That Sound You Heard was the Suns Sucking Against the Boston Celtics

The last time the Phoenix Suns played a great NBA team, they lost by a point.

Last night, the Suns lost to the Boston Celtics 104-87 in Bean Town. But the only reason it was that close was that the Suns' bench -- notably Lou Amundson -- played better than the Celtics' bench in garbage time.

The Suns' trailed by extreme double-digits for most of the game -- 35 points was the largest margin we noticed. It was sickening to watch.

When Phoenix lost by that single point on a buzzer-beater to the great San Antonio Spurs and later won by 28 against the good Dallas Mavericks, we were heartened. We thought Coach Terry Porter's meshing of Shaquille O'Neal and the Steve Nash fast-paced Suns might be beginning to work.

But in the Boston debacle, the Suns sucked worse than they've ever sucked. It's hard to believe that a team that sucked this badly -- even if it was the their second game on as many days -- could have a 23-16 record. The Suns were in Oklahoma City Thunder territory in this loss.

Get this! Amare Stoudemire had 3 points and 1 rebound in 30 minutes. The starters sat out the entire fourth quarter because all was lost. (The idea was to rest them, but three of 'em barely exerted themselves against the Celtics.)   

Actually all was lost long before the final period. The game was 30-15 Celtics at the end of the first quarter, 64-34 at halftime.

The Suns starters played next to no defense (something Porter's supposedly stressing). And on this night, they had practically no offense. Oh, Shaquille O'Neal had 16 points and 11 rebounds in his 30 minutes.

Shaq showed up, and so did scrappy sub Amundson, the second-highest scorer for the Suns  with 13. Amundson was playing with so much ferocity -- in this blowout -- that you'd have figured the game was tied. We used to think Steve Nash was the role model on this team, but the torch probably should be passed to Lighting Lou (O'Neal's nickname for him).

To be fair, Nash had 12 points and 8 assists in 32 minutes. It wasn't his fault. We're not sure who's fault it was, so we're blaming Porter. Coach, your players were uninspired, to say the least. The Suns are selling the idea that this is an elite team -- among the best in the West. Sure, they were playing the 34-9 Boston Celtics (you know, the team featauring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen), but shouldn't they at least be competitive?

About Stoudemire, he's always bemoaning that he's the Rodney Dangerfield of NBA supestars. He wonders why he's not mentioned in the same breath as LaBron and Kobe, as Boston's Big Three. Well...

The legendary Reggie Miller, the color commentator for the so-called game on TNT, told Amar'e what he needs to do to get that R-E-S-P-E-C-T he craves:

"You want to be more and more the man, then you have to demand more of yourself."

That means playing on both ends of the court. Against the Celtics, he didn't play on either.

Okay, Stoudemire had 31 points against the lowly Toronto Raptors the day before. But along with his 3 points and 1 rebound on Monday night, he had four fouls. We're surprised the dude didn't foul out while he was lounging around.

Not that long ago, the (Super Bowl-bound) Cardinals were the joke in this town. Now it's the Suns.