DALLAS - Joe Johnson will be fitted for a mask on Monday to protect his left eye "in the event doctors clear him to play," Suns president Bryan Colangelo said.
Johnson’s vision is fine; the only problem is post-surgery swelling that will last a few days, Colangelo said.
The reconstructive surgery on his orbital bone "allowed for the movement of the eye to be perfect. That’s the most important thing.
"There’s no risk to his eyesight that would impair his ability to play."
The Suns are hoping that Johnson might be able to play in this series if it goes longer than five games or in Round 3 if the Suns move on.
CENTER OF FUTURE?
Amaré Stoudemire reiterated Saturday that he does not envision playing center for the long term in his NBA career.
"I don’t want to do it too long because it takes a lot of wear and tear on your body when you’re playing against 7-footers and 300-pounders and you’re not their size," said Stoudemire, who was wearing ice on his left elbow to ease the pain of a tender nerve after he took a shot to the funny bone in Friday’s game. "I want to have a long career and a long healthy career."
SUNS MUM ON REFS
As the Mavericks — particularly coach Avery Johnson and center Erick Dampier — continue to moan about the officiating (even though the Suns had more fouls called on them Friday), the Suns are trying to downplay the subject.
Coach Mike D’Antoni, as he frequently does, pointed out the Suns foul less than any NBA team.
Phoenix wasn’t called for any fouls in the fourth quarter. So D’Antoni pointed out the same could be said for the Mavericks in the third quarter.
"We don’t foul. We won’t foul. We don’t want to foul," D’Antoni said.
The NBA says it wants to put the Pacers-Pistons regular-season brawl behind it. But, in truth, ABC may be hoping for a rematch.
Instead of scheduling the more entertaining Mavericks-Suns Game 5 in prime time today, the network chose the slow-paced Indiana-Detroit series while Dallas-Phoenix will start at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time (6:30 in Arizona).
Stoudemire admitted that the Mavericks surprised him with their defensive tactics in Game 2 when they put 6-foot-7 Michael Finley on him. Before Game 3 he joked that he had a new, "secret" method to attack Finley.
On Saturday, in the wake of a 37-point performance, he elaborated, saying, "Instead of just backing him down from outside the paint, I just faced him first and then sealed him deep to score easily. When you’ve got a guy 6-7 guarding you, you’ve got to punish that."
The media corps swelled a bit Saturday when Quentin Richardson grabbed a microphone and "interviewed" Shawn Marion.
Here’s the transcript:
Q from Q: How do you guard Dirk Nowitzki?
A from Marion: I just play defense. I just try to make it hard for him.
Q: You’re doing a great job.
A: Thank you.
Q: What’s your approach for Game 4? You know they’re going to come out intense and the crowd is going to be jumping. What are you going to do?
A: We’re going to try to match their intensity and do what we’ve been doing. And so on and so on.
Q: And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. . .