion on the play where he was injured. He is THE STEAL of the 2005 draft...amazing. We all gave him about a 3 minute standing O after THE DUNK
Phoenix - head and shoulders above any other team I have seen in passing. Both teams pushed and played great tempo, but the Suns moving theball is a thing of beauty, and you can really appreciate it wide angle at the game...they are also moving the ball well when nash is not out there now.
Amare - more rusty than anything - I am pretty certain he will be getting 22/10 by playoff time.
Biedrins - the real deal. Very very quick, a beast on the glass, strong shotblocker, and the only low post big besides Ike - his free throws are....an adventure, but I am sticking with him being a 15 12 eventually
Pietrus - other than dubious handles, he looks like the player we all thought he would be prior to last year's lost weekend. Uncanny from 3 land, and strong all around...
Dunleavy - it was amusing to hear all the sarcasm and anti-Dunleavy invective. The guy does some good things, particularly taking charges, but he is so inconsistent and at times he makes such egregious mental mistakes. I think his circuits get jammed at times. Excellent first quarter, his miscues and turnovers helped the Suns back in in the 2nd from a 14 to 5 point deficit...he is an enigma, and I think it is focus and just making some really bad decisions at times, thus the 6 costly turnovers by him
McCleod did nothing...Murphy was strong on the boards but is congenitally opposed to posting up...
Jrich is still a step slow at times and it is clear he has trouble with his handles - he had a ridiculously wide open 3 to tie at the buzzer and came up pretty short - seems like his rhythm is playing off a driving PG, and he is still figuring out how to work with Monta and vice versa...when he gets back to his old groove that will be a huge asset...
I liked Barnes, he brings some toughness and inside game to the team
Overall, for a team lacking Baron and Ike, the Ws looked very strong at times, esp in the open court - they are a very plausible 7th or 8th seed
Oh, Nash continues to be unfairly good...he is a killer, and 15 assists and one turnover, well he is the 2-time MVP for a reason
and one last time MONTA!!!