Toronto Raptors 99, Phoenix Suns 96 — Road trip hangover


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTnZBAcw-S8]

PHOENIX — Much has changed about the Phoenix Suns since Steve Nash signed as a free agent before the 2004-05 season yet one constant had remained: the Suns always beat the Toronto Raptors.

Not anymore.

The Suns’ longest active winning streak over a single opponent was snapped Tuesday night in Toronto’s 99-96 victory after the Suns had beaten the Raptors 14 consecutive times. In so doing Toronto (5-13) also waived goodbye to a current eight-game losing streak.

Phoenix losing to a bad team at home has now become more the rule than the exception as the Suns have dropped games to 5-13 New Jersey and 6-10 Cleveland as well as a New Orleans team that has lost 14 of 16 since winning in the Valley on opening night.

“Disappointing, very disappointing,” Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said to open his postgame remarks.

It’s never OK to lose to a struggling team on a long road trip, but it’s understandable that the Suns were just tuckered out from their own five-game road trip that concluded last night in Dallas and saw them arrive in Phoenix in the middle of the night.

The Suns actually got off to a great start, opening the game by hitting 13-of-24 while limiting Toronto to 9-of-24 to spurt out to a 35-21 lead three minutes into the second quarter.

But the Suns shot just 44.8 percent the rest of the way and were outscored 62-44 in the middle two quarters before a late run fell short.

Gentry applauded the Suns’ energy in the first quarter but said the Suns didn’t play with the same defensive intensity in the second.

“We almost got into a situation where we were trading baskets, which is not a good thing,” Gentry said. “Then we struggled to score.”

Andrea Bargnani did not, however. Bargnani, who missed the previous six Toronto losses with a calf injury, exploded for 27 of his game-high 36 points in the second half and nearly outscored the Suns in the third quarter alone, losing it 19-18.

The Italian sharpshooter drilled 4-of-5 threes during his second half onslaught, which opened up driving lanes for him. Once he started scoring like that, the Raptors transformed into a different team.

“We gave him a little too much spacing,” Gentry said of the player largely defended by Markieff Morris. “We didn’t get in on the screen and rolls and show hard enough and get out quite quick enough. The guy is a hell of a player.”

Added Nash, “He was just too much for us.”

The Suns still had their chances on a couple of different occasions late in the fourth. They cut the lead to four with 5:13 left, but a Grant Hill missed layup and a Marcin Gortat missed seven-footer prevented the Suns from getting any closer at that point.

After the lead ballooned to nine, the Suns sliced it down to two on a Jared Dudley steal and dunk, his first of the season. But after Bargnani drilled a pair of free throws, Nash missed a driving layup that would have continued the foul game and thus their fate was sealed.

Statistically it was more of the same for Phoenix. Nash (17 points, 14 assists, seven boards but six turnovers) and Gortat (21 points, 12 boards) once again put up gaudy numbers, and this time they were joined by Hakim Warrick (17 points on 6-for-9).  On the flip side, Channing Frye and Dudley combined to shoot 3-for-14 off the pine.

Gentry refused to feel defeated after yet another bad home less, instead offering up this proclamation.

“We’ve got to continue to work, we’ve got to continue to be united, and we’ve got to continue to try to get better,” he said. “That’s the only thing as a coach that I know how to do. There’s nobody that’s going to quit, we’re not going to let anybody quit, and we’ll continue to try to figure it out, and we’ll continue to try to turn our season around.

“No one’s going to throw in the towel, I know that. I’m not going to allow that from a player standpoint or coaching standpoint. We’re going to continue to try to get better and execute a little bit better.”

In a clearly frustrated Suns locker room, Nash was the only player to speak to reporters and he succinctly summed up Phoenix’s next step.

“We just don’t have the talent to go out there and win games,” Two Time said. “We’ve got to find a little bit something extra, we’ve got to find a little magic in our chemistry and our cohesion, and we haven’t found it yet. It’s tough, we aren’t practicing so we’ve got to really concentrate on games and in film sessions to try to find that little extra.”

Thus far the whole is adding up to the sum of its parts and nothing more for a Suns team that lost despite holding the lowly Raptors to 41.5 percent shooting from the field and yielding only 11 offensive boards.

It’s the kind of gut punch loss that could portend a season that gets ugly in a hurry with Phoenix facing three straight West playoff teams before hitting the road for seven of nine, yet that’s not the way Nash chooses to see it.

“You’ve got a choice to be optimistic or pessimistic every day, and I’m going to try to be as optimistic as I can,” he said.

Games like this are not making it easy for Nash to maintain that point of view.

Suns won’t extend Lopez

Lon Babby confirmed to former ValleyoftheSuns reporter Tyler Lockman that Robin Lopez will not receive a contract extension by Wednesday’s deadline, thus making him a free agent at the end of the year.

The Suns will be able to extend Lopez a $4,001,917 qualifying offer after the season that would make him a restricted free agent.

“I wouldn’t read anymore into it than there’s a deadline and the deadline’s going to pass,” Babby told Lockman. “And we’ve agreed to put this off to another day.”

Lopez was not exactly playing for a contract on Tuesday night as he was ejected just 3:46 into his evening after making contact with an official. Lopez was incensed about a no-call at the offensive end and then ran down and committed a bad open court foul at the other end before earning the ejection.

“I don’t know, and I don’t really give a s–t to tell you the truth,” Gentry said when asked about the ejection. “You’d have to talk to him about that.”

And 1

The Polish Hammer produced his ninth straight double-double, extending the league’s longest active streak and the longest by a Sun since Shawn Marion during the 2005-06 campaign. Gortat has also boarded 12 or more caroms in six straight, the longest streak since Marion that same season. Not surprisingly, Gortat has led the Suns in rebounding for the ninth straight game which is — say it together — the longest Suns streak since Marion did so 16 consecutive times in 2006. … Nash recorded his NBA-leading third game with 14 or more dimes. His 17-14-7 line has only been done twice this year (Rose and Rondo).

  • BoomShakaLuka

    Nobody should be surprised that the Suns lost this game. They keep claiming they have “improved” defensively, but it’s all smoke and mirrors. The guys just don’t buy in from game to game consistently. They don’t close out on shooters well, and still let guys get into the paint.

    Gentry is content running small ball. Yet his team doesn’t have a coherent pick and roll threat, and lacks consistent outside shooting. They have no athleticism.

    People want to claim that Nash has found that pick and roll with Gortat. Let’s keep in mind that Nash can make anybody look good. Gortat shouldn’t even be worrying about being a scorer on this team. He’s supposed to be a defender and rebounder and give you putbacks around the rim. I appreciate his effort, but the Suns badly need a prototypical 4 who has good hands and can finish attacking the rim time and again.

    Then the cherry on the $hit sundae is this team doesn’t rebound well. Guys like: Frye, Warrick, and Lopez are totally worthless. None of them know how to box out, and routinely get manhandled.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/True_Rys Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    “Gortat shouldn’t even be worrying about being a scorer on this team. He’s supposed to be a defender and rebounder and give you putbacks around the rim.”

    WHAT

    Gortat’s averaging 15.5 / 10 / 1.7 blocks per game. He does everything you say he should – nevermind.

    Again, not enough offense. Same thing.

    Gortat and Nash beast the other team, and nobody else helps out minus Warrick, who always seems to put points on the board for the 1 game out of 3 that Gentry puts him in there.

    Frye: 1-7
    JMZ: 2-7
    Telfair: 1-6

    3 point shooting: 5-15

    Gortat leads in rebounding again. Second best? Steve Nash with 7 WHAT?!?

    Nash and Gortat are going to ball. Warrick is going to score when given playing time. Outside of that, eh.

  • Kenton

    I understand that it’s WAY too early to start talking about it, but I’m just going to mention it anyway:

    Supposedly this upcoming draft is going to be one of the best in recent memory. Personally, I don’t follow college ball; but I heard it on good authority (aka; my friend who watches more college ball than me) that there’s a lot of young talent coming up.

    I don’t expect the Suns to be in the same realm as the Wizards by seasons-end, but hopefully we’ll break out of that purgatorial middle-class bubble this year; if not in a winning direction, than at least in a way that could give us some future talent.

    …that is if the Suns don’t trade away developing young players.

    Again; a little early for this nonsense, admittedly, but nonetheless…

  • Jerke

    I don’t get what makes this team so much worse than the 05-06 Suns? Gortat is an upgrade in the middle – Channing frye=Tim Thomas, Grant hill, Jmz, childress, lopez, redd should be = to eddie house or better… W Nash and Gortat this roster shouldn’t be this bad but it like everyone else decided to step off a cliff and not show up for the season. Hill is checked in mentally and slowly coming around offensively – but all these role players that worked last yr seemed to have decided to disappear. I just don’t see side by side how this current roster shouldnt be an upgrade over o5-o6 or at least even.

    If the Suns lose these next 3 I think they have to mercy kill the season and make an early deal for Nash and Hill before its gets close to the deadline and the Suns are over the barrell.

  • steve

    Gortat is most definitely doing his job. No one should be complaining about any facet of his game. He’s playing like an all-star. The rest of the team outside of Nash and Gortat just doesn’t seem to have any passion, desire, heart, or most importantly, SMARTS. SMART basketball players can make up for their deficient skills. We don’t have those types of players on this team. It just looks like a bunch of guys out there for the sole purpose of either collecting checks or looking like a chicken with their head cut off.

  • Scott

    My impression from the game is that when the Suns got off to a big lead in the beginning they loosened up on the defense, and once that happened, the Raptors started scoring and got a whiff of confidence at the same time the Suns started missing their shots.

    The Suns still have not remotely solved their lack of aggression at the basket issue. Yes, the Suns are hacking opposing teams, but they’re just dishing it out, they’re not taking it. The Raptors scored 10 more points at the FT line, which was basically the game.

    As for Robin, maybe he needs to soften his look a bit, like Warrick did. I think he might be scaring the referees.

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    If some of those great Suns teams of the past 40 years had had Gortat at center, the Suns might have 4 championships by now. That is how important Gortat is to the Suns and their future.

    It is time to start the rebuilding process around Gortat and Morris. Bring it on.

  • Marley

    PUAHAHAHA… face it, if your team can’t even beat the Toronto Raptors then your team just simply SUCKS!

    And @steve: No, I’m no mother-canucker! LOL

    It’s time for the Steve Nash era to end!

    It’s time to fire Alvin Gentry.

    Just play for the lottery and the #1 pick.

    And for goodness sakes, stop using Grant Hill as an excuse to signing old players looking to rejuvenate their careers! LOL

  • Grover

    Love the quote from Nash about his team just not having the talent. Very honest assessment.

    Other than Nash and Gortat, there isn’t a single player on this team that would start for more than a handful of NBA teams – maybe none of the teams that made the playoffs. Even Nash and Gortat aren’t All Stars.

    Time to give up on playoffs and start focussing on developing our young players. Oh wait, we only have one.

    This team is costing me a ton of money. I have season tickets and count on being able to sell a number of the games in order to afford to go to the ones I keep. This year I’m having a hell of a time selling tickets, and most of them I do sell are selling at a loss. Add to that the short season took out some good games I was always able to sell to subsidize the bad games and I’m taking it in the shorts.

  • Zak

    Well, if the Suns continue to play at this level for the rest of the season, the odds are good that they will wind up with a top 10 draft pick, one that will be hard to screw up since the draft will be a deep one.

    And the odds are also good this may be Gentry’s last year. I’m not saying that the poor performance of the team this year is his fault but coaches almost always seem to get the axe when a team goes downhill. Who knows though. Sometimes a coaching change can change the attitudes of the players if that’s part of the problem.

  • Scott

    BTW, Hill has been playing very well lately. It looks like he’s found his legs and his shot. :)

    Hopefully Redd will round into shape in the next week or two.

  • http://jtshoopsblog.blogspot.com JT’s Hoops Blog

    Wait!! the Suns losing to a bad team? Have you seen the Suns lately? I take exception to that remark especially considering the Raptors has played far better defense than Suns ever could. The Suns are also just a game or so ahead of the raptors–so they are nort that much better than Toronto. they were just fortunate to face two struggling teams on the road and win those games.

  • shazam

    every time the suns win they really lose…the draft is never a guarantee but at least there is a shot…there is NO shot w/status quo,or waiting for free agents..the good free agents want to play for a dazzle team ….trade nash,hill,lopez and chidress for a pez dispenser if that is all you can get…im the biggest suns fan ever and my slogan this year is LOSE LOSE LOSE

  • Zak

    Talking trades is fine but you HAVE to make trades for roughly equal contract value. Nash, Hill and Lopez will all be free agents at the end of the season so even if you do want to tank the season it only make sense to trade them away IF you can find other players with roughly the same $ value contracts AND will also be FAs at the end of the season. Otherwise your stuck with even more bad contracts for multiple seasons which won’t help at all in the rebuilding process. The rumor on the ESPN site is that Lopez isn’t going to be offered a contract extension. Nash and Hill will be free to do whatever they want at the end of the season and Childress will most likely be amnestied. Lopez is probably gone. Hill may very well retire. I have no idea what Nash’s plans are.

    As it stands now, the Suns aren’t even a mediocre team. I expect them to finish with the 4th – 10th worst record in the NBA. If they do make any trades, it shouldn’t be to try and tank the team just to get a better shot at winning the lottery, it should be to try and pick up more lottery picks. This year even low first round and high 2nd round picks could be valuable.

  • shazam

    you dont HAVE to get good value in return zak….the value comes from more loses…we would never have won the games in ny and boston if we had gotten rid of nash when i first said to…i want a shot at a first pick bro…not just a 4-10th maybe pick….dont set your sites so low….LOSE SUNS LOSE thats the new mantra…have you seen what a pez dispenser sells for on e-bay lately? couple hundred dollars

  • Zak

    Interesting facts. At the end of this season the only Suns players that WON’T be free agents are Gortat, Dudley, Frye, Warrick, Morris, Childress and Telfair (and I don’t think the 2nd year of Telfair’s contract is guaranteed). That leaves a LOT of room for the Suns to make major changes next year. Childress will likely be amnestied during the off season and Telfair will likely be waived unless he shows great improvement during this year so that leaves only FIVE players under contract for the Suns next season.

    Gortat is a definite keeper. Morris shows all the signs of at least becoming a great backup at PF if not a solid starter. Dudley, Frye and Warrick are at worst all solid backups. Morris and Dudley should stay but if Phoenix can find a trade for Frye or Warrick that would at least bring them a high 2nd round draft pick it would be worth it. The free agent market is pretty sparse next year once you get past D-Will and Howard (which the Suns have virtually no chance of signing) so perhaps the best thing to do this year is try to make trades with an eye to acquiring draft picks and hope for the best with a lot of young, hungry players next year.

  • steve

    @Grover – I wouldn’t be shocked if Gortat actually does make the all-star team this year. He certainly deserves it. But I get your point.

    My fear is that since the greatness of Gortat is overlooked even by his own fan base, the voters won’t acknowledge what he’s actually accomplishing.

    @Marley – That explains the infantile behavior.

  • Zak

    @ shazam – I said nothing about getting “good” value in return. I was speaking only in terms of DOLLAR value of contracts. Steve’s contract is worth almost $12 mil this season. He will also be a free agent at the end of this season. To trade him anywhere for anyone, the Suns would have to take back around $12 mil in other contracts. If that could be done for another player or other players – especially lesser players – who have LONGER contracts, that would only hurt the Suns next year and maybe for many years to come if those players proved to be difficult or impossible to trade later. If you want to build a good team for the future, you don’t take on multi-year bad contracts now just to tank this season to get ONE high draft pick.

    What you propose can be done but I’m just saying that it’s not quite as easy as you seem to think it is. Sure there a plenty of teams that would love to trade the Suns multiple players that they would love to get rid of but if they have 3-4 year contracts that would weight down the Suns for years to come it makes more sense to NOT do it just to get ONE high draft pick this year.

  • Zak

    Just look at Hollinger’s stats for NBA centers on the ESPN website. Gortat ranks 4th in the entire NBA and FIRST in the West. If he keeps playing at this level, it would be a travesty if he didn’t make the All-Star team this year!

  • Elviro (Italy)

    A few days ago I asked you what you liked Italian player for the Suns: I think the “Magician” Bargnani must have seen your preferences for Gallinari … it will be very angry and threw in 36 points …
    Still convinced of your choice?

    Ps: we are really in bad shape … but Colangelo in Toronto is building something good! In Phoenix the other hand is total chaos: we are in limbo and need to make choices too difficult! One can not hope to reach the play-offs with existing players turtle! The other teams run! In Italy we say: “You can not have the bottle full and his wife drunk”!
    I hope you choose or lottery or some good clutch player instead of some useless (but who takes them?).
    The season is short … thankfully!

  • GoSuns

    Gortat deserves to make the all-star team this year the only other center in the west that is on his level is Bynum and he might not even be in the west before the trade dealine and all star weekend

  • shazam

    @ elviro my wife is ALWAYS drunk

  • Jerke

    Trade that works both ways – Steve Nash to Portland for Raymond Felton and Nolan Smith. Portland gets the perfect point guard for their uptempo system (plus they have the defensive coverage to help Nash out) and could make a legitimate championship run – and are no worse off having Nash just for rest of year as they would be w/o a starting point come July anyways.

    For Phoenix – Felton is on the last year of his contract as well so would be off the Suns books at the end of the year, but would be motivated to play strong rest of year to justify a new contract. Nolan Smith could be decent and has 4 yrs left but only at 1.3 per, so no biggie to keep him or buy him out. Either way Suns get a free look a Felton who could be half decent and they still clear cap space at the end of the year.

    Other option would be send Nash to Lakers for Odom trade exception. This would have to make Lakers favourites (best shooter in game, would be awesome playing off of kobe, Laker offence would recieve best upgrade since showtime era – and Nash would be able to distribute the ball to keep everyone happy. Kobe would be able to rest more, and the Lakers could take one more legitimate punch at the Championship before Nash comes off their books and they move Pau etc.. along w all the other deadweight off their books. Suns get a trade exception on their roster that they can flip for other assests and can let the season play out and take the high draft pick/s

    Anyone who bitches about trading players to the Lakers etc… needs to stop. Reality is Suns won’t compete this year – in that case who gives a damn who they do business. At this point, better to get worse fast then rebuild quick.

    Two notes – Gentry isn’t responsible for this mess, this one is on the players and management at this point. Nash, Gortat, and Hill are the only ones that have shown up this season. The rest of the roster is undertalented as Nash stated and for some reason they were just able to hide that fact for the last two yrs.

    Also – to the person that said Coangelo is building something great in Toronto – this is his 6th yr and the teams have been horrible everyyear. Bargini is a legitimate talent as is Calderone, but these Raps teams have been brutal. Coangelo is on his way out soon. He’s had support of owerniship in Tdot and they’re willing to spend money but he’s made brutal moves north of the border. I’m canadian s we’re stuck w Raptors coverga constantly which drives me nuts – trust me – Phoenix wouldn’t be that much better if he had stayed.

  • Jerke

    there would be other deals that can be made – but all the Suns players on 1 yr contracts this year such as Hill etc… have no-trade clauses and need to give permission. A couple are base year players like dudley so hence same idea. Trade machine on espn doesn’t allow those trades to be considered for those reasons.

    Suns could package Nash and Hill to NewYork for Mello and could prob get Shumpert or landry fields thrown in as well. Suns get a legit go to star that can score and at least keep things interesting – and let go Gentry (though thru no fault of his own) and move more to a traditional iso offence and build around Gortat and Anthony.

    Newyork would be a legit threat w two all defensive team starters in chandler/hill – awesome pick and roll with both chandler and amare, w Nash and BoomDizzle they would work just as well as Chris Paul and Billups in Clippers.

  • Tony

    So, Kevin Love is officially out of the running to be signed by the Suns since he signed an extension today. In addition, Gallinari also was signed to an extension. So, between Love, Gallo, and Westbrook, none of the top 3 restricted free agents will not be playing for the Suns next season. So Sarver, what’s plan B?? Maybe you’ll have some luck recruiting Howard and Williams, right? (Sarcasm…)

    To the dummies who still believe in this so-called rebuilding phase, what are the Suns rebuilding for? As I predicted, the Suns are not signing any top-tier free agents next season. As such, Sarver will have a ton of cap space, with nobody to spend it on. However, I’m sure he’ll screw up again and overpay some role players.

    Who are the idiots who disagree that Sarver is currently in the top 3 worst owners in the NBA?

  • steve

    Do you not realize there are 29 teams that won’t sig Howard? There are 29 teams that won’t land Williams either, which leaves at least 28 teams that won’t end up with a big FA signing in the offseason. That was a simple prediction, and even easier than extending Nash. Looks like the Suns aren’t going to be the only ones without a big fish on the line in the offseason. Your blind, irrational hatred never ceases to amaze me though.

  • Scott

    Babby has said that he’s had discussions with Lopez’s agent about extending him, and what it sounds like is there is no agreement on what Lopez is worth.

    For that reason, the agent wants to put Lopez on the market as a FA. It’s price exploration. And it’s almost certain, I think, that some team in desperate need of size will overpay for Lopez. Probably it won’t be Rashard Lewis money, but it might be Darko money ($5 million) or Frye money ($6 million), which would be as much as a doubling of what he makes now.

    I’m concerned the Suns are either going to lose Lopez for nothing, or be forced to overpay to keep him. IMO, either Lopez should have been brought into heavier play on offense, or he should have been traded (or extended and traded).

    And I hope they don’t do another Dragic type trade with Robin. How you follow up the Hedo trade with the Dragic trade makes me think either someone got really lucky with the Hedo trade, or the Dragic trade was done by someone else.

    As for Childress, I know people assume he’ll get amnesty. But the Suns are in a weird spot. I think that if Hill does not return, Childress might stay on the roster.

    Keep in mind that the Suns still pay Childress if they use the amnesty, so there are only 3 reasons to drop him from the roster: 1) if they need more cap space for signings, 2) if they need an extra space on the active roster, and 3) if Childress becomes unwelcome in the locker room.

  • Scott

    BTW, if the Suns had kept Dragic and actually given him a second unit with a chance at success, according to PER ratings he’d be the 4th best player on the Suns (behind Gortat, Nash, and Warrick).

    Right now, the Suns players after Warrick have sub par PER, running from 12.9 (Morris) to 5.0 (Redd). That would correspond to what Nash called “a lack of talent,” as average PER is 15.

  • Tony

    Steve,

    28 other NBA teams are not in the same pathetic predicament the Suns are in because of your lover boy Sarver. 28 other teams did not pledge to Suns fans that they were keeping costs low now so that next free agency period the Suns would land top free agents! Almost every other team has at least one young franchise player to build around as well. Who do the Suns have? Gortat? Sure, he’s a very solid player, but how much of his production has been dependent on Nash spoon-feeding him versus creating his own offense? Add to that, he’s also 28 years old. He’s already in his prime so by the time the Suns do rebuild into a competitive team, which won’t be for many years, Gortat will most likely be past his prime. No offense Steve, but for someone who thinks they are so intelligent, you really are dense. Is it that difficult for you to recognize that the Suns have two legitimate starters in Nash and Gortat and the rest are role players? As such, if Nash does not resign next season, that will mean Sarver will need to sign and/or draft at least three starting caliber players, starting with a pg, a sg, and a sf at least. Considering they are likely to land a top 8 pick this draft and that most of the best players going to the draft are bigs, they should be set at pf.

    It’s okay though Steve, I guess sometimes ignorance is bliss.

  • shazam

    steve and suns also rises are the same person…being a lone jerk just isnt enough for that ass pipe

  • steve

    first, my substitution and correction on my phone isnt working on this dite right now, so there aee going to be lots of typos. second, i dont grt why you think i love sarver. i dont know of onr positive thing ive said about him other tham pointing out the fact that the suns have been more succesful than ever under his watch (regardless of whether or not it wad a gifr from the colangelos). i dont like him. problem is, i like you and pathetic ramblong much less.

  • steve

    all i ask is that you two (or onr, who knows) idiots stop postig nonsense about the one man who has very little to do with what you constantly piss and moan about. man up and be a real fan. quit bragging about how cutting suppoort for the team is goimg to start a revolution and force new (and presumably better) managment to take over. stop peetending as if th suns front office is worst in the business or evem near it when you cpuldnt name me 10 other owners, gms, or pbos in the league and five different trades and fa signings they have been involved in in the past four seasons (and thsts only scratching the sueface for transactions in less than half a decade for just a third of the league). stop pissing and moaning about something that isnt in your power whatsoever to chamge and just be happy with the fact that we habe a team to call our own (we cpuld be seattle). just stop being such a b!tch. if yoy wouldnt come on here whining after every loss, i would be happy to talj with you intelligently. you simply cant be reasonable about this because youre blinded by your wrog presumptioms thst one single man has brought down a dynasty (and even if he has, where do you think b!tchinh on a blog is going to get you anyway?). you are a pest, plain and simple. just forget about trying to pin this on one man or even managment. the idiots who agree with you are already yelling the same thing. those of us who are able to think through this realize it has been a process with many sources of input thst has disassembled the team, and that even thoigh something bad has happened to the franchise, were stilm going to be fans becuase thats what fams do, and theres nothing ww can do about management and nothong we sbould do. if the cubs can sell out for 100 years witbout a title, why should we abandon ship just two years removed from the wcf? just please pleSe please try to be a reasonable human being and get your head out of your ass. anyone with a brain in your shoes would realize how big of a tool you are being by constantly posting the trash you do.

  • steve

    I know I’m insane for replying to you (if you haven’t proven to be reasonable yet, why should I expect it now?). Just please stop spewing this hate. you’re not a bigger fan for doing it, you’re consistently demeaning, and no one likes a negative Nancy, not even her mother. You just act like a baby over this stuff, and you know what’s coming every time you post this crap. please, just stop with the nonsensical blame game and start being a fan.

    VotS, feel free to remove my last comment if you want. I shouldn’t have wasted the words anyway.

  • Tony

    Steve,

    I feel like a broken record saying this again, but by defending Sarver and his decisions, you are indirectly supporting him. I don’t understand why you are not grasping that. I agree that in most situations, there’s two sides to every coin. But sometimes that’s just not the way it is. There’s no defense for the in-defensible. This is the case with Sarver. There’s no reasonable merit in arguing Sarver’s any better than a horrible owner.
    It’s just so obvious Steve! Today was another example of it. Prior to the start of this season, the language coming out of the Suns front office was that they didn’t want to commit to signing any free agents beyond one year so that they would have a ton of cap space to sign a max-contract player next off-season. They were using that argument as a justification for not improving the team’s roster for this season.
    Fast forward to now, who is going to be left in free agency that is a marquee player? Love is gone, Westbrook is gone, even Gallanari just signed an extension. It’s just foolish to believe Howard and/or Williams will sign with the Suns either. So who’s left for the Suns to build around? Gerald Wallace potentially?
    The worst part of this is that the Suns front office will bascially be boxed in a position where, since they won’t be able to sign a marquee player, they are forced to overpay a couple of decent players, thereby limiting the available cap space to land a star player in the near future. The alternative, if the front office doesn’t make any respectible free agent signings, will have the consequence of making the front office look even more incompetent in the eyes of NBA owners, players, and fans. This negative perception will only add to the Suns inability to attract top players via free agency.

  • shazam

    hehehehehe i dont waste my time reading a single word you type steve but it sure is funny seeing that you type so many…

  • shazam

    @ tony perfectly articulated…genius summation…nothing more needs to be said….next subject please

  • steve

    Only negatives all the time, it’s just pointless and stupid. And i wont argue about the good or bad calls by management with you not because it’s obvious, but simply because you have chosen not to see things in a reasonable light. You’re hopeless. Just please stop with the hate spam. It’s only hurting this community and this fanbase. And people like you give all of us a bad name and a bad taste in our mouths.

  • steve

    “next subject please” oh, I wish you were capable of moving on from that topic. alas, you cant fix stupid.

  • shazam

    bwahahahahha….steve aka sun also rises is typing again…so homo phobic that a simple political question has him typing war and peace…your over reaction is very anti gay and not good for this community or fan base…shame on you steve…our suns have a history of supporting the latino and the gay communities…do you or dont you support those communities..if asking that question is out of bounds then who really has the hate problem

  • Grover

    Can’t remember who said it, but disagree with Gortat being an All Star. I think he could one day get there, but not yet. Speaking of just the West, the other post alteady mentioned Bynum as being better, but Marc Gasol is also clearly better. Pau Gasol also is better though is listed as a PF, but he’s a better center as well IMHO. It’s not a stretch to say Jordan has as much or more potential – already better than Gortat defensively but not as good a scorer. David Lee has been injured this year and is only a C in a small ball / Stoudemire kind of way, but I think has to be at least considered Gortat’s peer if not better.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like Gortat and he’s clearly one of only a couple players on the roster the Suns could try to build around. I do think, however, many Suns fans are making the mistake of comparing him to the other Suns and not the league when judging his greatness. If Gortat is the best player on your team, your in deep trouble. He has some untapped potential still, but even though he’s already 26 he still plays “young” – prone to brain farts and doesn’t finish strong often enough. He’s obviously a keeper, but I had to vent… Get tired of his name thrown around this board like he’s a franchise cornerstone kind of player.

  • Tony

    Steve,

    I’m done with this Sarver-topic at this point. With that being said, when you speak of being reasonable and at the same time resort to calling those who disagree with your perspective “idiots,” “pests,” and “stupid,” you lose all credibility. Not only that, but you, Steve, hurt the Suns fan base by sheepishly supporting Sarver and instead of responding to our arguments against Sarver with reasonable rebuttal, you attempt to validate your opinions through insults. Very lame.

  • shazam

    perfectly stated tony…your eloquence isnt lost on the rest of us…genius

  • steve

    can you drop the shazam persona already? and why is he mentioning gay rights at all on a basketball blog? oh well. also tony, if you knew you were an idiot, i would hope you could change. thing is, you dont know it. dont be an idiot, and ill be able to be reasonable with you. i think every person in this community will agree that im perfectly reasonable with those who return the favor. Grover, Ill address your post in an hour or so. im sick of typing on this phone with no autocorrwxt or autosub.

  • Elviro (Italy)

    Trying to talk about free agent I think I understand that Gordon did not sign with NO … what do you think? It might be our goal to reach and, above all, useful for our Suns?

  • steve

    @Grover:

    Rather than assuming that certain players are better than others based on what we think (I’m not saying you are assuming, just leading into the fact that I’ll be using numbers to back up claims), let’s look at some numbers for this season:

    PPG/RPG/PER/WS48/TRB%/TS%

    A. 16.2/9.4/19.8/.181/14.0/.560
    B. 15.4/9.9/23.1/.189/17.9/.603
    C. 14.7/10.2/20.3/.195/15.6/.574
    D. 16.1/12.7/21.1/.169/20.8/.550

    Which is those centers is the best? I certainly can’t tell from that. Let’s look at their relative ranks in each category and add up the point total, lowest being best.

    A. 1/4/4/3/4/3 = 19
    B. 3/3/1/2/2/1 = 12
    C. 4/2/3/1/3/2 = 15
    D. 2/1/2/4/1/4 = 14

    By comparing them directly against each other, the picture becomes a little more clear, in my opinion. A is definitely trailing the others, and if I had to give the nod to anyone being the best, I think it has to go to player B (although they are all admittedly close).

    By taking away their names and our preconceived notions, I think we can more easily see who is playing best this year. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work out before I did it, but I had my suspicions. Can you guess which player is which?

    For the record, I’d take Pau over Marcin. Pau is obviously unhappy in LA and isn’t being fully utilized this year. I would LOVE a healthy Bynum, and it’d be a toss-up between healthy Bynum and Marcin. Marc Gasol? Meh. He’s good. He’s not an all-star, and I don’t think I’d take him over Marcin. He’s a well-rounded player (just like all of these centers), but he lacks an elite skill, in my opinion.

    You’re going to keep being tired of hearing Gortat’s name thrown around as if he’s a franchise cornerstone because he is that type of player already (not potentially, he is). He could easily be a #2 option on a great team (if by cornerstone you mean #1 option on a great team constantly contending for championships, then I agree that Marcin is not a cornerstone. I just don’t think “cornerstone” has to mean “Kobe Bryant” or “Tim Duncan”). Regardless of whether or not you’d take A, B, C, or D, though, they all belong in the conversation, and Marcin is one of them.

    So, who would you all take? I’d go with B.

  • Zak

    @ Elviro – Gordon will be a restricted free agent next season so NO will at least have a chance to match any other team’s offer and that would keep him in NO. He’s certainly a scorer but a little smallish for a SG (6′ 3″) and I really haven’t seen him play enough to know how his defense is… or isn’t. But it might be worth making an offer when the time comes even though I doubt NO will let him go.

  • GoSuns

    @ Grover iI dont think marc is clearly better, his offenseive game is more polished but hes also incinsistent, jordan is better defensively than every other western center maybe even bynum but that is also one phase of the game gortat is strong on def and off, and tony youre wrong abot gortat not being a cornerstone, he continues to develop his game and came into the league later than most american players so I would say hes just reaching his prime and has got a lotta career left in him

  • steve

    A. Pau B. Gortat C. Marc D. Bynum

  • http://info.nradio.ru/?p=391 Alla

    This is really fascinating, You’re an overly skilled blogger.