As many have already pointed out, last night could not have gone any worse for ... well, for just about everybody involved in the Suns-Spurs series. A blowout victory for the Spurs would have been painful, but at least it would have been quick, and we all could have convinced ourselves that the Suns would have lost no matter what. If the Suns would have won, the whole matter could have been washed away by one team's determination.

But what happened, as you saw, was the Suns playing their hearts out, squeezing every last bit out ... but falling just short because, well, because they only had six players because two of their players were gone because David Stern made a terrible decision that he very well might never live down. (Seriously, we can't think of a time that Stern has taken more justified heat that this; we're not sure he quite realizes yet, actually, how this prominent a part of his epitaph this decision will be if San Antonio wins this series.) The Suns lost because Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw weren't there. They would have won otherwise. It is impossible to argue otherwise.

The details of the game almost seem irrelevant at this point, which, of course, is exactly the problem. And Stern canceled his plans to be in Phoenix last night, choosing the Cleveland-New Jersey game instead. Wise, probably, and again, something that he still doesn't realize is gonna end up on that epitaph.

Stern's Nightmare Becomes Reality [100 Percent Injury Rate]
Proud To Be Me [Free Darko]