The Suns took on the Heat last night in Phoenix. The Suns also took another win, making it five straight. The Suns won 108 - 80. The Heat were sorely without their best players: Wade was out with a sprained wrist, and Shaq has been out most of the season. It wasn't really a fair game, perse, but we still put another one in the win column. The next game is Sunday (tomorrow), and it is also home. This time we take on the Warriors (17 - 17). GO SUNS!
Well, the day has now come that I cannot call my son, Aidan, "fat head." That was one of the nicknames that I had for him so that he would be scarred for life. Heh heh. Amy took Aidan for his 9 month check up today, and the results of his measurements were that he is 29 inches tall (75 percentile), 20 lbs. 2 ounces (50 percentile), and his head circumference was 44 cm (only in the 45 percentile). Because his HC percentage is only 45, that means that 55% of babies have bigger heads than my son. No longer "fat head." Oh, well, I still love him. I'll call him "chubby cheeks." Oh, and we've found out that he is teething. He's got his two top middle teeth coming in. The doctor told Amy that she's never seen top teeth coming in first. Go Aidan! What a Van Liew stud!
Back to back one-possession games. The Suns had up to a 17 point lead at one stretch of the game, but let the lead slip until Toronto (13 - 19) actually took a one point lead over the Suns. Stoudemire played a good game, but fouled out with a couple of minutes to go in this close game. Nash then stepped it up. He'd been cold most of the game, getting only 2 points in the first three quarters, but turned it up at the end of the fourth adding 13 points. The Raptors hit a clutch three, but Nash answered. The Suns were up by one and the Raptors pushed ahead, but Raja Bell took a charge. That gave the Suns the one point lead and the ball back with just over four seconds left. They got the ball in to Marion, who was fouled immediately, and he made one of two free-throws; the Raptors didn't have a time out left but got up the floor quickly to try a three to win, but the miss was a bad one, and the Suns won by two, 100 - 98. The Suns now have the second best record in the NBA, half a game ahead of San Antonio (23 - 9), one and a half behind Dallas (25 - 7, 11 game winning streak right now). The Suns take on the Heat at home in Phoenix this Friday.
What a game! The Bulls came out much like the Suns normally do, getting up by double figures in the first half, keeping their opponent down in scoring for most of the game...that is, until the end. The way the Bulls played made it seem like there was no way the Suns were going to be able to come back from their deficit of up to at least 15. The Suns were held down to tie their season lows for the first quarter (18) and for the first half (43). The Suns kept fighting, though, allowing them in the last few minutes to come back and tie the Bulls a couple of times, but never taking over the lead. The Bulls kept battling, also, and kept getting the lead back. Ben Gordon, a great candidate for the 6th Man Award, had a career high 41 points in the game. The Suns had tied and the Bulls had come back to take the lead at least four times in the last couple of minutes. The Bulls ended up getting a two point lead in the final half minute of play, but then Leandro Barbosa hit the shot of a lifetime, at three-pointer to take the lead, only leaving 1.5 seconds on the clock. Ben Gordon was the go-to guy for the Bulls in that last 1.5 seconds, had to take a long three, and Barbosa partially tipped it, giving the Suns the win. The Bulls lost this game very similarly to how the Suns lost some of our first games: giving up the lead at the end of the game, and not even losing by much. It was a great game, one that kept you wanting to see what would happen next. What excitement! I, personally, had thought the Bulls had the game packed away from early on, but the Suns are fighters, we've got some clutch players, and our 6th man made the shot. The Suns take on the Toronto Raptors (13 - 18) tonight in Toronto. GO SUNS!
Last night (New Year's Day), at my house, I had Chris Blackford (a great friend), Charles Van Liew (son of Chuck Van Liew, my dad's middle brother), and Caleb Van Liew (son of Larry Van Liew, my oldest uncle on my dad's side) come over to play poker with me. We played Texas Hold 'Em, ordered pizza and it was a lot of fun. We spent three and a half hours playing, actually. It was a good evening together with friends and family. I love those guys. Chris had to get home, but Charles and Caleb stayed for about another hour and chatted with Amy and me. It was a very enjoyable evening, and I'm looking forward to doing it again soon.
President Gerald Ford, our 38th President, died late in 2006. His funeral was today at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Family and former Presidents gave speeches in his honor. There was a lot of Scripture read today. Former President George Bush said, "He was like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life." He led a life of "honor and integrity." The former President's speech was well written, well presented, and hit the nail on the head. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State, said President Ford was "unpresuming and without gile." It was something to see all of the formality of the ceremony, along with the military involvement in carrying the casket and bringing in the colors.
We donated our dead '97 Plymouth Neon to PBS. I'm sure it could be patched up and still run very well, but we don't have the money to fix it. It did have a 12 disc CD changer in it, but we listen to my iPod now anyway, so that's okay. It served us for the time we had it, but then it died. The Lord provided the Ford Escort wagon that we have now, and that's much better for having the car seat with Aidan.
The NBA has decided to reverse its decision to move to a composite official game basketball and revert to the old leather ball. The composite balls were moved to in order to keep every single ball the same because they were synthetic, but there was such a stink made over the switch that the NBA decision-makers made the call to go back to the all-unique leather balls. We'll see if Steve Nash is still comfortable with the old leather now that he's grown accustomed to the composite. Suns take on the Chicago Bulls, who have recently been surging and have become one of the to-beat teams in the Eastern Conference. The Suns are 9 - 1 against East teams this season, and they expect to be able to continue adding to that tonight. GO SUNS!
Yeah, so it's already January 2nd, but I can still post about the new year. My family and I went to church at Northwest (it had been a month, because of all the seasonal distractions); I finished Michael & Chelsea Withems' wedding video and DVD; we saw the Suns win their game against the Pistons; and we went to the 2nd Annual du Mée New Year's Party at their apartment in downtown Phoenix. It was a very nice New Year's Eve. We played games and had a blast with the du Mées, the Withems (to whom I game their DVD), Charissa Craw, and Jeremy Quadé: the same crew as last year. Thank you, du Mées, it was great to be together again. Happy New Year!
Well, I must say that getting the Christmas lights up was a feet of strength and trust...for Amy. I wouldn't get up on the ladder that was rickety, so my pregnant wife did. Yeah, yeah...I don't wanna hear it. But, when it comes to bringing the lights down...now that is my realm. I employed a technique that I invented called "the pull down." Because of our style of shingles, we were able to utilize plastic hooks that held the lights up even through very windy conditions. With this setup, I was able to undo the physical connection between the lights and their power source, and just start pulling on the strand of lights, freeing the hooks from under the shingles, and successfully removing the lights from their perch. Oh, yeah. In the immortal words of Sean Connery from Finding Forrester, "[Who's] the man now, dawg"?
The Suns finish out 2006 with a win in Detroit. Nash and Stoudemire combined for 66 in the team's 108 - 101 win over the Pistons. Both had double-doubles, with Nash dishing 12 assists and Stat rebounding 13 times. "Detroit definitely came out to play," Stat. Raja Bell got ejected by earning himself two technical fouls, but I didn't see or hear why. The Suns had the lead for almost the whole game, but with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Pistons went on a run after Raja was ejected, and they took the lead, up by one, 91 - 90. Nash decided that he wasn't going to learn this game, took it on his own shoulders, and brought the Suns back up by 6. The Suns then closed out the game. It was a good game that they Suns had to play well, and they did. Next game is Tuesday, January 2, 2007, in Chicago, against the surging Bulls squad which is now #2 in the East with a 19 - 12 record. GO SUNS!