Phoenix Suns 114, Minnesota Timberwolves 90 — No Love at all

Posted by on April 9th, 10:50 pm

Kevin Love posted a silent 25-13 as the Suns blew out the Timberwolves. Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns were ruthlessly efficient from start to finish as they dismantled the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-90 Monday night. The Suns won for the fifth time in April thanks to 57 percent shooting from the field and 66 points from their bench. Kevin Love and the Timberwolves looked listless throughout the entire game and never got anything going on either end of the floor.

“I don’t know what it is,” Love told Suns.com. “They just shot the lights out of the ball. We didn’t commit hard enough fouls or get into guys like we should’ve…”

Love had perhaps the quietest 25-13 in the history of the NBA. He went just 1-for-6 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over four times. He finished the night 7-of-19 from the floor and had little to no impact on the game. Perhaps the most meaningful play for Love came at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Anyone who has watched the Suns this year knew that a 15-point lead meant nothing, especially with Love’s ability to get hot and score in bunches.

After struggling mightily to score for most of the game, Love closed the third with seven straight points and looked poised and ready to continue. The Wolves, knowing he was their only hope to close the gap, forced the ball to him on the opening two possessions of the fourth. Love turned the ball over twice and Phoenix capitalized with a Markieff Morris triple and break-away layup from Sebastian Telfair. The Suns went up 20 and never looked back.

Despite his incredible season, Love will have off games like this from time to time. There was something different about Love’s game tonight, though. He looked baffled by the Suns’ defense and played extremely tentatively. This is a welcome sight for Phoenix with Grant Hill out of the lineup. Containing an elite player like Love isn’t something the Suns can do every night, but it is great to know they are at least capable of an effort like this, especially with their best one-on-one defender in street clothes.

Also disappointing for the Wolves was Nikola Pekovic. The last time these two teams met, Pekovic dominated Marcin Gortat and the rest of the Suns’ frontcourt with 24 points and eight rebounds. He was nearly unstoppable in the post that night, and he looked to be planning an encore when he drew three fouls on Gortat in the first quarter.

That was Pekovic’s only meaningful run of play as he finished with 11 points and just two rebounds. In a game where the Wolves were looking for anyone to step up and assert themselves on either end of the floor, Pekovic was content to fade into the background. This is unacceptable for a big man with his kind of potential on a team missing one its signature players and in serious need of a partner for MVP candidate (but not contender) Kevin Love.

Really the only bright spot for Minnesota was J.J. Barea, who started in place of the injured Luke Ridnour. Barea was too quick for Steve Nash for most of the game. He scored 16 points and dished out five assists.

Overall, the Wolves simply did not come to play tonight and the Suns took full advantage.

Phoenix dominated despite quiet performances by its two best players. Steve Nash had 14 points, but recorded only five assists in his 26 minutes of action. Nash also recorded his 6th block of the season when he turned away Barea’s jumper at the end of the first quarter. Marcin Gortat had just four points and seven rebounds. He sat down after his third personal foul (all on Pekovic) with 23 seconds left in the first quarter, and played just 21 minutes in the game.

Shannon Brown and the bench were there, however, to pick up the slack. Brown had a very efficient night, scoring 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting. He also pulled down seven boards and handed out four assists. Though he took some ill-advised jumpers after it became clear Minnesota had no interest in mounting a comeback, Brown was solid for most of the game. His jump shot looked good in the first half, and he was able to penetrate and create against the Minnesota defense.

Brown has really stepped up in Grant Hill’s absence, and his confident and improved play has contributed to the Suns’ current winning ways as much as anything. This was Brown’s ninth straight game scoring in double figures.

The real story of the game though, was the play of the reserves. Everybody got in on the action for Phoenix. Markieff Morris was the standout performer with 21 points and six rebounds. He was efficient both inside and outside, and he, along with Robin Lopez, played strong defense on Kevin Love. When asked about the bench’s performance, Morris told Suns.com, “It’s great you know, especially if our first unit don’t start the game off great, we come in and try to pick the energy up, play as hard as possible and set the tone for them when they come back.”

Though he is still inconsistent, Markieff is proving, with nights like tonight, that he has a place in the Suns’ future so long as his ability and confidence continue to grow. In the back court, Michael Redd and Sebastian Telfair combined for 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting. The Wolves’ starters and reserves didn’t have an answer for Redd’s quick release jumper or Telfair’s Energizer Bunny-like ball-handling and penetration. These two are becoming a potent tandem and a great change of pace from Nash and the starters. It is tough for any team outside of the elite title contenders to defend both Nash and the Telfair-Redd duo for 48 minutes. This backcourt depth will be a huge asset for Phoenix as it hopes to realize its playoff dream.

Robin Lopez didn’t go off on the scoreboard or the glass, but his toughness, energy, and defense were crucial, especially with Gortat in foul trouble on the bench. He defended Kevin Love well and went toe-to-toe with the NBA’s second best rebounder on the glass. Lopez has shown all season that he isn’t afraid to play against anyone, which is a huge benefit for the Suns. Gortat, at times this year, has shied away from overly physical opponents like Dwight Howard or even Pekovic. In games like these, Phoenix will count on Lopez to anchor the frontcourt. He seems to have the mental toughness and energy to get the job done when he’s called upon for extended duty.

Even Grant Hill, who is still battling back from injury, got in on the action as he sat in with the ESPN announcers, perhaps giving us a glimpse of his future occupation. During the broadcast, Hill said his workouts have been going well, and that he hopes to be back soon. With Phoenix heading into its toughest stretch of the season, Hill’s presence in the lineup will be more than welcome.

The Suns could not have asked for a better way to start off their four-game road trip. Phoenix is three games over .500 for the first all season and sits ninth in the Western Conference standings, a game behind Dallas and Denver. Utah is hot on their heels only a half game behind and Houston in the sixth seed isn’t too far out of reach. Though the home stretch will likely be the toughest string of games the Suns have faced, the team has reason for hope.

Earlier this year and in seasons past, Phoenix was undone not by defeats at the hands of elite teams, but by careless losses to minnows at inopportune times. This team, however, is taking care of business and winning games it should win. Whereas the Suns might have been guilty of playing down to their opponents’ level in the past, the current squad gives their all night in and night out. Sometimes they lose to a good team, and sometimes, like tonight, they trounce a bad one. The difference is that there are no off nights. That is a playoff mentality. No off nights. The playoffs for the Suns started April 1. If the first six games are any indication, they may well live to play in May.

Ryan Weisert

Ryan Weisert is a staff writer for ValleyoftheSuns. You can also find him at his sports and pop culture blog Spectavius.com.

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Tags: Bench · Minnesota Timberwolves · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Recap

37 responses so far ↓

  • 1 shazam // Apr 9, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    sure hope we can re-sign redd next year

  • 2 A-ROCK // Apr 9, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Let me tell you why no one comments when the Suns win…….It’s because we EXPECTED IT!!!! I knew the Suns had the talent it’s just the coaches needed to put the players in at the right time. When Grant hill comes back he needs to take a seat on the pine and play that new Ray Allen role…….except down to about 9-10 person coming off the bench, the Suns do not need him when we have someone like Shannon Brown that can create his own shot and make a consistant jumper unlike Grant that has that same 15 footer that you would think would be dagger. Man I told everyone in the first post of the year Morris was a STUD…..thanks for applying that Pressure to the other teams Kief… and Artest better recognize lol Gentry thanks for showing some balls letting the 2nd stringers stay in to finish the games, I just wonder why you didn’t see what everyone else saw the previous games before in Utah!? So he can’t take the full credit of his bench playing D, closing out games and creating a spread ……just RIDE THE WAVE BRUH! lol

  • 3 neurotic steve nash fan // Apr 10, 2012 at 12:08 am

    2nd blowout in a row. wow!! That bench is killing it. Fun stuff. The only downer of the night was seeing Goran go off again.

  • 4 Scott // Apr 10, 2012 at 12:38 am

    @neurotic -

    While he doesn’t exactly get a say, Blazers fan John Hollinger is lobbying hard for Portland to sign Dragic when he enters free agency.

  • 5 KeZ // Apr 10, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Sweet win! Btw, Dragic just became the western conference player of the week……..thank you Lon Babby and Lance Blanks!

  • 6 MJ // Apr 10, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Forget abour Dragic, he’s gone and i don’t think he we’ll be back …Yes, we still need a PG behind Nash if he stays in PHx next season.
    On the other hand, Mavs and Odom agreed to part ways..I think Odom will be a nice fit for the Suns, He can play 3 an 4. the Suns won’t keep Childress next season , and Lopez could leave because he ‘d like to test the FA market. Odom could be a good addition to the team

  • 7 PennyAnd1 // Apr 10, 2012 at 7:25 am

    @MJ

    Forget Odom, you saw how he was like a poison to Dallas, Suns don’t need his attitude in the team. Don’t forget, the reason why Suns made it this far is because of chemistry. Without chemistry, these guys wouldn’t be trusting each other as we have seen so far. And it starts with the leaders Hill, Nash, and then Redd.

    @A-Rock

    You’re the one who b!tch about losing and wait for a draft pick to save your a$$. Now you jump in the wagon. Shouldn’t you be following Dwight by now? You two have the same feathers. You should thank Gentry (whom you wanted fired) for giving Brown the go signal. And because of Nash’s focus & seriousness about team chemistry, Brown is drinking the Nashty Juice like everyone is right now..TEAM WORK. I bet you still believe that they can do this without Nash. I’ll tell you right now, this is how players play like with Nash. Guys in ESPN said so, and so does history. Do you see the importance of Nash as the point guard now?

  • 8 GoSuns // Apr 10, 2012 at 8:07 am

    I agree mj, I think we should look into jeremy lin’s services to back up nash

  • 9 GoSuns // Apr 10, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I agree mj about dragic, I think we should look into jeremy lin’s services to back up nash, odom might be a good pickup

  • 10 steve // Apr 10, 2012 at 8:41 am

    If Goran and Steve get along with each other, then the Suns should seriously look into bringing Goran back. However, I don’t think Goran is as valuable to the Suns as he would be to most teams (assuming the Suns retain Nash). I don’t think it’s pointless to talk about Goran. I’m not looking at the past, I’m looking toward the future. Goran is morphing into a legitimate starter in front of our eyes. The Suns didn’t have the minutes available to properly groom Goran, so now Houston is doing it.

    Anyway, one thing I’d like to point out is that a lot of Suns fans were quick to jump all over Gentry for picking his boy (Telfair) as the back-up for seemingly no reason. I think it has always been apparent that Telfair’s ceiling is higher than Price’s, but Telfair has had a lot of opportunities to prove his worth and has always come up short. Well, it looks like Gentry’s stubbornness has paid off. His Game Score was 18.2 last night, the highest for Telfair so far this season, and a fairly respectable number. Steve Nash only has about 10 games better than that all season.

    Telfair is finally starting to play like a serviceable backup, and if this team can make it to the playoffs, I actually think they would have a fairly decent chance at a first-round upset. They would be one of the better 8 seeds in recent memory (to go along with GSW a few years back, Memphis last year, and those NY Knicks in the last shortened season).

  • 11 Cam // Apr 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Didn’t get to watch the game but from the highlights, box score, and this breakdown, it looks like everyone is playing cohesively and with confidence. I the Suns can pull past Houston, only two games up, we could see a Phoenix v LAL series. I would love to see the Lakers get the boot from the playoffs by the Suns. A boy can dream right! On another note, the Mavs are in a position to miss the playoffs. I didn’t see that coming, even with their erratic play. Go Suns. Oh and I’d rather sign Dragic to a long term deal over trading for Odom. It would be the Steve Nash scenario part 2.

  • 12 Scott // Apr 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Dragic would be a starting PG for other teams, like Portland, but not with the Suns, unless Nash moves on. So I wouldn’t expect Dragic to return, even if the money was good.

    @steve -

    It’s surprising to me that Telfair is finally playing better, at this late date. What was the problem? Is it the system? Sometimes it seems like it takes players a whole year to before they feel comfortable with the system, while others adapt in a month.

    And while Telfair is playing better now, he’s still not playing as well as Dragic did. Telfair’s just playing better than he was able to manage for the first 3/4 of the season.

    If Price was given all that court time, would he be playing as well as Telfair is now? Hard to say.

    And of course it isn’t just Telfair that’s making an impact. It’s Brown, Redd, and Lopez … while Frye, Gortat, and Dudley seem to be fading.

    I kinda just throw up my hands. Who knows what’s going on?

    I’m just glad they’re winning. :)

  • 13 Scott // Apr 10, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I’d add my voice to the cautionary ones on Odom. As I said, he hasn’t played well anywhere else he’s been except with Kobe in LA, and teams have complained about his dampening presences in the locker room.

    If you could trade Childress for him, though, the risk would be minimized. Childress has something like another $18 million coming to him over 3 years, while Odom has $8 million over one year. So there would be a savings over time, and the trade works straight up.

    Mainly, to me, it would depend on what Gentry and Nash think of bringing Odom on board.

    I would be more focused on getting Redd re-signed, and maybe Brown as well.

  • 14 A-ROCK // Apr 10, 2012 at 9:50 am

    @pennyand 1 you are clearly not worth a dollar. Just because I have given honest critiques of past Suns play doesn’t mean I am on or off the band wagon it just means I am honest and live in reality. It was clear to everyone that Gentry should have left his starters in in the Utah game and he should know who to play since he watches them all the time even during practices so he should know who to play and when. Now all the sudden he leaves his 2nd unit in during the 4th quarters now. Clearly he doesn’t deserve all the credit. And as we see Nash is shooting alot more which was needed which has nothing to do with Nashty juice which sounds awfuly HOMO! Nash needs to leave his imprint on the game as all the players. The 2nd unit is coming around along with the added speed in the 1st unit with Shannon! If Gentry places grant hill back in the started line up with the rest of the slow 1st stringers its a reciepe for disaster all over again! Clearly he cannot carry the 1st stringers in which that’s what’s needed in that line up considering the inconsistancy of fry, gortat and dudley. I also wouldn’t take the 1st stringers out but would just bring Hill off the bench at 8 or 9 th position. We need continued offense and defence in the 2nd unit with the 1st unit running the pick and role with gortat and shannon going 1 on 1.

  • 15 A-ROCK // Apr 10, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I am happy with the whole of the 2nd unit…..it was just Gentry being so trigger happy putting his 1st unit back in so quick but the 1st unit aren’t even STUDS. LOL Clearly it’s the 2nd unit with the studs and Nash and brown in the 1st unit with role players which will work for phoenix.

  • 16 RDB // Apr 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

    From Minneapolis: Twolves and Suns fan… the Wolves arent playing for anything so I was happy to see the Suns win it last night. Once Grant Hill returns, I really like what the Suns have 1-10 on the squad. They have a roster full of guys that do different things… how many rosters can say that?

    They are a fun team to watch and hopefully different players take turns stepping up each game (as they have been). Who makes the NBA schedule though? My goodness, they have a tough stretch of games up coming. Hopefully they sneak in to the playoffs, I really think they can do some damage.

  • 17 Al // Apr 10, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Odom might be retiring after this season. Dallas is going to pick up his team option and then trade him to a team looking for cap room so he can just retire. Dallas may not even consider trading Childress for Odom unless Suns take Haywoods contract.
    Dragic has completed exploded since he became a starter. I was looking for Houston to thank after Lowry and Martin went down, but Dragic has kept them above water. He can easily get an 8-10 million per year contract this off season easy. May not be seeing Dragic in a Sun uniform until he is in his 30′s.
    I enjoyed watching this game, because it finally showed the full potential of the Sun’s bench. Kieff was a BEAST. He may have missed one high percentage dunk, but he showed that he has the ability to be a roll man and be under the basket at the right time.(Lets not forget his stroke from 3)

    I doubt Hill’s return will affect the team in any way. As much as we all like Dudley, I think he is best suited to play with the 2nd unit at the SF position. Brown should replace Dudz at starting SG so Redd won’t have to play any time at the 3. Would really like to see Redd back in a suns uniform. His career has been given new start in Phoenix. Oden should also be pursued.

  • 18 MKM // Apr 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Remember the smooth transition between KJ & JK? I would definitely bring back the Dragon if possible. Looking at his stats as starting PG for 19 games this season:
    18.2 PTS, 8.7 AST, 51.9% FG, 44.2% 3P, 2.9 TO

    http://espn.go.com/nba/player/splits/_/id/3423/goran-dragic

  • 19 grover // Apr 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I don’t think there is any way the Suns would pay Dragic what he is likely to be offered elsewhere unless Nash leaves… Wouldn’t make sense to commit that kind of money to a backup PG. On top of that are the political realities that the Suns would have to eat crow and admit their trade was a mistake. Plus I’m guessing there is more to the story of Dragic’s departure than we’ve heard. No way would they have given up oa young player where they knew they needed a solid backup unless they were convinced he lacked something required to be Nash’s replacement… Maybe that was brains, leadership, or character. Of course the other possibility is that it wasn’t just a bad trade, it was a BAD trade.

    Assuming Nash returns, I’d expect the Suns to look for a PG in the draft, sign Brooks (if nobody matches his qualifying offer as an RFA), or if Brooks is gone, go cheap and keep Telfair another year to conserve cap space for help at other positions.

  • 20 Riz // Apr 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I heard Nash was disappointed that the Suns didnt get Odom this season but I still feel he can contribute, and would be great in this system.

    I would target KG next season. We know he would love to play in Phoenix (as he pushed for the trade there before he went to Boston) along with Steve Nash. I would throw a 2year $16-20m deal at him. He would be great for the Suns and allows Frye to come off the bench. Also would look at Eric Gordon as the Suns lack the go-to-guy and with the Suns training staff, I may be tempting fate here, but his injury history may not be that bad again. A lot of flexibility this season (along with the amnesty clause still to use) – should be great off season.

  • 21 PennyAnd1 // Apr 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    @ Scott

    You wonder what happened with Telfair? Simple, when you play with a positive player like Nash who applies all the simple rules in the NBA, you would eventually catch up too wouldn’t you? Nash is about playing smart basketball. And it’s something that A-ROCK just overlooks. Every player that has played with Nash always ends up playing smart basketball. Don’t take my word for it..all NBA analyst, ESPN, even opposition fans understand that. Too bad most of our fans can’t see it. I ain’t gonna try to explain to A-ROCK anymore, he just don’t understand the game of B-Ball.

    2-unit is applying the basics & simplicity of basketball, something the 1st unit had consistently been displaying since the start of the season. Feed the hot hand, take advantage of switches, don’t force anything and take what’s given to you, be positive & work together, enjoy your role, communication…etc… Does it all sound familiar? 1st-unit did that first. Now A-Rock thinks the 2nd unit has all the STUDS.lol It’s called chemistry fool.

  • 22 PennyAnd1 // Apr 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Since everyone here is giving their piece of mind for the next season, I’d like to share mine.

    I for one think this Suns team can actually make it all the way.. Not only can they score but they actually have defense unlike any other past seasons they have had. With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if there won’t be that much move made next season. It really depends on motivation which will reflect consistency.

    Robin Lopex has really improve, it’s hard not to try and sign him back. However, he really wants to be a starter and I think that is the reason he will be gone next year. Channing Frye I’m sure will be a trade asset, but he like Lopez has improved as well (especially in defense). I hear Love is a free agent.. I would like it if the Suns aggressively go after Love for money & Frye + Brown.

    I Love Michael Redd, and I think Redd loves it here in the valley. The Suns still need a scorer. I would go after Beasley. I think Beasley will be motivated to play if given the go signal like Brown has been getting from Gentry. As for Nash’s back-up, damn it’s hard cause Telfair really has impressed me and Im sure the FO. I say trade Aaron Brooks (who would rather be a starter) + cash for either Dragic or Lin. Unfortunately, those two guys will probably not like coming off the bench as well. Either keep Telfair or get JJ Barea.

    As for Greg Oden, if he is cheap why not grab the dude. Suns do have the fountain of youth. IF the Suns can get JJ Hickson, or Millsap that would be even great. I Also hear either JJ Harden or Ibaka will be released from Thunder next season, Suns should try going after one of them.

    They need to keep Nash, Hill, Redd, Dudley, & Gortat

  • 23 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Apr 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    So…

    First, about Telfair. He’s been balling lately. Telfair really hasn’t benefited that much from playing with Nash. That’s not what has been going on lately. If anything, the Grant Hill injury is what has sparked Telfair.
    Hate to say it, but the pieces just fit better without Grant on the court, especially in the second unit. The second unit actually works now in that there is always a deadly shooter on the floor. There is a 3-man out there who isn’t camping on the edges but instead cutting and causing movement outside of the pick and roll. He also cleans up a lot of potential bad plays. Combine that with teams having to stay with Redd, (or try to), and now Telfair actually has ROOM to operate. So he is.

    Now, as far as Odom goes, dude is a stud who went to one of the worst teams possible for him. His position is Dirk’s position and he ended up on a team with a pure point guard. Put those two factors together, and Odom becomes nothing more than a cutting wing player. That takes away 90% of what he can bring you on the court. It was never a good fit.

    If Nash returns next season, Odom would not be a good fit in the valley either. The Suns simply don’t allow the 3-man much freedom in Gentry’s scheme, and Lamar needs that.

    Now, if Nash were to leave… Then the team would look more like the setup of the second unit now, and he would be the perfect fit…

    …Especially if Dragon were brought in to replace Nash with Telfair remaining the coordinator of the Bench Mob.

    Again, it all goes back to Nash being a Sun or Nash being gone.

  • 24 A-ROCK // Apr 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    @pennyand 1 you are wanting the suns to be the timberwolves right?! you are a moron. The team is fine and a stud is a younger player not like you grandpa. No one in the first unit is a stud point blank period unless shannon brown starts. Morris STUD, Telfair as of late is playing like a STUD, Lopez is a raw STUD, Redds stroke is STUD PERIOD. When Nash is Scoring he is a Stud, When French Fry is playing defense and driving to the basket and making shots he is a STUD, Jared dudley when he is making shots is a stud, Gortat is 7 feet so go figure……Stud!!! The Suns Starters have chemistry yea with shannon brown completing the problem otherwise the have a bunch of turnovers between nash and gortat with inconsistancy from dudley and French fry. Now the starters need to play more well rounded ball to stay on the court including Nash ie scoring, Gortat catching passes. The second unit plays with out Nash so how are you giving him all the credit moron?! The 2nd unit increases leads and plays defense …… Period!!! Please tell me I’m wrong someone including the penny saver who wants the suns to be the timberwolves….. Beasley Sheeeesh

  • 25 A-ROCK // Apr 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    @Rich Anthony

    You are genius, my point exactly, you are very sane and rational. Your eyes are clear with out bias.
    No one is crying over grant hill and Nash is good playing 24 minutes as long as he is shooting as well as finding good passing lanes with out turnovers because the Suns do have players that create as Telfair, Redd, Brown, Keif not in a particular order.

  • 26 PennyAnd1 // Apr 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    @Rich Anthony & A-Rock

    If both of you think Telfair did not benefit from either playing with Nash or watching Nash, then explain to me why he was shipped from team to team? Recently at Wolves game, the ESPN commentators mentioned about Telfiar’s improved stat since joining Phoenix, a familiar story for players who come to play in Phoenix with Nash. lol. Both of you are wrong. Did you not know Nash makes players play good & SMART around him?

    I was the first to point out earlier this season how Telfair would always talked to Nash & listened to him coordinating with his teammates about plays and making simple shots. Telfair definitely picked up something from Nash, something positive including attitude. Sure his game maybe different from Nash, but the Telfair I know from early this season who would yell & complain alot with poor body language, who wanted to shoot first pass later, and really did nothing is different from the Telfair now, who is calm, team-oriented, taking good shot, and especially talking to teammates without embarassing them, something of a Nashty juice.

    And yeah you maybe right about the 2nd unit being STUDS, but don’t tell me it just clicked like that..it took time for them to observe the 1st unit about playing together & trusting each other..something Hill & Nash emphasized and displayed each and every game until the 2nd unit finally caught up. The 1st unit can still be a STUD, scoring about 30 points a quarter, even without a scorer. That’s how good they are without a STUD, because they use their head.

    Don’t get me wrong about the 2 unit & Brown, I knew they had potential, it was just a matter of how to play together. And I disagree with you Rich Anthony, if it wasn’t Gentry putting Hill in their with the 2 unit during the middle of the season where the bench did not exist at all, the 2 unit would still be struggling to play how Nash & the Suns system work. TEAMWORK. simple as that. Don’t overlook that from Nash & Hill thinking that others can come in and do the same thing cause it aint gonna happen. No other team applies the basic Basketball 101 rules better than the Suns, with the exception of Spurs. That’s because of Nash & Hill, they are old school.

  • 27 PennyAnd1 // Apr 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    If you think I’m wrong, dig early videos of Suns game early this season. Even the simple things, like when teammates falls or knocked down, only Hill or Nash would come and pick his comrade up. These days, everyone is helping each other up. Don’t tell me that teammates haven’t learned from watching Nash & Hill. I know it’s a little thing, but it’s a positive attribute that eventually leads to teamwork.

    I dunno why you guys hating on me about Nash & Hill, you’d rather praise a player rather than team chemistry. Do you think Dudley & Redd would be scoring as much if the rest of the teammates would not be giving screens & setting them up to score? Everyone is doing there part, Redd & Brown are supposed to score. That’s where you guys don’t understand, it’s not about just scoring, but it’s about how you got the score.

    If you don’t like team chemistry you don’t no about basketball. nuff said.

  • 28 Tony // Apr 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    @Steve,

    I know you are adverse to criticizing your best buds in Sarver, Babby, and Blanks, but come on, “The Suns didn’t have the minutes to properly groom Goran”???? By that, you mean to say that playing him 20 minutes per game, with even more minutes at sg wouldn’t have been enough to get him ready to be the Suns future pg?
    People, Dragic was traded because Blanks wasn’t impressed with his game. He said it himself when asked about Dragic, “he’s a better person than basketball player.” Now, unless Dragic is a saint of a person, this statement by Blanks pretty much sums up his belief in Dragic’s game and his potential. What makes Blanks so incompetent in trading for Aaron Brooks, is not just failing to see Dragic’s potential, and not even in giving up a 1st round pick for Chris Rock’s twin, but the simple fact that Brooks was very unhappy with the Rockets because he wasn’t getting the minutes behind Lowry. Now, if Brooks wasn’t getting much playing time playing behind Lowry, why did Blanks feel Brooks would be content to play about the same minutes coming off the bench with the Suns? With the Rockets, Brooks acted like a baby and left the bench during a game because he felt he wasn’t playing enough. Could any of us imagine Dragic doing that? I couldn’t. So, of course Brooks wasn’t happy playing with the Suns and I bet that was a major reason why he left to play in China a week before the lockout ended.

    As far as Grant Hill is concerned, how anyone could doubt his ability and importance to this team baffles me. Before his injury, the guy clearly should have been on the 1st all defensive team and he was finally getting into a grove offensively. Brown getting additional minutes as a starter due to Hill’s absence was critical to getting his game going but even so, Dudley has struggled and been basically a non-factor since Hill went down. I’m hoping Gentry takes Dudley out and puts Hill back in the starting lineup.

  • 29 Tony // Apr 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    @Penny,

    I agree with you completely. However, some people just seem to under-value leadership and selflessness. There’s no doubt that Nash and Hill’s leadership has had a major impact on Telfair and the rest of the Suns players. Frankly, how could it not? Watching how committed those two are to taking care of their health, to preparing mentally and physically for upcoming games, and for cheering their teammates on is naturally going to have an effect on the rest of the team’s players. It’s not complicated or rocket science.

  • 30 steve // Apr 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    20 mpg would not be enough in the role he would play for this team. Goran is extremely submissive unless he is forced to be assertive. I’m also failing to see why you even bothered to mention your three amigos, as if a managing partner, a pbo, and a gm have anything to do with determining the minutes played by a backup pg. Seriously, give it a rest.

  • 31 PennyAnd // Apr 11, 2012 at 12:21 am

    @A-$$hole I meant A-Rock

    Oh so now you contradict yourself. You were claiming the Suns won’t make the playoffs and that they should keep losing so that your savior rookie from a draft will save the Suns…. please gimme a break. Now you turn your back and say the Suns have talent? heh.. Everyone has talent you dufus. You wouldn’t be in the NBA if you didn’t. How to utilize that talent is the question. Nash & Hill is the answer. Nuff said. No more words can satify your monkey head.

  • 32 A-ROCK // Apr 11, 2012 at 12:22 am

    @tony your stupid if you think hill should replace dudley, dudley’s stroke is way deadly than grants from 7 feet and out to the 3 point line and dudley plays defense, you are retarded to think hill needs to replace him. Hill doesn’t need to replace anyone, all I’m getting from you and give me a penny for nash’s nashty juice is that they both are cheerleaders. And we all know cheerleaders don’t play ball. Neither have won a championship so no pun intended. You morons act as if we are talking about a kevin garnet or kobe bryant, Hill is not even on that level so I believe a back and forth about him is not becoming. Nash still has upside along with his cheering but he can’t bring that out in his shooting unless he has another go to guy which is dudley, fry, gortat and shannon brown PERIOD.

    HILL IS NOT A GO TO GUY AND I’M NOT GOING TO EVEN WASTE MY TIME WITH THE TOPIC, IT’S NOT LIKE HE IS LEBRON JAMES WITH THE D!! Give it a rest with that guy. He can’t even drive hard to the basket and again is jumper is not reliable.

  • 33 A-ROCK // Apr 11, 2012 at 12:29 am

    @peso maybe worth a penny

    HHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAA everyone has talent haaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaa

    you are dumb. Talent is God given potiential, now there is a difference in skill and talent you numb skull!!!

    you are dumb as I thought!!! lol
    nash and hill is the reason the suns went 13-19.

    The coach was on the hot seat and started changing stuff up.

    The way the coaches where coaching they were not going to make the playoffs!! lol

    Now the team has a shot, I hope they make it but it will be tough.

    I’m from Arizona so I just don’t like putting out a bad product which has caused the team not to be a landing destination for free agents stup@d.
    are you really that dumb, I guess since you named yourself penny you low class having Nashty juice drinking sucker!!

  • 34 Elviro (Italy) // Apr 11, 2012 at 2:38 am

    fighting for the playoffs … now the company has decided to try … and do not point to a good pick in the draft … see what happens now … errors of today we will pay tomorrow!
    Any person who has a beautiful tomorrow … for me …. Markieff Morris is definitely … I think I can continue to grow and do well in the nba …. and hopefully always with the Suns ….

  • 35 KeZ // Apr 11, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I am sorry Elviro, but I don´t understand one word your typing :(

  • 36 Tony // Apr 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    @A-Rock,

    you’re calling people stupid and yet, you cannot even write in complete sentences. Did you even graduate from high school?

    Furthermore, are you seriously suggesting that Dudley is a better defender than Hill???? It’s not even close, Hill is a much better perimeter defender than Dudley. Also, in case you have noticed, Dudley hasn’t exactly been tearing it up lately.

  • 37 A-ROCK // Apr 11, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    @Tony

    shouldn’t you be talking about the owners and not to me?

    Go to espn and see for yourself who is better at Small Forward Grant or Dudley.

    I think Dudley is a better all around player than Grant just being good for defense…..

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