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@hawki Absolutely considering that they probably 'shouldn't' have won the SA, MIN, and ATL games third is definitely within reach. They've got a lot of games coming up vs teams trying to solidify playoff seeds.
1 year, 7 months ago on Sacramento Kings 121, Phoenix Suns 112 — Bring on the lottery
Well on the one hand it was nice to see triple digits on the scoreboard next to the Suns name. On the other, that was an amazingly painful game to watch for such a high scoring affair. Poor defense and a comedy of errors on both squads. No centers and home cooking for the higher scoring team on the season won the day. In other news the Dudley minutes meter continues to slip, wonder how long that continues to fly under the radar?
@hawki Looks like it was a solid call
1 year, 7 months ago on Preview: Phoenix Suns (21-40) at Sacramento Kings (21-42)
@john manhole You do realize that now that you said that, he's going to end up in San Antonio next season and shoot lights out for them as a bench sparkplug right!!!
1 year, 7 months ago on Suns’ effort to maximize youth killing Brown’s career year, trade value
@deathbycoffee I think Brown being here depends on his attitude right now, the draft and potentially free agency. Seeing as Shannon is going down the same road that Peaches did a few years back, right now it's hard for me to imagine him back next season, it's just a matter of when and how he departs. At this point if they know that it's going to be another long season next year, it wouldn't surprise me if they decided to bring a guy like Johnson back on a one year min deal instead. If not Wes, than someone along those lines who has remaining upside and is cheap. The unspoken added benefit is that someone like that is unlikely to complain about minutes in a youth movement. Shannon isn't the only one losing minutes due to this and he might not be the only one replaced by someone more down with the program.
@mileHighfan My expectation is that Hunter will be the coach next season, although there is at least one fan around here who believes that Golden State's lead assistant Malone will get the job. If Blanks is retained however, I think Hunter stays with a staff that's handpicked by the two. I think Lindsey is doing a solid job under the circumstances, but he's got a lot to learn about X's and O's, in-game management, and how to push buttons with veterans. I think he's definitely best suited for a young team at this point, hopefully with some good assistants to fill in the holes for him. He's definitely not afraid to try things though.
@hawki Yes but we have a clash of two of those titans tonight so buckle up!
@mileHighfan I'd say pretty low. The Suns haven't been good at home this season and more importantly they struggle to score 100 points in a game. It took overtime to get 105 vs the Spurs and that was after only scoring 84 in an overtime game vs the Wolves. By my count, they've only gotten to 100pts 14 times this season. With the Nugs looking for playoff positioning and neither team playing the night before, I expect a fairly ugly loss for the Suns who also may not have a center beyond Hamed Hadaddi for that game.
@mileHighfan Whatup Sammi? You aren't alone in not watching many Suns games, it's been a tomb both at the arena and on the boards relatively speaking. The defense in general this year has been awful, probably worse than at any other time during the SSOL era. It's picked up a little bit because they changed coaches and they're also feeding a bit off the energy of bench players who hadn't been used much previously. I don't think they've used any zone since Hunter came on board, they used it sparingly with Gentry depending on matchups.
How has Shannon's value changed? He's a guy who is what he is and anyone interested knows it. He struggled to find acceptable offers when he left the Lakers, and he struggled to find ones when he was a free agent again last summer. His FG% has dropped every season since his career best .473 in 2008-2009 and he's shooting the worst 3pt % of his career this season. His career best ppg is due to a career best mpg average, a classic scenario on bad teams that other gm's and scouts are well aware of. He is what is he is and at this point that's basically someone who will likely have his greatest trade value as a contract that can be stretched by team needing cap relief for next season or later on as an expiring deal for a team looking to get itself under the luxury tax or salary cap for the following offseason.
@TySun @BoomShakaLuka Yup
1 year, 7 months ago on Toronto Raptors 98, Phoenix Suns 71 – Crashing down
1 year, 7 months ago on Marcin Gortat has sprained foot, out at least 3-4 weeks
I wonder what Demarcus will do on Friday? Gentry and D'Antoni were pretty relentless with double teams with this kind of mismatch and were generally pretty successful with it as long as teams weren't patient. If they either immediately reposted for a forced shot or kept the ball on one side of the floor the Suns typically forced low percentage shots and grabbed a few turnovers. If said team moved the ball around the perimeter for a shot or a repost it was a different story percentage and offensive rebounding wise. From what I've seen of Hunter, I don't think he likes doubles in the post all that much so it could get ugly especially if the Kings perimeter guys are on. Keith Smart's team doesn't exactly carry his namesake though, so it should be entertaining and a possible W.
@IowaPhXfan Also just saw that Gortat said that the doctors told him at least a few days, probably a few weeks. Hope he doesn't come back too soon and lower his trade value even further.
@IowaPhXfan Tell us what you really think! I'm not surprised by Bassy's comments or feelings. The front office billed this team as something other than what it's become. Even when they were last in the West, mired in near back to back long losing streaks there was an article on AZC where the front office said that tanking isn't the plan and that they're still trying to be competitive while rebuilding. Guys like Wes Johnson and Marshall were buried. Guys like Beasley and Kieff got themselves benched when they didn't perform in individual games. Hard workers like PJ Tucker and Bassy got burn and that was pretty consistent with how the team was run in recent seasons.
I have no problem with the front office moving to look at the young guys and future plans, it's about time. However after selling a different vision both internally and externally for so long, some backlash seems inevitable when you keep so many veterans around-especially after letting Gentry go. I can understand Blanks wanting his own guy in there and someone younger to work with the youth movement, but there are consequences. I don't know if Gentry would have been better with the young guys or not, but I do think he and his staff (or Turner or Majerle) probably would have been better able to massage egos of veterans losing time to young guys. Especially when the young guys don't clearly show that they have more talent than the guys that they're putting on the bench either mentally like Beasley or talent wise with guys like Kieff, Marshall, and Johnson on the offensive end.
Bassy said what he felt out loud and Shannon Brown came very close before zipping his mouth(so far), but you can see it with others too. You can see it in Dudley's body language at times along with some of his 'discussions' with Lindsey. You can see it in Scola's slow walks to the bench at times and the fact that it seems like he doesn't want to be anywhere near a microphone these days. I also think that there was more to O'Neal's blowup with Blanks than they claimed in the cleanup story. To their credit they moved Bassy and tried to move or buyout O'Neal. However who's left is who's left and there will be some ego massaging to be done to keep things quiet externally. I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't more leaks or outburst from vets around this team between now and summer time. At least it gives us something to read!
I'm very interested to see how Lindsey handles Goran from here on out. Goran is not only the best player on the squad, he clearly represents the kind of hard work and hustling culture that Lindsey and the front office envisions(Yes, him starring in that role makes Blanks' comment when he was traded to Houston ironic!) That said, the Suns have been in a lot more blowouts since Lindsey took over. Games like last night that get away pretty quickly, seem like great opportunities to sit a guy like Goran for the majority of the game.
Not because he can't handle minutes or because he lacked rest, but because the guy goes so hard all the time in games that are pretty much meaningless at this point. He's gotten himself nicked up a bunch of times already this season and despite several days off, he still clearly had no lift from his injury from the last game. Why have him out there, especially when Lindsey has and will continue to run these guys hard in practice all the time between games? Whenever the Suns turn it around, I'd like Goran to still be Goran not some lesser version of himself due to getting banged up in games that didn't mean much for the franchise. Look at the Nets. At least Joe Johnson got himself banged up in games that meant something for the Suns and Hawks. Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace are shadows of themselves partly due to playing big minutes and going all out in games that meant nothing in Brooklyn and Charlotte. No need to treat Goran like a Faberge egg, but extend his useful life a little in games that get away from them.
@4everis2long What I liked most about this game Foreveris is that it was one of the few times this season I felt the game was over long before it was. Sure, I'll be honest and admit that a lot of that had to do with the fact that I really don't respect the basketball IQ of the Hawks in general, Smith in particular, but nonetheless it was nice sipping my beer early in the 3rd Q feeling comfortable about things for a change.
The rest of it is kind of surreal for me as a Suns fan. You know I watch a lot of league pass games, often from teams considered the dregs of the league. I've seen mini-streaks and flashes like this from a lot of deep lottery teams, many of which ended up going nowhere the next season. I've been a Suns fan since 89 and have never really seen a team like this before. Sure they've had down years before, but they've always had undeniable talent on their team. They've often lacked depth relative to the league, but they've always had that talent on the roster. Goran is trying hard to be that guy, but overall this roster just doesn't have that talent at the moment. It tends to make me think that there are a lot of moves yet to come and that outside of Goran I don't know who could be here when things finally turn around. So yeah I do love seeing the tough games and W's against the playoff teams, but I wonder if it's training for anyone but Goran as far as the Suns go.
Btw, you're right about Wes' defense he's been doing the job and the confidence on his shot is very encouraging.
1 year, 7 months ago on Phoenix Suns 92, Atlanta Hawks 87 — Newcomers to the rescue
Break em' up!!!!
@HarrySun Maybe I'll pull it together someday.
1 year, 7 months ago on Preview: Atlanta Hawks (33-23) at Phoenix Suns (20-39)
@HarrySun So what exactly am I missing? Aaron Brooks got a buyout to return to the team he was drafted by in the same season that Goran Dragic returned to the Suns. Essentially the trade never happened outside of the 23rd pick the Suns gave away in the deal(a number of solid players were available 23 and below that year)
How comical, word is that Brooks may be returning to the Rox!
Pour one on the curb, the Kings have released C. Rock aka Aaron Brooks. Lets just hope that Lance doesn't release Garrett, Hadaddi, or Brown for someone who isn't a better person thank player...
@4everis2long Yeah that was a nice save by Johnson on D as Goran picked up a couple of aggression fouls that were stupid when you're guarding a guy like Parker. I'm not concerned about the lottery chances, especially at this point in the season. There will be nights like this where they step up and beat a strong team and there will likely be far more losses often in mind numbing fashion down the stretch. All in all they probably remain somewhere in the top 5 for the draft is my guess.
1 year, 7 months ago on Phoenix Suns 105, San Antonio Spurs 101 (OT) — O'Neal takes over
@4everis2long @SkyBill40 The Suns were already likely a tough sell for free agents last summer. They like to parrot the Gordon signing, but a rfa signing an offer sheet is rarely earth shattering news. Especially when that rfa was choosing between two rebuilding situations with one being close to his brother and didn't attract any other offers due to his injury history and probably because of attitude concerns. The only unrestricted free agent of import probably was Mayo and he wasn't feeling the situation here.
I would imagine now that players and agents have gotten a clearer picture of where the Suns are in the rebuilding process that most will steer far clear of this place other than using them as a way to better offers and interest elsewhere. Internally, I'm sure former agent Babby is well aware of this. My guess is that they aren't worried about guys like Telfair, Brown and O'Neal because they've already decided that they won't be here next season. The only reason O'Neal is still here is because he personally declined a buyout the Suns seemed willing to do which is probably why they reversed course on waiving Hadaddi. I can't remember if Shannon's deal is fully guaranteed for next season, but he's probably a stretch candidate. I suppose the timing of such a move would likely depend on if he's fully guaranteed or not by a certain date.
In the quest to preserve/maximize cap space,it wouldn't surprise me if they ended bringing Wes back next season after getting rebuffed by other suitors. I can't imagine that he would have commanded much money/years under the old cba and he'll probably be available for at or near the vet min this summer. There's a good chance next season will be uglier than this one, with guys like Scola, Gortat, and Dudley moved this offseason for picks/cap space/more young players who've failed elsewhere. In light of that, I personally can't get too concerned about guys like Shannon not getting burn. The time to rebuild while remaining competitive ended several seasons ago despite the lip service Babby pays to it. Their past moves have put them on the roller coaster ride of depending largely on high lottery picks to come in and fix this over time.
1 year, 7 months ago on Phoenix Suns 84, Minnesota Timberwolves 83 (OT) -- Winning ugly
Man that was rough watching, kinda of like the movie Kids...
They're gonna need a bigger boat....
1 year, 7 months ago on San Antonio Spurs 97, Phoenix Suns 87 -- No small victories
@4everis2long I had a good night hanging out in San Fran last night, so I saw a nap instead any hoops this afternoon. It's gonna be hard for them to earn respect. The vets know what the team is at this point, the youngins are inexperienced and mostly happy to be out there and the bench staff is very inexperienced outside of Igor. I'm real interested to see what happens if Lindsey gets his wish to run long practices where they act like they're preparing for the finals every game. I see the Spurs are also sitting Neal tonight. I get the feeling that the first 7mins or so will tell the tale of the whole game.
1 year, 7 months ago on Preview: San Antonio Spurs (44-13) at Phoenix Suns (18-38)
@Kevin Zimmerman No they're not commanding any respect and I think Lindsey may have to tread carefully going forward. As you noted above there has been an increase in blowouts and a corresponding increase in rants from Hunter. When Alvin went to rant mode, it cost him with the front office but I don't think he had lost the team at that point. Lindsey seems like he's much closer to losing the team if he continues using certain motivational tactics. As fugly as its been, the Suns still aren't in the organizational swamp that a team like the Kings is in where things like Beasley's 'elbow-gate' are routine. It can get worse from both a record and culture standpoint.
While he does this sort of thing all the time anyway, you have to wonder if Pop saw Lindsey's comments on the Celts disrespecting the Suns by resting KG among other things when he was deciding whether or not to sit Parker out.
1 year, 7 months ago on Boston Celtics 113, Phoenix Suns 88 -- Another blowout
@SkyBill40 The biggest reason I thought about it was because the Suns are and likely will be picking high in the draft the next few seasons.
1 year, 8 months ago on Sebastian Telfair traded to Raptors for Hamed Haddadi
@4everis2long Yeah I should have said since Pierce as both you and SkyBill have noted excellent KU players prior to to PP.
@4everis2long Outside of Pierce, how many of the many KU stars have panned out in the league big time? Gives one pause.
@4everis2long Yup. The rest is a rotation mash up for Hunter to figure out as he's likely going to have to sit some more vets down the stretch to get a good look at some of these guys.
@4everis2long Yeah I missed the comments about Goran's vacation and most of the commentary from last nights game. I just watches with the volume low because I was tired and sadly, sore.
1 year, 8 months ago on Phoenix Suns 102, Portland Trail Blazers 98 -- The dying embers of the fire
Wow I see the Rox also added T.Rob today, nice move for them.
1 year, 8 months ago on Suns trade rumors: Rockets' Marcus Morris traded to Phoenix
It's on now!!!
The Suns can't go wrong now, they've traded for both brothers this time, by moving a 2nd round pick for Marcus Morris....
1 year, 8 months ago on Preview: Phoenix Suns (18-36) at Golden State Warriors (30-23)
It could just be an agent leak put out anonymously (by you?? :) but the Thunder seem to have talked to the Suns about a trade along your guidelines. I'm all for the proposal I saw on Hoopshype as I don't think the Suns would do much better latter. Plus grabbing Lamb would make it so that they don't feel obligated to take a wing in a draft that isn't really deep there.
Nice W, although I was wiped out from playing hoops myself last night and kinda slept walked through it on the DVR. Nice to see Wes get some time so they can at least see him before the summer. If he shows a little promise, I don't mind the idea of not picking up the guarantee on Shannon and signing Wes cheap for another season to see if he can do more. Why not, they'll probably be bad anyway, may draft a wing, and it follows the plan of preserving cap space.
@4everis2long Yeah remember when I said the same thing a few years back on AZC about Barkley? If I thought that the Suns would be able to attract top flight GM candidates with prior experience, I wouldn't think of it but I tend to think they can't as they've struggled in recent years to get their top recruits to come here. They've got to get a basketball mind or two in there and someone willing to say 'NO' to the boss when appropriate
1 year, 8 months ago on Josh Smith trade rumors involving Suns crop up again
@slapdoghoops @4everis2long I think guys lose a year on an extension in the new cba. That's why they all want to wait till free agency now even if they intend on staying like CP3 in LA.
@4everis2long Well Gambo says that the Suns have no interest and that it's just the Hawks trying to drum up interest. I'm sure the fact that they have $$$ available makes them fodder for agents' games as well. Just stay the course Suns FO and rebuild it right. It didn't take a season to get here and they won't get out in one either.
@john manhole @arizona_jim Absolutely there are GM's that should be interested in Howard. As I said above, personally I wouldn't do anything more than clear or preserve cap space though as he's flakier to me than most free agents. I wouldn't hold onto a Josh Smith or a Lou Williams or move out a Brook Lopez plus a bunch of other stuff hoping this dude comes in and stays loyal. The Clips for example really don't have much to worry about with CP3, he's given them a fair shake. Personally, I think Lebron would have stayed in CLE if they had completed the trade for Amar'e although I think he would have leveraged them to do even more because he could have.
Healthy he is the best center in the league right now because of the overall package. Bynum may have better post moves, but he isn't as good on the glass or D and has had motivational issues for far longer than Dwight. Chandler is a better defender imo, but he is useless on offense outside of S/R lobs. Gasol has the best touch at the position, but isn't athletic enough to be as dominant near the rim, as a rebounder or a defender. And so on with other guys like Noah, Hibbert, Monroe, Cousins, etc.
That said there are a lot of things to be concerned about when it comes to building a team around him both from a mental and logistical standpoint. If you're a GM it has to give you pause when you look at how his game meshes with Nash and Kobe. Right now it really looks like the only way to win with him offensively is if the middle is completely wide open with nothing but shooters on the wing to allow Dwight to get his moves off in space and make it harder to simply foul him. The ESPN style media is so quick to make this a Mike Brown or D'Antoni vs Phil thing when talking about the Lakers woes in general and Dwight's in particular. Looking beyond this season though is it possible that they chose D'Antoni because he's exactly the kind of guy who could ultimately run the style of offense best suited to Howard given Howard appropriate surrounding personnel? I question whether they could even get to the finals that way, but that wasn't really my point.
@arizona_jim Why would anyone do anything to try and lure Howard outside of having cap space, which is useful whether you get him or not? The guy is so flaky upstairs that he's somehow managed to have that eclipse the fact that he's coming off back surgery. He's burned through coaches, and looks like he's about to burn his second organization in as many years. And he doesn't seem to care much about it basketball wise, just in the hurt feelings department.
Basketball-wise he's really been exposed this season as well. Sure he may heal up just fine from back and eventual shoulder surgery, which should make a huge difference on the defensive end for him, but what about the other end? He's a guy who cannot be depended on as a 4th quarter scorer because he's a poor foul shooter and lacks the go-to moves and sheer dominance of a Shaq. You could keep Shaq out there in the fourth because he was so big, quick, and explosive. Late in games, he would often explode off the floor quickly instead of waiting on his moves and was great enough to finish often through the contact of those trying to foul him. That's why Hack-a-Shaq had to be done far from the hoop whereas people often wait until Howard catches the rock before fouling. Even healthy his moves are much slower and deliberate before the explosion than Shaq's were.
That deliberate play also should be an eye opener if you're trying to build a team around him. This season he's shown that he doesn't mesh well with the kind of perimeter player (if not personality!) that you would want to pair him with. He's also shown that he isn't much of a pick and roll player unless you have a ton of 3pt shooters on the floor. And as Nash has pointed out, it's difficult to pair him with a traditional 4 at the high post because Dwight's moves take up so much room in the paint compared to guys like Shaq or Bynum, that the spacing gets all messed up and no one scores. Now if Dwight was willing to be primarily a defensive menace who largely scores opportunistically on the break or after ball movement breaks a defense down, perhaps none of this would matter. However that's not the case, so for that and the mental reasons, I would say buyer beware on Dwight.
I wonder if he's eyeing Dallas because of the way Dirk plays? That might be a mistake on his part as Dirk loves the high post area and he loves high screen roll as well. Also I don't imagine Dirk or Cuban are going to be any nicer to him when he pouts than Kobe or Nash have.
I'll just hold my breath and hope this is nothing more than agents, opposing gm's, and other go-betweens trying to use the media to drum up trade interest ahead of the deadline. Smith makes no sense for the Suns for the final 30 games of the season, and at or anywhere near his asking price he makes no sense this offseason either for the Suns.
@IowaPhXfan While I tend to agree, I do find myself playing devils advocate and wondering if those teams are really worse or do they have fewer names people are familiar with? The Suns beat the Bobcats twice, albeit struggling at times in both and needing a crazy Shannon Brown quarter in the first game. So it seems safe to say they're better than them. The Magic on the other hand whooped the Suns pretty good on the road without Jameer or Hedo and got the Suns at home in a tough b2b for them at the tail end of a long roadie. Interesting times we Suns fans watch in these days.
1 year, 8 months ago on Los Angeles Lakers 91, Phoenix Suns 85 -- Black unis fall short
@hawki Yeah I just saw that on Hoopshype, his ears must have been burning since we were talking about him! Early word from GM's seems to be that the ACL isn't going to change Noel's stock btw, so it's hard to imagine him not coming out. Better to get the deal and rehab with a NBA squad than have people overreact to you coming back slowly in the middle of the next NCAA season.
@TySun @hawki I added him only because he was a starter for the Magic before the injury which part of my premise. The whole thing for me just really illustrates where they are and how far they have to go to be where they want to be.