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Suns Stuff't - A Phoenix Suns Blog | Page 9
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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 03 November 2010

Despite the stellar scoring efforts of four top notch players - Steve Nash, Jason Richardson, Hakim Warrick, and Grant Hill - the Suns were edged out by the San Antonio Spurs in a heartbreaking 110-112 hometown loss on Wednesday evening. The narrow defeat comes in a game that saw our stumbling center - Robin Lopez - once again becoming the lead weight that sinks the Suns with his clumsy and careless play.

The lack of consistent and competent play by the Suns big man has been repeatedly noted here at www.sunsstufft.com and - after seeing Phoenix drop such a winnable game - we have no choice but to point out the void that Robin Lopez has been leaving on the court in almost every game so far this season. Here are three items from the hardwood contest tonight that make our point:

  • Tragically bad aim led to Lopez hitting only one bucket in six attempts 
  • Bad positioning that impaired his rebounding left Lopez with just three boards all night - that's just half the number of rebounds Steve Nash snagged
  • Foul problems plagued Lopez - he was hit with two fouls in the first six minutes of the game and became a benchwarmer after getting his third foul midway through the second quarter

These dismal Lopez stats left the Suns starting center with fewer minutes, points, and rebounds than San Antonio's back-up big man Antonio McDyess. For the record - McDyess had a 9-point night while Lopez scored just four points. Hopefully RoLo will be traded or shipped to a D-League franchise as soon as possible.   

Despite the Suns suffering from what we will now dub The Lopez Gap - Phoenix nearly snatched a victory from the well-balanced Spurs.

Grant Hill proved to be an early spark on both ends of the court with an energetic performance that was punctuated by two steals and eight points in the first 9 minutes of play. Steve Nash put on another brilliant b-ball display that included 19 points and 7 assists. Jason Richardson also proved to be a crucial part of the offense and led the Suns scoring with 21 points.

And - just in case you weren't paying attention - we have to once again sing the praise of Hakim Warrick. An offensive excitement machine - Warrick knocked down nearly 80% of his shots and scored 19 points. Shooting like that may not be as good as gold - but it sure is close enough.

Sorry - we had better go get Aunt Millie - she's threatening to stick her head in the toilet until the Suns exile Robin Lopez and we're afraid it won't come soon enough.

See ya'  

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 03 November 2010

Last season the Phoenix Suns often found themselves in a n underdog role with the Vegas and Reno oddsmakers giving them the benefit of a point spread despite their stunningly good performance on the court. That made it easier for Suns fans to make a profit while betting on our beloved titans of the Phoenix hardwood.

But - so far this year - the numbers have been going the other way with the Suns underperforming the point spread twice in their first three games. The only exception beingour big victory over the struggling Utah Jazz.  

Well this evening much of Vegas and our favorite spot for legal gambling - downtown Reno - is essentially sitting by declining to pick a favorite in tonight's showdown with longtime Western Conference rival - the San Antonio Spurs.

This could mark the beginning of newfound respect for the 2010-11 Suns team that has been led by the spectacular offensive play of Steve Nash, Jason Richardson and Hakim Warrick.

So in the few minutes remaining put a few bucks on the Suns but don't forget to place your bet at Palace Station or MGM/ Circus Circus casinos because unlike the Las Vegas Hilton's Superbook they are giving Phoenix the advantage of a 1-point spread.

See ya'

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Written by Patrick Brown | 30 October 2010

I haven't had a lot of time during the preseason to keep up with basketball.  The new job's keeping me a little too busy.  I only managed to watch one half of one preseason game.  That's the harsh reality of life.  And, I admit it.  I wasn't sure I wanted to watch the Suns in their current state.  I wasn't sure how they'd fair without A'mare.  But after staying up the last two nights until well past 1am (yeah, I'm on the east coast) I watched the Suns split a pair of games and I think there's a lot to like about this year's team.

Please click "Read More" to continue reading--

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 28 October 2010

We know they were bad - yes - annoyingly bad in the season opener just a few short days ago. But - dear intrepid readers - we have a humble suggestion about tonight's Suns game against the Utah Jazz. BET SOME CASH ON THE SUNS.

You see - while the Suns scored just 92 in their 14-point loss against Portland on Tuesday - the Utah Jazz fell to an even greater loss against the supposedly distracted Denver Nuggets last night. Utah's 88 - 110 defeat takes much of the air out of the balloon for a Jazz team that spent the pre-season scoring one of the best records in the NBA.

Sure betting on the Suns means cross your collective fingers and hoping that Hedo Turkoglu begins to mesh with the rest of the Phoenix offense and starts demonstrating that he is worth all the hype. His outside shooting is a potent weapon - Hedo knocked down 50% of his shots from beyond the 3-point arc against the Trailblazers - but his two point game was a dismal 0-3.

The there's Jared Dudley - an increasingly important part of the team now that Amar'e has gone all Manhattan - who has to show that his outside shot can still find the range this year. If he hits zilch from beyond the arc against Utah - as he did against Portland - the Suns will have a painfully long night.

There are only a few minutes left before game time - so just push a little cash across that Circus Circus betting window and hol onto your hats.

See ya'.   

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 27 October 2010

Continuing the dismal results of a pre-season that brought tears to the eyes of many Suns partisans, our front court flailed unsuccessfully in a season-opening 92 - 106 defeat at the hands of the Portland Trailblazers. Cry

The unexpectedly big loss gave bettors the opportunity to rake in some green by putting their hard-earned dollars on the line against the Suns - they were a mere 7-point underdog. And it points the way to what looks like a ridiculously rocky road for a Phoenix team that provided a stiff challenge to the LA Lakers for the NBA's Western Conference title just last season.  

The loss of Amar'e Stoudemire was felt all night as the Suns failed to show any offensive punch near the basket with the supposedly "new and improved" Robin Lopez knocking down only 5 points and grabbing just 5 rebounds during a 25-minute long stint on the court. That underperformance by the big man left Jason Richardson - our high flying veteran guard - snagged the most rebounds for the night with 6 boards in 35 minutes on the court. Along with that J-Rich hit for 22 points, and Steve Nash proved that he is still an offensive powerhouse of Hall-of-Fame quality with 26 points and 6 assists.

In the only other positives to come out of this depressing season starter, Hakim Warrick's 10-point performance made him the only Sun front courter to score in double digits and Jared Dudley hit for 6 points during 18 minutes of playing time. While J-Duds missed each of his 3-point attempts, the energetic forward proved more effective at closer range by knocking down 60% of his 2-pointers.

Sadly the Suns just didn't jell during the pre-season and their play against Portland was - how can we put it - SLOPPY. How elese can you explain the Blazers literally picking the Suns pockets for 11 steals in just 48 minutes of court time? Suffice it to say - Aunt Molly isn't happy.

See ya'.    

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 28 September 2010

We know that our big push for a new Suns Big Man took an unexpected turn for many readers when we pulled the name Jordan Hill out of the hat. Sure there are some readers who would feel more comfortable with a long-eared rabbit than the former Arizona Wildcat with the distinguished college career. But we aren't giving up the ghost - or backing off the idea of snagging the young Hill and bringing him to Phoenix for a big role in the center spot.

What about Robin Lopez, you say??? Sure he's a physical behemoth who serves as a big body underneath the basket - but can he ever play with any consistency and have the determination, comfort level and self-confidence it takes to be an effective NBA starter in the 2010-11 season and for the long haul??Undecided

For those of us at www.sunsstufft.com - our answer to that question is a resounding 'NO' and one stat helps tell the tale of why we prefer Jordan Hill in the starting role.

Just take a glance at the 2009-10 season rebound total for Jordan Hill and lay those numbers next to the same stats for Robin Lopez. In Hill's case those numbers are 175 rebounds in just 624 minutes played for an average of nearly one board for every 3.5 minutes on the court. The Lopez numbers aren't nearly as hot with 248 boards in 986 minutes of play - that's about one snag for every 4 minutes of play.

Yes - it may not sound like much of a difference - but if Lopez/Hill are playing 32 minutes a game - Hill would average an extra rebound per game. During a hotly contested play-off run that additional board per game could mean mean additonal close-game wins for the Suns down the stretch.

Rest assured we'll be bringing you more comparisons as we prepare for the season's opening tip-off. And - by golly - we won't relent until our voice is heard.

See ya'.        

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 26 September 2010

On the brink of what should be a very upbeat Media Day for our Phoenix Suns on Monday we are not so humbly putting a recommendation on the table for enhancing our inside presence - a task that should be Job #1 in the month remaining between now and the NBA regular season opener in late October.

Looking at a Houston Rockets team that is seriously overstocked with big men and potential centers now that the Chinese giant - Yao Ming - is returning to the roster, we are urging the skinflints at the Suns to open their collective wallet and spend a little cash or make a trade to acquire another Hill.

No - not a relative of Grant Hill - but a 1-year veteran NBA star in the making named Jordan Hill.

A familiar face to many college B-ball fans in Phoenix, Jordan is an energetic product of the University of Arizona and at 23 years old, he has the height (6'10"), the reach and the developing skills to solve the biggest dilemna Phoenix faces in the post-Amar'e Stoudemire era. Unlike our incumbent center - Robin Lopez - the Hill we are strongly recommending has shown that he is definitely comfortable in his own skill while playing on the pro court.

Do you need an example?

Well, just look at the nine rebounds Hill ripped down from the boards during a stellar defensive performance against our Suns in a play-off appearance back on April 11th. It came during a game that Houston lost to Phoenix - but during his 18-minutes of court time - Hill put on a true rebounding clinic. Jordan also proved that he would be an ideal fit to join a Suns team designed to take advantage of quick outlet passes.

With a pay check of less than $2.5 million according to the record keepers at ESPN - this new Hill would be pretty easy on the wallet as well.

So when the Suns do their thing on Sept. 27th and everyone is smiling, we can only hope that the folks who are making the personnel decisions are noticing that Houston is experiencing a glut of centers and one of them - Jordan Hill - fits the bill right here at home.

See ya'.

 

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 21 September 2010

Hello Dear Intrepid Readers,

We Really Missed Ya' And It Sure Is Good To Be Back!!Laughing

Now for a heartfelt alibi and some pithy analysis.

After the world ignored our collective cry for the return of Amar'e Stoudemire to the Land of the Sun - we surely didn't know where to turn. After all, how could we carry on at www.sunsstufft.com now that our favorite pro B-baller had run-off to the Big Apple and left the Suns facing the dismal reality of an inside offense that was dependent upon the flop-haired and coordination-impaired Robin Lopez ??

Sure Lopez is an imposing 7-foot behemoth but his lack of basketball acumen during two years in the pros is proof that Stanford University rarely produces NBA-quality players.(Please Note: Robin's brother Brook is a rare exception to that Golden Rule.)

Yes - we know - the Suns are finally free of the scourge of Steve Kerr's grip on the general manager's office and Alvin Gentry is comfortably seated on the coach's bench for another season. But despite those key steps in the right direct, we just couldn't envision the Phoenix Suns without our Amar'e. Cry

But in recent days the headlines have changed and media reports suggest that there is now some light at the end of the tunnel as the Suns are actively engaged in a genuine search for a quality Big Man.

Talk about picking-up our mood and putting some pep in the step.

Sure all the talk of the Suns searching for a center may be nothing but undue press speculation and the bigs who have been named so far - Erick Dampier, Garret Siler and Earl Barron - aren't necessarily the best in the business. But two of them - Dampier and Barron - have a history of standing their ground and rebounding the ball well in the pros. (Dampier grabbed an average of 7.3 RPG while playing in 55 games last season and Barron snagged an average of 11 rebounds per game during an abbreviated seven appearances in the 2009-10 season.)  

However we need to face facts - rebounding is a feat that the volatile and often klutzy Lopez hasn't been able to perform on a consistent basis. Just look at his spotty 4.9 rebounds per game while playing more than 19 minutes per appearance.

On that hopeful note - it is very good to be back and we have our fingers crossed.

See ya'  

       

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Written by Patrick Brown | 12 July 2010

We're all sick of hearing about Lebron. Even I admit James' vehicle for leaving Cleveland through a one-hour “Me, Me, Me and my Brand,” special on ESPN probably wasn't the best business decision. I can see where it would sound great in a board room filled with people trying to get the LBJ brand some exposure, but it clearly annoyed more people than it impressed.

I am not one of those people who thinks any exposure is good exposure. I'm the type that remembers PR gaffs like this one. I had a lot of respect for Lebron. I had thought he was a classy young player, and if he had quietly moved to Miami I would still feel that same way. He deserves his chance at a few rings and I don't fault him for going looking for them. I fault him for dragging Cleveland through the mud while he played out the little fantasy orchestrated by his childhood sycophants trying to get him overexposed.

Dan Gilbert is no better. Actually, as a pure businessman, he should know better. Sure Lebron blew it, but to limbo under him and show that you're a rung lower on the skeezy ladder, what was the point? Did you need to blow off a little steam? Go to the gym or find yourself a $2000 a night hooker. Whatever blows your dress up. But whatever you do, don't dignify Lebron's antics by responding in an even more childish fashion.

The Cavs are worth hundreds of millions of dollars as a franchise. A genuine established brand. Don't devalue it any further by showing the players around the league what a douche bag you are. Fans and players are going to forget Lebron's PR stunt far sooner than they are going to forget a vitriolic owner hating on one of the best players in the league.

A month from now people will have forgotten “The Decision”. People will have turned around and realized that Lebron didn't leave Cleveland, he went in search of a legacy and they're going to forgive Lebron because he deserves it. As far as Dan Gilbert is concerned, people are only going to remember that he couldn't deliver that legacy. Why couldn't he deliver? Oh yeah, it must be because he's a real asshole treating his players with such contempt.

 

On a personal note: My apologies for being absent the past six weeks. I moved to another state and still haven't quite settled in yet. I know, it's no excuse but life does get in the way sometimes. I'll post again soon on matters regarding the Suns. This post, I just had to get out of my system, like everybody else, I had my two cents on the LBJ happenings.

 

Take care!

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Written by Jamie D. Gilkey | 06 July 2010

At the risk of really annoying the neighbors - and those pesky NBA rivals - we are pleased to report that www.sunsstufft.com isn't dead yet.

Sure the Suns most opinionated duo has been out of commission - downright disappeared - of late. But the critics haven't succeeded in putting a fork in us yet and, despite the sweltering heat, we are back in proverbial business.

Say it ain't so Joe ?!?!? Sorry bub --- it is.Surprised

So it is time to catch-up with the faithful by celebrating the slinking off of Steve Kerr - better known as the Bane of Our Existence - and mourn the loss of that recent checkbook chaser Amar'e Stoudemire. So here goes.

As you know, we have been quite vocal in blaming Kerr for a generally lackluster tenure as the Suns general manager that saw the team miss out on a play-off shot in 2008-09 after an ill-advised trade for Shaq and a less than stellar decision to let Alvin Gentry's predecessor coach our guys into the floor for months.

Yes - despite the comments of those who are prone to forget history - we still believe that Kerr deserves virtually none of the credit for the Suns spectacular performance during the 2009-10 season - just read some of his negative pre-season comments and you will be reminded of how little he respected the move to acquire Channing Frye and reignite the Suns up-tempo offense around a combination of:

  • Outside shooting
  • Steve Nash assists
  • Grant Hill's steady leadership
  • Amar'e Stoudemire's often overpowering inside game.

Kerr's cues to the local press corps discouraged borderline fans, shot down early season ticket sales and suggested a bail-out mentality rife with alibis.

As for the flight of Amar'e - we loyalists can only mourn his loss. Indeed, being staunch advocates of the proposition that Amar'e should already have a reservation at the Hall of Fame for his explosive work on the offensive side of the game, we are a little choked-up at the prospect of this star leaving the Phoenix.

But let;s facde it - this is just another consequence of Steve Kerr's years of backbiting and media leaks denigrating Amar'e considerable talent.

Hopefully, Bob Sarver and his economical-minded team of investors will learn a lesson from Amar'e Stoudemire's brilliant 2009-10 season performance and subsequent departure. As any bartender will tell you - "Money Talks".

See ya'

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