Dallas Mavericks 110, Phoenix Suns 95 -- Back to the cellar


Goran Dragic's strong game was not enough for the Suns to over come the Mavericks. (Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images)

Goran Dragic’s strong game was not enough for the Suns to over come the Mavericks. (Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images)

What keeps the Phoenix Suns from contending is not their ability to play top tier basketball. Their back-to-back victories over the Kings and Clippers showed they can win games and play at a high level. What stands in the Suns’ way is consistency. The team’s lack of consistency was on full display Sunday night. Phoenix gave an unspectacular effort and fell to an unspectacular Dallas Mavericks team, 110-95.

Don’t get me wrong. The Mavs are much better than their current record might indicate. They’ve won six of their last eight games. Dirk Nowitzki is finally healthy and integrated back into the team. They’re playing their best basketball of the season right now. But they’re still unspectacular. They’re still a long-shot for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. And they’re not as good as the Clippers.

Just three nights ago, Phoenix beat the third-best team in the Western Conference. Sure, the Clippers were playing without Chris Paul, but even without CP3, Los Angeles is one of the most talented and deep teams in the league. And the Suns beat them in the second night of a back-to-back.

After a hard-fought defeat last night in San Antonio, the Suns were flat and uninspired in this game. The Mavericks made them pay, especially in the paint. In the first half, Dallas ran right down the Suns’ throats. While the box score says Dallas only scored 14 fastbreak points in the first two periods, that figure doesn’t account for the dozen or more pseudo-transition points. On at least five possessions, the Suns managed to stop the initial fastbreak, only to find themselves woefully out of position and unable to defend the wide-open looks the Mavericks’ next pass generated. For long stretches of this game, the Mavericks looked like the SSOL Suns of old, most notably Shawn Marion.

Marion, the former Sun, had 18 points on a season-high 19 shots. He got great looks at the hoop all night off of post ups, weakside cuts, and five offensive rebounds. He even got to hoist two of his patented “hot potato” three-pointers. Marion was a nightmare for the Suns’ defense. Even though age has slowed him down a step or two, he’s still more athletic and springy than everyone on the Suns roster save Shannon Brown and Michael Beasley. Typically, Phoenix would keep Marion off the glass and out of the paint by putting a big guy on him. But the Suns’ big men were forced to guard Nowitzki, Elton Brand, and Chris Kaman, allowing Marion to feed on Phoenix’s smaller defenders.

When the Suns tightened their defense in the second half, the Mavericks started to hit tough shots. Vince Carter and Nowitzki both hit several jumpers in the third quarter and early fourth with defenders draped all over them. On the night, Dallas shot 51% from the field. Phoenix had no answer for the Mavericks.

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle did not make it easy for Phoenix either. He planned tonight’s game like he was coaching the Dallas Stars. He subbed his players in and out frequently, keeping them on the court for short shifts. This ensured Dallas always had fresh legs on the floor which ultimately helped them run the Suns out of gas in the fourth quarter. Dallas’s lead had been as large as 20 points in the second quarter, but the Suns cut it to five with 11 minutes to play. Then Dallas reeled off a 19-5 run that slammed the door on Phoenix for good. Dallas’ uber-quick point guard combo of Darren Collison and Rodrigue Beaubois kept the tempo high all night long.

The Suns’ biggest mistake in this game was trying to play Dallas’ pace. The strategy seemed to work for stretches as Phoenix scored 27 fastbreak points, most of them in two long runs Phoenix went on to cut the lead down to single digits. But Phoenix did not have the stamina to keep up the pace for all 48 minutes, and thus the Mavs buried them with it.

Also hurting the Suns offensively was the Mavericks use of a zone defense. Phoenix was an abysmal 4-of-17 from downtown. Two of those makes came from Kendall Marshall who, it should be noted, badly airballed his first attempt. Dragic and Jared Dudley were ice cold from outside. Dragic, however, kept the game from getting truly out of hand by getting to the rim at will and dishing out some highlight assists.

Dragic continued his current hot streak with 18 points and eight dimes, including a few round-the-back passes that drew audible respect from the Dallas crowd. Collison is quick, but Dragic made it very clear that Collison could not handle him defensively. The Mavs made adjustments and brought larger defenders to help out on Dragic. This translated to Dragic taking several hard hits and tumbles, though no flagrant fouls were called. If Dragic is going to take “Dwyane Wade in 2006” levels of punishment the rest of this season, the Suns may need to put in a call to the league office asking for referees to protect him a bit more. If defenders keep taking their shots at him without getting hit in their wallet, Dragic is going to be watching games in street clothes before this year is over.

Michael Beasley had a decent game with 12 points in 20 minutes. There has been a noticeable change in his shot selection. The three-ball seems to be a secondary option now as he penetrates into the paint on nearly every catch. This is good news for the Suns as Beasley continues to develop in his role of an off-the-bench dynamic scorer.

Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat combined for 22 points and 12 boards, but the pace of the game forced the Suns to go small and kept these two from playing many minutes together.

This game is further proof that the Suns are talent-lacking right now. It’s necessary for too many players to have above-average games for them to win. They are more than capable of great performances, as we saw last week, but more often than not, they’re going to come up short.

The upside, if there is any upside to be had after two straight losses, is that the team is definitely playing harder under Lindsey Hunter. There is more hustle on defensive rotations, more off-the-ball movement and more fight. But without talent and consistency, hustle and fight alone won’t get you far in the NBA.

Tags: Dallas Mavericks Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns Recap

  • DBreezy

    Foreveris,

    I think Dwight’s got a lot bigger problems physically and mentally than D’Antoni. Dude’s a mess right now. The LA spotlight looks too big for him. Even Shaq says scoring in D’Antoni’s offense as a low post guy isn’t a problem if you play hard. In any event, Dwight’s not even playing defense and rebounding these days. He rarely leaves the shadow of the basket or even his own shadow, so I don’t think he’s coming out of the lane for anyone right now.

    Bosh isn’t having a bad year in MIA. He’s not as great as he thinks he is, but he’s still putting up 17.5 on 54% shooting, mostly of jumpers that Gortat can’t stop. If he tried, he’d get blown by with no rim help because OKC can really only play one of their bigs vs. Mia small lineups. On the other end, Bosh has the kind of quickness that can really stymie Gortat’s biggest advantage in the S/R, his quickness relative to other 5′s. People get mad at the soft way Gortat finishes now, how is it gonna look in the playoffs vs tougher defenses with fewer foul calls?

    Now I’m not trying to discourage OKC from trading for him :) I just wonder why they would. All of this did make me think of a bigger point though, which front lines are the most intimidating in the West these days? The Lakers should be the clearcut favorite especially with a healthy Hill and Clark, but between Howard and Gasol’s physical and mental woes, they’re far from it. The Clippers frontcourt doesn’t impose their will on a nightly basis. A lot of transition out there in terms of certain players getting older/not playing the same and a difference in the way the game is played in the front court. I think that’s part of what makes a guy like Anthony Davis a big deal and why I keep watching Austin at Baylor. Most of the newer age 4′s aren’t that advanced offensively even though they faceup a lot more. One of these guys is going to develop some big time offensive skills to go along with that defensive length and mobility, and start giving people fits. Question is who will it be?

  • DBreezy

    This draft definitely looks like a patience draft. If a team takes any of the top-5 guys with the intent of hyping them up as immediate franchise savers/faces, they’ll likely be disappointed. That’s tough for teams like the Suns, Charlotte and Orlando who are most clearly in need of that type of player.

  • Russell Suns fan

    @Forever is2long, you wouldn’t be just getting Bynum you would be getting Thaddeus Young to plug in to SF. TY is right there with the new young breed of Sf’s that play fantastic defense (Paul George, Lou Deng). So we would be giving up Gortat, Dudley, Morris, Marshall, Tucker, wesley Johnson and our own 1st round pick top 5.

    We would still have the Lakers pick which will be no lower than 13, and the T’wolves /Grizz pick whic can be anywhere from 14-23. In addition to all the picks we would have.

    Bynum -Center (with Phx medical staff he will be healthy.
    PF-Free agent (Paul Milsap, J.J. Hickson)
    SF- Thaddeus Young
    SG- Jeremy Lamb or Free agent (Tyreke Evans, Monte Ellis, OJ Mayo, Andre Iguodala)
    PG- Dragic

    Bench:
    Beasley, Scola, Lamb (if we sign a free agent) 2 first round picks, and 2 free agents.

  • azbballfan

    Whatever the reasons blanks got rid of gentry or hired his buddies or whatever, i dont think anyone can doubt that if Hunter doesnt work out as coach of this team that babby and blanks will have a hard time saying he was the right guy especially after majerle and turner were so obviously angry that they were passed over.

    I think babby, blanks, and hunter need to go and i think sarver needs to sell the team for us to see any real long term success.

    But thats just my opinion.

    I think Sarver is delusional, many fans are in fact angry.

    besides, unless a marquee team comes to town, u.s. airways center is half empty at home games.

    The Suns even with those 2 wins are only 4 games above the Bobcats, and they have more talent, athleticism, and a front office that isnt the subject of derisive mockery.

    Beasley is playing better which is nice to see, but he is still very inconsistent and takes bad shots, although i think the Suns have nothing to lose by playing him

    He is the most athletic guy on the team not named Shannon Brown.

    i am excited for Wensdays game, since either way the Sun slose or the Lakers do.

  • Scott

    @azbballfan -

    But Hunter probably isn’t the guy for next year. That’s likely going to be Mike Malone.

    So even if Hunter catches the ire of fans for poor performance, Blanks escapes by putting in Mike Malone after this season.

  • Scott

    The mods for VotS must be on vacation today. Here’s the last of post #20 which was held up for a second time.

    (part 3)

    2nd round: SF Andre Roberson, PF Trevor Mbakwe.

    Andre Roberson is listed as PF, but at 6? 7? he’ll slide to SF in the NBA. He has a wingspan of 6? 9? – which is reasonable, not great – and good lateral quickness, which seems rare in this draft. He’s a lockdown defense type guy with a high motor and he has the quickness to defend guards. He will have to develop better handling and better offense, but he already has a nose for rebounds.

    Mbakwe is an older player who had been sidelined in college with injuries that caused him to miss two years. This, and an assault charge (plus violating a restraining order), are probably what would be keeping him from going higher. He’s a smaller PF, 6? 8? in shoes, 237 lbs, but with a wingspan of 7? 4?. Like Roberson, he has a nose for rebounds, quickness on the perimeter, and a high motor.

    The players I selected are primarily for defense and rebounding, with the exception of Goodwin, who is there primarily for scoring. I tried to take what appeared to be the best talent available at each spot, though of course this may change as scouting improves as we get closer to the draft.

  • foreveris2long

    DBreezy, the main point of OKC getting Gortat is to make defenses play them honest, which they do not do with Perkins in the lineup. Bosh is having a difficult year rebounding and both him and Howard would have to come outside to guard Gortat or get burned when he hits that 15 foot shot, something Perkins cannot consistently do. It would make OKC more dangerous during the playoffs.

  • DBreezy

    Foreveris,

    I get exactly what you’re saying and why, I just happen to think those particular players won’t do it. Howard because he’s a mess this season. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t come out to guard Gortat, I’m saying that he won’t. Just watch him in basically any defensive coverage this season. I watched a Clipper game earlier in the month where I thought Darius Morris should have bitch-slapped him after the way he not only didn’t call out a high S/R, but proceeded to remain sunk in the paint the whole time giving CP3 and easy FT line jumper. Bosh I think would do it by scheme. Spoelstra is a numbers guy and it won’t take long to figure out that Gortat has a .403% eFG on jumpers-that’s almost 7% less than Ibaka. More importantly every jumper he takes is one less shot that Durant, Westrbook or Martin are taking. In fact if you can leave Lebron on Durant and Wade on Martin, Bosh sinking off Gortat leaves not only a lower percentage shot for Marcin but you also help seal off Westbrook’s drives leaving him a lower percentage shot too. It’s almost a variation of the defense in the article that Scott posted a bit ago.

  • DBreezy

    @azbballfan,

    Hope you didn’t read Coro latest article at AZC. The front office is still pushing the stuff about how their ‘data’ shows that bottomed out teams take an average of 8 years to become contenders again. They said this data is why they went with veterans like Scola along with getting younger and judging by Sarver’s quote in the article they intend to continue along those lines. They say they only appear to be tanking at times, but that isn’t the intent.

    I agree with their data and made similar arguments during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons well before Babby and the respectful transition arrived. The thing is if that’s the plan, you can’t ride all of your good veterans into the ground then decide you’re gonna mix in youth. Let’s face it as well as guys like Scola and JO have played, this team is markedly worse than the previous two seasons and there’s little reason to believe continuing down the hybrid path at this point is going to yield more success.

    At this point, I think they would be better served by researching the traits of the teams that didn’t take 8 years to become contenders again after bottoming out. While I’m sure some lottery luck was involved, I bet a huge part of it was having a strong management team and culture in place to evaluate, acquire and develop young talent. The Suns have a lot of work to do in those areas, and Lindsey Hunter is the least of the issues there imo.

  • azbballfan

    Blanks, Babby, and Hunter are inexperienced at building a team, developing a team, or coaching a team

    Teams that dont blow it up when they are 15 wins and 30 losses usually are mediocre year after year

    Yeah they need to look at olther teams that were successful.

    Rebuilding while remaning competitve has been a joke

    Since Stoudemire left the Suns have gone two games under 500 and at 500 and now this seasons predictable disaster.

    You need talent, players have to want to play for you.

    The only reason it took those teams 8 years is because management was bad and i bet almost none of them made it to see their team go to the conference finals

    Other players look at the situation in pheonix too, and i bet some of them are thinking why should i go to the suns? they havent won anything in a long time and team management is untrustworthy

    They low balled two of the best players in franchise history among other things.

    Beasley is here becuase no one else would give him a contract.

    Dragic is here because alvin gentry was here and some former team mates.

    Shannon Brown couldnt even get a fully guaranteed deal for even a year

    players look at that and go what the hell?

    Management has so completely destroyed the team from their 2009-2010 days that i am not sure if its intentional or not.

    Ok so Majerle and Turner were not picked

    Hunter has gone 2-2 in his 1st 4 games

    I cant see thunder dan or turner doing any worse.

    This whole situation is embarrasing for the fans, the players and the Suns are a laughingstock.

    Sarver could fix all of this but he wont

    I can see his logic with changing the culture of the team, but the problem is the people who created the culture are here! they are running the team! and sarver hired them!

  • Scott

    (part 3)

    2nd round: SF Andre Roberson, PF Trevor Mbakwe.

    Andre Roberson is listed as PF, but at 6′ 7″ he’ll slide to SF in the NBA. He has a wingspan of 6′ 9″ – which is reasonable, not great – and good lateral quickness, which seems rare in this draft. He’s a lockdown defense type guy with a high motor and he has the quickness to defend guards. He will have to develop better handling and better offense, but he already has a nose for rebounds.

    Mbakwe is an older player who had been sidelined in college with injuries that caused him to miss two years. This, and an assault charge (plus violating a restraining order), are probably what would be keeping him from going higher. He’s a smaller PF, 6′ 8″ in shoes, 237 lbs, but with a wingspan of 7′ 4″. Like Roberson, he has a nose for rebounds, quickness on the perimeter, and a high motor.

    The players I selected are primarily for defense and rebounding, with the exception of Goodwin, who is there primarily for scoring. I tried to take what appeared to be the best talent available at each spot, though of course this may change as scouting improves as we get closer to the draft.

  • Russell Suns fan

    Firing the FO, gutting the team and trading for real talent is the only way to rebuild quickly. We have the players and the 1st round picks to trade for real talent, very few teams can say that.

    Sarver needs to grow a pair.

  • Forever is2long

    Breezy we will agree to disagree but the bottom line is Gortat will clearly give OKC a better balanced offense with Gortat instead of Perkins. Whether they make a move now or in the summer, if they do not win it all, Perkins will be the focus of their attention. He really does not run with the team, he has no low post game and he cannot open the offense witha reliable 15 foot shot.

    I know you use to say Westbrook will be shipped if they did not win it soon but I think you know now that will not be happening. Time will tell.

  • Forever is2long

    DBreezy AzBBall, IMO the first clue we get that a front office is in over its head is when they place significant weight on statistics like some 8 year plan. It is paralysis by analysis. The really good front offices let the average people study statistics while the cream of the crop seem to have that sixth sense that they trust will accelerate a recovery plan. You have to be good ( ability to evaluate potential), creative and instinctive to be successful in an NBA front office and I do not see these characteristics in the Babby Blanks and Sarver treo which I think is why they hide behind these statistics.

    Thank goodness Jerry West and Golden State did not do the same. two years ago they made a bold trade of veterans, hired an inexperienced coach and now look at them. That 8 year plan did not apply to them. L. Hunter may be the counter move to M. Jackson but they need to take chances with this roster. IMO management is way too conservative as they cannot seem to think outside the box.

  • john

    Not saying he wouldn’t, but what if DBreezy DIDN’T agree to disagree? I always find it funny when someone saying something like that. “You’ll understand if I take the last chocolate chip cookie.” No, no I won’t. “We will agree to disagree.” What if he didn’t? :)

    @Russell

    Saying there’s only one way to accomplish the goal of rebuilding is more foolish than anything this FO has done. The sooner some Phoenix fans realize not everything is black and white, the sooner they will be able to enjoy their sports teams to the fullest. Until then, I will be forced to ceaselessly put know-it-all haters in their place by pointing out their way is not the only way, and, in some cases, their way is not even a right/reasonable way.

    A lot of people on a site like this have some good ideas (a few have no good ideas to contribute…), but the most reasonable will acknowledge that even when they disagree with the methods of the FO or other commenters on this site, there is often reason behind multiple sets of ideas that are just about as close to polar opposites as can be. For instance, the KT trade gets blasted as one of the worst trades in history (which I believe it was), HOWEVER, that saved the team about $16M, and you can make the argument that KT wasn’t a very important part of the success of the franchise – he was replaceable for much less than $16M worth of salaries. Every move that has been made over the past 10 years, I can acknowledge that there were reasons for doing what was done, and mostly GOOD reasons. That doesn’t mean the outcome was always pleasant, but there was always good reasoning behind moves.

    So, the ONLY way is for Sarver to sell and get rid of the entire FO? Please. Sarver might need to grow a pair, but you seem to be lacking a little bit up top.

  • john

    And as far as stats go, sabermetrics are here to stay and the reason is because they work.

  • Russell Suns fan

    @John here is the reality, whether you want to face it or not.

    Nets gutted their team, and traded away draft picks for D. Williams, now they are on the way up and have a plan. For years they were terrible collecting lottery pick players that kept them in the basement, finally they realized the draft (like OKC) very rarely leads to success unless you strike gold.

    Clippers – another team that gutted their team, they were lucky to land Griffin, but even he couldn’t take them out of the basement, all the other lottery picks they had (Gordon, Aminu etc.) were not making them winners. They gutted the team and went all in for Chris Paul, now they are winning.

    Houston has been collecting 1st round picks for the better part of the last 5 years, finally they realize what good are all these picks, what’s the point of having Toronto’s top 5 pick? so what do they do? they gut the team and land Harden, everyone said they gave up too much look at them now. They’re one player away from being a big time threat in the west.

    Sacramento – these guy’s have been collecting top 5 picks for over 6 or 7 years and it has gotten them no where, until they decide to gut their team and trade the young guy’s for real NBA proven talent they’re not getting out of the basement.

    Minnesota – how many top 5 picks has this team had and it leads to mostly busts, at some point they will realize they have to trade these guy’s while the stock is up and land big time player.

    Detroit- ever since the last run they had back in what 2004, 2005? they have been bad collecting top picks that do nothing, making absolutely no trades to improve the team.

    Bobcats- seems to me this franchise just picks either top or top 10 every year and goes no where.

    Wizards – even after drafting a great player like Wall, they can’t get anywhere near good. How many top 5 pick years do they need before they sniff the playoffs? 5, 6?

    I can go on and on about this but why when we can just go back to Colangelo managing style. The Suns went to the playoffs something like 22 out of 25 years from 1989 to 2010- one thing was constant every time they became bad, they didn’t waste time waiting to rebuild via draft, The Suns immediately signed free agents and mad trades. After Barley left Phx traded away assets to land Kidd. When Marbury was garbage we traded him for assets to to the Knicks, and signed Steve Nash. We didn’t sit around. Sure we were lucky to have had drafted Amare already but we were still a crappy team, it wasn’t until Nash this team became good.

    You have to take bring in star players to win, depending on the draft more or less likely will lead to sitting in the basement for at least half a decade.

  • Harry

    John,

    I’m with you. LOL at all these Monday morning quarterbacks. I’m sure they were all saying the same thing when Sarver took over a team that had been 29-53 the year before and had just paid an over 30 year old PG 66 million dollars that, while good, wasn’t really all that. Except he actually blossomed into STEVE NASH. I’m sure all these know-it-all’s knew Nash would win two MVP’s. It was obvious, right? Everybody knew it would happen except that idiot Cuban.

    What even funnier is this above from Forever above. “Thank goodness Jerry West and Golden State did not do the same. two years ago they made a bold trade of veterans, hired an inexperienced coach and now look at them. That 8 year plan did not apply to them.” Sounds kind of like what the Suns just yet he’s not happy. Makes me chuckle.

  • john

    @ Russell

    I hear you and I’m with you on the importance of trades, but right now that isn’t really an option for the Suns as far as I can tell. There is only one superstar I know of who might be moving sometime soon (Dwight). Outside of that, there might be remote possibilities in guys like Love… Well, that’s about it that I can think of, to be honest. And the biggest problem is that the Suns don’t have blue chippers or top prospects to trade, so even if some team was willing to trade one of the 10 legitimate superstars in the league, the Suns don’t have anything to offer.

    Trades are important, agreed, but the Suns couldn’t possibly pull off a blockbuster without a third team and trading away their first rounders for a few years, and I think it’s unlikely that any of the three teams involved would make a deal involving a blue chipper without receiving one in return.

    I guess it’s not impossible, but just look at the Suns’ roster. What superstar are you trading for if you’re gm? What superstar would Jerry be chasing? There’s no one to be had. Jerry couldn’t get out of this mess in one year. Maybe he wouldn’t have gotten here in the first place, but no one can solve the issues the Suns are facing in a single season. No one except LeBron, I should say.

  • Forever is2long

    “Sounds kind of like what the Suns just yet he’s not happy. Makes me chuckle.” It is difficult to respond Harry because i am not sure what you are saying.

    If you are guessing that I am taking issue with the demise of the Suns then the answer, is not totally. At the end of last season I wanted the Suns to go all young. I would have traded Gortat and kept Lopez and I would not have signed Scola because I knew those moves would not make the Suns playoff relevant. I could live with the Suns being a lottery team for another 2 seasons if there was some sort of design/plan.

    While I do not think Gentry was the problem I did not take issue with him being fired as I previously pointed out his history of developing the young players on the Suns was not impressive. Dragic, Lopez and Clark have all performed better under the direction of a coach other than Gentry. I thought and continue to believe the front office is the major problem. An example of my dissatisfaction is really good GMs when drafting in the lottery, typically draft the best available player irrespective of need. Remember the Suns drafting Nash despite already having an allstar point guard? Now if they screw up a likely top 5 lottery pick this summer I might blow a fuse.

  • Harry

    Forever,

    I’m not much of a typist. Sentence should have read. “sounds kind of like what just happened with the Suns, yet he’s still not happy”. Essentially, the Suns did what you’re praising the Warriors for but you’re unhappy.

  • DBreezy

    @Foreveris,

    Yeah we can agree to disagree on Gortat in OKC, it’s all good as usual. For the record on Westbrook, I was not one of the guys who said he would/should be traded, that was Xcas and I believe EBJM who was going through his Windy City Rose mancrush at the time. I did say that I thought Harden was their best facilitator and that I felt that they should play through him down the stretch and let Russell attack along with KD, kind of how the Spurs often play through Manu late in games and let Tony attack. I didn’t go so far as saying that he’s not a pg, like some, just that at crunch time I thought the ball moved better through Harden-of course that doesn’t matter now

    As for the front office stuff, I agree. Sarver doesn’t have bad ideas and his heart seems to be in the right place, but he doesn’t have the right people executing things and reporting on them to him imo. Not that it means anything Harry, but when the Suns signed Nash, I thought they would win 48-53 games maybe even 55 if things really gelled. I would have felt comfortable guessing 55 or higher had they been successful in getting Mehmet Okur who chose the Jazz over the Suns.

  • foreveris2long

    I gotcha DBreez as Xcas definitely had a hate crush on Westbrook. Harry, thanks for the clarification.See I think the difference between Warriors and Suns, Warriors added a couple of veterans to assist in getting them to the playoffs. The Suns added some veterans to assist them in securing another lottery pick. The Warriors plan makes sense, whereas the Suns are in the cellar, which I am ok with if we were committed to youth instead of a mixture.

  • DBreezy

    Foreveris,

    The last line of your previous post is what gets me. While I didn’t like a lot of things about the turmoil surrounding Gentry’s departure, one thing I really did like was listening to Sarver and to some extent Babby talk about patience and how they were sticking to a plan of rebuilding with their draft picks.

    Now I didn’t think that would be the only part of the plan, but it concerns me to see the AZC article where they seem dead set on continuing down the hybrid path because of their research. To me they’ve passed the point of rebuilding in a hybrid approach when they milked guys like Nash, Hill, Amar’e, Shaq, etc for all they were worth and didn’t get young pieces to rebuild on the fly in return. Now they’re basically just like all of those teams that don’t want to be with the record to match yet they still think they’re on Plan A.

  • Harry

    DBreezy,

    I don’t find it hard to imagine you had those estimates for the 2004-2005 season. I’m sure there was a a good bit of optimism in many circles. I’m sure there was more than now. Still, your estimates in a way make my point. even your best case was 7 games below the end result and the average is almost 12 games below where they finished. my point being, future predictions are hard, and I would guess yours were more optimistic than most.

    That’s why I’m taking the wait and see approach. What if Dragic becomes an All-Star? Certainly seems as likely as Nash winning the MVP in 2005. What if Hunter /Igor are better than expected? I think it best to give this team a bit more time.

  • DBreezy

    Harry,

    Coming off a 29W season I would say that prediction was very optimistic. To me predicting anything more than 55 is a crap shoot. 55 to me basically says top 3 seed as it often takes a lot of things to come into place for a 60 or more win season. I actually thought lower for those Suns till I went to a preseason game vs Utah where you could really see the sheer speed and explosiveness of that team. I don’t mind you taking a wait and see approach, I was just trying to to show that some of us weren’t always as pessimistic as we might seem now.

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