Phoenix Suns midseason player evaluations


As progress reports are sent home and students are evaluated, the Phoenix Suns are playing the part of the third-grader racing to the mailbox after school to hide the bad news from his parents.

Through 34 games of the 2011-12 season the Suns haven’t earned any Os for outstanding, and few Ss for satisfactory. As the Suns went into the All-Star break with a devastating loss to the Golden State Warriors that sent Alvin Gentry into a frenzy, their report card is lined with nothing but Ns — nearly every facet of their game needs improvement.

While I’ll dive into the good, the bad and the ugly from the first half of the season tonight, for now here’s a look at each individual player and how they’ve stacked up to preseason expectations halfway through the season:

Steve Nash: Overachieved

Will Nash ever succumb to Father Time? Nobody expected Nash to hit a wall and stop producing, but the two-time MVP is playing like it’s 2004 in a shortened season where only the young guns are supposed to survive.

Nash is once again leading the NBA in assists with 10.9 while shooting a career-best 54.5 percent from the field. In fact, the 38-year-old ranks seventh in the NBA in field goal percentage, 20 spots ahead of the next highest point guard, Chris Paul.

Nash is posting his highest PER since the 2006-07 season and is once again shooting 40.0 percent-plus from the land of plenty. It’s scary to think where the talentless Suns would be without their maestro. He’s continued to be the sun, the moon and the stars of the franchise, going for at least 20 and 10 five times this season and making a bad team show flashes of playoff basketball.

Captain Canada has given the Suns more than they could ever ask for through 34 games. But the question remains, will he remain in Phoenix past March 15? Check out Nash’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb6mv_atyWs]

Marcin Gortat: Overachieved

Although Nash has outperformed expectations, leading the league in assists while remaining uber-efficient is nothing new for the perennial All-Star. The play of Marcin Gortat, however, has taken Phoenix, and the Western Conference for that matter, by surprise.

Gortat’s been arguably the Suns’ most valuable player thus far, giving Phoenix a much-needed interior presence while vacuuming the glass with 10.4 rebounds on a nightly basis. He continues to show he has one of the better off hands in the NBA while ranking third in the league in field goal percentage by shooting at a 56.1 percent clip.

Suns fans knew the Polish Hammer was a walking double-double, but the Dream Shakes, turnaround jumpers and sky hooks weren’t in the arsenal a season ago. Don’t blame Gortat for the Suns’ struggles, because he’s been playing at an All-Star level in every area of the game. Check out Gortat’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXwwRBSofCU]

Grant Hill: As Expected

Like Nash, the 39-year-old continues to stand the test of time. Hill has been everything the Suns signed him to be: a lockdown defender, occasional scorer and a veteran presence to help Phoenix through a time of transition.

Hill’s locked down everyone from Kevin Durant to Joe Johnson to Tyreke Evans and continues to give the Suns a much-needed versatile defender on a nightly basis. The elder statesman has struggled offensively, however, failing to average double figures for the first time in his 16-year career and shooting a career-low 41.6 percent from the field.

But it’s hard to expect Hill to slow the NBA’s top talent while filling it up on the offensive end. With that said, Hill has been rock solid and exactly what the Suns paid him $6.5 million to do. Check out Hill’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBYQCTQ9qMA]

Jared Dudley: As Expected

Dudley hasn’t exactly grabbed the starting job he worked so hard to earn by the horns and made it his own. He’s topped 20 points only three times this season and Dudley’s proven he may not have the physical gifts to score like most starting two guards in the league.

But the Suns aren’t paying Dudley to be the shooting guard of the future. To steal one from Dennis Green, Dudley is who we thought he was. He shoots a solid percentage from the floor — 47.1 percent — can knock down the triple, can defend shooting guards and small forwards, doesn’t turn the ball over, and has a nose for the ball. No complaints here about the physically-limited swingman.

Check out Dudley’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQuryvNl2_Y]

Channing Frye: Underachieved

Channing Frye, however, has been as inconsistent as, well, the Phoenix Suns through the first half of the season. Frye’s inconsistency is a big reason the Suns have struggled offensively, as he’s proven to be their barometer for success.

Frye averages almost three more points per game in wins than in losses and shoots a considerably better percentage from the field and from three. He continues to play below average defense and disappear on the boards at times.

But luckily for the Suns, Frye averaged 13.9 points per game in February. He’s getting hot at the right time, but his 4.3 point per game December and 7.4 point per game January make him a first-half disappointment.

Check out Frye’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4va6xFvH-Q]

Markieff Morris: Overachieved

No one benefitted from Frye’s struggles more than Morris. The rookie has had his ups and downs but overall his poise, toughness and 3-point shooting have been a pleasant surprise for Phoenix.

I thought it would be a stretch for him to even become a regular rotation player when the Suns drafted him out of Kansas, but he disproved that notion quickly. He has a long way to go but Morris has proven so far that he is the better twin and may have the potential to develop into that big man of the future.

Check out Morris’ stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvFa24gXMu8]

Shannon Brown: Underachieved

No Sun has disappointed more than Shannon Brown. Not that he was expected to come in and be an All-Star, but remember when he and Dudley were in a heated training camp battle for the starting shooting guard spot?

Now Brown can barely sneak into the rotation. His shot selection is almost laughable and his basketball IQ is even worse. Brown settles for strictly jump shots, negating his freakish athleticism in an offense that’s begging for it. There’s been no bigger disappointment so far than Brown.

Check out Brown’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPN5QDJXX9Y]

Michael Redd: Overachieved

The fact that Michael Redd is even playing NBA basketball, let alone contributing, is remarkable in and of itself. His percentages are nothing to write home about but he averaged 10.2 points per game in February, including a 20-point outburst in a start against the Nuggets.

He gave the Suns an added threat on the perimeter who can get to the free throw line while holding his own defensively despite his high-mileage knees. Redd has the scoring prowess the Suns need. Now if only it was 2007, then the Western Conference would be in trouble. All kidding aside, Redd’s journey is a feel-good story that’s finally yielding positive results.

Check out Redd’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKLSihJdN1Q]

Robin Lopez: Underachieved

Remember during training camp when Lopez said he was not only healthy but had a new outlook and fresh perspective as well? He has shown none of that through 34 games. Lopez is nearly irrelevant in Phoenix and the Suns should look to shop him before the deadline.

Although much of it is due to Gortat’s emergence and Morris’ play, Lopez’s impact is minimal as he’s reached double-digit scoring only three times — twice against the Hornets and once versus Charlotte — while hitting the 10-plus rebounding mark only once. Lopez can still be valuable against bigger teams like the Lakers, but he’s nowhere near the player the Suns hoped he would be when he thrived throughout training camp. If there’s one Sun to go before the deadline, it’s him.

Check out Lopez’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_flVQPb9Ck]

Josh Childress: Underachieved

Childress still hasn’t given the Suns one reason to justify giving him $30-plus million dollars over five years. For the second straight season he’s been lost in the rotation, this time with no broken index finger to blame.

The Stanford product hasn’t had much of a chance to prove himself, however. And when he has had the opportunity, more often than not he’s provided energy and activity. But Childress simply doesn’t have the offensive firepower to help the Suns, and has shown he’s nowhere near the defender he was brought in to be. Those factors have earned him a near-permanent seat on the pine.

Check out Childress’ stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvGiSgsRmNU]

Hakim Warrick: Underachieved

Suns fans know what they get with Warrick — an offensive threat who doesn’t play a lick of defense or attack the glass. But while Warrick continues to get bullied down low and has proven too slow to play the wing, he’s also failed to produce offensively when given the chance.

He’s shooting 44.9 percent from the field and averaging 7.0 points per contest, both his lowest marks since his rookie year in Memphis. To Warrick’s credit, he’s only played 22 total minutes in the month of February. But there’s a reason Warrick is out of the rotation, and unless he regains his scoring prowess or learns how to defend and rebound, that won’t change in the second half.

Check out Warrick’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y__k6WaTqEc]

Sebastian Telfair: Underachieved

Telfair eventually earned the backup point guard nod over Ronnie Price because of his playmaking ability and pure point guard skills. But none of those skills have been on display this season as Telfair’s proven why he never quite made it Through the Fire and into a successful NBA point guard.

He’s been inefficient from the field, shooting 33.6 percent while oftentimes failing to keep the Suns afloat when Nash is on the pine. No one thought Telfair was the point guard of the future, but he’s barely a serviceable backup at this point.

Check out Telfair’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubJcFGN8nyU]

Ronnie Price: Underachieved

I thought Price would capture the backup point guard job and not let go. I also thought the Suns could be a playoff team, so clearly you can guess how my Price prediction turned out.

He brings energy and intense on-the-ball defense, but it’s clear why he’s never been able to take his career to the next level. His point guard skills — vision, basketball IQ, passing, finishing in traffic, etc. — are extremely limited and it says a lot about his game that Gentry still has him on the bench behind a mediocre backup like Telfair.

Telfair’s lead is slim, and Price could be back as Nash’s backup before your know it. Check out Price’s stats and midseason grade below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGyoKOW103I]

  • steve

    I’m in agreement about everyone except Dudley. I think Dudley has underachieved thus far. I can’t watch the videos where I’m at, so I don’t know if I’m going to be doubling up on your info, but in 30mpg, a starting 2 simply has to produce more than 11.7 per game. I know his PER is slightly above average, and his WS48 is slightly above average as well, but Dudley clearly didn’t think he was an “average” player heading into this season.

    I love Dudley’s attitude, and, for the most part, he seems to have his head in the game. However, he hasn’t come anywhere near the expectations I had for him.

  • Scott

    Coming into this season, Telfair and Price had lower PER scores than Dowdell (11), who had finally managed to find a crack into the NBA with the Suns. So what made the Suns think Telfair or Price would do better, when honestly it was looking more like these two were on their way out of the league?

    I like Price’s defensive tenacity, but for whatever reason he can’t reliably score for himself or make plays. Ditto for Telfair. The best performance for that duo came when they played together and Telfair decided to attack the opposing PG on offense.

    The Suns need a backup PG that has a PER of at least 11. Fifteen is league average.

    Price is like 8, and Telfair is like 6.

    If the guy your coach is putting out to lead the 2nd unit has a PER of 6, what can you expect from the 2nd unit?

    Not much!

    Blame for this falls on Gentry, who I believe had some input into the selection process, and Blanks, for not finding a better solution.

    Better solutions out there included Jeremy Lin, Nate Robinson, and even the aging Earl Boykins. A trade could have yielded Beno Udrih. (Coming into this season, of backup PG possibilities only Boykins and Udrih had PER scores that were close to league average.)

  • Scott

    If the Suns are going to make any trades, btw, the players added to the team this year are first available for trade on March 1, and the trading deadline is March 15. So not a lot of time for the whole league to wheel and deal.

    I would say the Suns have the following assets to trade: Telfair and Brown (expiring contracts), Lopez (he’s big AND expiring), and if anyone wants them, there’s Childress and Warrick.

    What the Suns most need from a trade would be a serviceable backup PG and picks (for 2012 and beyond).

    I’ve already outlined my trade idea for Telfair and Brown to the Bucks for Udrih.

    I’ve also already suggested that the Suns should keep an eye on any team that has a big man problem to see if Lopez could be an answer.

    The Cavs might be a nice trade target as they have 3 first round picks coming this year. If Varejao has a leg injury in the next two weeks, see if they’ll take Lopez for a first rounder. If not, see if they’ll trade first round picks, with the idea of the Suns getting a higher pick (Sacramento’s pick would be good) in addition to a second rounder, or whatever.

    Portland has been looking for help down low. They just brought in Przybilla. If he goes out with an injury in the next two weeks (hey, this IS Portland), then see if that could be a trade destination for Lopez.

    The Bucks might also be looking for a big man.

    I’m curious to see what the Suns do, as it will be a reasonable test for Blanks as GM. I’d like to see a good trade, but no trade would be better than another bad one.

  • Zak

    I think the assessment on Lopez is spot on and he’s probably one of the best trade assets the Suns have right now. Quite a few teams might be willing to take a chance on him just because of his size even if they are only looking for another big for a backup. This year’s draft will be loaded with bigs and at worst the Suns should be able to pick up a quality backup there if not a FA where I would expect them to find one.

    ESPN’s Lottery Mock Draft seems to think that the Suns will take SG Jeremy Lamb out of UConn unless they get lucky and draw one of the 1st 3 picks. He actually looks like a good fit for the Suns so I like that pick unless they somehow move to a higher spot in the draft. Unfortunately there aren’t any great PG prospects in this year’s draft so the Suns will need to get creative to bring in a quality backup for Steve. I’m thinking that there are quite a few other teams that are looking for good trades too and that the Suns might wind up in a multi-team trade before the trade deadline.

    I’m no longer speculating as to who the Suns should try to trade for but they need to shake things up and at least try to bring in some pieces that could contribute in the future if not this season.

  • Cam

    I’ve been hearing that there aren’t any great PG prospects in this years upcoming draft but I disagree. Front court players are going to dominate this draft no doubt, but I think the large amount of talent in the front court is just hiding the PG prospects. I think a player who may surprise, and I hope Phoenix finds a way to obtain him in the draft, is Kendall Marshall. He plays like a pure point guard, looking to create offense for teammates, but he has had a few games where he has put up some points. He has some length at 6’4″, and I beleive he’s a lefty. If the Suns were able to luck into a player like Michael Kidd Gilchrist, add a second first round pick and get Marshall, and then use their cap space to address the SG position, I think they could return to the playoffs sooner than later. Go Suns.

  • Cam

    I think the key for the suns is obtaining a second first round pick. This way they can address two of their needs in the draft and then fill the third position of need through free agency. By doing that they still give themselves some financial flexibility in the future. The Suns need to find a way to address the PG, SG, and SF positions this offseason. Go Suns.

  • Grover

    Curious why everyone thinks anyone would trade more than a bag of balls for Lopez. He’s a restricted FA, which means all having his right for next year does is guarantees that team right of refusal on whatever contract is offered. Yes, that’s better than having to outbid all other team, but it’s doubtful the Suns could get much in return.

    In thinking of trade ideas, don’t limit yourself and assume you have to keep Gortat or Morris because they are out only building blocks for next year. They also are the only assets we can offer other teams. They may have to be included as part of a bigger package. As extreme examples, who here wouldn’t gladly give up Nash, Gortat, and Morris for Wade? I’ve seen too many proposals where people think we can trade out yeah or other team’s treasure.

  • Zak

    There really aren’t any “great ” PG prospects in this year’s draft… but that doesn’t mean that their aren’t some very good ones in it. Marshall is one of those. He’s very good but not a “slam dunk” draft pick. He might evolve into a starting NBA PG or he might turn into what Telfair and Price have become… 3rd string quality NBA PGs. He’s worth a shot as a 2nd round pick but he’s rated only 22nd in ESPN ratings of college PGs. But I do like the fact that Marshal is averaging 9.7 assists this season. He’s not a high scorer but that’s a plus to me in a PG. He distributes instead of looking to score first. Definitely worth a long hard look as a draft pick!

  • steve

    @Grover

    I actually would have to think about that trade you proposed. I get your point, so I’m not disagreeing with that. It’s just those names involved got me thinking…

    Wade might only have about 2 or 3 prime years left. He’s not the shooter that Kobe is, and as he ages, I don’t know if he’s going to be able to rely on his post game like Jordan (and now Kobe, to an extent). Nash and Gortat for Wade, I would probably deal (but it’d be close). Throw in Morris’s low-risk contract, and I don’t think I’d pull the trigger.

    Again, I’m not disagreeing with your point. I’m just commenting about the hypothetical you threw out there.

  • GoSuns

    If we get a second first rounder i hope we go after tyler zeller, for the other pick i like lamb and beal, as for a backup point guard, if we can’t make a deal with brooks then i like udrih and devin harris

  • Scott

    @Cam -

    Kendall Marshall is easy to identify as he’s likely the only PG in the draft worth picking. I mentioned him months ago. However, from what I’ve seen his destiny in the NBA would likely be competent backup, not perennial starter or star (like Sessions and Ridnour). However, because he’s the only PG in the draft that isn’t shrouded with risk, he could go higher than he merits, making him not such a good draft choice, as it’s better to draft on real ability rather than scarcity.

    @Grover -

    I understand what you’re saying, in that Suns fans should consider giving up quality to get quality. However, teams are notoriously tightfisted with their quality, and they don’t as a rule trade stars for role players. The Suns need stars, and all they have to offer are role players and one expiring star.

    As for including Nash in a trade … he’s an unrestricted free agent. Why wouldn’t any interested team just bid on him in the summer?

    One ironic possibility is that if the Mavs can’t get Deron Williams (because he decides to wait a year to get max money), they might put a bid on Nash, and run Nash as the starter with Kidd returning as backup.

    And the Suns … well, they’d be in position to exercise the team option on Telfair and make him starting PG.

    As for Lopez’s trade value … if a team has injury to a big man, and is headed for the playoffs, they might want Lopez. He could also be viewed as an expiring contract for any team looking to clear out additional space for 2012 free agency.

    And if any team reading this is looking to clear out space for 2012 free agency, please (gracefully waves hand, draws back stage curtain) consider the $8 million in expiring contracts represented by Brown, Lopez, and Telfair.

  • Tony

    I’m from orlando, and I could absolutely NOT believe the Magic traded Gortat basicallyy for nothing. Its the main reason Otis should be fired. The hornets would’ve given the magic Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin and possibly a third asset for Gortat. Very sad, anybody who saw Gortat play new this guy could play.

  • Tony

    Meant to say Rockets

  • Grover

    Scott – the theory on why a a team would want Nash is primarily if they view him as the last piece needed to make a championship run this year. This would fit best for an older team that felt it was now or never and PG was their weakness (“Hello, Mr. Kupchak? This is Lon.”). I’m sure the Suns must be toying with some Nash/Gortat or Nash/Frye/Lopez trades for Pau Gasol.

    Nash doesn’t fit the profile for an expiring contract trade. Yes, he is an expiring contract, but usually you see a good player on a multiyear deal – maybe slightly overpaid, maybe disgruntled – traded for a crappy overpriced contract in its final year. Nash is still worth every penny of his salary.

    I really don’t see anybody except maybe the Lakers or Mavericks that seem like they’d rent Nash for a 1/2 season, so therefore I just find it unlikely the Suns will find much offered in return for Nash. They’ll be in dire need of a PG this summer, so my bet is they keep Nash and resign him for 2 more years at maybe $8M per year, or maybe 3 years at $6.5M where everyone kind of knows the last year is just a way to spread the salary cap hit over 3 years instead of 2.

  • shazam

    this is just a hypothetical.
    what if sarver and babby were on the team airplane while they were all flying to a game and the plane crashed with no survivors…would the suns be better off?

  • Grover

    Are the rest of the Suns on the plane with them? Oh wait… same answer.

  • shazam

    the whole team and al mcoy

  • Scott

    @shazam -

    If Siler was still with the team, my guess is he’d be found weeks later as the sole survivor. ;)

  • Tony

    @Shazam,

    would Tom Leander be on the plane with Sarver and Babby? Lol!

    Speaking of which Shazam, you’ll appreciate this: Sarver recently said he’s disappointed in the Suns season so far and that the Suns have the potential to be a playoff team!!!! Then, he said he wants more people to attend Suns games because that will help them win. So comical indeed. He’s either so arrogant that he’s delusional or he’s a complete moron in thinking this team has the potential to make the playoffs. The article is on Arizona Republic’s website and BrightsideoftheSuns website as well, so check it out if you get a chance.

  • shazam

    haha siler :) too funny…yeah tony i saw that article…we need more fans to give us a better home court advantage…guess the fans are part of the blame in his world/lies…but the front office is just fine..there are morons that buy in to this.what a sham and a shame

  • steve

    Not that I think the Suns WILL make the playoffs, but having the potential and living up to the potential are two entirely different things. Let’s just look at a few games that could have or should have swung the Suns’ way, and where that would put us now:

    Opening night, NOH beat us 85-84
    Either Cleveland or NJ should have been an easy win, but flying literally across the entire country for three away games in four days might have taken its toll. Just count one more win there.
    Either Dallas or Toronto on Jan 23 and 24 should have been a win, especially Toronto. We gifted each of those games and TRIED to lose. They’re good at that, at least.
    Both Golden State games in Feb should have been wins. We’ll just count one of them, for the sake of argument (the home game).
    Atlanta should have been a win (they had to TRY to lose that one as well).

    Count those up, that’s five wins that SHOULD have happened if the players had been able to execute worth half a lick. That would put the Suns at 19-15, tied for 7th with Memphis. They certainly do have the ability to be a playoff team.

    WILL they? No. Usually I don’t like to talk about hypotheticals, but I don’t think you should have a problem with it since Suns fans (including yourself) are always talking about how we got ripped off or blew all of our chances at championships. If X hadn’t happened, we would have won. If we still had player Y, we would have two rings by now. Etc., etc., etc.

    Again, I hate talking about hypotheticals because what happened happened. The Suns weren’t good enough to win championships back in the day (proven by the fact that they didn’t). Amare didn’t want to stay here (proven by the fact that he met with the Suns FO just once briefly and left). The Suns aren’t a playoff team this year (proven by their record). I’m just playing devil’s advocate because I know you’re the type of guy who wants to have his cake and eat it too (meaning you’ll blame Sarver for those other hypotheticals and reject their actual results for some unknown reason, yet you’ll openly reject the idea that the Suns COULD be playing better than the currently are)

    I have a hypothetical of my own:

    If Tony ever comes up with some other reason for the failures of the Suns besides, “It’s the ‘Three Stooges” fault,” the world simply stop existing.

    Just in case that’s true, you might not want to test my theory. Just keep saying the same things you always say.

  • Grover

    There are plenty of things to criticize Sarver about, but this is not one of them. What do you expect him to say when his business makes money by selling tickets. “Boy does this team suck. I’m not sure why anyone comes to the game”?

    Be realistic – all businesses put spIn on their comments to promote their business. I’m not a Sarver fan, but it dilutes the good arguments for where his faults have been if we get snarky on normal sales puffery. Nothing to see here.

  • Scott

    And, of course, everyone knows I agree with Sarver. This team could make the playoffs … if they can just make a judicious change at backup PG. Even a backup PG with a PER of 11 (Dowdell’s number) would give them a shot at it.

    But if they can’t get the 2nd unit going, it isn’t going to work.

  • Tony

    @Steve,

    how much does Sarver pay you to blog on his behalf?

    The one time the Suns would have won a championship despite Sarver was the year Stern suspended Amare and Diaw for stepping across the out of bounds line. Other than that, yeah, I pretty much believe he has single handily cost this team championships and since he refuses to take any responsibility for failures, nothing is going to change in the future.

    It’s funny how you say you don’t like to go into hypotheticals, yet you assume Amare wouldn’t have signed with the Suns if Sarver guaranteed him the 5th year. Do you know this for a fact? Are you on speaking terms with Amare?? Or are you hypothetically saying that if Sarver did fully guarantee the 5th year, Amare would have turned it down anyway? Then you listed games where you said the Suns “should have won” as if you are speaking fact instead of opinion. The only game they should have won that they lost was against the Hornets in the 1st game of the season. The Cavs are a better team than you think. They’ve beaten some pretty good teams this season. Just because the Suns had a lead during the game does not mean they should win the game. Winning is dependent upon the final score after 48 minutes, not after three quarters or less.

    Anyways, it’s pointless debating you because you think you know more than the rest of us and are too stubborn to admit you’re wrong. Heck, I should have known how little you really know about basketball when you said Childress is a good shooter!!!! LMAO.

    @Grover,

    If Sarver had any integrity, he should have taken at least some of the blame for the Suns season. I’m tired of this bs that the Suns are underperforming when most basketball experts and analyists predicted they would perform as such. When a team has only two legitimate starters, has two third-stringers playing critical backup pg roles, and are dependent on two guys almost 40, what else should anyone expect than that they would be a 13th-15th place team? The team hasn’t even played the toughest part of their schedule yet, so I expect the Suns losing to only get worse. My point is that it’s obvious to any reasonable person, exclude Steve in this regard, that the only chance the Suns ever had of making the playoffs this season was for everything to go perfectly right, which never does, and for most of the western conference teams to seriously regress for whatever reason. Reasonably speaking, which team currently above the Suns do you think they are better than? You can argue maybe the Warriors, but objectively that’s about it.

    Judging by Sarver’s comments, this sounds like he’s putting the blame on Gentry. Either he truly believes this team has the potential to make the playoffs, in which case he’s even more of a stooge than I thought, or even worse, that his comments were just the first attempt to discredit Gentry so that he can fire him at the end of the season and put all the blame on him for the Suns season, which would be a truly pathetic move on Sarver’s part.

  • steve

    @Tony

    I swear, sometimes you’re so dense. My point in saying that I don’t like hypotheticals is because they’re completely unprovable. It’s pointless to talk about what might have been, and there is very little value in talking about what might be. Talking about now holds much more weight and merit.

    IT IS NOT A HYPOTHETICAL THAT AMARE DIDN’T WANT TO STAY HERE. It’s a fact. He left. If Robert Sarver had promised him a personal foot massage on a daily basis and lifetime supply of ice cream, I think that might have tipped the scales in Phoenix’s favor… do you see where I’m going with this? Fact is he left. Fact is he wanted to leave. If he didn’t want to leave, he wouldn’t have left, because people don’t do what they don’t want to do.

    It’s not a hypothetical that the Suns weren’t good enough to win a championship. They didn’t, proving that they weren’t. Even in the year that the suspensions occurred, they still had another series to play beyond that, AND they still had to win two games after game 5 just to make that next series happen. It was far from a given that the suns would have done anything if the suspensions hadn’t occurred. What happened happened. The Suns weren’t going to win the championship that year. You know how I know? Because they didn’t. It’s in the books. It already happened. It’s a fact.

    My whole point in bringing up the games that “could” have swung another way is to show you that the punks like you who scream and yell and cause all this commotion about the state of the team are hypocrites. You will talk all day long about what “might have been” if a ball had bounced this way or that back in the glory days. But now? Now it doesn’t matter what way the ball bounces, it’s all about a blame game, be down on the franchise, be down on the players, be down on the team. Pout pout pout, whine whine whine, complain complain complain. If the ball “could” have bounced better for us back in those days, then why “couldn’t” it have bounced better for us this season?

    Do you not see your hypocrisy?

    Again, my point in making those arguments before wasn’t that the Suns are actually better than they are. The W-L column speaks for itself. What’s done is done. That’s the way I approach things for 2007 (the year of the suspensions), that’s the way I approach things for 2012. My point was to prove that you’re a hypocritical goon who just wants to be a negative nancy and pout all day long while spreading a negative message when no Suns fan will ever be swayed one way or another by what you say.

    If you want to say we could have hypothetically won back then, then you have to admit we could have hypothetically won some games this year and been in contention for the playoffs. You can’t have things both way. Which one will it be?

    Please, if you only answer one question, answer this: Can you see your hypocrisy?

  • Grover

    Let’s try to keep this from getting to personal attacks again. I’m sure I’m not the only one here who despises when the threads turn to back and forth rants and personal attacks.

  • steve

    If calling someone a hypocritical goon is too much for you I suggest you stop using the internet. I feel like I was as reasonable as can be expected with Tony. He consistently fails to grasp reality and post the same garbage that consistently results in these bouts.

  • Tony

    @Grover,

    it’s cool, Steve and I share different perspectives on the causes of the Suns most recent demise, about to be three out of the past four seasons the team has failed to make the playoffs, something the Suns organization hasen’t done since the 50s I believe. While I believe the fault squarely resides in the front office, starting with the owner, Steve thinks Sarver has done a fine job and that the blame resides elsewhere. Although I have yet to get an explanation from him about why the Suns have failed to make the playoffs in 3/4 seasons, but he does like to claim that ownership isn’t that important to winning, so he must put the blame elsewhere. Personally, I believe the success of any sports franchise starts with the ownership.

    Steve also equates his opinions as facts for which the rest of us just aren’t capable of grasping. He claims that since Amare signed with the Knicks, that conclusively proves he didn’t want to stay with the Suns, although there’s no evidence that had Sarver offered Amare the same contract as the Knicks, he still would have bolted to the Knicks. It’s just pure nonsense to turn speculation into fact. This is the way he argues his points. When he is unable to respond to a different perspective than his, he resorts to name calling. It’s completely immature but since I know his opinions are factually backwards and irrelevant, it doesn’t bother me one bit.

    Regardless though, anyone who believes Childress is a good shooter has no credibility whatsoever.

  • steve

    I hope to all that is good that you are just saying these thigs because it’s the internet and there are no consequences. thst’s the only possible explanation for your lunacy. autocorrecy went out again, btw.

  • steve

    btw, you didnt answer my question.