The Suns’ Amare Stoudemire adds his voice to the all-star chorus of Ray Allen, Vince Carter and…uh, Steve Francis, in calling out the Spurs’ primary defensive irritant. From the Arizona Republic’s Doug Haller.

Amaré Stoudemire called the San Antonio Spurs a dirty team Thursday and directed most of his words toward defensive specialist Bruce Bowen and sixth man Manu Ginobili.

Hours after the Suns center learned he had made First Team All-NBA, Stoudemire unleashed frustration at what he said were attempts by Bowen and Ginobili to hurt him during the Suns’ Game 2 win in the Western Conference semifinals.

Bowen’s play irritated him most. In the fourth quarter, Stoudemire felt a kick to his left Achilles tendon as he leaped inside. He came down awkwardly and said his foot was sore the rest of the night. He got treatment before practice.

Stoudemire said he wasn’t sure Bowen had kicked him on purpose until he saw the replay.

“It was a wide-open play,” he said. “I saw the replay and Bruce Bowen came up behind me, measured his feet and kicked me purposely in the back of my Achilles. That was a dirty play.

“I hope the NBA looks into in and takes a look at Bruce Bowen. In Game 1, I told Bruce to calm down because he might get somebody hurt out there. He had a ‘don’t care’ type of attitude. And it showed in Game 2, when he kicked me purposely in my Achilles. I almost came down wrong and he almost caused an injury. He’s known for doing that. I just hope the NBA and the commissioner takes a look because it’s definitely a dirty play and that’s not something we need.”

“For a player to be behind me, there’s no way you can try and go for a block and kick me directly in the Achilles,” he said. “There’s no way. I’ve dunked on guys. I’ve been dunked on, so I know how it is to play hard out there. That wasn’t a case of someone playing hard, it was just a case of trying to injure someone, plain and simple.”

The Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro compiled a Lettermanesque “Top Ten Reasons Why Van Gundy’s Quitting”.  Amongst them, “Recently broke his five-year vow to avoid reading papers, and just found out he lives in Texas.”    Hey, it could be worse. Jeff could wake up tomorrow and find out he lives in Newark.

After a brutal first two games against Detroit in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, full credit to the Da Bulls, who actually managed to show up…for about 30 minutes on Wednesday night.  However, led by 21 points from Tayshaun Prince (and 16 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks from Rasheed Wallace), the Pistons erased a 19 point deficit en route to a 81-74 comeback win in Chicago.