Chicago Bulls 97, Phoenix Suns 94 — Cannot finish comeback

Posted by on April 5th, 11:11 pm

Steve Nash played a brilliant game with 16 assists, but he could not create an open three-pointer on the Suns' final play. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

Steve Nash played a brilliant game with 16 assists, but he could not create an open three-pointer on the Suns' final play. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

“The big thing for us is we just haven’t been able to finish games. All of these games we’ve been able to be right there. The whole inconsistency has been our Achilles’ heel. We’ve competed like crazy, but we have very little to show for it from a tangible standpoint.”

Suns head coach Alvin Gentry made that remark before last week’s contest against Oklahoma City, rattling off a litany of tight games just that week the Suns had failed to close out down the stretch.

Gentry may as well have saved that statement to repeat Tuesday night in Chicago after the Suns played inspired ball to rally from a 22-point deficit behind Vince Carter of all people before — let’s say it together now — they once again couldn’t finish a game and lost 97-94 to the Bulls, their sixth loss in seven games.

After Kyle Korver missed one of two free throws to put the Bulls up three with 13.1 seconds left, the Suns had plenty of time to either score a quick two and foul again or create a good look for a game-tying three.

The play was supposed to be a pick-and-pop involving Channing Frye, but Frye set a weak screen on Derrick Rose five feet beyond the three-point line and the Bulls switched to prevent the open look for Frye the Suns likely wanted.

That left Joakim Noah on Nash, and Two Time could not shake the long 6-foot-11 stalwart defender for a step-back three-pointer so Nash drove to the basket with 5.5 seconds remaining. At this point Nash should have kicked it out to Frye percolating to the corner but instead Nash dished it off to Marcin Gortat in the lane for what would have been a harmless two-pointer in a three-point game.

Noah certainly deserves credit for bottling up Nash and making his potential game-tying three so difficult that Nash didn’t even attempt it, but it’s unacceptable for Phoenix to fail to even launch a long ball in this situation. A quick two would have been fine immediately but a vet like Nash should have known there was not enough time by the time he made his move, and I’m surprised a guy like Nash with eyes seemingly in the back of his head didn’t see Frye finding space in the corner with Rose shifting off him to watch the drive for no apparent reason.

“We were supposed to set up a screen for Channing. If we couldn’t get that, we hope we could get it set for anyone else,” Gentry told Chicago reporters. “It broke down and it was not a good possession for us. We just couldn’t get it in the basket most of the game. We need to play like we did at the end and not just to make a comeback when you’re down 22. In the third quarter we played with a lot more energy and we need to learn from that. See, we have to play for 48 minutes, not 24.”

Added Grant Hill, “We didn’t execute the play that we drew up. Steve wound up with Noah on him. He tried to penetrate and see if something good would open up but it didn’t. That’s what happened.”

Fourth quarter scoring has been the Suns’ biggest problem all season. Usually it involves blowing leads; this time it occurred after the Suns outscored Chicago 33-13 to cut a 22-point lead all the way down to two with five minutes left during a run that took almost 11 minutes of game time.

Both offenses stalled from there on out as Phoenix’s so often does when the opposition’s defense stiffens up. Carter scored 15 points during the Suns’ big run, including a run of nine straight Phoenix points during one stretch of the fourth that was capped by a sweet four-point play.

But as so often happens after Carter goes hot for a while he cooled off just as quickly but continued to take bad shots, missing eight of his 10 attempts in the final 6:36. The 14 total shots he attempted in the final period was just four less than the Bulls took as a team. I understand going with the hot hand, but once that hand cools down he should stop getting the ball.

That’s especially true on a night when a bouncier Nash — save for the final play — carved up the Bulls all night with his 16 assists after missing the past two games with the flu. He was such a wizard with the ball tonight he even managed to sneak a pass between Carlos Boozer’s legs for a Gortat slam.

The Suns must be commended for fighting back late in the game from what seemed to be an insurmountable deficit after rolling over the game before. After poor performances against the Spurs and during their first-half stint, the bench was largely responsible for the big comeback in the second half. This time around they played like they actually cared about getting the win.

The defense really locked Chicago down starting with Phoenix’s run and continuing until the buzzer, but while the Suns’ offense went dry with no go-to guy to bail them out, Rose came up with a pair of huge buckets that were the difference when the Suns failed to even attempt a final shot.

Although the comeback against the best team in the East was stirring, the Suns aren’t a playoff team this year because they could not finish enough games like this one that came down to execution in the clutch.

And 1

Jared Dudley slammed home his ninth dunk of the season, putting him just one wham bam slam away from his preseason goal of 10. … Nash arrived to the court wearing his practice shorts so a few players made a human wall around him as he changed into Zabian Dowdell’s shorts on the floor, a predicament the whole team had a good laugh over. … Sure looked like Hill was set for a late charge that was called a block on a Rose three-point play that put Chicago up five with 1:52 left. Said Hill, “I thought that I was there but didn’t get the call. Derrick is the MVP here at home. It’s not the first time that an MVP got that call down the stretch.” Hill was previously called for charging into Korver when he appeared to split the defense. … Gortat compiled another double-double with 10 points and a game-high 13 boards, as he helped the Suns outrebound Chicago 43-41 and hold Noah to four caroms. … Rose hit just 6-of-15 shots. … Going back a game, Dudley was one bright spot in the Spurs debacle, somehow posting a plus nine in a game-high 32 minutes of a contest Phoenix lost by 17. He also gave us this fantastic playoffs tweet: “RT @SteveNash: Guys, I’m feeling better this morning. I should feel great by the playoffs!! ( PLAYOFFS!!!PLAYOFFS!!! (coach mora voice lol).”

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Alvin Gentry · Chicago Bulls · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Recap · Steve Nash · Vince Carter

60 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ryan // Apr 6, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I hear rumblings from fellow fans about us tanking the last few games. Whatever, I guess that’s just a side effect of playing games that ultimately mean nothing but when I see us play after play just handing it to Carter, especially in crunch time, I have to believe it a little. Yes, he had a good game for VC standards (something that feels more common since we’ve been out of the playoff picture) but I think after he starts clunking terrible shots maybe someone else can take a shot? Or maybe running more actual plays for the man and not have him isolated against defenders that are younger, quicker, and at the end of the day actually give a shit about basketball? Do you think we’re making it the Vince show to dupe another team into taking him on? Or have we actually given up and our white flag is a fade away, hand in the face, Vince Carter brick?

  • 2 Daniel // Apr 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

    How in the world are the Bulls a top defensive team with Carlos Boozer in the line-up? Everytime I watch that man, it’s like a well-oiled revolving door. The coach must’ve cheered in silence when he was out those 2 months.

  • 3 Marley // Apr 6, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Again, what was Nash thinking on the last play?

    The Suns needed a 3, not a 2!

    Nash should have gotten the ball to Frye or Carter. You could tell Carter was disappointed. He was feeling it and wanted the ball.

    This is not the first time that Nash has had issues on the last play. Is AGE finally catching up to Nash?

  • 4 Marley // Apr 6, 2011 at 11:38 am

    @Ryan

    When VC is healthy, he is a top 5 player in the NBA.

    Because of VC’s explosive natural abilities, it has lead to serious injuries. That is why VC as he has gotten older is more picky about when to drive and dunk because if he is not careful, a serious injury may occur.

    The key is to make VC the focal point of running the offense. Use him in Pick-n-Rolls. Use him in post ups. Isolations. If you use VC only as a catch and shoot player, if his shot is not there on that night, you get a VC that scores less than 10 pts a game.

  • 5 Cam // Apr 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    @Marley: even when healthy VC is not a top 5 player in the NBA. I’ll take Kobe, Lebron, DWade, DRose, Durant, Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, who else you want me to name. VC was an explosive athlete and can still harness that once in a while. But by no means is he a top 5 NBA player, and I would be hard pressed to say that he would be in my personal top 20-25. I can think of many other players I would want on my team with the ball in their hands over VC. IMHO. Go Suns.

  • 6 Preview: Phoenix Suns (37-40) at Minnesota Timberwolves (17-61) // Apr 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    [...] This isn’t to say the Suns should start Garret Siler and Zabian Dowdell, because they shouldn’t. All it means is that Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Channing Frye and Marcin Gortat shouldn’t be playing 35-plus minutes — all of them but Hill (33 minutes) did exactly that in their Tuesday night loss to the Chicago Bulls. [...]

  • 7 Steve // Apr 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Haha, glad I checked this thread out. I didn’t get to watch the game, so I was going to withhold comments, but after seeing what Marley said, I have to interject.

    You are the same guy that says Nash is worthless to any title contenders because he is too old…..

    HAHA! VC a top 5 player in the league? Even in his glory days, VC was not a top 5 player in the league. His best season was probably ’00-’01, so let’s look at some other players in that season who had better years.

    AI, Shaq, Duncan, Ben Wallace (not in pts, obviously, but the man was a rebounding and shot-blocking guru), Kidd, Garnett, Zo (somewhat debatable), I could go on, but I’ll just stop here.

    Go back through the annals of hoops, and you will find that Vince was never a leader in any major statistical category. He has NEVER been a top 5 player in the NBA, let alone now when his explosiveness has betrayed him.

    Do you watch basketball, or do you just like to talk about it?

  • 8 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    >>Or maybe running more actual plays for the man and not have him isolated against defenders that are younger, quicker, and at the end of the day actually give a shit about basketball?<<

    LOL. You're basically saying that VC doesn't "give a shit about basketball" because he has the confidence to take shots during crunch time? I suppose you'd rather a timid player who is scared to take shots in crunch time?

    Give me a break. You can't say he "doesn't give a shit" about basketball when he's not shying away at all. It actually shows that he does care and want to win.

  • 9 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    >>Go back through the annals of hoops, and you will find that Vince was never a leader in any major statistical category. He has NEVER been a top 5 player in the NBA, let alone now when his explosiveness has betrayed him.<<

    VC had the #2 PER in 2000-2001. Of course you're going to tell me that PER is uselss. I will respond by asking you what stat we should rank players by if not PER. You will say some nonsense about how it's "not about the stats" even though you were the first to mention stats.

  • 10 Ryan // Apr 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    “Give me a break. You can’t say he “doesn’t give a shit” about basketball when he’s not shying away at all. It actually shows that he does care and want to win.”

    I honestly don’t think he gives a shit. He cares now because he knows the Suns will find a way to get him out of PHX (I pray) and the man needs a paycheck for next season. So I would agree he gives a shit about basketball from a financial perspective. Which is fine, he has a lot more money than me. That’s not the issue.

    And no I don’t want a timid player taking the shots in crunch time, you think I’m stupid Larry? I watch the games just like you do and I watch Vince Carter because he plays too many minutes. I don’t want a phenomenal ex-dunker (which is what he’ll go down as) taking crappy shots. Geez, I’d rather have Stromile Swift out there, at least he can still elevate (or not, haha I just wanted to name drop that guy).

    All in all we can agree that he’s just not right for our team. We can debate and question his desire and will to play but none-the-less he was definitely not the man we needed. MY OPINION: I’m not a fan of him, probably won’t ever be.

  • 11 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    What specifically has he done for you to say he doesn’t give a shit? You make that statement, but you don’t back it up with any facts. State your argument. Because you said so is not an argument. Show some numbers, facts, or quotes from Vince that support what you say.

  • 12 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    If he didn’t give a shit, he would never take shots in crunch time. He would just pass the ball for someone else to shoot.

  • 13 Steve // Apr 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    PER is a great stat, and 00-01 was his best season, which is why I thought of guys in THAT season I would have rather had than Vince. I left out a handful of others in THAT season that I would have rather had. And all of the guys I mentioned had more worthwhile careers and greater accomplishments overall than Vince, as well.

    I repeat, he has NEVER been a top 5 player in the NBA. The only season he has even come close, I would still put him as the 8th or 9th best player in the league (which is still great and very respectable). But people can’t just be throwing crap around that Vince is a top 5 player now when he has never been that.

    Vince had a great 00-01, but keep in mind, two guys I put ahead of Vince played on the same team (Shaq and Kobe), and Shaq DOMINATED WS48 that year (nearly a point higher than VC). Vince was awesome at the turn of the century, but there were more than 5 players who were better. I could get into more detail, but I’m a little occupied with work, so I can’t get to the nitty gritty at the moment on every single player who was better than VC and why.

  • 14 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    >>I repeat, he has NEVER been a top 5 player in the NBA.>>

    He was a top 5 player in 2000-01, and in 2006-07. And as recently as 2008 he was one of only three players to put up 20/6/5 for the season.

  • 15 Steve // Apr 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    *Puts forehead in hands in disappointment*

    PER being a good stat doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY stat. I know it’s only two people riding the Vinsanity train still, but will someone sane please back come back me up and make me feel like I’m not the only one in this world who isn’t crazy?

    Sheesh, PER is a barometer for offensive efficiency, and that is basically all it is good for. It doesn’t measure intangibles, it doesn’t measure defensive capabilities, it has no bearing on wins (although it can often be said that high PER players will be winners, it’s not always true). If you want to believe offensive efficiency is king, the LeBron is the second-best player to ever play the game (even though he has zero championships), T-Mac was the second-best player of the past decade, and Chris Paul has been the best PG in the league since he got here. You would also conclude that Shaq is greatly overrated, Tim Duncan might not be the best player on the Spurs, Zach Randolph is one of the best bigs in the league and has been for a while now, Paul Pierce is way overrated, etc, etc, etc….

    No single statistical model is perfect. We will never have a perfect one. That’s why it’s best to look at a conglomerate of models and try to get a feel for intangibles as well.

    I’m not saying VC was a worthless player. For a few years, he was top 10. But top 5 players are guys who lead the league in SOMETHING or guys who win championships. Vince has done neither.

    Just from 00-01, his best season, tell me if you’d rather have Vince or the following players:

    Shaq
    Kobe
    Duncan
    Iverson
    David Robinson (still a baller that year, and had a WS48 way higher than VC’s)
    Garnett
    Webber
    Kidd
    Dirk
    Payton

    I need not say anything besides this: VINCE CARTER WAS NOT 1ST TEAM ALL-NBA IN 00-01 OR IN ANY OTHER YEAR. He has NEVER been one of the five best players in the NBA. He has ONE second-team appearance and ONE third-team appearance. Does that sound like one of the top 5 players in the NBA to you?

    Seriously, I want to hear your next argument. Go ahead.

  • 16 Sean // Apr 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Alright guys, it’s not that relevant to debate where Vince ranks in 2000-01, or any other past year. I agree that there’s no way that Vince is a top 5 player in 2011 when healthy. I know Marley said he believes that. Larry, do you?

    About Vince caring or not, it’s hard for anyone to make that claim and back it up. But fans from Toronto and Orlando (and New Jersey to a lesser degree) seem on the whole to believe something like that.

    Vince is what he is at this point in his career. He’s a former star on the downslope of his career. He can still bring it every once in a while, but he can also shoot his team out of a streak. Last night, he apparently did both.

  • 17 Steve // Apr 6, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Hopefully the fact that he has no first team appearances will shut them up… but I doubt it.

  • 18 Sean // Apr 6, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    For the record, I agree with you Steve. I’ve been an NBA (and Suns) fan since I was about 8 years old watching DJ and Truck Robinson. And there has never been a time when I would have chosen Vince Carter as 1 of the 5 BEST players in the league. He was perhaps the most exciting player around that time. But many of the players you listed were better, in my opinion.

  • 19 Steve // Apr 6, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Phew, I’m glad somebody convinced me there is life on this planet. Thanks, Sean. I’m also not trying to say Vince was terrible back in the day. I give him credit for having the most amazing in-game dunk I’ve ever witnessed. He was incredible to watch, and “Half Man, Half Amazing” was certainly fitting when you witnessed his acrobatics. But top 5? That status is reserved for champions, MVPs, and all-NBA first teamers. Not highlight reels.

  • 20 Steve // Apr 6, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Before someone rips me for saying he was just a dunker, I know he was a lot more than that. He also had a sweet perimeter J and would make impossible shots as often as Kobe, and he would also clank impossible shots as often as Kobe. He was a great player. I won’t take that away from him. I just won’t give him more credit than he’s due, either.

  • 21 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    >>*Puts forehead in hands in disappointment*

    PER being a good stat doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY stat.<<

    *Puts forehead in hands in disappointment*

    I DIDN'T SAY it was the "only stat". However, WS48 is a meaningless stat, because it is dependent on how many games your team wins. So obviously someone on a perennial 60-win team is going to have more WS48.

    *shakes head*

  • 22 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    >>Sheesh, PER is a barometer for offensive efficiency, and that is basically all it is good for.<<

    Wrong.

    PER takes into account virtually EVERY stat, both offensive AND defensive. It takes into account rebounding, blocks, steals, defensive rating, etc. These are all defensive stats. It is not merely a measure of offensive efficiency.

    Try educating yourself BEFORE you post.

  • 23 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    >>Alright guys, it’s not that relevant to debate where Vince ranks in 2000-01, or any other past year. I agree that there’s no way that Vince is a top 5 player in 2011 when healthy. I know Marley said he believes that. Larry, do you?<<

    Why are you asking stupid questions? I've already stated my opinions. READ through what I said and tell me exactly where I said or implied that VC is a top 5 player in the league.

    My opinion on the matter is already stated. There is no need to ask me off-topic questions.

  • 24 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    >>Vince is what he is at this point in his career. He’s a former star on the downslope of his career. He can still bring it every once in a while, but he can also shoot his team out of a streak. Last night, he apparently did both.<<

    Players who "don't care" also don't shoot their teams out of streaks. They hide in the corner and take as few shots as possible, especially in the final minutes of the 4th quarter in a close game.

    Players who care step up and take those shots. Sometimes they fall, sometimes they don't. ALL players who take those shots are capable of shooting their team to a loss.

  • 25 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    >>Hopefully the fact that he has no first team appearances will shut them up… but I doubt it.<<

    LOL. WTH does have a 1st team appearance have to do with being a top 5 player? You could be the 2nd best player in the league, but if they best player plays the same position, than you're not making the 1st team.

    You wish there was a way to shut us Vince fans up. I wish there was a way to shut the Vince detractors up…..but I doubt it.

  • 26 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    LOL @ this Sean/Steve mutual admiration society.

    Does two people constitute a circle jerk?

  • 27 Steve // Apr 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    “Why are you asking stupid questions? I’ve already stated my opinions. READ through what I said and tell me exactly where I said or implied that VC is a top 5 player in the league.”

    You cited VC as having the #2 PER in the league in 01-02, then went on to say how PER is a complete stat that takes into account the entirety of a player. It’s pretty logical to assume that if you believer PER is a good assessment of a player, and a player is ranked #2 in that system, you would think he is a top 5 (#2 to be exact) player.

    You also gave stats from his 05-06 season to defend him. Your stance has been to defend the claim that VC is/was a top 5 talent. I don’t see why you would try to say you haven’t said that now.

    And There are two F positions on the first team all-NBA team. Vince didn’t get either of the first two. He wasn’t even the SECOND best player at his own position in any given season, let alone top five in the whole league.

    First team all-NBA is THE barometer for who is truly the best player at any given position in the league. The consensus best guards, forwards, and center will make the team. And who gets the votes? People who know a thing or two, and I trust a heck of a lot more than “Larry” from VotS and who I happen to agree with.

    I’m done with this convo, as I see you have nothing to back yourself up with but insults and contractions. You haven’t given a shred of evidence to back any of your insults or claims to VC’s greatness besides citing his PER in 01-02 and his line in 05-06. Have a nice life believing VC deserved first team. It’s your prerogative to be wrong.

  • 28 Steve // Apr 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    “READ through what I said and tell me exactly where I said or implied that VC is a top 5 player in the league.”

    “He was a top 5 player in 2000-01, and in 2006-07.”

    I found that humorous.

    And before you rant on about how this just proves you never said anything about how VC is top 5 right now, your sentence structure is extremely poor, if you wanted to avoid that. Secondly, it’s also not absurd to think that because you never stated you didn’t think he was still great, and you also jumped into an argument which was based on the outrageous claim that VC is CURRENTLY top 5 in the league when healthy.

    There’s no need to insult people, especially when my claim that VC was never top 5 in the league isn’t outrageous, seeing as how he has no MVPs (does he have any top 5 finishes in the MVP race? I’d be interested to find that out), no first team all-NBAs, no championships….. just find me anything you can “win” in the NBA, and he doesn’t have it. I gave you the names of 7 or 8 guys in 01-02 I would rather have had besides VC, and I think a solid argument could be made for each of those players above VC. That would make VC 8 or 9 in his best season as a pro… that doesn’t sound like top 5 to me.

    So, NOW I’m done. I know you’re not going to budge, but I thought I’d just like to say that no one appreciates an internet dick who can’t back up his arguments or argue another point with respect and reason. See you in the next thread.

  • 29 Paul // Apr 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    The Suns need a younger shooting Guard shannon brown from Lakers.

  • 30 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    >>You cited VC as having the #2 PER in the league in 01-02, then went on to say how PER is a complete stat that takes into account the entirety of a player. It’s pretty logical to assume that if you believer PER is a good assessment of a player, and a player is ranked #2 in that system, you would think he is a top 5 (#2 to be exact) player.<<

    Yes. I said he WAS a top 5 player in 2000-01. You asked me if he IS a top player ("is" meaning present tense).

  • 31 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    >>And There are two F positions on the first team all-NBA team. Vince didn’t get either of the first two. He wasn’t even the SECOND best player at his own position in any given season, let alone top five in the whole league.<<

    LOL. You know that Vince is a guard right? Not a forward. Of course you don't. Dumbass.

  • 32 Larry // Apr 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    >>Have a nice life believing VC deserved first team. It’s your prerogative to be wrong.<<

    Your reading comprehension is abysmal. I never said VC deserved first team. You're also a hypocrite. You cite my "lack of reason", but I've actually provided stats to back my argument. You've provided zero stats to back yours. All you've done is reference first-team. First-team isn't the be-all, end-all anymore than PER is. You also said that I showed no respect. How much respect have you shown? You not only called me an "internet dick", but suggested anyone who disagrees with you should "shut up".

    If you had any confidence in your opinion you would welcome debate instead of telling anyone who disagrees with you to "shut up". The fact that you told me to shut up suggests that you have no belief in anything you say.

  • 33 Larry // Apr 7, 2011 at 12:00 am

    >>And before you rant on about how this just proves you never said anything about how VC is top 5 right now, your sentence structure is extremely poor, if you wanted to avoid that.<<

    ROFLOL! How is my "sentence structure poor"? Where exactly did my "sentence structure" lead you to believe that I believe he IS a top 5 player right now? Be specific, and give me the exact quote.

    It's your reading comprehension that is poor. My sentence structure was crystal clear.

  • 34 Larry // Apr 7, 2011 at 12:06 am

    >>There’s no need to insult people<<

    Ummmm…..if there is no need to insult people, why did you need to insult me in post #17? Had I insulted you before you made that "shut up" comment? No. I disagreed with your opinion. You responded with childish insults like "shut up", and "internet dick".

    If you want me to treat you with respect, than treat me with respect.

  • 35 Michael Schwartz // Apr 7, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Guys, once a basketball argument devolves into an argument of reading comprehension and sentence structure, it’s time to just agree to disagree I would say. At this point not much point arguing over Vince anyway being that his Phoenix Suns career now has a shelf life of four games.

  • 36 Larry // Apr 7, 2011 at 4:11 am

    It’s possible they could bring him back under a mid-level contract.

  • 37 Phil // Apr 7, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Can’t believe I missed another Carter debate. For my two cents worth, I am counting down the 4 games until Carter is an ex Sun. Stats tell you something, VC’s own words tell you something else, which is that he is a quitter (larry, he admitted that he quit his way out of Toronto) and he’s the ultimate me first athlete.

    There is zero chance he comes back on a mid level….

  • 38 Michael Schwartz // Apr 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Yeah, I can’t imagine him being back in any scenario. It seems like a youth movement is upon this, and he obviously doesn’t fit into that.

  • 39 Marley // Apr 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Some of you Nash-balls-sucker clearly don’t watch basketball.

    VC biggest career mistake was playing for the TORONTO RAPTORS for the first 7 years of his career. Those are the prime years of your career!

    That is what you call a bad luck of the draw. VC got drafted into the worst possible situation for any superstar NBA player.

    Then he stayed there for 7 years! How many NBA superstars would have stayed that long? T-MAC bolted as soon as he could!

    There was no doubt pressures from the NBA for VC to stay in Toronto, otherwise the NBA experiment in Canada would have failed. VC stayed. That was SACRIFICE.

    By the time VC joined the NJ Nets, he was dealing with major leg/knee/ankle injuries from doing too much to carry the team in Toronto. But the Nets were able to put together 2 good runs as a team before J.Kidd realize they weren’t big enough to beat the better teams.

    Now, let’s think about this.

    What if the Toronto Raptors had drafted Dwayne Wade instead of Chris Bosh? Would Wade be who he is today if he stayed in Toronto as long as VC did?

    What about Kobe? Where would Kobe be if had not been drafted by the Lakers and had the luxury of playing beside a Shaq in his prime?

    Look at Paul Pierce. He was a nobody until KG and Ray Allen joined him.

    Allen Iverson? Where is he at right now?

    T-MAC? He had a good team in Houston and could not get out of the first round.

    In Orlando last year, the Magic had no answer for KG. Rashard Lewis went AWOL with his 3′s and Boston knew Dwight Howard was not that great of a post up offensive player.

    And you can’t try to compare a small guard player to power forward or center. Apples and oranges.

    So the point is this: the players we consider “great” today, like Kobe, Pierce, Wade, LeBron, etc …, all had better teams where they were focus of the offense.

    And let’s not forget this very small detail:

    The opposing team’s best defender is always the one guarding VC. That means somebody else on the Suns team will be able to step up.

    How good would Jared Dudley or Josh Childress be if they were defended every night by the opposing teams best defender?

  • 40 Marley // Apr 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

    The Phoenix Suns are stuck in a tough situation right now.

    They are not great, but they are also not BAD enough to land a new young rising superstar through the draft.

    If they unload Nash, VC, Hill, Gortat, and Frye, then next year or the year following, they will have a good chance if getting that #1 draft pick. Otherwise, the Sun’s only option to improvement is through trades.

    And right now, there is nobody really on the market that the suns can get that will get them to the championship.

    If the Suns want to win, there best option is to keep this team together for 2-3 years more, and add a tough gritty PF or center that will give them a more traditional offense.

  • 41 Sean // Apr 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Calm down, Larry.

    Marley stated he believed the current VC to be a top 5 player in the league when healthy. You then defended VC to others who disagreed with him. I merely asked you to give your opinion on whether you think he’s currently a top 5 player when healthy. I just read through all your posts above, and you haven’t given an opinion on that yet.

  • 42 Vanessa // Apr 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Wow! You guys had yourselves a nice little Vince debate going on. I know I’m way late to the party, but there was one thing I couldn’t let slip.

    Larry said, “>>And There are two F positions on the first team all-NBA team. Vince didn’t get either of the first two. He wasn’t even the SECOND best player at his own position in any given season, let alone top five in the whole league.<<

    LOL. You know that Vince is a guard right? Not a forward. Of course you don't. Dumbass."

    @Larry, Vince Carter is a SG for the Suns, maybe, but he wasn't for the Raptors. In his prime years when he was with the Raptors, his two All-NBA awards were at the forward position. Educate yourself before you insult people behind your big bad IP address.

    I won't take a stance on whether Vince is top 5 today or if he ever was, but I couldn't let you get by with blindly insulting someone when they weren't wrong.

  • 43 Larry // Apr 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    No. He didn’t admit to “quitting” on Toronto. You’re another person who didn’t actually see the interview yourself, and are just parroting what others have told you. He was asked if he always gave 100%, and he said that early in his career BEFORE he started having injuries (2001) he didn’t always work as hard as he could on his game because of his natural talent.

    He never said he “quit” on Toronto. You’re lying. If you personally think he quit on Toronto, fine. But don’t go around lying and said that he stated he “quit” on Toronto when he didn’t. Watch the interview yourself, which you obviously haven’t.

  • 44 Larry // Apr 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Sean:

    Obviously VC isn’t currently a top 5 player when healthy. By asking such a stupid question you are just trolling. He is at the tail end of his career. Many players are retired at 34 (I think Larry Bird was IIRC).

  • 45 Larry // Apr 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    >>@Larry, Vince Carter is a SG for the Suns, maybe, but he wasn’t for the Raptors. In his prime years when he was with the Raptors, his two All-NBA awards were at the forward position. Educate yourself before you insult people behind your big bad IP address.<<

    No. I live in Toronto, and have wathced all but a handful of Raptors games they've ever played. That's how I became a VC fan in the first place. Most games for the Raptors he was listed as the starting SG. Occassionally they would list him as the starting SF (like in Mo Pete's rookie season), but for the most part he was SG.

    Besides, I never said he was ever a top 2 player. I said he was a top 5 player with a top 2 PER.

  • 46 Vanessa // Apr 7, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Wow, you’re pretty incredible. If I may, let me offer you a tip on human interaction and relationships:

    When you’re wrong, acknowledge it and accept what is truly right. Arguing your point further won’t make you right. It just means you want to stay wrong rather than deciding to be right.

    Vince Carter has received recognition multiple times from the NBA as being a forward. I present this fact to you, yet you still argue your point, thinking you know better. (Paraphrasing) “Vince isn’t a forward! I don’t care that he’s been nominated to the all-NBA team twice as a forward. He’s NOT a forward (except in certain instances like Mo Pete’s rookie season).”

    Here are some other instances in which Vince was recognized as a forward or guard/forward.

    He was listed as a G/F for the Olympic team in 2000.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nba/news/story?id=5178158 (article title references Magic forward)
    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/player/vince-carter/71483 (listed as guard-forward)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vince_Carter (very first paragraph, he’s a shooting guard who can also play small forward)
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=1948449 (look at Vince’s profile, he’s listed as a forward for Toronto. Btw, this article is an interesting read, and it’s fun to read into what people really meant when they talked about Vince leaving)

    I don’t think I need to continue. My point is this:

    I presented you with a fact that Vince has received recognition from the NBA on multiple occasions as a forward, and you shouldn’t have called someone a “dumbass” earlier for saying Vince was a forward. Your response was to argue back. The correct, ethical, and courteous response would have been to apologize for your oversight and move on. When you are wrong, as you are in this case, it will never make you right to argue your point until your face is blue.

    You, sir, need to learn some manners and learn how to argue. And might I add one last thing? For a Canadian, you’re really quite rude.

  • 47 Phil // Apr 8, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Larry, it s ridiculous to even debate whether Vince quit on Toronto. We can argue about the meaning of his reply all day (and yes I have seen the interview) but the 2004-5 stats tell the story – his PPG, shooting percentages, rebounding and virtually ever other stat were career lows (usually by a wide margins) in Toronto and suddenly jumped to career highs or very near them in NJ.

    He is a quitter. He has always been a me first athlete. He is paid like a superstar and isn’t one. 4 games to go before he is an ex Sun

  • 48 Jeffrey // Apr 8, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Some folks still don’t get it!

    Calling VC a quiter on the TORONTO RAPTORS?

    VC sacrificed his career by staying in the worst possible situation for any NBA superstar for SEVEN years.

    Do you even know how many superstars went through the Toronto Raptors system? Do you know how great the Toronto Raptors would be if all those superstars had stayed with Toronto? VC was the only superstar who took the time to stay and help make the NBA work in Canada.

    That is SACRIFICE.

    If you were VC and had major injuries to deal with while playing for the Toronto Raptors, what would you have done the last 2 years there? Injure yourself more for a last place team that nobody else wants to play for or cares for?

    I would have done the same thing as VC in Toronto. Preserve my body for a trade to a better AMERICAN team. That is where championships will be. That is where the money will be. That is where the recognition and prestige will be. That is where history will be remembered.

    They love VC in NJ. In Orlando, it’s Dwight Howard’s team. No wing player unless they are a great shooter does well in Orlando’s offence. Even Gortat played like poop in Orlando.

    If only VC had been on a team like the Lakers. Like Shaq said, VC is the one player he would have loved to play with and helped. Instead, Shaq had to play with an ungrateful Kobe.

  • 49 Larry // Apr 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    >>When you’re wrong, acknowledge it and accept what is truly right. Arguing your point further won’t make you right.<<

    Why don't you heed your own advice, "Vanessa". Arguing further doesn't make YOU any more right either.

  • 50 Larry // Apr 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    >>Larry, it s ridiculous to even debate whether Vince quit on Toronto. We can argue about the meaning of his reply all day (and yes I have seen the interview)<<

    If you have seen the interview, than you are lying. You suggested that he himself said that he "quit" on the Raptors. That is a lie (assuming you are talking about the interview with John Thompson). He said nothing of the sort. He wasn't even asked if he "quit" on Toronto.

    I wasn't arguing whether YOU thought he was a quitter, because the answer if obvious. I said that you were lying when you suggested that HE said he quit.

    READING COMPREHENSION.

  • 51 Larry // Apr 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    >>Can’t believe I missed another Carter debate. For my two cents worth, I am counting down the 4 games until Carter is an ex Sun. Stats tell you something, VC’s own words tell you something else, which is that he is a quitter (larry, he admitted that he quit his way out of Toronto) and he’s the ultimate me first athlete.<<

    If Vince Carter admitted to "quitting" his way out of Toronto, give me a link to this interview. If you can't find a link, give me an exact quote. He doesn't even have to have used the word "quit", he can have even used a synonym.

    I think you're lying. This is what John Thompson himself said on the matter:

    "John Thompson, the current TNT analyst and the former Georgetown basketball coach who conducted the interview, said he felt people misinterpreted Carter’s words.

    “That boy never said to me, ‘Coach, I just laid down and quit,’ ” Thompson said in a telephone interview last week.

    “I was embarrassed and felt awful about it for his sake, because I knew what he was communicating to me. I think he was more expressing a desire of wanting to do better, as we all do.”"

  • 52 Larry // Apr 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    >>I presented you with a fact that Vince has received recognition from the NBA on multiple occasions as a forward, and you shouldn’t have called someone a “dumbass” earlier for saying Vince was a forward.<<

    I didn't call them a dumbass for saying Vince was a forward. I called them a dumbass for talking about my lack of respect, when they showed me no respect to begin with. I treat people how they treat me. Treat me with respect, I will treat you with respect. Tell me to "shut up" because I disagree with your opinion, and I won't show you any respect.

  • 53 joe // Apr 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Larry, you’re a straight up liar if you say you’ll respect people who show you respect. Your first words in this thread were LAUGH OUT LOUD. Your first response yo Steve was to tell him he would be unreasonable before he even responded to you. How are either of those respectful things to do?

    You need to grow up and learn to be a man. Are you really that blind that you don’t see how much of a douche you are? If not, at least own that you can’t admit when you’re wrong. You didn’t call Steve a dumbass because he disrespected you. You called him a dumbass because you’re a dumbass who thinks it’s cool to talk big from behind your computer screen.

    My input on this whole mess: Vince has been nominated to the all star team several times as a forward, but he is also a guard. If he is a guard and a forward, that means there are four spots he could fill on the all NBA team. If he wasn’t first or second best at either guard or forward in Amy given season according to people whose votes actually count, then there were at LEAST four players better than him in every season, and that’s leaving out all centers. I hate to say it, but if anyone’s argument is without support, it’s Larry’s.

    The all NBA team is THE mark for the best players in the NBA. If Carter couldn’t fill one of four spots in any given year, it’s a pretty fair assumption he was never top 5 overall. I realize you’re a Vince fan, and maybe that’s blinding you, but you gotta let this one go and stop pretending you’re a noble dude who would never strike first with insults. You have no compelling argument, and it’s obvious it’s just your preexisting opinion that Vince is awesome that’s driving this. The only compelling argument you have made was his #2 PER in 02. But then you said he was top 5 in 06, but his PER wasn’t even close to top. 5 that year, if I remember correctly. Just admit that your argument in Vince’s favor as a top 5 player is straight opinion, nothing more.

  • 54 joe // Apr 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Oh, and no one ever told you to shut up. Someone made a good point that Vince had never been first team and said he doubted even that point would shut up the vc fans. Clearly he was right. The truest measure we have for the NBA’s top talent isn’t enough to change your opinion and get you to stop hurling insults and disrespect. No one told you to shut up until now. Shut up, Larry. You have no argument.

  • 55 Larry // Apr 8, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    >>You didn’t call Steve a dumbass because he disrespected you. You called him a dumbass because you’re a dumbass who thinks it’s cool to talk big from behind your computer screen.<<

    So now we've got "joe" chiming in from the peanut gallery. I'm sure you've heard this before "joe", but you're the answer to the question no one asked.

  • 56 Larry // Apr 8, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    >>The only compelling argument you have made was his #2 PER in 02.<>But then you said he was top 5 in 06, but his PER wasn’t even close to top. 5 that year, if I remember correctly.<>Oh, and no one ever told you to shut up.<<

    If by "no one" you mean Steve. Why are you standing up for Steve anyways? My only explanation is that you are Steve.

    Now shut up yourself joe/Steve, or whatever the fuck your name is. I didn't disrespect you or even address you once in the entire thread, and you go telling me to "shut up" in post 54. Why don't you heed your own advice. Nobody asked you anyways.

  • 57 Larry // Apr 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    >>Someone made a good point that Vince had never been first team and said he doubted even that point would shut up the vc fans.<<

    And clearly I was right when I said the non-VC fans wouldn't shut up. What's your point?

  • 58 Larry // Apr 8, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    >>you’re a dumbass who thinks it’s cool to talk big from behind your computer screen.<<

    You calling me a dumbass who thinks it's cool to talk big from behind my computer screen. And then you go telling me to "shut up" even though I hadn't insulted you or even addressed you in this thread once prior to that (post #54).

    Do you not realize how stupid you come across when you do crap like that? Of course you don't. Why am I asking.

  • 59 Steve // Apr 9, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Don’t feed the troll, people!

  • 60 Larry // Apr 9, 2011 at 2:11 am

    LOL. I thought you were done with this thread “Steve”. Or was that just another lie? The least you could have done was used a different name so some idiots wouldn’t think it was you anymore. You’ve already used about 4 names in this thread as it is. Oops. Your bad.

    If anyone tis the troll, tis you. Retard.

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