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Phoenix Suns

Updated Apr 10, 2013 - 12:01 pm

Suns game smells -- fishy, fishy

Phoenix Suns center Jermaine O'Neal (20) tips away the ball on a 3-point shot by Houston Rockets guard James Harden, not seen, at the buzzer, as Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (12) attempts to get an offensive rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in Houston. After review by the officials, O'Neal was called for goaltending, giving the Rockets a 101-98 win. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)

Right now, there are two things that I just can't get out of my head.

First, that McDonald's TV commercial. We've all seen and heard it. Fishy, Fishy.

Second, I can't rid my mind of how the Suns game ended in Houston. Fishy, Fishy.

With the score tied and a game winning shot attempt in the air with no time on the clock, Jermaine O'Neal committed an egregious goaltend. Game over.

Congratulations -- the Phoenix Suns just invented a new way to lose. In some ways, it was truly ingenious and innovative, to be sure. But it was something else as well -- very beneficial.

Let's not forget, the Suns are currently engaged in a very tight race. No, it's certainly not the playoff race. #JimMora #Playoffs?!

In hindsight, the Suns were mathematically eliminated from the postseason the very moment they signed Michael Beasley. (Cue Coach Singletary - "I want winners!")

At the moment, the Suns are 1 ˝ games worse than the Cavaliers, which means they're 1 ˝ games ahead of Cleveland for what both teams lust after -- that third slot behind Charlotte and Orlando for worst record in the NBA.

(By the way, kudos to the Cavs, who blew a 20 point lead in the 4th quarter to win.. err, lose to the Pacers. Fishy, Fishy.)

Hence, Paulie Ping Pong Ball simply ain't buying that a 17-year veteran somehow commits an innocent game-losing goaltend at the buzzer. Sorry, considering the circumstances, it's really not plausible. Not when he touched the ball and the rim. You know, for good measure, just in case the officials missed one or the other. Fishy, Fishy.

Although the Suns sort of mustered up an argument and feigned insolence, the video review was an absolute slam dunk. Game over. (Cue Al McCoy: "Suns Lose! Err, wait…Suns Win!")

After the game, O'Neal went thru the motions of protesting the ruling (wink, wink).

"It was off the rim, for sure,'' O'Neal said. ``He (ref) is saying it was still in the cylinder when I did it. The problem is that they called a goaltend and counted the basket before they did the review. So there's not enough evidence to change the call."

Here's what the reporters should've written down on their notepads: "Fishy, Fishy."

Let's just say that the referee had a different assessment, with video replay serving as indisputable evidence.

"Jermaine O'Neal touched it while it was in the cylinder,'' David Jones told a pool reporter. "The ball was on the rim and in the cylinder."

Look, if NBA teams didn't tank games in the past, we wouldn't even have the current lottery system. Tanking games is not akin to a Big Foot sighting. It exists beyond doctored photos.

Furthermore, when the Suns strategically benched Goran Dragic for two straight games recently, let's just say their motivation came into question. Fishy, Fishy.

So, as non-playoff teams play out the string and jockey for position, let's all remember that the best indicator of the future is the past. Ten straight losses for the Suns. Fifteen of their last 17. We know the Suns are planning to lose, we're just not sure how. Fishy, Fishy.

About the Author

School: California

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: KTAR/KMVP = 1998

Favorite sports memory: Phoenix Open 1997 - Sitting under the ropes at the 16th green and watching Tiger Woods tee off with a 9-iron. 152 yards and two bounces later...the hole-in-one results in an unmatched moment of bedlam and pandemonium. I'm still suffering from partial hearing loss.

Favorite all-time athlete: Barry Sanders. How can a guy my size make the rest of the NFL look so helpless and hapless? No such thing as an open-field tackle of Barry Sanders, not unless it's a gang tackle.

Favorite sports movies: Rocky - "He doesn't know it's a damn show. He thinks it's a damn fight!"

Gone in 60 Seconds - The Shelby Mustang has great measurables and is elusive in open field!


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