Shaq Scores Four Points as Beaten-Down Suns get Beaten Up by Dallas

Diesel, where the hell were you? Where's that team you bragged you'd hoist to an NBA  championship in Phoenix?

Nowhere to be found in the Suns 112-97 road loss to mighty Dirk Nowitzki (pictured) and his Dallas Mavericks, that's where. Ain't gonna happen with the way you (and for that matter, most of the team) played Thursday night.

Four points, Shaq? Five rebounds?


And after sitting out Wednesday's loss to the New Orleans Hornets -- to rest.

Well, if this is what rest does for you...


Steve Nash's almost as old as Shaq, and he had 20 points,10 assists, and only one turnover (he's had his problems this year, but not in this game). Most of the Diesel's 26 minutes out there against the Mavericks, he couldn't find the goal. All but one of his six shots from the field went haywire (remember, his field is no farther than four feet from the rim).

The good news is: he hit two of two free throws. It was the first time in memory, probably in his career, that he's gone 100 percent from the stripe. We're being sarcastic.

But enough about Shaq. With the exception of Nash and Amare Stoudemire (on offense only), the entire team sucked proverbial donkey dick.

Coach Terry Porter stresses defense, but the Suns couldn't have stopped Cappie Pondexter  Thursday night. Nash's German buddy from his Dallas days, Mavs' power forward Nowitzki, humiliated the Suns with 39 points and nine rebounds.

Even Dallas backup point guard Jose Barea, who can't be any taller than 5-9 (he's listed at six feet), scored 18 points and had three rebounds.

Guess how many rebounds our power forward had? Two more than an NBA midget.

Okay, Amare Stoudemire put in 28 points, but never has the old dig on him been more neon -- dude can't (won't) play defense.

Not even for all to see in a nationally televised game.

Despite 7-1 O'Neal and 6-10 Stoudemire in the lineup, the Suns only managed 25 rebounds to the Mavericks' whopping 48.

The last time the Suns lost this badly (to the Chicago Bulls 100-83 last month), the team blamed it on Shaq's sitting out to rest. There are no excuses this time -- both Shaq and Nash were back and healthy.

And it wasn't even that close. A bunch of Suns points were scored in garbage time, when  bench players for both teams were on the floor.

Did we mention that after not losing three games in a row under (departed-for-the-New York Knicks) Coach Mike D'Antoni all of last season, the Suns have now lost four in a row, with 12-8 Utah coming in Saturday night.

If Porter's team keeps playing like they're beaten down, they'll get beaten up again -- and it'll be five in a row. -- Rick Barrs