It's so early in the season for us to call the Phoenix Suns 112-110 loss last night to their arch-rival San Antonio Spurs last night a game with "playoff-like intensity," but it was.
Both teams fought as if the game really meant something, not just one of 82 regular season games before the real season--the playoffs--get underway in the seemingly far-away future.
The difference in the contest was as narrow as the final score indicated--two of three missed shots down the stretch by the great Steve Nash spelled the difference.
Also noteworthy were the four fourth-quarter treys from exactly the same spot in the left corner by Phoenix native Richard Jefferson, finally feeling his oats now in his second year with the Spurs.
We remember watching Jefferson play at Moon Valley High, and then for a few years at the University of Arizona before moving on to a pretty high-level NBA career.
The dude always had amazing hops, and his shooting prowess now seems have stepped up to the big-boy level.
Jason Richardson kicked ass last night on both ends of the court, and if he plays with that level of intensity and sophistication over the course of the next 75 games or so, the Suns will prosper.
Not that Phoenix is of championship caliber--they're simply not at this point--but at least at this early-in-the-season juncture, the locals are entertaining and are showing some real heart.
Last night's loss (yes, a loss!) to hated San Antonio, and a home defeat to boot, indicates that this edition of the Suns won't go down easily.
Oh, one more thing:
Tim Flippin' Duncan, the future Hall of Fame center for the Spurs, remains one of the best (and most boring) basketball players who ever has stepped onto a court.