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Suns Stuff't - A Phoenix Suns Blog | Page 4
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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 12 January 2012

We here at www.sunsstufft.com started this abbreviated NBA season unhappy with where our Suns stood in December. We were dismayed and disaapointed to see Phoenix in danger of losing what little relevance it still had in a Western Conference that was just passing us by. 

Yep -missing a play-off berth in the 2010-11 season was a real downer.

It was like being a kid peddling an aging tricycle while being passed by a slew of play-off bound 10-speed bikes.Cry 

But in the last week we have seen Phoenix move from 28th in the NBA to 16th in point production. For the first time this season the Suns are also scoring more points per game (93.6) than opponents (92.3). So while Tuesday's 99 - 83 loss to the LA Lakers still stings - giving up 48 points to Kobe Bryant makes for the wrong kind of highlight video - we are very optimistic about tonight's showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers. And it isn't just because of the homecourt advantage. 

You see - Channing Frye is back!

A favorite of ours - the lanky University of Arizona product has been excellent in his last two outings knocking down 17 points against the Lakers and 16 points in the Suns victory against the Milwaukee Bucks. Those numbers come in just 51 minutes of combined playing time while Frye hit seven of nine 3-point shots and those stats augur well for an improving Suns season. 

We also have an aging Steve Nash - don't forget that 38th birthday - who remains one of the few hardwood generals in the NBA who can change the course of a game. Nash's virtual double/ double season (12.1 points and 9.6 assists per game) shows he still has the skills to keep b-ball defenses off balance throughout the league.

So bet some serious scratch on the Suns - even give up the points 'cause you won't need them against the wounded Cavs.   

See ya'       

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 08 January 2012

With a lengthy ESPN.COM story creating a lot of buzz with Phoenix fandom and reminding us of franchise owner Bob Sarver's role in decimating our hardwood ambitions in return for saving a few bucks - the Suns are set to take to the floor as determined Vages favorites against the struggling Milwaukee Bucks. 

The game - set to start in about 20 minutes - is a contest that should yield a Suns victory. But expect a close one. Undecided

That's largely based upon the Suns making full use of the homecourt advantage and the growing offensive prowess they have shown in two of their last three games as they scored 102 points against both the Golden State Warriors (Jan. 2nd) and the Portland Trailblazers (Jan. 6th).

Place a small bet on this one if you dare - but stay away from the points. They're way too chancy.Money mouth

See ya'  

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 08 January 2012

Wake-Up... it is not a dream!Surprised

Many loyal Tennessee fans - especially those who were sitting in the bleachers for the pre-noon tip off of the Florida game yesterday - are probably still feeling the lingering impact of celebrations that rocked the campus last night after Big Orange set the record straight with an SEC season opening win against the Florida Gators. The 67 - 56 victory showed Coach Cuonzo Martin and the 2011-12 Vols at their wily best as Tennessee's defense made a mockery of the Gators attempts to penetrate as they hit less than 36% from the field. 

With the exception of brief flashes of quality 'D' - especially in the first Memphis game and their recent win against Chattanooga - this season's Tennessee squad has not been known for standing up to opposing scorers. But Saturday's display of defensive prowess - which included holding Florida to their third lowest scoring tally this season - was impressive leaving the Gators 27 points below their season scoring average. 

On the offensive end the Vols scoring was balanced with Kenny Hall leading all Big Orange scoring with 13 points as he hit 75% from the field. In his third year with Tennessee - Hall has been growing into a key player to watch this season with a 7-point per game average that is more than triple last season's output. He's doing so while shooting 61.8% from the field and grabbing nearly 5 rebounds a game.

It is great to see Kenny coming into his own and we're proud to see this 6-9 junior from Stone Mountain, Georgia making his mark. Laughing

The balanced attack against Florida also included a stubborn Jeronne Maymon hitting for 12 points while grabbing 7 boards and 2 steals, Trae Golden with 12 points and Vols floor leading 7 assists, and Jordan McRae with 10 points and 2 steals. 

Cameron Tatum also deserves a special mention for showing the type of shot selection we need from the senior as he avoided repeating a perennial bad habit of firing-off ill advised 3-point attempts.Insetad he stuck to the kind of bread and butter offense that is essential in big SEC games. Sure Cameron's 9 points fell short of double digits but he was a reliable contributor throughout his 23 minutes on court and the one 3-pointer he took was right on the money. 

With this nationally televised victory against the Gators - Tennessee has essentially announced its return as a threat to all SEC competitors and it is a moment to be proud of. Next up is an angry Mississippi State team that lost a heart breaker to Arkansas 98  - 88. The Vols Thursday hardwood showdown will be broadcast at 9:00pm on ESPN2. More on that later.

See ya'    

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 07 January 2012

After stumbling badly to Memphis in what could have been the rematch of the season - we are facing a nationally televised game pitting the erratic Tennessee Vols against the Florida Gators at 11am.

After stumbling badly with an an offense that misfired badly as they hit just 23.8% from 3-point range and scored a mere 51 points against a less than stellar Memphis Tigers defense - what are Vols partisans to do going into today's contest?

We are suggesting a small wager on Tennessee's Big Orange and crossing your fingers. Money mouth

The oddsmakers at our favoriate Reno watering hole - Circus Circus Reno - are giving the Vols 8 points and listing the game on a mid-scoring game with 146 as the o/u. Well - with a strong homecourt advantage and a history of doing well on ESPN games - Tennessee should give the Gators a run for their money.

See ya'

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 04 January 2012

Tonight - in the second half of an exciting evening of hard court action - the Phoenix Suns are taking on the struggling Dallas Mavericks in a game taking place away in Dallas.

Despite being the returning NBA champs - or perhaps because of it - the Mavs are sporting a terrible record and have only won 2 of their first 6 games. Not much to write home about to say the least. Their stalled early season engine is highlighted by a lack of defense (they are 27th in the league allowing 99.3ppg) and a painful rebounding deficiency (also 27th in the NBA with just 37 per game). 

The Suns match-up well against those stats allowing just 92.8 points per contest and grabbing 43.4 rebounds per game. Surprised

Yes - dear loyal Suns fandom - this is a true OMG moment. Admittedly the first of its kind this season but hopefully not the last. Heh - you never know. 

So while it may seeem odd for Phoenix to be a mere 8-point underdog against the defending NBA champs  -  especially in an an away game  -  that where we are tonight. And we're recommending pouncing on the points and taking the Suns in what could easlily be the biggest Phoenix upset win of the 2011-12 season.

Yes - we believe this game will be a big test of the Gortat/ Lopez combination that Phoenix is developing as a 1-2 punch at center. Can our dynamic duo outscore, out rebound and generally neauitralize Nowitzki at center? Well, containing the Mavs' big German has proven a daunting task for Phoenix through the years and only time will tell tonight. But on the offensive end of the floor  with a combined average of nearly 17 ppg the Gortat/Lopez combo has been showing itself to be capable of punishing opposing defenses so far this season. 

So put your money down and hang on for the ride.

See ya.     

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 04 January 2012

In a striking coincidence tonight's hardwood contests find both of the two teams we follow here at www.sunsstufft.com as 8-point underdogs. It is the first time this season that the Tennessee Volunteers and the Phoenix Suns are on the same side of identical point spreads and it could make for a double your pleasure/ double your fun night for those loyal readers who put cash down on some wise and well thought wagers.   

Topping the bill are the Tennessee Volunteers - a team that has gone through several very rocky patches so far during their  7 - 6 season. A team that is known for a streaky offense that can go 3 or 4 minutes at a stretch without scoring from the floor, the Vols have begun hitting their stride and claim four straight wins to their credit. The low point in the season - a dreadful 74 to 70 home court defeat at the hands of Austin Peay - happened back on Dec. 10th and they have only seen the bad side of the scoreboard once since then. 

Tonight's trip to Memphis marks a rematch of Tennessee's early season double OT 99-97 loss to the Tigers and it is quite possible that Vols will pull off an upset tonight when they take the court at 8:00pm EST. Sure beating Memphis is a tall order to fill - especially since this grudge match will be taking place on the Tigers' home court.

But with the 8-point spread that the Vols are getting... it's worth the risk.Money mouth

One of the keys to the game will be whether Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon can re-engage his scoring gear and hit for more than the two points he knocked down when they beat Chattanooga by 13 back on Jan. 2nd. Maymon was the workhorse of the Big Orange offense the last time they met Memphis as he hit for a career record 32 points while grabbing an unbelievable 20 rebounds.

Give us just half of that production tonight - Jeronne - and Tennessee has a real shot at winning. Not just beating the point spread - but actually winning!!

Especially if we can keep Cameron Tatum - an otherwise worthy Tennessee guard - from flailing away with 3-point shots that just won't fall. Yep we haven't forgotten his hitting only one of his nine shots from beyond the arc during the Chattanooga game. 

We'll be back later with a look at tonight's Phoenix Suns game. 

See ya'

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 02 January 2012

Well - the Phoenix Suns won their second of the 2011-12 season in fine form this afternoon blowing through a weak Golden State Warriors team 102 - 91 and handsomely beating the spread with their double digit victory. 

We apologize for advising caution and recommending that even the most hardened gambler eschew the points and stick to a strict money line bet. At least we made some money for those dedicated readers of www.sunsstufft.com who meandered to the betting windows for that afternoon contest.

So let's light up a smoke in honor of Steve Nash once again putting the Suns franchise on his back and carrying us to victory. His 21 points, 9 assists and 2 steals are just another example of how this Hall of Famer knows just what to do with his Canadian Zen. 

So where do we go from here? 

Well this time we are throwing caution to the wind and advising bettors everywhere to put down some cash on the Tennessee Volunteers - our other hardcourt men in orange - to beat Chattanooga and also beat the uphill 13-point spread. As our followers know the Vols are packing a 3-game winning streak that includes a spread busting win against Citadel back on Dec. 29th.

That high scoring 86 - 55 Tennessee victory blew past the 21 1/2 point spread that was set low by oddsmakers who had not posted any odds for the Volunteers previous two games - both wins for the Vols. We expect Tennessee to continue hitting well from the field along with burnishing their stats as one of the country's Top 40 shot blocking teams. 

This is big wager time with a fun game in the offing and the start is set for 7:00pm Eastern between these two cross state rivals. Money mouth

See ya'       

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 02 January 2012

In a resounding vote of confidence in the Phoenix Suns that belies their 1-3 season record the oddsmakers in Vegas and Reno are touting them as 3 1/2 point favorites in their early game against the Golden State Warriors this afternoon.

The unusual afternoon contest pits the Suns lack of scoring  - they are 24th in the NBA at just 89.3 ppg - against a Golden State team that is struggling even more to hit from the field. That's right it is the 24th best offense VS. the 25th best offense in a battle of the abysmal underperformers. But despite those numbers the oddsmakers are hoping that at least a few suckers bet the over on the 197 1/2. 

Not a good choice if you ask us here at www.sunsstufft.com.Cry 

Instead - we are urging you to put a handful of green on Phoenix to win - but don't give up those points. The Suns and the spread haven't gone well so far this season and there is no reason to believe it will start now.

We're also hoping for Hakim Warrick to continue showing why he is the highest scoring Suns player this year and having a career record breaking early season start for the 29 year-old Syracuse grad.

See ya'   

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 30 December 2011

Despite the opportunity that's available as they approach their first rematch of this young NBA season - we don't anticipate that the Suns will make the best of it. Instead, your world weary scribes here at www.sunsstufft.com are looking for Phoenix to falter again. So remember to hide the women and children until your done cursing the Suns for losing another one. 

While you are at it, get some cheap whiskey, hunker down for the evening and stay away from the points - the New Orleans Hornets are giving up 2 at our favorite spot for fully legal and friendly gaming (Circus Circus Reno) but this one isn't worth the trip. 

Sure that sounds terribly pessimistic but we are suffering from razor burn, sun stroke and every other form of malady due to Phoenix being in a horrible two game scoring slump that has put them at 28th in NBA scoring as we wend our way through the first week of this abbreviated season. Yep - count'em - just 64 games to go before the hard court pro season ends in April and we have one of the worst offenses in the biz. 

Talk about frustration with a capital F - U!Yell

Hopefully the recent acquisition of Michael Redd - a former All-Star who used to score 20 ppg - will brighten the prospects for a quick turnaround. But don't forget the new guy's knees have been notoriously troublesome for the last three seasons. 

Well hide the weapons from Aunt Mable and eat your dinner early so the Suns don't upset your so very sensitive stomach.

The game starts at 8:00pm EST - that's 5pm for all you locals out in Phoenix and it can be seen on NBATV or heard through the auspices of www.nba.com if you have one of those free acounts they give out.

See ya'   

 

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 29 December 2011

If we may borrow the title of an old book - last night was not a case of "The Best and the Brightest" for the Phoenix Suns. Instead it was an undeniable example of how a proud pro franchise can collapse before your very eyes.

Sure - just nine minutes into their young season's worst loss - it was a competitive game with the Suns trailing by just a point 18 - 17. At that early stage Channing Frye already had eight rebounds and it looked like a Nash-powered counterattack could grab Phoenix a win. You know - the kind of victory we've seen so many times over his All-Star career. 

Little did we know a collapse was in the offing and collapse they did!Cry 

With the exception of an amazing career game by Ronnie Price - who hit for 16 points in just his second game in a Suns uniform - and quality performances by Grant Hill and Hakim Warrick (they hit for 14 points each) the team struggled to score as Nash passes went astray and they often appeared to be playing sub-college level ball.

Anyone hoping for the D-league here?? 

So it is time for Phoenix to lick our collective Suns wounds and for Coach Alvin Gentry to figure out what is going increasingly wrong because being number 28th in the league in per game scoring is not a tradition we want to live with. Something has to give.

See ya'  

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