Utah Jazz 87, Phoenix Suns 80 — Second quarter shutdown

Posted by on January 5th, 1:07 am

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns played a near flawless offensive first quarter in which their starters played almost the whole time.

But once the bench entered to start the second the Suns looked like a different team as they bricked their way to a putrid final three quarters in their 87-80 loss to the Utah Jazz.

“I thought the first quarter was the best we’ve played all season,” said head coach Alvin Gentry. “I thought the last three quarters were just the worst we could have possibly played. The second quarter was as poorly as we’ve played the whole season. The last two quarters I didn’t think we really did anything in those two quarters, too. So we had a really good first quarter and then I think the last three quarters we just never got anything going, had no rhythm. “

The Suns shot an unsustainable 77.8 percent in the first quarter while drilling 14-of-18 shots with Shannon Brown’s 1:21 for Jared Dudley being all the time the bench received.

After the bench unit hit its first two shots to begin the second, the Suns failed to score a single point over the next 8:27 until Luis Scola mercifully ended the drought with a jumper. For the quarter, the Suns made as many shots (four) as they missed in the entire first quarter for as shocking of a turnaround as you will ever see at this level.

The Jazz went on an 11-0 run during the first four minutes of this drought to tie the game at 36 before going stone cold themselves. The Jazz then failed to score for the next four minutes of the Suns’ scoreless streak during a period in the game in which the teams combined to miss a whopping 15 consecutive shots.

The second quarter was so bad that the Suns yielded an opponent season low in scoring and were still outscored by eight. Yes, this was an NBA game we’re talking about, and this came against teams ranked 23rd and 26th in defensive efficiency entering the night, so this wasn’t exactly the early 90’s Knicks shutting people down.

“First quarter we just had good rhythm, ball movement,” Dudley said. “Second quarter it was isos, shot clock winding down, fadeaway, shot clock winding down, jump shot. Anytime we get in these iso situations we’re not going to be that good because we’re just not an iso team.”

The poor shooting was contagious as the Suns shot just 35.1 percent over the game’s final three quarters and scored as many points in the second and third quarters combined as they did in the first after that nine-point second quarter effort.

“We were always on the clock,” Gentry said. “We weren’t executing and we weren’t getting into the play sets quickly enough and so we got on the clock. So we end up taking some really difficult shots or forced shots because we were on the clock and we have to do a better job of getting ourselves in a position and getting ourselves set so that we can run the offense and execute it to the point that we can get good shots.”

Perhaps the rotations had something to do with the Suns’ poor effort as after Gentry pondered staggering his subs after Wednesday’s win, he went right back to the full second unit to begin the second quarter, and the Suns never regained their momentum from there.

His solution in the second half was just to ride his starters until the game was over for the most part, as Goran Dragic got his first rest with 5:18 remaining in the contest, Dudley did not sit until 2:26 remained in the game and Gortat played the entire second half.

Even if that had worked this time, riding the starters that hard is not a sustainable strategy, and at some point Gentry has no choice but to take them out for a rest. It’s tough when the starters are playing that well together, but perhaps staggering rest is the least of two evils if Gentry determines this bench as currently composed should not play together in a shift.

Making matters worse tonight, the Suns turned the ball over 20 times when they weren’t bricking jumpers, and they allowed the Jazz to score a whopping 60 points in the paint, which accounted for over two-thirds of their scoring for those non-math majors out there. The Jazz shot 51.7 percent in the paint and 32.3 percent outside it.

“That’s really a high number when you talk about the percentage of points scored in the paint compared to the overall points,” Gentry said. “Almost everything they did was in the paint except for a couple of jump shots.”

The silver lining in this one is that the Suns really did play incredibly well offensively in that first quarter. They moved the ball, played together and got easy shots. It was basketball as it’s meant to be played as Dragic tallied 11 points and three assists and both Scola and Gortat went for eight.

That lineup just seems to work with a nice combination of offensive and defensive players and probably Phoenix’s overall smartest combo of guys. I hope Gentry continues to trot out this lineup because it should only get better with more usage.

“The first quarter we all had fun playing together,” Gortat said. “We shared the ball, we swung the ball, we had an inside-outside game. First of all we had some stops, we had a good defense and we were able to run the break. Then all of a sudden second quarter, third and fourth quarter we did not do this. That’s just how it is. If you don’t play the game you’re supposed to play, you’re going to lose it.”

The Suns did indeed lose it for the seventh time in eight games, a losing streak that has dropped them 10 games below .500 in early January after losing to a traditionally porous road team.

The season is still young, yet after a poor performance like this the Suns must face the reality of being the second-worst team in the Western Conference.

“We’re just not a consistent team right now,” Dudley said. “That’s the only way to slice it. I’m not going to beat around the bush. We’re good one quarter, then other quarters we’re not. Defensively sometimes we’re in there and sometimes we get lapses and because of that it’s indicative of our record, and right now we’re not a real good team.”

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 Recap · Utah Jazz

55 responses so far ↓

  • 1 SHAZAM // Jan 5, 2013 at 1:29 am

    tank you very much

  • 2 Luka // Jan 5, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Gentry is so clueless. He said a game ago he was going to shorten the rotation. Then in the second quarter he’s back to this 10 man nonsense with Beasley and Morris taking turns pissing the game away. It takes Gentry half the quarter, and with the lead gone to finally substitute in some starters. At least activate Diante Garret and give Wesley Johnson a shot at back-up SF/SG again. Could they be any worse than Beasley at this point?

  • 3 bill.thomas // Jan 5, 2013 at 2:51 am

    @ Luka: I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Is there a rendering plant nearby that would take Morris?

  • 4 bill.thomas // Jan 5, 2013 at 3:02 am

    If we were smart we would have fobbed Morris off on the Hornets instead of Lopez. And then held our nose and traded Gortat for good assets.

    We would have held Brooks to a personal character regime, signed him, and waived Telfair.

    We would have forgotten that Brown ever existed and signed Meeks before the Lakers signed him at the last minute.

    We would have experimented with Beasley but not so generously.

    We would have kept Hill as a personal character enforcer if affordable. We blew off Grant Hill and OJ Mayo like they were the biggest assholes on the face of the earth.

    That is on Babby and Blanks.

    How is that for an intelligent comment, Shazam?

  • 5 bill.thomas // Jan 5, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Wasn’t there a book called “A Confederacy of Dunces.”

  • 6 bill.thomas // Jan 5, 2013 at 3:21 am

    If the shoe fits, wear it, Babby !!!!!!!

  • 7 Luka // Jan 5, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Suns owner Robert Sarver received a phone call from David Stern that Lon Babby was violating league transactional guidelines.

    According to Stern’s source, Babby had placed a phone call to the Cheesecake Factory and was attempting to work out a trade involving Michael Beasley and Markieff Morris for Cheesecake Factory stock, and gift cards.

    The source went on to speculate that such a move was made simply as an attempt to dump salary for Phoenix, and to use corporate stock and giftcards as “business expenditures” which could be later manipulated as tax write-offs.

    Robert Sarver strongly denies these allegations, and says an internal investigation will be conducted.

    According to the source, The Cheesecake Factory representative who answered the phone was reportedly a low level employee who terminated the call after several attempts by Mr. Babby to speak to the CEO failed.

    If found in violation of the leagues transactional guidelines, it could cost the Suns organization several future first round draft picks, and a league mediator would assume control of front office activities.

    Lon Babby could not be reached for comment.

  • 8 SHAZAM // Jan 5, 2013 at 3:26 am

    its not so much your content bill its the sadness of your impulsiveness and your inability to control multi 3 sentence postings back to back to back..as ive said..some times you are very clever and your first comment was great and concise….then you lost control again…couldnt control your impulse to keep spewing…you couldnt wait for someone to post in between…you just had to crap on the site with multi posts…sad sad sad…let me put it all together for you and show you the preferred way of doing things

  • 9 SHAZAM // Jan 5, 2013 at 3:31 am

    BTW, its not Gortat’s fault, so why post his pic under the headline?????A pic of Morris would be way more Appropo !!!Wasn’t there a book called “A Confederacy of Dunces.”If the shoe fits, wear it, Babby !!!!!!!

    ………..THATS WHAT 4 OF YOUR POSTS LOOK LIKE IN ONE COMMENT..it reads better its entertaining ,clever and informative instead of annoying and inconsiderate and unread by most people

  • 10 bill.thomas // Jan 5, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Great idea, let’s wear out Dragic, Gortat and Dudley. Next time we do that let it be because Brown, Morris and Telfair are in session taking the GED test.

  • 11 SHAZAM // Jan 5, 2013 at 4:05 am

    @ steve hes just a troll..prolly drinks too much..we have decided to stop reading his posts.

  • 12 SHAZAM // Jan 5, 2013 at 4:19 am

    yeah steve tony posted yesterday..still hates sarver and babby..i dont much blame him..hows your golf game coming along? i shot an 82 today..did i tell you the family is staying in thailand for the next three months?we are having a blast..i would stay longer but ive got cindy going back to stanford

  • 13 King of all sports // Jan 5, 2013 at 4:37 am

    HAhahahaha .Did you notice that Bill is a one trick idiot?Moms basement,GED.What does that sound like?Hmmm someone with a GED who lives in moms basement?Ive read his last post until he gets civil and puts them in less comments.

  • 14 Steve // Jan 5, 2013 at 4:40 am

    @ SHAZAM.Thailand?I love it there.Went to Chaing Mai a few years ago.Great golf courses there.

  • 15 Sillmarillion // Jan 5, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Could anyone ban Bill Thomas for good? What an anooying prick…
    Sadly for the Suns they only have 4-5 decent players. The moment the bench has to play the desaster begins. Recently, even O’Neal sucks…

  • 16 Bob Thomas // Jan 5, 2013 at 6:46 am

    is oneils back still giving him trouble?

  • 17 SHAZAM // Jan 5, 2013 at 6:50 am

    @ bob i know you arent related to that bill tard so i read your comment..i dont think oneil would be playing if he has any real health issues

  • 18 Polish_fan // Jan 5, 2013 at 7:45 am

    To be hones guys, who cares if that guy post 3 various comments in 3 various posts. Just scroll the page, though :) Its wasting a time to discuss for so much time about that shit

    Btw, in Europe there are no second units. In a sense that they are playing as a second different team. Coaches are rather mixing it up during entire game. I know that there are much more NBA games. I am not saying that necessairly the first unit should play all 4 Qs. But it should be more mixed.

    It was clearly a one big mess after putting second unit changing entire players at the floor. After that sweep the first unit was kind of lost and couldnt get back into the game. That breaks should be smaller but more often in all 4 Qs and not 12 min in second quarter.

    Who agree?

  • 19 Sillmarillion // Jan 5, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Also, this game is evidence that Gortat can easily match with the best centers in this league (someone on this board wrote some days ago that Gortat only wins duells vs. lowskilled centers).

  • 20 azbballfan // Jan 5, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I think Gentry put in his bench because he had to

    your starters cant play 48 minutes, and even if we shorted the rotation to say 8 guys…..

    The Bench has to be productive for the Suns to win

    Utah destroyed us inside

    I heard somewhere on a podcast that the Suns biggest problem is that

    the players who are good on offense cant defend

    and the people who are good at defense, cant score

    Dudley, Gortat, Dragic and Scola are our most conisistent players

    yet

    Dudley can defend and score some, but isnt athletic enough to finish at the rim

    Gortat is our best defender but he only averages 11 points a game

    Dragic is our best all around player but cant do everything by him self

    and scola is good at rebounding and scoring but he cant block shots or finish at the rim (i.e. limited athleticism)

    The Suns would do well do clear the logjam at PF by the trade deadline

    I look up and down the roster, and despite having like 4 guys that can play PF, none of them are the long term answer

  • 21 Scott // Jan 5, 2013 at 9:33 am

    My take on it is pretty much the same as what others have said. The first unit had great poise and rhythm, they were playing their game (not Utah’s), and and they were tearing it up in the first quarter. The 2nd unit came in and were lethargic and unfocused, and despite that being super obvious, Gentry let them stay in until the entire lead was squandered.

    IMO, Gentry should have burned a TO early on to try to get the 2nd unit to shape up. If that didn’t work, he needed to burn a 2nd one right away to either return to the first unit, or swap out specific players to make sure the Suns didn’t lose their lead and their momentum.

    We’ve seen Gentry do this before. I have no idea why he didn’t do it this time.

    By the time the starters came back into the game, Utah had gained confidence and the starters had picked up the 2nd unit’s malaise by contagion, having watched them from the bench.

    Like a lot of other observers, I too was wondering why Gentry went ahead and put in a whole 2nd unit after he’d said he was going to shorten the rotations, and I wondered why he stuck with the whole 2nd unit as long as he did. Also, I don’t understand why he’s still playing Beasley instead of giving Johnson a try. And toward the end of the game, I don’t know why he didn’t take the starters out when they were down by a ton and there was 4 min to go, especially when there are so many players on the team who need court time, and the loss wasn’t really the fault of the starters.

    On the plus side, I was glad to see – in garbage time – Telfair and Marshall playing together, though in 2 minutes there wasn’t much time to see how that was going to work. I also liked seeing Johnson throw down a dunk, even though I’d rather see him come in focused on playing lockdown defense.

    Johnson, reportedly, can play defense. I don’t think we’ve seen that yet. If he could demonstrate that, he could possibly start over Tucker at SG, or at least get on the court with the 2nd unit in place of Beasley at SF. If Johnson can play defense better than Beasley or Brown, I’d like to see him get court time.

  • 22 Scott // Jan 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Here’s a hypothetical: if Frye was healthy and could suit up, how much better would the Suns be this year?

  • 23 peter // Jan 5, 2013 at 9:59 am

    “Gortat is our best defender but he only averages 11 points a game”

    because he is poorly used in offense, he running from paint to PG and set a screen, but then he is very rarely used well, he do a donkey work in offense like some rookie. Fortunately he is an unselfish, modest guy and probably do not suffer from this.

  • 24 azbballfan // Jan 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Yeah i would also like to see Johnson get substantial cour ttime

    He was the 4th overall pick a few years ago

    which of course mans nothing if you dont produce in the NBA

    But, talent is there and the Suns really have nothing to lose by thowing him and Marshall out there

    More losses like this and any hope for a playoff run will be over anyway.

    Gortat needs to get more touches

    11 points a game isnt enough on this team

    i hardly ever see Gortat go to the line

    in fact we dont really have anyone on the team that gets to the line consistently

    If Frye was healthy would this team be better?

    Maybe

    But where would he play?

    we already have 2 people that play the 5

    and 3 that play the 4 position

    Frye played 30 something minutes a game last year and gave us a modest 12.7 points and 6.8 boards a game

    Solid, but like many of our players, not anything great

    Thats really the identity of this team right now

    one good starting 1, one good starting 5 and everything else is a role player

  • 25 Ty-Sun // Jan 5, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I think that a healthy Frye could help a good deal this season. Even though his 3 point shooting was off most of last season, he had become a respectable rebounder and defender. If his 3pt shooting returned to par he would be an even bigger help. If nothing else having him available to play would have made for a stronger bench.

    After make the statement about possibly shortening the rotations and then still going with the two-unit substitution pattern last night, I wonder if Gentry didn’t just say that to try to light a fire under the second unit players. That obviously didn’t work if that was his aim.

    There are plenty of stats out there that show what the best player combos are and gentry just needs to take those and work out a staggered rotation system. If done properly, the starters could still get significant rest during games while keeping at least two of them on the court at all times instead of having them all on the bench at once while hoping that the 2nd unit doesn’t screw everything up as they did in this game. I wonder if Gentry isn’t just too determined to try to somehow recreate the great bench unit the Suns had a few season ago. THEN the 2 unit rotation worked. But this isn’t that team anymore and no matter what he tries this 2 unit rotation he wants just isn’t going to work this year.

  • 26 phxfaninla // Jan 5, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Lets draft michael carter williams or ben mclemore!

  • 27 bill.thomas // Jan 5, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Sorry about all the stupid overposting. I let some things bothering me go to my head and got compulsive while drinking. Talking to my self on here I guess, and not a good idea at all to be on here in that mental state.

    I’ll try hard not to have it happen again.

  • 28 jones // Jan 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    From AZCentral:

    Why the Suns lost: The second unit started an awful offensive stretch in which the Suns went 8:24 without scoring, but that still was not the reason they lost. The Suns still led early in the third quarter before the starters became a bumbling offensive unit, too. The Suns finished with the most turnovers they have committed all season, streamlining Utah’s ability to get the ball into the paint to its big men or off the dribble for easy scores.

  • 29 Voqar // Jan 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    4 on 5 would be better than playing beasely, which is like 4 on 6 because he does more to help the other team than his own team.

    I just don’t see how anyone can be so bad and have had success at any level.

    Maybe he needs to get back to smoking the ganj if he did actually quit, because his game couldn’t get any worse. Maybe he needs to relax.

    I’m sorta glad I fell aspleep during the second half and just checked the final score. Getting tired of watching a team play 25% of games.

    I like Gentry, but here’s the thing. If you have some decent players, and they only show up for 25% of games, where does the problem lie? To me, it’s the coaching not getting people to play full time.

    If you have a team that plays well when it passes and shares the ball (more scoring, more defensive intensity due to all being involved) but your team keeps getting away from it and fucking up royally, where does the problem lie? To me, it’s the coaching allowing it to continue.

    It is incredibly clear that this team plays better when it passes (to our team, not the other team, too much of that at times) and hustles. So when players start wanting to iso to much, sit them down, inluding brown, who CAN iso but it needs to come at appropriate times, and not for several possessions in a row.

    I’m sure they talk to beasely but I can’t imagine what they’re saying. It must be something like “we know you’re a basketball god so keep jacking up horrific shots and eventually we’re sure they’ll go in”

    When they should be saying, just relax, play, let the game come to you, focus on getting to the rim for QUALITY shots and only taking QUALITY shots, move, cut, use you athleticism to shed defenders, people will pass, moreso if you ever make a fucking layup.

  • 30 Ty-Sun // Jan 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    @bill.thomas – I’ve been there before. No big deal. Thanks for the future effort to keep it under control. You have some interesting observations/opinions. It’s just a little annoying when you but them into 20 one or two sentence posts.

  • 31 Ty-Sun // Jan 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Regarding last night’s game, It’s got to be disheartening for the starters to turn over a very well played 1st quarter to the second unit and then see everything they worked hard to accomplish go up in a puff of smoke. Who does have enthusiasm for cleaning up any mess that someone else created? Especially when you left them something good, then they screwed it up and somehow you are supposed to fix something that didn’t need fixing before they got their hands on it?

    No wonder the starters couldn’t turn things around when they came back in.

  • 32 azbballfan // Jan 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    The Suns would do well to look ahead to 2014 NBA Draft

    That draft is supposed to be deeper, and unless a miracle happens, the Suns will be in the Lotttery next season too

  • 33 Scott // Jan 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Regarding the draft(s), with the Suns in such a state of flux, they should definitely go for the best player available and not try to fill a need.

  • 34 far // Jan 5, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Fire Gentry right NOW and get a new coach wit a WIN mind, this team is a kid team they can play 40+ min even kobe and nash play more minutes and are almost 40 years bot, and play Wes Johnson more moron

    source : nba.com/games/20130104/UTAPHX/gameinfo.html

    BAD MOVE: After saying before the game, “Maybe we can’t sub all the (bench) guys in at once.” Gentry did just that at the start of the second quarter. The result: With little firepower, the Suns went 8:27 without scoring and — after putting up 31 points in the first period — scored just nine in the second quarter.

  • 35 SHAZAM // Jan 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    i would like to thank the vos staff for deleting over half of the bill. thomas comments..i also accept bills apology..now back to basketball
    :)

  • 36 Scott // Jan 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    For the fun of it … my updated draft prediction is that the Suns would draw #8 and it would be SG Archie Goodwin.

    Teams I’d expect to draw before the Suns (roughly based on current standings):

    Wiz
    Cavs
    Cats
    Raps
    (… good grief, it’s all the usual suspects … again … just how many seasons do they need to tank …?)
    Pistons
    Hornets
    Kings
    Suns

    … All very subject to change. :)

  • 37 SHAZAM // Jan 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    i keep hearing rumors that marshal is sulky and isnt practicing as hard as he should..can some one fill in the blanks? (no pun intended)

  • 38 azbballfan // Jan 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Most teams are not the Thunder and manage to tank in such a way that a superstar, league leader in shot blocking, a sixth man of the year winner, and a great point guard all go to the same team in consecutive drafts

    The Raptors would be much better if Chris Both was still there, the Cavs or Cats also would be much better with Anthony Davis

    Sometimes rebuilding is part skill, and part luck

    besides, unless your the Jazz, gutting a team and making the playoffs the next season usually doesnt happen

    But look at the Jazz they traded their best player and got great value for him, and then made another couple of moves and got into the playoffs

    Now, they didnt do much

    but they have alot of talented players and just need to figure out how to trade Jefferson or Milsap and get a better offense in the backcourt

    The Suns waiting several years too late to trade nash, and waited too late to trade stoudemire

    yep thats right, we got a trade excption, a 2nd round pick, and 2 1sts and 2 2nd roundes for nash

    Thats a waste for two of the best Suns EVER

    Nothing babby and blanks has done has worked out, except the Gortat deal, who of course we already drafted then traded to Orlando for nothing

    Teams that get nothing for All-Stars and get nothing from the draft dont win anything meaningful

  • 39 Ryan // Jan 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    I can say without a doubt that i have no idea what the Suns plan is moving forward…..i will say this though blanks and babby may have set it up pretty nice for the next FO….by that i mean the next one will have a pass for a few years on building a winner.

  • 40 SHAZAM // Jan 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    @ azballfan your quote ——-> “Nothing babby and blanks has done has worked out, except the Gortat deal, who of course we already drafted then traded to Orlando for nothing”….dont forget that there was a murky period when babby was pawning clients off to sarver at high prices AND schmoozing sarver for FO job at same time…hedo turkeyglue comes to mind..we got gortat to make up for the earlier mistake…babby is pure evil…behind that east coast helium ballon voice lurks a machiavellian monster..he is the head of the snake..sarver is just the buffoon who comes out the other end

  • 41 Scott // Jan 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    @SHAZAM -

    I’m not hooked into the rumor mill, so I don’t know what’s up (or down) with Marshall. Not sure why he’d be sulky … except maybe due to getting hit by the reality that he’s locked behind 2 veteran PGs (and maybe an undrafted player as well), he’s not flanked by elite scorers anymore (which diminishes the value of his primary talent), and he can’t shoot. So he’s gone from BMoC at a school full of hot girls to lonely unknown NBA bench warmer guy in a foreign city.

    If he’s sulky at all, I’d guess that’s why. IMHO, he desperately needs a go-to shot, like a floater from 10′. If he had a shot he could expect to hit, like Scola does, it’s my belief he’d be significantly closer to getting some court time.

  • 42 azbballfan // Jan 5, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Yeah, maybe we should make Lindsey Hunter the GM

  • 43 SHAZAM // Jan 6, 2013 at 2:20 am

    @ scott and azbballfan if you were in charge what would be your strategy moving forward to build and what line ups would you put out today? azbball quote —> “The Suns waiting several years too late to trade nash, and waited too late to trade stoudemire”…no doubt that lead to the problem we are in in real..both of you are very insightful and add some of the best comments…actually anyone answer this for me..forget the past …what would you do in real time?

  • 44 azbballfan // Jan 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Well shoot i wrote a long post but i clicked something and all my post didnt get there

    if i had to try and fix this team to win now i would

    play Dragic, Brown, Dudley, Scola and Gortat the most

    bring 3 or 4 people off the bench

    everyone in the starting 5 is still young and should be able to play 36 minutes a game

    if i wanted to develop my players for the future i would

    sit my veterans down and tell them i just want them to do there best they can with like 19 minutes a game

    i would play morris at the 4, johnson at the 3

    dragic at the 2 and marshall at the 1

    obviously Gortat at the 5

    Long term fix would be for the Suns to look at players who are stuck on teams where they have talent but dont play much

    Anothony Randolph gets 7 minutes a game

    Thomas Robinson only gets like 13 a game

    Timofy Mozgov in Denver barely plays

    Jimmer Fredette barely plays either

    The Suns would do well to also look at trading picks and players to draft up

    I would love Nerlens Noel on this team

    and if the Suns actally draft someone you gotta play them

    our last 4 picks barely played

    Ckark, Lopez, Morris and Marshall

    meanwhile the Suns in previous drafts gave away future all stars for nothing

    Selling Loul Deng for Cash?

    giving up TWO 1st round picks for Kurt Thomas so the Susn can get eliminated in the 1st round by the Spurs?

    our FO needs to look ahead atleast 3 years

    Have them go call OKC and see what they want for the pick they are getting from Toronto

  • 45 azbballfan // Jan 6, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Supposedly the Suns could have gotten James Harden by giving up a 1st rounder and Marcin Gortat

    But the Suns balked at that deal

    he went to Houston for a expiring contract in Kevin Martin and a 2nd rounder and a rookie Jeremy Lamb

    Come on Suns

    Harden is getting you 26 5 and 5 and like a steal a game

  • 46 Harry // Jan 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Shazam,

    Last optimist here (well at least until about 8 minutes into the second quarter against Utah). I’ll take a crack at fixing this team.

    Most people when looking at a situation like this will tell you what players to play and what players to target. The big thing you’ll hear most discussed is trades, most of them having the home team rape the other guys. I’m going to try to look at the whole picture.

    When looking at improving a basketball team, you have two basic components; the management team and the players. The management team is essentially comprised of the front office and the coach. In theory, the GM is the top dog over the coach but any coach worth his salt has at least some say in player transactions. Rick Adelman clearly required this as a condition of employment at Minnesota. At one time, Greg Popovich was the general manger AND the coach. (Why don’t more teams do this?)

    So, should we fix the management, the players, or both. Well, the obvious answer is you have to fix all problems so let’s just do all. Realistically, things are never this simple and it’s best to attack one problem at a time. This brings us back to the basic question, players or management. Interestingly enough, Charles Barley has a couple good things to say about both parts. One the one hand he says “X’s and O’s don’t win games, players do” and on the other hand he says “I don’t want my players from the Ivy League, I want my coaches from there.” Very, very interesting and a whole lot to ponder.

    So, we’re kind of left with a chicken and egg scenario, aren’t we. Well, not really. While the chicken and egg dilemma may be tough (dunno, never really thought about it), the management/player quandary isn’t. Clearly, unless you are the Heat and LeBron wants to walk through the door, management decides who to get and then the coach decides who to play. When you eventually decide who plays, put the Ivy Leaguer on the bench(excluding Jeremy, you’re legit, but overrated), but until then, he’s the boss.

    So, from where I’m sitting, the rule of first error rules. Those in charge of acquiring players, and then allocating minutes hold all the power, and the corresponding blame (or praise if warranted.) Just look at the Suns this year. How much effect did the other players have when Beasley was appointed the king by management? Dragic couldn’t even bring the ball up the court as Gentry had given carte blanche to Beasley to run the show. What chance do the players have when the coach is allowing such shenanigans? It’s a recipe for disaster and it baked just as any recipe does.

    So with the blame clearly on management for this team, how do we proceed to fix this part? To decide this, we need to now divide between the front office and the coach. Were the problems specific to either party or both?

    Let’s start with the FO since they’re considered to be in charge. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail as I consider basically every move they have made as at best poor. Most have been a disaster. To me, I wouldn’t waste one nanosecond firing both Babby and Blanks. When they took over, the team had just lost in a very competitive WCF. An NBA championship was not beyond reach. Yes, A’mare had left but the 2010-2011 team still was the number two offensive team in the game when the Orlando trade went down. Most consider this the true start to their management. It is generally considered a coupe in the Suns community but in reality it was an absolute disaster. Consider this. At the trade date (12/18/10 from memory-correct if wrong), the Suns were the number two team in offensive efficiency. The lowest offensive team in the last five years to not make the playoffs was number 6. The Suns that year would have been number one in offensive efficiency and would have definitely made the playoffs. It is absurd to call this trade as being successful when it yielded two non-playoff years. Nash would have improved that 2010-2011 like he always did and that team would have been a competitive playoff team. I’ll stop with that trade but forward to this year. Dragic and Scola were the work of Sarver himself reportedly and Tucker was Majerle’s doing. How bad would this team be if they didn’t have Dragic, Scola and Tucker? Like I said, Babby and Blanks are easy dismissals.

    I’ve written what seems like a small book here. I’ll follow up in other posts. Stay tuned. Gentry should be dismissed, but when, and just how good is Goran Dragic? These are the keys to the future.

  • 47 Polish_fan // Jan 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    some stones cant be moved. People seems to think about thevplayers rotations as they dont see possibilities to do so in other areas of thst club

  • 48 Harry // Jan 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Polish_fan,

    Follow up further please. I like what you have to say but I’m not sure what you mean. Gortat is clearly a key to this team. I really think he is being miss used. Not enough PNR’s.

  • 49 azbballfan // Jan 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I am assuming it would take more than just a team that loses all the time and a vocal fanbase to get babby and blanks out of here

    Look what happened to Steve Kerr

    I think if Sarver really likes you, reguardless of the job your doing, you will be fine

    but if Sarver hates you or you were buddy buddy with him at some time and now are not, then your gone

    I dont think Babby and Blanks get kicked out until something changes in their relationship

    Sarver already gutted a WCF playoff team, traded away beloved players for nothing and scared off most of the established GM crop away

    Babby and Blanks had a hand in all that and nothing has happened yet so thats just my opinion

  • 50 Evan // Jan 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    1) Fire Gentry
    2)Trade anyone possible, as long as we get at least equal value back (only Gortat, and Dudley is that not really possible). Basically completely blow up the team.
    2) Get a coach that emphasizes hard work and defense, because those will make up for not having talent, which we wont have for a few years.
    3) Sign Roll model players, who want to win, and hustle.
    4) Do what it takes to get a star. (this could take a few years)

  • 51 Ty-Sun // Jan 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    CBSSports.com rates Dragic as the #15 PG in the NBA which is about where I would have placed him just on my gut feeling. Nash spoiled us! He was/is one of the greatest PGs ever and it’s unfair to Dragic to call him a failure just because he isn’t Steve Nash. The Suns have a very good PG in Dragic, better than many other teams have.

    I think the reason that the Suns went all in on Eric Gordon was because they knew that the 2 was their weakest position and that actually hurt them in recruiting OJ Mayo. I don’t remember the actual timeline but I think that NO was still deciding on whether to match the Suns’ offer to Gordon when Mayo came to Phoenix or at least Mayo wasn’t invited to Phoenix until after the whole Gordon fiasco played out. Either way, Mayo was let know that he was at best the Suns’ 2nd choice which certainly would have hit his ego in the wrong way.

    Trading Gortat for Harden sounds like a good deal but it would have left Phoenix with a very big hole in the middle so I don’t blame them for passing on that deal… IF it was really ever offered. If it was, I would suppose that taking on Perkins contract was part of the deal too. OKC would love to get rid of Perkins in any deal that would bring them even a middle-range starting NBA center. They couldn’t afford to pay Harden what he was worth which is why they traded him to Houston. At least in that trade they got Martin who has fit in well immediately and Lamb who could fill in the same role in the future.

    But back to the Suns, they could still make a trade with OKC that could make a big impact on their future. It depends on whether you think Lamb has a future in the NBA and whether Gortat is worth keeping instead of taking on Perkins contract. As I’ve said once before, Perkins would be a downgrade in talent but an upgrade in attitude. The Suns need some “mean” players.

    And with attitude as a premise, I would promote Bill Laimbeer as the next head coach of the Phoenix Suns. I know a lot of people don’t care about or even keep track of the WNBA but Laimbeer has proven to be a great coach there. I hated Laimbeer as a player but if Gentry is on his way out then I would love to see Laimbeer get his chance as an NBA head coach in Phoenix.

  • 52 azbballfan // Jan 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Gosh you know i wanna say Lambeer was coaching the Detroit Shock the WNBA but i cant remember specifically

    I think a coach can only do so much and with Gentry having a contract that expires at the end of the season i dont think any really good coach (stan or jeff van gundy?)

    would want to come into the franchise with the mess its in right now and turn it around

    if i am the Suns and i had to make a coaching change…..

    i would go the Bobcats route and get a coach like Mike Dunlap

    But at the end of the day, you gotta have the talent to win, or play such suffocating defense that it makes up for your putrid offense

    If Gentry doesnt want to be here next year why not give Lambeer a call

    If the Suns lose tonight maybe the fans that show up at US Airways can come to games in some kind of basketball related “paper bag with eyes on it over your head” set up

    i watched some of the Suns-Sixers game and there was totally no one at that game

  • 53 bill.thomas // Jan 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    If Gentry isn’t burnt out by now, then whatever he has should be bottled and sold on infomercials.

  • 54 bill.thomas // Jan 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Trading Gortat for Harden 1:1 would never occur in a million milleniums but if it did, we would be much, much better. Harden + Dragic > Harden + Lin. There are quite a few mediocre big men who could replace Gortat’s minutes and get better with playing time. E.g., Sean Williams. So we play small ball for a year.

    In that case we could also get Jamison for Beasley or for Johnson’s expiring contract. Jamison is surplus to requirements at Staples after Howard, Gasol and Hill. Jamison cannot be played in lieu of Gasol, if that happens a lynch mob will appear.

    But this is all hypothetical bc Suns management apparently made no headway as to Harden, whether through incompetence or bc OKC wanted nothing we had to offer.

    Actually OKC would demand Gortat, a take-off of Perkins’ contract, and other considerations.

  • 55 azbballfan // Jan 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    You got alot of good points there Bill

    Thats what i heard, Gortat, a 1st rounder for Harden.

    The Suns have the 2nd lowest payroll in the NBA righ tnow, and have almost zero money in payroll 3 years from now

    They need to pull the trigger on some moves soon

    2 wins on the road and its January and barely above 500 at home when you just had the easiest schedule in the NBA to this point.

    Yep, time for Babby to call in some favors for being an agent for 30 something years and get some deals done that make us a better team in the future cause we sure aint winning now

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