The look on Alvin Gentry’s face said it all when all Suns-related lottery drama immediately vanished with Phoenix securing the 14th pick to lead off the lottery show.
It was the kind of let-down face he often wore over the course of the final weeks of the season, during which time he always seemed to believe his Suns had one more run in them just like he seemed to actually believe his team’s 0.5 percent chance of winning the Blake Griffin Sweepstakes would come to fruition.
It’s hard to be too disappointed when you have a less than 2 percent chance of moving up at all, but at least before Tuesday at 5:30 the Suns could hold out hope for a miracle.
“I had some hope,” Suns GM Steve Kerr told The Arizona Republic. “There was a part of me thinking, ‘Why not?’ It happened for the Bulls last year. At the same time, we were pretty realistic. Fourteen is actually a pretty good spot to be. After those first three guys, it’s really wide open. We feel like somebody we like will fall to us.”
As it is they were the best team by 10 games involved in Tuesday night’s proceedings, making this the kind of quick-fix situation that could have turned Phoenix from a good team that’s just not good enough to a contender again.
Alas, we can all stop dreaming of Blake Griffin and get back to our regularly scheduled offseason, with a mere No. 14 pick to assuage the hurt of missing the playoffs.
Chad Ford’s initial mock draft has the Suns picking Earl Clark, the small forward from Louisville. Clark would be a perfect fit defensively and in transition, and he brings a bit of a shooting stroke as well, so he’s definitely a name to keep in mind during the next month of draft rumors.
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a second to brag about the fact that I nailed the Clippers winning the lottery in yesterday’s post.
OK, I admit it’s a completely random guess based on nothing scientific other than the fact that it looked like the Clippers came up quite often while playing ESPN’s mock lottery game, but I’m still pretty satisfied with myself. This definitely makes up for stupid NBA bets and playoff picks I’ve made in the last month.
I loved watching that Griffin interview on ESPN in which he said something like he’ll make the best of any situation, and he really may as well have just said he will make the best of the worst possible situation.
Once we found out that the top three picks would belong to the Clippers, Grizz and OKC, I first prayed the Thunder would be third because they would be a playoff team with the brightest future in the league with their hometown hero Griffin.
Memphis has a nice collection of young talent built up from being so bad for so long and could use a guy like Blake, whereas who knows what the hell is going on with the Clippers.
On the surface adding Griffin to a core of Baron, Gordon, Thornton, Camby, Kaman and Randolph should make the Clips sick, but then again that’s a lot of bigs for not a lot of minutes and these are the Clippers after all, they’ll find some way to screw it up.
One last word on Gentry and the lottery, aside from the fact that he was a good luck charm for the Clippers again after they moved up from eighth to second when he represented them in 2001 and then watched them go from third to first this season.
About a half hour before the lottery I was talking to some of my colleagues at work about how crazy it is that some people tweet every little thing that nobody cares about (I promise, I will catch Twitter fever some day soon maybe) when I logged on and saw Gentry tweeting away from Secaucus via his BlackBerry.
He wrote things such as, “Pull for the Suns to come away with Blake,” “Less than a 1% chance but u have to believe!” and “We r about to get started. Just been told not to over react in our seats. Just got a touch up with the makeup.”
Really interesting that he would state the obvious in that the Suns would be drafting Griffin instead of making it a big secret that’s not really a secret at all like the Clippers seem to be doing and overall it’s a nice look into the head of the Suns’ coach before this important event.
The lottery didn’t turn out to be the miracle the Suns hoped for, but I will be a happy blogger anyway if Gentry tweets the real draft.