Posted on: October 29, 2009 1:09 pm

The 2009-2010 Phoenix Suns

Welcome to the 2009-2010 Phoenix Suns.  Gone are the days of true up tempo Suns basketball; we now enter the 36 year old, God I hope you don't break an ankle or tear an ACL era.  Yes Suns fans, we are a rebuilding team.  Don't get me wrong, if you are going to rebuild, it is a plus having Steve Nash orchestrate the offense, teaching while assisting.  Yet as the talent level in the Western Conference has risen, Steve Kerr with his U of A education and championship rings from San Antonio and Chicago has ruined an organization.  My organization.

What exactly do the Suns have this year and where are they going?  Let us take a look...

The Starters

Steve Nash, PG - The Nash Attack is back, Jack.  Yes, he is old.  But in Nash's case, he is just 'older'.  He always is in phenomenal shape and the ideal fit for the system Phoenix will run this year.  He is a 2 time MVP, and his ability to take over a game late, either passing or scoring, is what makes him a threat at all times.  We all know this.  My only complaint about Nash is he may have lost a step, and in doing so, the passing lanes aren't there like they used to be.  His is beginning to become a turnover liability.

Jason Richardson, SG - I have stated before and I'll state it again, I am a massive J Rich fan.  His pin point accuracy from beyond the 3 point line is a game changer.  He is athletic and high flying and due for a great season.  I feel that last year he held back a bit.  Last year, even with Alvin Gentry's integration of the run and gun, was an offense that featured Shaq.  Jason Richardson will have a bit more of the workload this season, and I believe he can thrive in doing so.  He is a two guard that can post up, rebound, and play physical.  Now if he can avoid those darn DUI's...

Grant Hill, SF - Is it me, or does he always looked surprised?  I'm surprised that he played in every game last season!  You can not deny the drive and will of Grant Over the Hill.  He is quick, he is intelligent, he is a leader.  His defense is par, but if his health remains, he is worth having.  There is no doubt that he is no Shawn Marion (thanks Kerr), but he will do.  His veteran presence will help mold the young basketball minds on the team.

Amar'e Stoudemire, PF - We all know the capabilities of this beast when healthy.  He is a force inside like no other, and his jump shot is what allows his interior dominance.  Yes, we have all be waiting for some sign of defensive dedication, and hopefully this is the year.  I'm guessing it isn't.  In a close game, STAT is the perfect power forward for his aggressive offensive nature allows him trips to the free throw line.  I pray for success for the Suns for one reason: if the Suns aren't doing well, a mid-season Amar'e trade will go down.  That would officially start an era of sub .500 seasons.

Channing Frye, C - Something tells me Steve Kerr is trying to sell some tickets with this acquisition.  Channing Frye is a local boy, playing his college ball down I-10 at the University of Arizona, and playing in the Phoenix area as a Knight from St. Mary's.  He is ideal for a run and gun offense with his jump shot and lack of shyness when pulling the trigger.  He isn't the best rebounder, and he has played second fiddle to other centers while in New York and Portland.  He is getting his opportunity here and now.  He may compliment Stoudemire very well.  I think this was a good, not great, pick up.

The Bench

Leandro Barbosa, SG
- I believe the Suns have an above average and energetic bench, and it starts with The Blur.  He is quick, perhaps the quickest player in the NBA, and a threat to score at anytime.  When he was let off the back-up PG leash, he began to thrive.  You have to love that you can not game plan for Barbosa.  There are so many different ways he can beat you.  On any other NBA team, he'd be starting.  We are lucky that before Colangelo left he signed this guy to a long term deal.  Don't trade him Kerr.

Jared Dudley, SF - After loosing Raja Bell and Boris Diaw to the Charlotte Bobcats last season, I knew that this was the best deal in the Kerr era.  Yes, Jason Richardson was the centerpiece, but as a fan of ACC basketball, I knew who Jared Dudley was.  Much akin to the rest of the Suns bench, he is a high energy player who takes full advantage of the minutes allotted to him.  I love any defense played by Phoenix (it is such a rare thing) and he brings it in by the wheel barrel.  His scoring needs to increase from 5.5 points per game, but as long his execution of the little things continue, I won't complain.

Louis Amundson, PF - His coordination looks off.  His shot looks off.  Even his hairdo looks off.  But his game is spot on.  The Gazelle proves one cliche wrong, white boys can jump!  Like Dudley, he is scrappy and hard nosed.  This boy can run, too, which helps the fast pace in which to bench needs to play.  He worked on his free throw shooting ability, and I love this move.  He is a magnet for the basket, and if he can raise his FT%, he will become an even greater asset to the team.  He is goofy, but he gets it done.

Goran Dragic, PG - The left hander is now in his second year in the league, and his confidence is growing.  He can stop on a dime a score, but he will have to increase his point guard abilities as the season progresses.  Heck, he has the best coach in the league starting in front of him.  Start taking notes kid.  He has great potential, and if the second half of last season is any barometer, we might have a replacement for Nash.  Time will tell, but I like the idea of Dragic.

Alando Tucker, SF - He was fun to watch at Wisconsin and has the ability to log some solid minutes.  He has enough defensive skill to earn some minutes; it is just a matter of Alando making an impact.  I liked the move when we drafted him, I just thought I'd see more production by now.

Robin Lopez, C - Oh no!  Side Show Bob hurt his foot!

Earl Clark, PF - I am really high on this rookie from Louisville.  He has everything it takes to be a great player in the NBA: size, speed, and a good basketball mind.  That is what you get when drafting a Rick Pitino product.  If Gentry is smart, he will play this guy often with the second team, and many times with the first.  He can have a positive impact if given the chance.  This guy isn't going to be good, he is going to be great.

That is this year's version of the Phoenix Suns.  What will they do this year?  I'll tell you this: the Suns are like an exgirlfiend you never get over.  I'm always wanting more from them, but they'll never give it.  I am scared to start watching them again, but with every new season brings new hope.  I guess that makes me a sucker.  It is my opinion that they will do well this season.  The West is not as strong as it was last year.  I feel Houston is weaker, as is Utah.  The 46-36 record that cost the Suns a trip to the playoffs last season could get them a #6 seed this year.  That being said, the West still has the Lakers

Here is my prediction:

Phoenix Suns will be 45-37 and be bounced in the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs.

I hope I'm wrong and they bring a championship home.  Go Suns.

Posted on: February 11, 2009 11:20 am

The Amar'e Situation

Rumors are flying around like flies around crap.  Amare is a hot trade topic, but I guess my question is why?  Why would Steve Kerr do such a thing?  Why is he completely and utterly dismantling the Phoenix Suns?  It is as if he wants to reassemble the 1998 Eastern Conference NBA All Star team, considering his main acquisitions have been Grant Hill and Shaq.  Why would you take the best power forward in the game, the starting PF in the All Star game, and the best young talent on the team and even consider trading him?  We know that Kerr isn't a fan of athletic players entering their prime, just look at the departure of Shawn Marion.

I have been a Suns fan for quite some time.  That equates to a lot of disappointing playoff runs.  If Steve Kerr deals Amare, that's it.  I can not watch a GM who doesn't  try to solve problems through coaching (who pressures a coach that wins 50+ games four years in a row to leave?).  It seems that whenever abrasiveness is presented to Kerr, he must trade.  He is too trade happy.  Wherever Amare goes, I am instantly a fan of that team.  Nash, Hill, and Shaq are old.  There time is this league is nearing it's end.  What happens when they are gone?  Rookies and no leadership, with Terry Porter trying to run a 1990 Trail Blazers scheme in a modern league. 

This is what happens when we let a former Spur run our team.

Amare goes, I boycott!

Category: NBA
Posted on: December 29, 2008 1:41 pm

Has Hell Fozen Over in the Valley of the Sun?

I am an avid watcher of all Valley of the Sun sports, seeing as I am a 17 year Valley resident. I moved back to the place of my birth in 1995, just missing the frenzy of the Phoenix Suns (which, by all accounts, was fine by me). Minus the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, there are consistencies out here in the desert. As we close the year that is 2008, I have noticed an unequal balance in the equilibrium of all Valley sports fans. Could the end of existence be near?! Take a look at my theory:

1. The Diamondbacks are on a Losing Trend

The only professional championship in the history of Phoenix sports (if you count the Phoenix Mercury, fuck you) was achieved by a team with a two headed monster. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson provided the boost this city needed. Although the rest of the country was most likely supporting the Yankees, even though people rarely do, it seemed destined to be their championship. After all, September 11 of the that year scarred the New York City landscape forever. The Diamondbacks somehow prevailed in the bottom on the 9th, and in doing so, delivered a Phoenician Championship.

In their 10 year existence, they have won a World Series, 3 division titles (2007 being the most recent), and a Wild Card berth. Yet 2008 was a year in which the Diamondbacks sunk back into mediocrity. Ups and downs are part of any franchise, so this comes as no great surprise. It's going to happen. A down year in a franchise of winners just hurts, but is acceptable. This doesn't prove or disprove my theory, it just shows that a winning team is doing something it is not accustomed to doing: losing.

2. ASU Football Sucks, U of A Wins a Bowl Game

This has been a steady balance since I moved back here. ASU football, while never overpowering or dominating, was a decent team that made several bowl appearances. What one thing does Jake Plummer, Andrew Walter, Sam Keller, and that cry baby Rudy Carpenter all share? Bowl victories. Being a ranked college football team is not an oddity for this university.

The University of Arizona is normally the little brother just dying to play. Since the Desert Swarm Defense departed in 1995, the Cats have made a mere 3 bowl appearances. That equates to a bundle of losing seasons. This year it's all flipped around and unaligned. The Arizona State Sun Devils finish the year 5-7 (after much preseason hype mind you) and the Arizona Wildcats finish 8-5 after beating BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl. That's wrong, but not as jacked up and different as...

3. U of A Basketball Sucks, ASU is Ranked

Now this has got to wake some people up! U of A has dominated the Arizona sports scene for two decades. Yes, Lute Olsen has retired and with his retirement goes a dynasty. I know U of A is not a Valley team, but they are the rival, so we always keep a close and hateful eye upon them. Although I thoroughly enjoy basking in their demise, it is an odd feeling. When ASU beats U of A, it a joyous occasion because it is unexpected. God damn, U of A fell off fast.

On the other hand, as of this blog's posting, the Arizona State Sun Devils are ranked #20 in the country! Again, this is a great thing. I'd like to personally thank James Harden for hanging out here in the desert another year. I love watching this team play the slow down style of college basketball, but they prove my point again. Something odd is happening out here, everything is upside down.

4. Phoenix Suns No Longer Dominate

This was a long time coming...how many seasons can you win 50+ straight? Since my personal reappearance in the desert, the Suns have made the playoffs every year but 2002. It is disappointing to see a lack of dominance from a team that is always winning. If they are not careful, they might get left behind. The Jason Richardson trade might propel the Suns to a playoff push, but our time is done. We no longer boast one of the top teams in the NBA, and it is another sign of the ever changing tide.

5. The Cardinals are going to the Playoffs

This is the sign of the end of the world. Every team has been acting uncharacteristic, but when the Cardinals roll into the playoffs, you know something isn't right. Perhaps they lucked out this year, considering that masked behind their 9-7 record is the fact that the teams they beat hold a .368 winning percentage, and the teams they lost to won .634 of their games. I believe that if they win the Super Bowl, the earth will split and Satan and Saddam Hussein will emerge to rule us all.

I'm just saying, this aren't right out here in the desert. The advantage of it is that we get to cheer on teams we never cheer on, and talk shit about, well, everyone. Phoenix fans are a pessimistic bunch. Why? Look at our history.

The truth has been told, now let the debating begin.

Posted on: December 24, 2008 4:35 pm

The Suns Bug

I've been bitten.  Once again, the Suns have aroused the interest of a devoted fan.  <o:p></o:p>

The Suns have broken my heart every season.  It is not the heart break like that of an Arizona Cardinals fan.  The Cardinals are never good enough to evoke championship conversation.  The Suns are in the hunt every year.  What if Joe Johnson wasn't mauled by Jerry Stackhouse?  What if Boris Diaw and Amar'e Stoudemire hadn't taken two steps over the line after Robert ' I look like Will Smith' Horry threw Steve Nash into the boards?  What if <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">San Antonio</st1:place></st1:city> didn't exist?  What if.  <o:p></o:p>

After yet another early post-season exit last year, I was through.  I made up my mind that I would simply not care about the Phoenix Suns and their play entering the 2008-09 season.  After all, they traded away the Swiss Army Knife, Shawn Marion, for Shaquille O'Neal.  I have hated Shaq since his early days with the Orlando Magic.  He isn't good, he's just a mammoth human being.  How dare Steve Kerr and Robert Sarver attempt to make me like this guy.  Nash is getting old, Amar'e is still a beast, and Raja Bell is over rated (Okay Raja, here's your job: guard <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Kobe</st1:place></st1:city>.  Oh, you can't?  Huh).  It was going to be east not watching Suns' games this year.<o:p></o:p>

What could change my TV viewing schedule?  Now that the Suns no longer matter in my realm, TV time with them would be time well spent.  There is no way I would watch them again this year, unless...<o:p></o:p>

Raja <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bell</st1:place></st1:city> and Boris Diaw for Jared Dudley and Jason Richardson.<o:p></o:p>

Shit.  I'm in.<o:p></o:p>

Trading away Raja Bell and Boris Diaw for Jason Richardson makes sense to me.  Raja, we love you for decking <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Kobe</st1:place></st1:city>, but that's not guarding him.  Even when wide open, he may not always knock down the shot.  Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly appreciate everything he did for this franchise.  His clutch three point against the Los Angeles Clippers in the '05-'06 playoffs cemented his place in Suns history.  In my opinion, his stint with the Charlotte Bobcats will not be a good one.  No more wide open shots, and a team struggling to find an identity will equate to poor production for <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bell</st1:place></st1:city>.  Boris Diaw is a potent player on a team of superstars.  I believe that intimidated him into an inert state.  His offensive mindset can thrive in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Charlotte</st1:place></st1:city>, and he may well be an All Star in two seasons.  <o:p></o:p>

What do I get to watch every night?  Jason Richardson.  The Suns now have a potent scorer at the two spot, something they have lacked since the dismantling of the '04-'05 team, when Joe Johnson was a point machine.  The advantage of having J-Rich is he is always a threat to score.  He creates his own shots, be it shooting a pull up jumper, drowning a three ball, or driving to the rim at will.  Anyone who wears number 23 and attempts to emulate Michael Jordan is a steal in my mind.  He also has the chance to play on a winning team, something he has done once in his eight year career (the '05-'06 42-40 Golden State Warriors).  <st1:city w:st="on">Richardson</st1:city> brings a bit of youth to an aging team, seeing as he is four years younger than the departing <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bell</st1:place></st1:city>.  This guy could be a superstar soon.  I can't miss that!<o:p></o:p>

The Suns did something that they haven’t done in a while.  A good transaction.  I have always been a fan of Jason Richardson, and therefore it is easier to accept the trade (unlike the Shaq/Marion).  So yeah, I will tune in and watch as many Suns' games as my life schedule permits.  The Suns bug has bitten.  Does anyone have some disinfectant?<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

Category: NBA
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