Tag:Phoenix Suns
Posted on: October 27, 2010 9:35 am
Edited on: October 27, 2010 10:57 am
 

Shootaround 10.27.10: Celebration

Boston's celebrating knocking down the ringer, the Lakers are celebrating being champs with their faces on rings, and ... Bieber.
Posted by Matt Moore


  • Well, you know, the Boston media's probably being their usual reasonable selves this morning. I mean, who would gloat aftet the first game of the season when everyone's been saying all that matters is what happens in April, May and June? I mean, come on, it's not like last night was really a statement ga....Oh.  From the Boston Globe :
"This was the most hyped and anticipated opening-night game in the league’s 65-year history. Everyone with an interest in the sport of professional basketball wanted to see the mighty Miami Heat, the team with the latest Big Three, the team that was going to re-glamorize the NBA, and never mind the fact we have a two-time defending champion located in the glamour capital of the US of A. 

But if the nation, the world, the uni verse, the galaxy, whatever, tuned in to see the mighty Miami Heat, they were re-introduced to the reality of the Boston Celtics , who have won a championship and have had two legitimate shots at others in the past three years, and who certainly look to be new and improved this season. The mighty Miami Heat could have been given a much easier opening-night foe than the Celtics’ squad that handed them an 88-80 loss to ensure they will not go 82-0."
  • The Lakers did what the Lakers do, come from behind in games where they look lackluster and walk out with a win. They were down big in the first half but stuck around because they did what championship teams do. They held on to their possessions .
  • The Lakers' championship rings have their faces on them. Literally . And part of the ball from Game 7 last year. If the Finals are Lakers-Celtics again, can we have them play with those rings up for grabs?
  • The Orlando Sentinel is laughing at the Heat... for losing to the Celtics... who knocked the Magic out of the playoffs this year. Rivalry priorities. You do not have them.
  • When you face the Suns, you have to be able to withstand runs. And that's what Portland did with their bench .

 

Posted on: October 27, 2010 12:36 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:08 pm
 

At The Buzzer: Portland 106, Phoenix 92

Blazers beat Portland behind new acquistions, Suns struggle without Amar'e.
Posted by Ben Golliver

Thanks to a rash of injuries for Portland and a rash of poor roster construction for Phoenix, Tuesday night's match-up between the two teams was a perimeter-dominated affair by necessity, with Brandon Roy and Jason Richardson traded baskets and a group of Portland guards trying to offset a hot shooting night for Steve Nash.

Portland came strong out of the gates, thanks to an extended season-opening player introduction that had the Rose Garden crowd hyped, but a red hot shooting third quarter (14-18 from the field, 4-4 from deep) for the Suns had Phoenix up six, 81-75, after three.

Blazers coach Nate McMillan experimented with a number of unorthodox lineup combinations, including a four guard lineup that featured rookie point guard Armon Johnson, Wesley Matthews, Brandon Roy and Rudy Fernandez, in an attempt to keep pace with Phoenix. Johnson, a physical lefty point guard, was a much-needed spark plug, as he attacked the basket and played physical defense in an unexpectedly long fourth-quarter run.

It was a sloppy night for both teams, with Nash committing nine turnovers by himself, but the Blazers pulled away late, corralling a number of offensive rebounds to extend possessions and building a double-digit lead with three fourth-quarter three-pointers from Nicolas Batum.



Posted on: October 26, 2010 5:38 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:05 pm
 

Bucks keep brain trust: Hammond, Skiles extended

The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly extended the contracts of general manager John Hammond and coach Scott Skiles. Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-hammond

Marc Stein of Yahoo! Sports reports on Twitter that the Milwaukee Bucks have "exercised the option on the contract of GM John Hammond and extended the contract of coach Scott Skiles through 2012-2013 season." The moves are of the no-brainer variety, as the Bucks have been a team on the rise ever since April 2008, when Hammond was hired away from the Detroit Pistons, where he had served as Vice President of Basketball Operations under Joe Dumars. At the time of his hire, the Bucks were in the midst of a 26 win season.  The following year, they improved to 34 wins and, after Hammond boldly drafted point guard Brandon Jennings in the 2009 lottery, the team won 46 games last season to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005-2006. Hammond was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2010, reflecting the team's progress. Skiles is credited with an intense work ethic, defensive approach and has earned all sorts of praise for his ability to guide Jennings's development. A former NBA guard himself, Skiles has an 80-84 coaching record in two seasons with the Bucks. Prior to signing on in Milwaukee, he coached both the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns. Last year, Skiles finished second to Oklahoma City's Scott Brooks for the NBA Coach of the Year award. The contract extensions are signs of stability and progress for the Bucks, a team that should compete for the Central Division title this season.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 5:47 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 10:44 am
 

Nash concedes PHX may be rebuilding, but why?

Posted by Royce Young

Nobody is more of a softspoken statesman whose words carry big sound than Steve Nash. He knows how to say just what he wants in order to get what he wants. And in an interview with SB Nation Arizona, Nash surprisingly conceded that the Suns may be ready to take a step back and rebuild. Or if he had money on this season, not to take the Suns.
"To be honest, if I was outside this picture and a betting man, I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs considering all the changes and the new guys."

"Maybe we need to take a step back, regroup, be a little bit more patient, build a really good team and see how good we can be later in the year instead of jumping out of the gate and be like, 'Oh, we've got to finish top two or three in the West and give ourselves a chance to win the West and go to the Finals.' That stuff can come if we really improve, but we can't put that type of pressure on ourselves right away because we are a new team."
Translation: We might not be that good. So please Suns fans, hang in there with us.

What's refreshing is that Nash understands this. He knows Hakim Warrick isn't Amar'e Stoudemire. He knows that Grant Hill aged another year. He knows that Hedo Turkoglu isn't the answer to anything but "Ball? Ball." He knows that though improved, Robin Lopez isn't any kind of franchise big man. Nash knows this. And he's not pretending to be leading a world-beating squad.

I don't know if there's any kind of subtle plan behind Nash's comments, or if he was just being honest about his team. Some players like Rodney Stuckey and Michael Beasley say things like, "On paper, we're the best evah!" and "Really, if you think super hard about it, we're probably the best team." Nash on the other hand says, "I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs." That's something new.

It is possible however that Nash has a plan with these types of comments. He is 36 years old and isn't getting any younger, despite what you hear about the Magic of the Suns training staff. Maybe he's worried about ending his career on a sour note. Maybe he's prodding management to go grab him some help. Or maybe he's just setting the fanbase up to lower their expectations.

It's easy to think that surely there's a motive here because in today's atmosphere of professional sports, who tells a fanbase their team might not be great? I don't deny that Nash set up fans for a lottery team for a reason. He did make a power play to get Shaq out of town and according to some, helped nudge Terry Porter out the door earlier than expected.

Most have been forecasting the Suns the set (GET IT?!) for a while now. Last season looked prime for it to happen, especially with the rumors of Stoudemire being dealt swirling all season. But they hung on to Stoudemire and made a surprising push into the third seed in the West and a conference finals run.

Now though, it looks like it might be time for Phoenix to fade. And their fearless leader knows it.
Posted on: October 22, 2010 8:49 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:00 pm
 

History Tells Carmelo Anthony: Get Out Now

Carmelo Anthony is said to be ready to wait until next year to sign a new contract. Should he feel more urgency given his situation in Denver? Posted by Ben Gollivercarmelo-anthony
This afternoon, Ken Berger noted that one major, practical implication of the ongoing CBA negotiations is that Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony might not feel the need to sign an extension prior to the implementation of a new CBA because the league could retroactively reduce the value of that extension, as the National Hockey League recently did.
An NHL-style rollback would result in Anthony's extension (if he signed it) and every other existing deal in the league being reduced to fit the new model. Maybe that is why a person familiar with Anthony's strategy told me that Melo is fully prepared to spend the entire season in Denver without signing an extension and then take his chances under the new deal. "Carmelo is not afraid to go into next year and test the CBA," the person said.
Kudos to Carmelo (and/or his people) for this confidence and patience. For now, by not yet agreeing to an extension, Anthony holds all the cards when it comes to influencing his future destination. He can wait for the right team to make the right offer, and for the Nuggets to agree to that team's terms, and then pull the trigger, or he can continue to wait and enjoy all the riches free agency has to offer. But while Anthony may be prepared to stick with things in Denver, history tells us that the next year of his life could be nasty, brutish and interminable.  Let's take a look at three recent, high-profile examples. LeBron James LeBron James was bombarded with questions last fall regarding his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers and he did a commendable job of sidestepping the issue until the season ended. As Danny Ferry and Cavs management desperately did what they could to put a winning team around him, including a trade deadline deal for Antawn Jamison, it became clear very quickly during the playoffs that the Cavaliers were not going to be the championship team they had hoped to be. James's season ended in bitter disappointment and defeat, frustrated with a supporting cast that couldn't keep up with the Boston Celtics and fed up with shouldering the burden by himself.  Given Denver's aging roster and injured frontline, it's easy to imagine a similar situation playing out if Anthony decides to stick around. It's a certainty that the Los Angeles Lakers -- deeper, more athletic, longer, more talented, more tested -- would pick the Nuggets apart in the playoffs. The only question would be whether it would take four games or five games. Anthony, a collegiate champion, should understand that reality better than anyone, just like James did last spring, when he quit on his Cavs teammates because he knew not even a superhuman performance from him would overcome the Celtics collective.   Indeed, James's Cavaliers supporting cast last season was arguably better than Anthony's this year. The question Anthony should be asking himself is, "If LeBron couldn't do it, how will I?" Amar'e Stoudemire

The best case scenario for Carmelo Anthony if he does stay in Denver is the path traveled by Amar'e Stoudemire last year in Phoenix. Despite trade rumors whirling throughout the year, Stoudemire came on strong down the stretch, helping Steve Nash and an inspired Jason Richardson push the Suns all the way to the Western Conference Finals. It was surely the highlight of Stoudemire's career and it paid off in a big way: a max deal from a big city, marquee franchise in the New York Knicks.  Are the Nuggets capable of such a push? Probably not, but no one foresaw the Suns streak last season either. If there's a key difference between the two teams it's that there are no major systemic changes for the Nuggets entering this season. Other than the addition of Al Harrington, it's a similar cast of characters, one year older, and with the same coaching staff and philosophy. The Suns surprised people in large part due to the quick success that came from a shift in coaching style and offensive philosophy brought on by coach Alvin Gentry. Also, the Suns possessed unbelievable chemistry on the second unit, something Denver doesn't possess on paper. While it's not impossible for the Nuggets to ride Anthony and his veteran teammates deep into the playoffs, it's also not likely. If you're Anthony, are you really willing to bet on that risk?  Chris Bosh The worst case scenario for Anthony is what Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh endured last year. Forced to carry a mediocre supporting cast, Bosh simply couldn't do it, and the Raptors failed to quality for the playoffs as critics questioned his toughness and commitment to winning. Disagreements and bickering between teammates were clearly visible on the court last season, and Bosh was unwilling, unable or too frustrated to rally the troops.  During late-season road trips it was difficult to imagine a less enthusiastic prime time player, as Bosh went through the motions and the losses piled up. Could this history repeat itself in Denver? No question about it. If the Nuggets start slow, or Kenyon Martin misses significant time, or Chauncey Billups is out for a stretch, or Anthony doesn't get his required touches one night, what happens? If his heart and mind are already somewhere else, what's in Denver motivating him to pull the team together?  This nightmare isn't difficult to imagine. In fact, I would say it's the most likely of the three situations discussed, given Denver's questionable depth, the fact they are playing in a loaded Northwest Division and the tumultuous offseason the organization just endured. Keeping these examples in mind, shouldn't Anthony and his people go easy on the "wait it out" approach? If it's just posturing, fine. But if they're serious? They need look no further than to last season to realize it's not the best idea. For Stoudemire, James and Bosh it all worked out fine in the end: they found lucrative new homes thanks to the wonders of free agency. But it wasn't an easy path to riches, and Anthony would do well to remember those struggles as he ponders his own future.
Posted on: October 20, 2010 1:27 pm
 

Childress out at least a week with broken finger

Posted by Royce Young

Well to be clear, broken fingertip .

The Suns new guy Josh Childress fractured the fingertip on the index finger of his right hand (his shooting hand) during Phoenix's Tuesday exhibitio against the Warriors, according to the team.

He will sit out a week, missing Phoenix's last two preseason games. He will then be re-evaluated before the season opener Oct. 27 against Memphis. It's actually still a question whether or not he'll be ready by the start of the season. 

There's potential he could be held out at least a week of the regular season but that really won't be set until he's re-evaluated.

The injury happened on a contested dunk midway through the fourth quarter of the game. Apparently, he clipped his finger pretty good on the rim. And broke his fingertip. Ouch.

Childress came out, but then returned to the game a couple minutes later and played the last five minutes. He missed the rest of the shots he took because, you know, he broke the fingertip on his shooting hand.

So far this preseason Childress has been pretty solid for Phoenix off the bench, scoring eight points a game  and shooting 57 percent.

Category: NBA
Posted on: October 20, 2010 9:44 am
Edited on: October 20, 2010 11:48 am
 

Shootaround 10.20.10: Knocked and slapped

Knicks knocking at the Melo door again, Childress knocked out with a bad digit, and Evan Turner slapped in the face, all in today's shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


We'll have more this morning on a report from ESPN NY's Chris Sheridan that the Knicks are back in the Melo chase . One thought off the bat. They can trade for a player the Nuggets want more, but unless they land a draft pick they're still toast. The McGrady trade keeps stubbing Donnie Walsh's toe.

Knickerblogger is concerned that Raymond Felton may not be much of an improvement over Chris Duhon. Last night was a particularly strong showing from Felton, and he looked very much like the kind of point guard the Knicks have needed for years.

A breakdown of the postions in Rick Adelman's system. The focus on the big in the pinch post is going to be why Brad Miller will be so comfy there.

Lots of coaches with health concerns this week. Doc Rivers had a test come back negative for cancer , which is great news. Doug Collins missed last night's Sixers game while dealing with lingering effects of a concussion .

Josh Childress fractured a finger last night and out at least a week but it won't be too long. It's ridiculous that these guys play at this level with broken fingers.

Ted Leonsis thinks Josh Howard is a respected leader . There's lots of mockery this morning about that, but people forget that despite his off-court issues, he's thought of well by teammates, and that guys like Stephen Jackson are perennial captains for their teams.

Jerry West thinks maybe he should have drafted Amar'e Stoudemire instead of Drew Gooden. In other news, I should have had oatmeal this morning instead of eating rusty nuts and bolts from a '75 Chevy.

Al Harrington says he'll be ready for opening night . No word on whether his defense is making a similar commitment.

Marcus Thornton's in a slump, which shouldn't surprise people . Shootres in their second year take a step back sometimes, and the fact that he's got a new coach and a new offensive system probably complicates things as well.

And here's Evan Turner getting slapped with baby powder. So that happened.


Posted on: October 19, 2010 8:38 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 8:39 pm
 

Magic sells his 105 Starbucks; what's he up to?

Posted by Royce Young

A day after Laker legend Magic Johnson sold his 4.5 percent share in the Los Angeles Lakers, he has also sold his 105 Starbucks franchises he owns back to the company he purchased them from for over $100 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Adding today's sale with yesterday's, Magic has quickly put upwards of $160 million in his pocket quickly. So the question is, what is he up to?

A source tells the L.A. Times that he's not necessarily interested in purchasing an NBA franchise as is widely rumored. But the source told the paper he's interesting in something "in sports."

At different points, Johnson was linked to potentially buying the Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors, though those rumors have been refuted a bit. And if he's not interested in buying, could he be having financial issues? The source says that's not the case but in these two cases, they were just good "business decisions." As mentioned earlier, Magic reportedly got a Godfather offer from Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong that he couldn't refuse.

While obviously most feel that Magic is looking into potentially purchasing an NBA franchise much like his buddy Michael Jordan, some feel Johnson could actually be interested in the Los Angeles Dodgers. And that throws a curveball into the whole thing (that was lame, I apologize).

But if Johnson decided to make a play in the NBA, here's the top five franchises I hope he buys.

1. Los Angeles Clippers - I don't know if he would, but this seems like it makes a lot of sense. At the same time, it doesn't make any. Johnson is forever a Laker and for him to purchase the in-town rival seems a little weird. But Donald Sterling's time is up and Johnson could be the perfect guy to step into that franchise. Plus, Johnson stays in L.A., stays in the Staples Center and stays in the bright lights. I'm rooting for this.

2. New Orleans Hornets - The sale of the Hornets is stalled and maybe this is an opportunity for Johnson to swoop in and reinvigorate the franchise. And something seems right about Magic Johnson being Chris Paul's boss.

3. Indiana Pacers - Granted, the Pacers aren't really for sale, but they are in a bit of danger of leaving Indianapolis. The city approved a new bill to tie the Pacers to the downtown arena, but still things are great in Indy for the Pacers. Forget all that stuff though, I'm just thinking about uniting Magic and Larry Bird together in the front office. I think that would be cool.

4. Phoenix Suns - Robert Sarver is known as a pretty tight, greedy owner in which his team has won in spite of. He's long been rumored to potentially be parting with the team at some point and having Johnson take over would work. The Suns are a fun West Coast franchise that should always be a staple in the Western Conference. Maybe Magic could give them a bump.

5. Memphis Grizzlies - I think most agree it's kind of Michael Heisley's time to go. Especially after his disastrous interview in which he revealed he really didn't know what he was doing.

Again, Johnson isn't necessarily buying, but I'm here to speculate so that's what I did. He's selling stuff off for some reason and it makes sense for him to get in the NBA ownership game. And as well-spoken and business-minded he is, I can't help but think he'd be as excellent at it as he was at basketball.
 
 
 
 
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