Phoenix Suns 2012-13 season predictions

Posted by on October 29th, 8:13 am

As the Phoenix Suns prepare to enter a new era, questions abound about where this organization is headed. The ValleyoftheSuns team takes aim at sorting out some of the crucial issues of the season in our annual season preview post before making a prediction for the campaign and looking back at what went down this offseason.

Who will be the team’s MVP?

Michael Schwartz: The Dragon, Goran Dragic. The Suns have always run a point guard-centric offense, and with Nash moving on to Tinseltown this is his team now. Jared Dudley for one has raved about how different Dragic looks in comparison to his first Suns tenure, as he’s so much more poised and in control out on the court. After exploding for 18.0 points and 8.4 assists in 28 starts last season, Dragic will take the reins as the Suns’ most important player.

Kevin Zimmerman: Goran Dragic is going to have a big year, I think. But who else am I going to choose? Michael Beasley still has a lot to prove, and you can’t overlook his talent. Combine that with the opportunity being given to him already by Gentry and the staff, and he’s going to be the most valuable player to the Suns. I don’t expect this will happen overnight, but even if he is 75 percent of what Phoenix hopes he’ll be, he will be the best player on the team.

Ryan Weisert: Goran Dragic. Of all the Suns’ offseason acquisitions, Dragic is the one with the most clearcut path to success. Goran is basically a younger, quicker, left-handed Steve Nash. He may not have the out-of-this-world passing ability or 50-40-90 shooting accuracy, but Dragic will be an elite assists per game player as well as a better penetrator and scorer than Nash was the last few years. Dragic will be the engine that makes this team go and thus he’ll be the most valuable guy on the roster.

Dave Dulberg: Goran Dragic may not be the 18 and 8 guy he was over the final month in Houston, but having him back in town will a pleasure to watch for Suns fans. If Phoenix exceeds expectations, it will likely be because of the Slovenian. He will never be Steve Nash, but in 2012-13 he will surprisingly show why that might not be such a bad thing moving forward.

____ is the new Sun who will make the most surprising impact. 

Michael Schwartz: Wesley Johnson. It’s hard to know what to expect out of Wes, the former No. 4 overall pick who was absolutely brutal for two years in Minnesota. But all those expectations are gone, and now Johnson can carve out his own niche off the bench for a coach in Alvin Gentry who will truly support him. The Suns could really use a three-point shooting wing who can defend off the bench, and I see Johnson becoming a productive player in that role in what will likely be a contract year.

Kevin Zimmerman: Jermaine O’Neal. Maybe he was one of the last additions in the 2012 offseason, but O’Neal could very well turn into an important piece in Phoenix. Although worn down in his knees, the center was a starter for the Boston Celtics last year when he was healthy. If the Suns’ training staff keeps him healthy, O’Neal is a bargain of a backup player who can be an effective shot blocker off the bench. He’s a veteran locker room presence who has the respect to corral a team that’s full of youngsters. He might not put up eyebrow-raising numbers, but his defensive presence is something Phoenix dearly needs.

Ryan Weisert: Markieff Morris. The narrative of the Suns’ offseason definitely focused on their free agent acquisitions, but I think Morris, heading into his sophomore season, could be the player with the surprise impact. He proved last season he can score inside, shoot from range, rebound, and be physical. In the Vegas Summer League, he stepped up as both a leader and a scorer. This season, I think his physicality and diverse skill set will earn him big minutes, and allow him to become a major part of the Suns’ game plan on both ends of the floor.

Dave Dulberg: I am an unabashed Wes Johnson fan, so for me the choice is obviously the former No. 4 overall pick. He hasn’t lived up to the hype coming out of Syracuse and was just traded as a salary dump, but if the Suns’ bench is anywhere near what it was in 2009-10, Johnson is going to have to be the guy. Whether it’s a big three, a crucial steal or a much-needed rebound, the subs will rely on the former Big East Player of the Year to be the unit’s main playmaker.

The Suns’ Achilles’ heel is ___?

Michael Schwartz: I’ll give you two for the price of one: rebounding and preventing dribble penetration. Those are Gentry’s two biggest worries entering the season for good reason. Offensive rebounds have killed the Suns defensively for years, and there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue to be the case. With Goran Dragic defending at the point of attack, they should do a better job of preventing dribble penetration, but Gentry still was not pleased on that count in the preseason.

Kevin Zimmerman: Shot blocking, which is why I chose O’Neal as the most surprising impact signing of the offseason. Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola have defensive capabilities that leave much to be desired, but even if they surprise, neither brings a nasty shot-altering presence to the defensive end of the floor. That, I believe, is one of the most important pieces to a playoff-worthy NBA team, and it’s the reason Alvin Gentry sometimes went with heavy doses of Robin Lopez last season.

Ryan Weisert: Defending elite players. Consider the following three facts: 1) The Suns haven’t been in the top 10 in points allowed since 2000-01. 2) They’ve been in the bottom 10 every season since 2003-04. 3) The Suns lost their best 1-on-1 defender, Grant Hill, in the offseason. Even with the influx of young bodies into the rotation, this team is going to be atrocious defensively. There doesn’t appear to be anyone on the roster capable of defending an opponent’s best perimeter scorer. Don’t be surprised if several players have career scoring nights against the Suns this season.

Dave Dulberg: Phoenix added a physical-minded forward in Luis Scola, but they also lost some bulk on the boards with the trade of Robin Lopez and the unfortunate news surrounding Channing Frye. That can’t be replaced. The Suns’ defense improved under Elston Turner, but the unit will never turn the page if it doesn’t limit teams to one look per possession. Marcin Gortat can’t just lead in that charge, he needs to take it upon himself to dominate, as 18 to 20 offensive rebounds allowed per night just won’t get it done.

How will the Suns finish?

Michael Schwartz: 36-46, 12th in the West. I really would not be surprised one bit by either a surprise playoff run or a collapse to the bottom of the conference, so I’ll split the difference and project them to finish 10 below .500. There’s plenty of talent, particularly in the starting lineup, but who exactly in the West is this team better than? I feel like Beasley is the key. If he finally gets it and plays like he did in the preseason finale, this team will outperform my prediction. If he plays like he has throughout his career, they very well may finish worse. Kind of a scary guy to be forced to rely on.

Kevin Zimmerman: I count only eight teams in the Western Conference that I believe are better off than Phoenix, and the Minnesota Timberwolves are a ninth if they can recover from no Ricky Rubio and no Kevin Love to start the year. In terms of on-paper talent, the Suns are arguably better off than last season, when reaching .500 seemed more incredible and due to a fantastic season from Steve Nash than anything. This season’s team, I swear, has more potential. I see them winning 40 games, which probably won’t be enough to make the playoffs, but it’s no 14th-place finish in the West.

Ryan Weisert: 38-44. The Suns’ early schedule is very favorable. Barring injury, Phoenix could easily be .500 or better at Christmas. But the West is incredibly deep this season. I expect several teams who were looking up at Phoenix in the standings last year (Golden State, Minnesota, and New Orleans) to round into form by New Year’s and start playing good basketball. I expect the Suns to win about 40 percent of their games from that point on and end up somewhere around 11th or 12th in the West.

Dave Dulberg: The Suns will finish 14 games below .500 at 34-48. Portland is clearly worse, as is Sacramento. After that, it’s pretty muddled with the likes of New Orleans, Golden State and Houston. Minnesota is probably more of a threat to finish No. 8 or No. 9 when Kevin Love returns, and Houston’s acquisition of James Harden makes the Rockets instantly better on paper when the season opens. So I think the Suns finish either 11th or 12th in the conference.

Bonus Question: What did the Suns accomplish this offseason?

Michael Schwartz: Plenty. As PBO Lon Babby said, they turned over the hour glass. No longer are they clinging to the final remnants of the SSOL era, they have officially turned the page with plenty of future flexibility to boot. Nash and Hill are gone, and in their place are talented young players like Dragic and Beasley. Along the way they made a savvy pickup of Scola and turned Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick into Wes Johnson and a first. Now comes the hard part, and that’s finding a star or two to transform Phoenix into a contender, and it’s anybody’s guess at this point where that kind of player might come from.

Kevin Zimmerman: They finally moved on from the Steve Nash era. While there wasn’t really a good way to go about it — trading Nash a season ago arguably was the best way — they didn’t screw around too much in attempting to bring Nash back or make it feel like they would. Accepting that it was time to move on was a divorce that was much like a, uh, divorce. Often times, it’s best to just get the hard part over with and move on.

Ryan Weisert: Hit the reset button. Remember playing Super Nintendo? Whenever things went completely pear-shaped in Super Mario, Donkey Kong, or even Battle Toads, you could always hit the reset button. That’s exactly what Phoenix did this offseason. With Nash, Hill, Warrick, Childress, and Lopez all gone, the Suns reloaded with youth and potential. Yes, they’re longshots for the postseason, but they successfully revamped the roster on the fly without dumping an awful team on their fan base. Phoenix also stayed in the running for a max-contract guy by converting its cap space into assets that should retain their value.

Dave Dulberg: They did two things really well: got younger and more athletic. And rid themselves of Robin Lopez, which came as a surprise to me. This is year one of what I think will be a three-year transition process, so I’m not expecting this past offseason to lead to instant results. They have a lot of unproven talent on the active roster, so it’s hard to speculate how much they really accomplished. If Beasley, Johnson or Marshall ever become the players most projected them to be coming out of college, the 2012 offseason will be looked at fondly in the years to come.

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

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Tags: Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jason A. // Oct 29, 2012 at 8:26 am

    42-40, missing playoffs.

  • 2 Forever is2long // Oct 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

    The Suns really goofed drafting Kendall Marshall with a lottery pick and Gortat and Scola are painfully slow together on defense in the paint. I knew Marshall was a mistake the minute they drafted him. I am not surprised we are getting killed with offensive boards. We will definitely miss the playoffs by how much depends on if they try to groom Marshall or not. If they spend the second half of the season playing Marshall 15 -18 minutes a night we will be 10 games under .500. If Telfair gets the vast majority of the backup minutes, Suns could be .500 at best. My guess is they win 38 games because Jermaine O’Neil will miss a bunch of games due to injuries which will destroy the Suns defensively.

  • 3 B. Cray Z. // Oct 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

    “hope springs eternal”

    hate our management, with all their lies

    that sleazy liar Babby claims that he was able to land all of his targets?

    then where is his #1 target (Ray Allen) this year? with the Heat. O.J. Mayo? Mavs. what about Courtney Lee? Gogi has a strong relationship with Alvin (as does Barbosa, Nash & Hill) but Babby would love to take credit for Gogi coming back, when he was the one who traded him away. When you come down to what is true, nobody else would touch Beasley with a 10-foot pole. Eric Gordon was just a ruse, a circus show. Tell me where our credibility lies. Suns have none left.

  • 4 Ty-Sun // Oct 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Team MVP – Dragic.

    Most surprising impact – That a tough one but if you really mean “surprising” my guess would be Tucker. He’s not going to suddenly shoot to stardom but I think that whenever the Suns need him, he’ll come from the far end of the bench and add energy, enthusiasm and just play his heart out whenever given the opportunity.

    Achilles’ heal – The lack of a star/elite player. Say what you will about this team but I believe they are one player away from not only making the playoffs but contending.

    Finish – 41-41. I say that mainly because there are so many unknowns this season that it’s right in between my two ideas of my best and worst expectations. If everything comes together a 50-32 season isn’t out of reach. If it doesn’t, a 32-50 isn’t out of the question either.

    Bonus Q – The Suns managed to position themselves well for the future. They are younger, have better complimentary players and a more well rounded team overall while maintaining the flexibility to sign that max contract guy who will push them back into the playoff picture. And I think they made themselves an even more attractive destination for that player.

  • 5 Michael // Oct 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Which max. player are we talking about? I honestly don’t see any of the candidates/ superstars willing to join the Suns.
    There aren’t THAT many players who will become free agents the next two off-seasons. Most of the business will be done before, and there are so many teams with financial flexibility that are more attractive in terms of the market and/or the management. I just don’t see Babby/Blanks/Sarver outperforming Mavs/Rockets/OKC/NO… to acquire a player with Josh Smith or better calibre…
    Mediocrity will be the description of this season. That’s great. Stevie is gone, SSOL is history. So be it. But I’m not really optimistic this will get any better soon.
    We have a nice team together now, which might develope nicely. But a Sarver-team will never get the possibility to become a true contender against the absolute elite teams.

  • 6 DBreezy // Oct 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve been feeling between 28-33 W’s for awhile now and looking for something to move me off that. Personally, I haven’t found it so far, perhaps watching some real games will change that. I basically see a ‘standard’ lottery team. Like many of the teams I check out on League Pass, there are several interesting facets to them, but really they’re only special because they’re my favorite squad. They’ve got requisite past their prime vets that are constantly overrated by coaches, commentators and fans (Think Jamison in CLE post-Lebron or take your pick of Hedo or Marion in TOR). They’ve got you’re assortment of ‘just around the corner’ young players, often taken with mid to lower picks. They’ve got the young star who will change everything if he puts it all together(think Lamar Odom on Gentry’s Clips)

    I was talking to a good friend of mine from Detroit about our upcoming game and we hit upon on some of the similarities between our squads. We’re both lottery teams, but with established veteran coaches who have systems and hold players accountable. No Jacque Vaughn’s or Marc Jackson’s here. Stuckey is like their Goran. Knight is like their Beasley in the sense of a very high draft pick who could change things considerably if he hits his potential. Gortat and Monroe. Daye and Johnson. Prince and Scola. It’s a stretch outside of fg% but Villaneuva and Morris. O’Neal would have fit with Ben Wallace if he had returned.

    It was mostly a light hearted conversation in that vein, but it also brought home to me that those Pistons have won 27. 30, and 25 games the last 3 seasons.

  • 7 Ty-Sun // Oct 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Lol. If you want specific names from me you’re SOL. Free agents aren’t the only way to acquire and elite player. If the basketball gods decide to smile on The Valley then Beasley might suddenly blossom into the elite player that everyone once expected him to become. The Suns could get lucky in the draft next year and get him there. With the new CBA who knows when a team might decide to trade away a great but too expensive to keep player away as OKC just did with Harden. With the players the Suns have now plus the draft picks they’ve acquired they they have some pretty good trade bait to offer. I’m not saying it will happen, just that the potential is there.

    And frankly, Nash – and Hill – being gone is a plus for attracting other high level players. D-Will said that one of the reasons that he stayed with the Nets was because he was worried that if he signed with Dallas that Dirk might go downhill quickly because of his age. Don’t you think that people are still wondering that about Nash? And were wondering it about Hill too? Phoenix was well on it’s way to becoming an NBA near-retirement home but that changed this season.

  • 8 Brandon // Oct 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    We will go as far as dragic and beasley takes us.

    MVP- dragic 19ppg-9ast

    Suprise impact- Johnon will be starting sg before season is over.

    achilles heal- using 13th pick on marshall

    record- 44-38 8th seed

    last question- they got 2 potential all-stars in dragic in beasley

  • 9 JZ // Oct 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I wonder which was is going to be the better rookie point guard by the end of the season Marshall or Scott Machado?

  • 10 Kevin Zimmerman // Oct 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    ^^JZ

    Very good question. Really liked what Machado brought and think he’s closer to Marshall than most think (I’d say him going undrafted is more a travesty than Marshall going 13th, but we’ll see down the road). Like Marshall, Machado got a lot of assists because of the system, and with less talent.

  • 11 Scott // Oct 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I’m not ready to be negative about this season yet.

    In the first eight games, there’s only one guaranteed loss: Miami.

    If the Suns fare poorly against the weak teams in the early season, there will be more justification for being crabby.

    Let’s see how it goes.

  • 12 john // Oct 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    My take:

    Team MVP – Dragic. When was the last time the MVP of a Suns team wasn’t the 1? Gortat and Beasley can challenge for this honor, but Gortat’s success might be largely dependent on the success of his teammates. As far as Beasley is concerned, I just don’t have the faith in him that I have in Dragic.

    New Sun with surprising impact – I would be surprised if Johnson had a significant impact, which is why he’s the easy answer. We know what Scola can do. To an extent, we know what Dragic and Beasley can do. I don’t think Marshall will get significant PT this year, same with guys like Garrett and Jones. Johnson is really the only choice here.

    Achilles’ Heel – Shot-blocking. Gortat is a decent shot-blocker, even good. But Gortat alone isn’t going to scare teams from driving the lane. I don’t have a whole lot of faith in this team’s ability to keep players out of the lane, and I have even less faith in their ability to send shots back.

    How will the Suns finish? I’m calling 36 wins. And I don’t consider that a failure for this squad. I consider that a step in the right direction. Some re-tooling over the next two offseasons (or during the season) can quickly make this a contending team.

    What did the Suns accomplish – A fresh start. Finally, this team can break free from the death grip SSOL held on them for nearly a decade. That was fun basketball to watch, but I don’t think it’s a championship formula. This team has an opportunity to build a team the RIGHT way, by starting on the defensive end.

  • 13 Tony // Oct 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Absolutely astonishing…so many yahoos and dingbats excited about yet another mediocre Suns team! Oh sure, the Three Stooges moved on from the Nash-era, nevermind the fact that for the past two previous seasons, they decimated the talent level on this team. Nevermind the fact that this current roster does not have one legitimate allstar player. Sure it’s possible Beasley finally proves his value; sure it’s possible that Dragic continues to elevate his game as he did as a Rocket in the last 28 games of the season; heck, it’s possible even Marshall shows that he even deserves to be in the NBA. But each of these possibilities is not likely to happen. So far, the Suns players have not deviated from their previous play over their respective careers. Dragic has played aggresively at times and then passively; Beasley has gone on a scoring frenzy and then followed it by lousy performances in subsequent games; and other than a couple nice passes, Marshall doesn’t look like he belongs in the NBA at this point.

    Yet, because Sarver and Babby finally forced Nash to leave by not offering him a deal, and because the past two seasons have been dedicated to cutting salary by ridding the roster of talent, people like Ty-Sun or Jason are excited simply based on the fact that Sarver and Babby didn’t retain Nash and Hill and have bought into this idea that younger role players is the way to rebuild.

    As far as I can tell, this Suns team will end up 14th in the western conference. I would have picked them 13th prior to the Rockets deal, but landing Harden gives the edge to the Rockets in terms of comparing roster talent and since both teams don’t have any team chemistry developed yet, neither has an advantage in terms of chemistry at this point. The only other team worse than the Suns in the west is probably the Kings. Each of the other lottery teams in the west not only improved their rosters, but built upon a foundation they developed the past season or two.

    I realize that objectivity and realism takes a back seat to fantasy on ValleyoftheSuns, but I challenge anyone to reasonably explain how this Suns team is better than any of the western conference’s other lottery teams from last season. (Excluding the Kings of course).

  • 14 sun also rises // Oct 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    “I realize that objectivity and realism takes a back seat to fantasy on ValleyoftheSuns…”

    No more so than when you’re off your meds you silly scootch. Glad to see you’re back for another year of putting this same stupid post up over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over

    … cue cut and pasted comments about $arver lovers and the same laughable crap the rest of us have been pity giggling at for the last few years. Tony = this board’s answer to Gallagher, except his material’s even older and more tired.

  • 15 sun also rises // Oct 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Also I put the over/under on Tony’s annual “I CAN’T STAND WATCHING THIS TEAM ANY MORE (pee wee herman voice)” lie about leaving/cashing in his phony phan card/this is my last post ever at about mid-November.

    Lest we all forget he did this in March (and did it in January the year before) and stayed away for about two days before he came back and started up again. We should see if we can trade the K-Bros that LakeShowforLife moron for this kid, and promote some harmony by showing that each franchise has its bonafide self-hating scumbags whose sole purpose is to embarrass their “home teams” fanbase.

  • 16 john // Oct 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    @Tony – Challenge accepted. I’ll look at it from the angle that win shares (WS) can be used to accurately gauge contributions to team success in the present and to predict future success and contributions.

    The 2011-12 Suns roster, according to WS, should have won 29 games if you use their 2010-11 numbers to predict the 2011-12 season. They outperformed that total by 4 wins, ending up with 33. Pretty much all of the discrepancy between the predicted and actual totals can be attributed to the emergence of Marcin Gortat. In a full season in 2010-11, he managed just 5.1 win shares (the vast majority of which came in Phoenix, when his role was increased). During the shortened 2011-12 season, his increased role resulted in 7.6 win shares. Marcin’s 5.1 WS from 2010-11 would have adjusted to 4.1 in the shortened season. 7.6 minus 4.1 is 3.5, which rounds up to four. So, again, pretty much the entire difference in “predicted” wins vs. actual wins is due to Marcin.

    So, we can see that this system is at least fairly accurate in predicting future successes, as it very accurately predicted the 2011-12 Phoenix Suns win total. Let’s apply that to this season.

    Using the 2011-12 stats to predict this teams win total, the team is predicted to get 34 wins. And that’s not adjusting for the fact that Goran played less than half the season in a starter’s role, Michael Beasley will undoubtedly play a greater role in the Phoenix system, and FOUR of the Suns’ roster spots are filled with zeros in the 2011-12 WS category (Garrett, Marshall, Zeller, and Tucker). Given the fact that the 11-12 Suns out-performed their “predicted” win total by 4, and given the fact that two of the major players on this Phoenix team will see greatly increased roles this season (Dragic and Beasley), I don’t think it’s far-fetched at all to say this team is capable of more than 40 wins.

    I predicted 36. And, for the record, I really can’t see how that could be considered “fantasy.” Your idea that the Suns will finish 14th in the WC is more of a fantasy, in my opinion. In a full-length season, last year’s 14th place team would have come up with 27 wins. In 10-11 it was 24 wins. In 09-10 it was 25 wins. In 08-09 it was 19 wins. In 07-08 it was 22 wins. And so on…

    If you’re telling us that you think the Suns are going to win about 22-25 games, I think you’re the one living in a fantasy world, and you might be the only yahoo or dingbat in this conversation. You gave zero reason to believe the Suns will be any worse than what anyone else predicted, and yet you insulted the intelligence of everyone here. Do you need a mirror to talk to?

  • 17 Tony // Oct 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    @John,

    Oh you misunderstand me, I don’t think the Suns will only win between 22-25 games. More realistically, I expect them to win between 30-35 games. I never said they would be in the bottom five of the league, only the bottom of the much more talented western conference. Just for the record, if the Suns win 22-25 games, it will actually serve their long-term interest by giving them a very good shot at landing a potential franchise player in next season’s weaker draft. For many, the worst possible scenario is another mediocre non-playoff season, in which they don’t win enough to make the playoffs but are not bad enough to have a reasonable chance of drafting an elite player.

    So instead of falsely interpreting what I wrote, explain why you think this Suns team will be any better than what every national sports analyist has predicted the Suns to finish (i.e., better than a 30-35 win season).

    Sun-Also-Loser is back again I see.

    Why is it you almost always seem to post so soon after I do? Are you even more of a loser than I originally thought and sit on your likely fat ass all day searching the internet? It’s ok though Sun Loser, your penchant for engaging in childish loser postings that provide nothing of any substance has become such a common theme of yours, that in the unlikely event you ever do come up with something intelligible to say, no one will bother to even read what you post. So instead of remaining a loser and resorting to immature conduct, why don’t you try acting like an adult and substantively dispute my arguments with facts and logic?

  • 18 john // Oct 30, 2012 at 6:59 am

    @Tony

    You said, “this Suns team will end up 14th in the western conference.”

    If 14th in the WC equates to 30-35 wins in your head, you should have said so. Also, you should have thought about what your prediction implicated. This isn’t the NBA of the mid 2000′s. 14th in the West hasn’t resulted in 30 wins or more in over 5 years.

    Based on your comments, I can tell you’re not the type of person who’s open to reasonable conversation, so I’m not going to waste any more words.

  • 19 Luka // Oct 30, 2012 at 8:00 am

    It’s tough to see this team winning more than 36 games this season. But no one should be upset, our time to tank has been long overdue.

    Here’s a likely blueprint of the season:

    Alvin “We just need to make shots” Gentry will soldier on with SSOL; despite the fact that he lacks the necessary personnel to do so. Half the time Dragic will be looking for his own shot, and no one on the roster can create their own shot outside of Beasley. Beasley has a penchant for taking difficult shots, and will be forced into them more when defenses trap. Expect a lot of isolations going nowhere late in the shot clock.

    Management didn’t improve this team at all defensively. Expect the Suns to get burned in transition all season long. Scola will be a liability guarding opposing PFs. The Suns have nobody coming off the bench that can defend their own shadow. Unless you want to count PJ Tucker, who Gentry actually thinks can guard the likes of: LeBron and KD.

    Instead of investing in a quality reserve back-up C, they inked injury prone Jermaine O’Neal. Then they keep Luke Zeller which is exactly the opposite of what they needed. Yet, Blanks feels it’s necessary to have 4 PGs on the roster.

    If they want to tank, then job well done. Maybe we can get that PF we so badly need. But with these bozos in the front office it’s usually: trial & error, speaking in platitudes, or in Sarver’s case sheer stupidity. Sarver will have this team doing collages by all-star break.

  • 20 Tony Padegimas // Oct 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    The Suns haven’t made a GOOD roster move since they signed Grant Hill as a free agent way back when. Everyone they have moved through the locker room since then has either under-performed compared to cost, or has been an unqualified failure. The roster we have before us is the inevitable result.

    (OK – Gortat for Jason Richardson should have been a wash – IF you’re not running SSOL. But we were, so it becomes just the least horrible trade.)

    Scola has the best chance among the new Suns in justifying his money. Dragic should have been a Sun all along – so we are simply getting some talent back from a pointless trade.

    The Suns are more interested in avoiding the luxury tax than in winning championships. And in those terms, they are clearly succeeding.

    Even if Beaseley has a break-out season, he will be traded before he becomes a free agent.

    I’ve written before that eventually $arver will start counting the empty seats and do something about this, but we’re at that point, and it’s only getting worse. I’m already at the point where I wouldn’t pay to watch this team. I’m afraid by the end of this season, I won’t even want to sit through Room Store commercials to watch them either.

    40 wins – max. Irrelevant in the Western Conference.

  • 21 Jeremiah // Oct 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    @Luka

    Gentry has never run the “SSOL” system since he has been the coach. He still plays an uptempo game plan, but it is far from SSOL. He has only run the offense that is going to work best with his personnel. When you have Nash as your point guard and he is your best player than you are going to play uptempo and run a lot of pick-n-rolls. Now he will be running a lot of the corner offense because Dragic, Scola and Beasley all have experience in that system and those are the best offensive players on this team.

  • 22 SunsScorcher // Nov 1, 2012 at 6:21 am

    The FA market and hunting down a max FA is NOT what the first priority should be around the Suns. The ultimate goal should be trying to secure a top 5 pick in the lottery and hopefully snag a superstar. Maybe two years of that and we can turn the corner. The only player worth retaining is Dragic, but if the offer were right, I’d deal him too. This team is clearly fighting Sacramento for the basement in the WC, and is in competition, truly, with Detroit, Cleveland, and Orlando for the 2nd worst record behind Charlotte. Finish as bad as you can and hope the lottery fairy is friendly enough to grant us the 1st pick. I only hope the bumbling fools in the FO realize this and play this the right way and draft the right player. As bad and depressing as this season may be due to the approach I’m suggesting, you have to project just how revitalizing and invigorating having an Anthony Davis would be for this organization and the fanbase. Then they can focus on FA signings if they want, but I’d rather go for a high pick again if it’s between that signing a player that is a “max player” in contract only. Seattle/OKC had to stink horribly for a couple of years, and now look at what they have. That’s what I want, not a team like Memphis or Indiana as the ceiling. Again, we aren’t getting a Durant by constantly drafting between 8 and 15.

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