Tag:Phoenix Suns
Posted on: December 29, 2010 2:19 pm
 

Vince Carter set to debut for Suns Wednesday

Posted by Royce Young

Newly acquired guard Vince Carter will make his debut for the Suns against the Philadelphia 76ers, coach Alvin Gentry told the Arizona Republic.

Because of swelling in one of his knees, Carter has yet to appear for his new team since being traded from Orlando two weeks ago. Lately, Phoenix has dropped three in a row and one of the issues that ail the Suns is a lack of scoring.

Carter has practiced with the Suns over the past week but just hasn't been ready for game action. Of course he faces the challenge of adapting to the fast paced Phoenix offense and also getting used to playing with Steve Nash.

Carter is a similar player to that of Jason Richardson, but with a little more one-on-one ability. Carter will get plenty of looks from 3, but in order to be successful with the Suns will have to run the floor, make good cuts, move without the ball and create shots for himself on the wing.

Most have written them off, but with the back end of the West not looking as strong with the Hornets fading and the Trail Blazers bruised again, there could be an opening for the eight-seed. Houston is improving and if Carter plays how he's capable, Phoenix could start sneaking up the standings. Currently, the Suns sit 11th in the West which is only a game-and-a-half behind the Rockets and Blazers.

Steve Nash, who likely is hungry for some help, tweeted Tuesday evening, "It’s gonna be fun. He can do things no one on our team can do and will improve us."

Assuming Carter plays to his potential -- even if he's a bit over-the-hill -- he definitely will make them better. But then again, he has to be healthy too, something I'm not sure has happened in five or six years.
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 27, 2010 9:31 am
 

Shootaround 12.27.10: Hornets are selling tickets

Posted by Royce Young
  • Is Jason Williams' career winding down?: "It's not getting any better," head coach Stan Van Gundy tells the Orlando Sentinel. "J-Will gets on it and he has a hard time pushing off that foot. He's staying behind. He wants to know what's going on. I think he's a little nervous about it right now."
  • Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News: "The Spurs took care of business Sunday night, as you would expect from a league power against a cellar-dwelling team. But their 94-80 victory over Washington might be their last easy breath for the next couple of weeks as they approach their toughest scheduling gauntlet of the season. The Spurs will face the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night, followed by games Thursday in Dallas, Saturday against Oklahoma City, Jan. 4 at Boston and Jan. 5 at New York."
  • Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News: "Avery Johnson didn't hear LeBron James throw the Nets under the contraction bus, so he didn't feel the need to defend his Brooklyn-bound franchise on the upswing. But Johnson did take exception to James' belief that the league would be better off without the Nets and Timberwolves. 'I disagree,' Johnson said Sunday. 'Maybe the league would be better if we didn't have three stars on one team.' Speaking to the media prior to Miami's game Thursday against the Phoenix Suns, James said the NBA was better in the 1980s when 'three or four superstars were on one team.' He singled out perennial bottom-feeders New Jersey and Minnesota as candidates for contraction."
  • Michael Schwartz: " It’s always disappointing to drop a game against a losing team like the Clippers, especially considering how bad the Suns played in that first half. This is a game they should have won, and now they’re three games under .500 for the first time all season thanks to the loss."
  • John Reid The Times-Picayune: "For the second consecutive home game, the Hornets attracted a crowd larger than 15,000. The announced crowd Sunday night at the Arena was 15,626, the second largest crowd of the season. The announced crowd for Wednesday’s game against New Jersey was 15,423. The Hornets are expected to have a sellout for Wednesday’s game against the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landrieu have pushed for increased fan support because the Hornets can opt of their lease agreement with the state if they don’t average 14,735 at the Arena for a period ending Jan. 31."
Posted on: December 22, 2010 1:34 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 1:34 pm
 

Carter elects not to have surgery, will rest

Vince Carter elects not to have surgery on knee. 

Posted by Matt Moore


After being traded to Phoenix and considering his options, Vince Carter has elected not to have arthroscopic surgery on his knee, according to the Arizona Republic. He'll elect for rest, instead. How much rest is yet to be determined. 

Carter always takes a fair amount of time each season to recover from injury, but the good news is that he doesn't linger on each injury. He gets injured often but bounces back. He's not a long-term injury risk like Andrew Bynum (who has ten years on Carter). So Carter will probably hit whatever timeline the Suns elect for him. 

Furthermore, Carter's now being cared for by the best training staff in the country in Phoenix. The crew that most often prompts "What do they put in the water?" jokes may be able to work their Magic on Carter and get him in position to return as soon as possible. But in the meantime, the Suns are going to have to hope their wings can keep up the offensive production to get them through. Still, this is good news for the Suns as they try to simultaneously move forward towards the playoffs and plan for the future. 
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 21, 2010 12:51 pm
 

Vince Carter considering knee surgery

New Suns guard considering arthroscopic knee surgery. Posted by Matt Moore

Vince Carter is considering arthroscopic knee surgery which would sideline him for a month, less than 48 hours after being traded to Phoenix. The Arizona Republic reports: 

The stellar play of Grant Hill, Jared Dudley and Josh Childress is all the more important with the Suns and Carter considering arthroscopic surgery for Carter's troublesome left knee that could put him out for up to a month.
via Phoenix Suns once again short-handed in 118-110 loss to streaking San Antonio Spurs.


This probably won't help the prevailing winds that say Carter tends to flop out when needed with injuries. The surgery obviously isn't 100% necessary as he's only considering the surgery. The Suns need him for wing scoring, no matter how they did against the Spurs last night. But hey, that's Vince. 

On the other hand, Carter's in a contract year, looking for his final contract next season, and needs to be able to secure his future.  He's going from a contending team to a struggling team that doesn't know if it's coming or going, and there's no way of knowing how he'll fit in. But there's still no doubt that there are better ways to start off your time in Phoenix than on the shelf. It would explain why Carter's looking slower and less explosive than in year's past, beyond the normal loss due to time and age. 
Expect the Suns to respond to the news if Carter does decide to have surgery to be "We're not trading Steve Nash."
Posted on: December 20, 2010 10:45 am
 

The Game Changer: Suns go short-handed

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: PHOENIX TURNS BACK THE CLOCK ON OKC

With about half the team on a plane to Orlando, the Suns were supposed to mail in their Sunday night game against the Thunder. They were playing a group on a five-game winning streak on their home floor. They were playing with only nine active players. They were playing with a Steve Nash that was still aching a bit from an earlier injury in the week.

Didn't matter though. The Suns took the floor and immediately played with some serious heart, beating the streaking Thunder 113-110 behind 30 points and 11 rebounds from Grant Hill.

Yes, you read that right. The 38-year-old Hill put together his best game since 2000, playing like it was 1997. He had everything working from the mid-range jumper to the dribble-drive. Watching Hill play one of his most complete games in a decade was something else to watch, especially considering his Suns had to have it.

Phoenix beat Oklahoma City with its old formula. Great offense all 48, sporadically good defense, quality rebounding and a stellar performance from Nash who went 7-8 from the field and dished out 10 assists.

Who needs Vince Carter and the rest of the Magic scraps? 

The Suns had fallen below .500 so Sunday's win was important for them on a number of levels. One, it likely made Steve Nash feel better. Two, it made the whole team feel better. Three, it showed that there's still some fight in them and four, that maybe they can get things turned around with the existing core and added talent.

It wasn't a must win by any means for the Suns, but it probably felt really, really good.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Grant Hill turned back the clock to 1997 with a 30-point, 11-rebound performance against Oklahoma City.
That's Hill's first 30-point, 10-rebound game since April 2000 with Detroit.

Paul Pierce registered a triple-double against Indiana, scoring 18 points, with 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Will Bynum
checked in off the Pistons' bench and scored 21 points on 8-10 shooting and dished out nine assists.

CELTS STILL STREAKING

Boston pushed its streak to 13 games with a dominant win over the Pacers Sunday. They play the 76ers next and really, if they can get by the Magic, there's a chance this thing could really stretch out. They play at Orlando (assuming the revamped Magic are still good), then have two road games against beatable teams (Indiana, Detroit). Then they play the Hornets at home, go to Toronto and then the Timberwolves at home before playing against the Spurs.

If the Celtics can win their Christmas day showdown with the Magic, the streak could potentially go to 20. Now of course this is the NBA and sometimes good teams lose to bad ones, but it at least sets up for them.

THIS GUY SHOULD'VE TAKEN OKC'S LAST SHOT

Jeff Green just missed a half court heave as time expired against the Suns that would've sent the game to overtime. It clanked off the front of the iron and the Suns survived. But a Thunder fan made a long distance toss earlier in the game, winning $20,000.

And this is the second fan in a little over a week to do such a thing. Robert Yanders made one first, and now Todd Lafferty joins him.


PARTING THOUGHT

What's going on with the Hawks? They dropped another bad game, this time losing to the Nets. That's four losses in their last six with some bad ones mixed in. Joe Johnson surprisingly returned, but still, something is amiss in Atlanta. They aren't scoring the ball well and don't appear to be themselves at all. It's hard to tell if this is just a little funk they're in or if there are larger issues at hand. Still, another bad loss is something to at least have an eye on.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 8:40 am
 

Shootaround 12.20.10: Trades, injuries and LeBron

Posted by Royce Young
  • Andrew Bynum says he's still feeling pain in his knee: "It's not going to change. It's nothing to be nervous about. I have to expect that that's going to happen. I can't wait to start working with my trainer (Sean Zarzana) again, so I can get some explosion back. I feel like I can't really jump right now."
  • Rashard Lewis doesn't seem like enough back for Gilbert Arenas. But Michael Lee of the Washington Post says that should've been expected: “The Wizards weren’t going to get “equal value” — or whatever that may be — at this time. And, unless they were willing to take back Baron Davis — which they weren’t — the Wizards couldn’t find another comparable point guard in the deal. So they had to settle on adding another forward to a team that is now overwhelmed at the position, with the return of Josh Howard."
  • Jermaine O'Neal wants to retire a Pacer: "Just because I'm not there anymore doesn't mean all the memories are forgotten ... If it wasn't for the Pacers, the organization and the community nobody would have probably known who I was. Anywhere in the world I go, they know me because of my Pacers days."
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel : “Blame LeBron, Magic fans, if it helps. He’s been catching Heat (and that wasn’t even a forced pun) since he left the Cavs. Folks everywhere said he was at fault for everything from the Obama tax cuts to Sal Alosi to Miley Cyrus. Those are just coincidences. Not this. Sign up for our new Varsity Sports newsletter and get high school sports updates delivered right to your inbox. He’s a serial home-wrecker, fracturing franchises like Godzilla in an old sci-fi movie. He not only laid waste to the city of Cleveland, but he’s the supernatural force that eventually doomed Orlando, leading to the Magic’s break-up. Blame LeBron. If he stays in Cleveland or goes anywhere else but Miami, F-L-A, the Magic’s pre-trade woes aren’t quite as magnified or exposed. They wouldn’t look as if they were going backward so fast."
  • LeBron gets why Orlando brought back Hedo: “I’ve thought that it was surprising when Turk (Hedo Turkoglu) wasn’t brought back  the year after they beat us [Cleveland Cavaliers]. I just thought what Turk created for their team, that point-four created everything. He always created a mismatch and that was part of the reason why they beat us. There were times I would switch off onto Turk and they would go to Rashard (Lewis). Sometimes I would go on Rashard and they would go to Turk.  We were too small on the perimeter during those years … I know they’re happy to have him back. It’s gonna be different, it’s going to be a different transition because I know when you break up a team and bring guys in it takes a while. We’ll see what happens.”
Posted on: December 19, 2010 6:12 pm
 

The question is begged: Is Nash moved next?

Posted by Royce Young

After the Suns completed a pretty substantial trade with the Magic Saturday in which a large portion of the roster was moved, immediately people started thinking about Steve Nash. Thinking about what this meant for him. Is he still on a contender? Is he happy about this? Is this good for him? And most importantly, does this mean he's going to be moved as well?

And while the Suns likely aren't finished flipping pieces as a player like Josh Childress could potentially be moved yet, it doesn't look like Nash should be packing any bags soon. Unless he wants to.

Via Yahoo! Sports, the Suns remain "privately adament" that Nash isn't traded this season, unless he comes and asks for one.

Nash's agent, Bill Duffy, told Yahoo! Sports that Suns owner Robert Sarver has assured him "nothing is going on" in regards to a trade with Nash. Sarver told ESPN.com, "This deal has nothing to do with [trading] Nash. We have no intention to trade him."

That may be true right now, but obviously Nash has some say in this. At 36, he's probably not thrilled about the prospect of playing point guard on a rebuilding team. He is the draw for the Suns and any time you have Nash, you're not that far off from being good. But if he wants a change or isn't on board with the direction, it might not matter what Sarver says or thinks. Nash will almost surely get his way.

However, there's been no indication of that yet either. The trade has an appearance of cutting costs and leans toward rebuilding for Phoenix, but Vince Carter, Pietrus and Gortat are players that can still help you win.

Jason Richardson was a big part of the squad that went to the Western Conference Finals, but maybe Carter has a career rejuvenation in Phoenix like so many other oft-injured vets (see: Hill, Grant).

Again, the Suns probably aren't done. A few other players might be shuffled. That doesn't necessarily mean it's full on rebuilding in Phoenix, but it also doesn't mean the Suns are setting up to contend. That issue will get figured out when Steve Nash makes his call on what he wants. And right now, there's no way to lean quite yet on that.
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:08 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:41 pm
 

Magic / Suns / Wizards trades: winners & losers

Who are the winners and losers of Saturday's trades between the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards? Posted by Ben Golliver john-wall-steve-nash Earlier Saturday, the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards agreed on trades that sent tons of pieces moving
That's a lot to take in. So who are the winners and losers of Saturday's trades? CBSSports.com's senior NBA writer Ken Berger and the NBA Facts & Rumors team weighs in round table style.

Winners
Ken Berger --  Hedo Turkoglu: He was lazy and inconsistent in Toronto, and didn't fit in at all in Phoenix. So what does he get to go with his $45 million? He gets traded to a contender, of course. And not just a contender, but the contender whose style and surroundings fit his game and personality. I don't know if Hedo can just flip the switch and go back to being the 2008-09 Hedo, but I know this: No knock on Jay Triano or Alvin Gentry, but Turkoglu will be held to a higher standard by Stan Van Gundy. Stan knows what an engaged, motivated Hedo can do, and he won't accept any less. And Hedo would be embarrassed if he gave any less to the organization that was gracious enough to have him back after he bolted on them for free agency, where the grass most definitely was not greener. Royce Young -- John Wall: He's been quietly waiting for the keys to the car and now he finally gets them. Ernie Grunfield and Flip Saunders tried to convince people Gilbert Arenas and Wall could co-exist in some kind of super-backcourt. And really, they probably could've, but this was more about the symbolic gesture of handing over the reins to Wall. He was never looking over his shoulder at Arenas, but now there's no question as to what's going on in Washington. It's full on rebuilding around Wall and that's got to make the top pick feel good about where he's at and where his team is headed.  Matt Moore -- Jason Richardson: Richardson shot a lot of threes in Phoenix. He'll shoot a lot of threes in ORlando. But now he'll do it on a team with the best center in basketball, and be in a position to be the guy down the stretch on an Eastern Conference Finalist team. While the Magic don't run and gun like Phoenix and Golden State have, he excelled in Larry Brown's Charlotte too. This gives him the ability to make the most of his prime and he should get plenty of looks. If he can run the pick and roll to any degree with Dwight Howard, he could be looking at the best year of his career.  Ben Golliver -- Marcin Gortat: There's nothing worse than watching a talented, agile, physical big man rotting away on the bench, and that's exactly what was happening in Orlando, as Gortat rode the pine behind MVP candidate Dwight Howard for the first four years of his NBA career. There was talk that Gortat would get pried away in free agency, but the Magic chose to retain him, and it probably felt to him like he would never get a shot. Instead, Gortat is headed to a team that desperately needs his defense and rebounding and is sure to give him plenty of playing time. He's also uniting with an elite point guard in Steve Nash, who will make his life easy on offense. Surely, Gortat's patience is about to pay off in a big way.  Losers

Ken Berger -- Alvin Gentry: The Suns' coach goes from scaring the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals to losing Amar'e Stoudemire to now losing J-Rich. But hey, he gets to coach Vince Carter. (Vince is a nice guy, but he's just playing out the string.) Who's next to go, Steve Nash? Well, yeah, he could be. If the Suns are in rebuilding/cost-cutting mode, I wouldn't rule anything out. Gentry deserves better. Matt Moore -- Ernie Grunfeld: That's it? We know Gilbert Arenas was untradeable. We forgive you for that. But to not get a pick or cash? Here's a question. Has Grunfeld won any trade in the past three years? Have they improved with any decision he's made outside of drafting John Wall, which was un-screw-up-able? Wizards fans weren't going to win in this trade, but Ted Leonsis may want to take a look if this is a business move, why they didn't really make that much money overall on it.  Ben Golliver -- Rashard Lewis: First, the prep-to-pro's talents and numbers fell off a cliff, and now he goes from Orlando, one of the league's championship contenders, to the Wizards, a Southeast Division basement dweller. Expectations for Lewis are starting off abysmally low and his fit is questionable, as Washington's frontcourt includes Andray Blatche, who plays heavy minutes, and rookie forwards Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin, who will need playing time going forward if they are to develop. Washington also has youngsters on the wing, so a full-time shift of Lewis to the small forward position isn't particularly ideal for rebuilding efforts either. Given the length of his contract, he is sure to be the bane of Wizards' fans existences, which is no fun, because he was able to hide out reasonably well in small-market Orlando, thanks to the team's winning and the large shadow cast by Howard. Royce Young -- Steve Nash: Nash has already expressed some level of disappointment with Jason Richardson leaving for Orlando on Twitter, saying, "Everyone wish [Richardson] the best in Orlando. Great player and great teammate! He will be missed. Damn." But now it's clear the Suns are trying to begin some sort of rebuilding project, something the 36-year-old Nash can't be excited about. The Suns almost made the NBA Finals last season behind the quality scoring of Richardson and now they get a near washed-up Vince Carter. Can't feel good for Nash right now as he sees his window closing quickly. 
 
 
 
 
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