Golden State Warriors 113, Phoenix Suns 93 – Out of gas…again

Posted by on February 2nd, 11:22 pm

Harrison Barnes, Michael Beasley

Phoenix Suns’ Michael Beasley (0) shoots against Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The Phoenix Suns were in prime position to snag their first significant road victory of the season against a Western Conference foe Saturday night.

But as was the case in previous losses against the Clippers, Grizzlies, Lakers, Thunder, Spurs and just about every other squad west of the Mississippi, two-plus quarters of basketball don’t equal a win.

Good teams might be able to survive a bad lapse on the road, but as the Suns illustrated at the Oracle Arena, that label does not apply by any stretch of the imagination in 2012-13. The Golden State Warriors closed out the contest with their second consecutive 30-point quarter and sent Phoenix on its way with a 113-93 loss.

Phoenix built a four-point halftime lead by playing fundamental basketball. Goran Dragic found a way to get to the foul line (4-of-4 from the charity stripe). Michael Beasley made a concerted effort to drive to the basket (5-of-6 on two-point shots). Jared Dudley and P.J. Tucker neutralized the long-range capabilities of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson (6-of-15 through 24 minutes).

Everything was falling into place and then it just stopped.

If you are what your record says you are, then the Suns certainly proved over the final 22 minutes of play that they are a basketball team with limited talent and an even smaller capacity to finish games.

After racing out to a 58-48 lead in the third quarter, Lindsey Hunter’s squad simply ignored what had helped them outplay the fifth-best team in the conference.

Drives to the basket turned into mid-range jump shots.  Harrison Barnes was given the freedom to do as he pleased in the paint. Curry and Thompson got into a rhythm. And the Suns’ energy and lead were gone in a matter of minutes.

Over the final 10 minutes of the quarter, the Warriors went on a 33-16 run and virtually ended any chance of an upset bid. In that span, Curry and Barnes combined for 18 points, while Phoenix’s offense went 6-for-18 from the field.

“Eventually we will get there,”  Hunter said.  “I’m not worried about it. Our guys have a lot of work to do. It’s part of the process.”

While there were a laundry list of shortcomings (the effort disparity between Andrew Bogut and Marcin Gortat, the defensive liability that is Shannon Brown and Luis Scola’s abysmal shooting night) against Mark Jackson and Co., the Suns can hang their hat on the fact that Beasley (team-high 24 points) — while not necessarily efficient from the floor  — continues to show more and more signs of aggression, rookie Kendall Marshall had another opportunity to play big minutes (18 on the night) and the schedule affords them two more opportunities (Grizzlies and Thunder) on this four-game trip to capture that elusive statement win away from US Airways Center.


And 1…

  • David Lee is the first player in Golden State history to represent the team in an All-Star Game since Latrell Sprewell pulled the feat in 1996-97. Lee is one of 10 players averaging a double-double this season, and against the Suns he showed why.  While he went just 6-of-16 from the floor, Lee never let his shooting woes affect his energy level (16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists).
  • With Saturday’s defeat, the Suns are now 2-10 on the second game of a back-to-back. They have also lost half of their road games by 10 points or more.
  • Sebastian Telfair’s days in a Suns uniform may be coming to an end.  While it’s worthless to speculate about a potential trade, the veteran guard has not played in three of last four games due to a coaching decision. Even undrafted free agent Diante Garrett, who was called up from the D-League Monday,  saw playing time when the game was out of reach Saturday.

Dave Dulberg

Dave Dulberg is a ValleyoftheSuns staff writer who recently graduated from the University of Southern California. He also works as a web content writer/editor for Arizona Sports 620 KTAR.

Facebook Twitter Google+ 

Tags: Golden State Warriors · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Recap

75 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tony // Feb 3, 2013 at 12:02 am

    @Dulberg,

    no disrespect intended, but you couldn’t be more wrong on a couple of your points.

    Firstly, it’s rare that one team completely dominates the opposing team for a full 48 minutes. To the contrary, most of the time bad teams hang with even the best teams for a quarter or two, but then the superior teams step up their intensity and take control of the game.
    You have to remember that every NBA player, even those on the worst teams, are incredible basketball players. So, although a more rested Suns team would probably have given the Warriors a better contest in the 2nd half, there would still be nothing unusual to see that well-rested Suns team play the Warriors closely until the middle of the 3rd or 4th quarter before the Warriors would inevitably take control of the game.

    Secondly, in no way should Beasley be given any props just because he scored 24 points. He was a complete disaster on the court in the 2nd half, not because of his porous defense, but because he played as selfishly as Kobe Bryant. I know Hunter told him that he would take him out of games if he didn’t look to score, but still, that doesn’t mean Beasley was required to shoot the ball every time he touched it!

    Selfish players, such as Beasley and Bryant, make it so difficult for teams to develop cohesiveness and strong chemistry. Ball-hogs like those two turn their teammates into disengaged spectators who stop playing with maximum effort. Moreover, because other guys aren’t involved offensively, on the rare occasions that they get the ball, because they generally are not prepared or in rhythm to score, they usually miss on their shot attempts.

    So to sum up, even the best teams typically don’t dominate inferior teams for a full 48 minutes, and, Beasley should not be praised for scoring 24 points on 23 shot attempts because of the selfish manner in which he played, not at all trying to get his teammates involved.

  • 2 SHAZAM // Feb 3, 2013 at 12:15 am

    ohhhhhhh lindsey hunter…tank you tank you tank you…FINALLY playing the youngsters good minutes and the vets we want to trade in garbage time when its easy to build the stat sheet…BRILLIANT let the rebuild begin

  • 3 Azbballfan // Feb 3, 2013 at 12:30 am

    2 points and 3 assists in 19 minutes for Marshall

    Beasley gets 24 points on 24 shots

    Good offense for most of the game is undercut by terrible defense

    Yeah looks like a suns game! 16 games under 500 we can do it!

    next up is the Grizzlies on Teusday

    Win or a loss?

  • 4 Majestic One // Feb 3, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Hopefully Marshall will be getting replace with Marcus Smart.

  • 5 hawki // Feb 3, 2013 at 1:34 am

    “It’s part of the process” said Hunter

    Suns have a process ?….who knew ?

    Suns currently stand 6th in the Lottery Sweepstakes.

  • 6 Tony // Feb 3, 2013 at 1:59 am

    From Paul Coro’s article, Beasley stated: “If I miss every shot I take for the rest of the season, I’m still going to shot 15, 20 a night so get used to it,” Beasley said. “He (Hunter) definitely wants me to shoot it. There are no turnovers if you shoot the ball.”

    Tell me again why Hunter was the right choice for head coach????

    Not only is Beasley a selfish player, but he has to be one of the dumbest players in the league as well. Taking bad shots can be just as bad as committing turnovers! Does he not understand this?

  • 7 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Feb 3, 2013 at 2:24 am

    everything is going according to plan.

  • 8 Tony // Feb 3, 2013 at 3:24 am

    “Everything is going according to plan.”

    The above absurd and unintelligent statement is strangely similar to this one: “the plan is intact and we’re moving forward.” Statement made on Jan. 9th, 2013, by Lon Babby.

    Sad indeed.

  • 9 Luka // Feb 3, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Babby can’t plan what he’ll order from the deli, let alone dictate the Suns’ future. He’s nothing but a spin doctor.

    This is Sarver’s last chance to get it right before the Suns fall off the face of the NBA map. Hey Sarver, listen here jerkoff… spend the money for the star players or go fuck your mother. Your choice assclown.

    Hey front office please trade Gortat, Morris, and Marshall for Diop. Get an expiring contract somehow. Stop acting like we have young talent when we don’t. I’ll save that distinction for after this draft. That’s assuming your scouts don’t shit the bed again. Babby put the cornbeef on rye down and start working the phones. Blanks go pick up Babby’s dry cleaning, and then help Sarver “build for the future” by helping him finish his lego fortress. Beasley, just keep it 420 dawg.

  • 10 Azbballfan // Feb 3, 2013 at 4:39 am

    It is a turnover if your shot hits the rim and goes over the backboard, negating a rebound for either team

    The Bobcats blog site says Bismack Biyombo might be traded at the deadline

    I would to trade Gortat, Brown, Telfair and Johnson for Biyombo, Diop and Henderson

    Biyombo and Henderson could start right away and we get cap space to sign free agents or absorb a contract with a trade

    Biyombo is really really raw, but hes only 20 and has been playing organized ball for only a few years at most

    Gortat becomes their best front court player and they also get cap space.

    The Suns are terrible at rebounding and defense i would like this trade

    With the Suns a season low 16 games under 500 coming into some brutal games, front office needs to work the phones and come up with a trade for the future

  • 11 Luka // Feb 3, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Sarver needs the cap space to surprise his wife this anniversary. He tried to deliver the mid-level exception in a designer bag for his wife last year and couldn’t deliver. No Mrs. Sarver, I hate to break your heart, he didn’t get it at Jared.

  • 12 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Feb 3, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Tony, another empty insult by the neighborhood troll.

    You, and others continue to complain about the team. How this has been a bad season and who is to blame. Crazy trade ideas with no weight. Crazy scenarios for a team that can’t hope to see them manifested.

    So many fair-weather fans crying and complaining, including Tony – though he never changes and that is the sad, (but expected) part.

    Here is the truth.

    This is year 1 of the rebuild.

    You guys are wasting your time crying and whining and complaining about this player and that player when 90% of this current roster won’t be here in a season and a half.

    Most of this coaching staff is suspect and probably only employed until the end of the season.

    So why is everybody so angry? This is what a rebuild is supposed to look like. You can’t clean the fat in one quick swing. This isn’t NBA 2K13.

    Sorry Tony, and the rest of you cry-baby gotta-have-something-to-cry-about fair-weather fans, but things are, indeed, going to plan.

    The Suns are bad, and shopping all assets worth anything to anybody who will listen. They’re scouting the NCAA, Europe, Asia, and anywhere else that can offer up young talent for observation.

    The team is currently loaded with mostly rental-style contracts with lots of adjustable salary avenues all designed to maximize a quick rebuild [IF] they can get some of their targets and draft well.

    Blame whoever you want since that’s the flavor of the month both in and outside of Phoenix, but the front office of the Suns? They’re using the exact method of rebuild as the Bulls, OKC, LAC, and even Detroit.

    Clean house, manage salary, and (HOPEFULLY) draft well with high picks to reshape the franchise.

    And sorry, this collective FO haven’t yet had an opportunity to draft in the true money area of the lottery. They’ll get that chance this year plus have the opportunity to add quality pieces WITHOUT the shackles of a Nash-driven system.

    I will reserve judgement until the pre-season 13/14.

  • 13 Luka // Feb 3, 2013 at 6:58 am

    @Rich

    We have to believe that this front office can draft properly which they’ve yet to demonstrate.

    We also have to believe Sarver is actually willing to spend the money on star players. Something he has never done, aside from re-signing Nash.

    You can’t call the fans “crybabies” if anything we’re cynics. This franchise has been horribly run ever since Sarver stepped in. No one here has faith that the right decisions will be made because quite frankly smart basketball decisions haven’t been made. Sarver coasted on Colangelo’s architecture for years but now the structure is in ruins.

    I definitely see big picture. I think the draft and wisely signing a star this summer gets us back on the map. But until Sarver actually accomplishes it, we’ll continue to complain, or try to make light of these uncertain times.

    In my honest opinion this re-build shouldn’t be in year one. If Sarver didn’t want to break the bank to keep the 2010 squad together, fine. But the way he went about things was jaw droppingly stupid and downright unprofessional.

    He runs off Kerr (who helped Sarver buy the team and brought us J-Rich and Dudley and had great camaraderie with Gentry and the players) and his front office staff including David Griffin because they were asked to take a pay cut. Instead of say having an actual plan, Sarver is running around for a month with no GM like a jackoff making atrocious transactions (81 million to: Frye, Childress, Warrick, and Turkoglu) that could’ve crippled the Suns financially if it weren’t for Babby conning Orlando, Minnesota, and New Orleans.

    For a brief time after Amare was all but gone, the Suns had a golden opportunity to land David Lee. Infact, Nash and Gentry were wooing him. But when it came time to negotiate, Sarver lowballed Lee and GS swooped in and outbid the Suns. None of the players Phoenix overpaid for are on the roster, and Lee is an all-star.

    So Sarver didn’t want to pay a star big money, but he’s willing to overpay for several role players. He wasted two years of Nash’s career because of it. He didn’t even have the idea to trade Nash and get value for him while he was still a sought after commodity. We’re about two years two late for a true re-build. The path has been carved out by default not by any planning on Sarver’s part.

    Nothing has been handled right. It’s been a roller coaster ride of mismanagement. Whether it was insulting Joe Johnson with a lowball offer, to ignoring the value of the draft, to overpaying for mediocre talent, the guy has yet to make a real basketball based decision that makes sense. His micromanaged approach has been a cloud hanging over the franchise from the get go. Is 2013 the summer? I sure hope so. Nine years you’d hope by the empty seats, and rampant criticism he’d have learned by now.

  • 14 MasterCard // Feb 3, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Check out the latest Robert Sarver ad by MasterCard:

    Mediocre talent signed in 2010 instead of signing a star player… 81 million dollars…

    A GM, a VP of Basketball Ops, a head coach, and a star player for 2014… $20 million dollars…

    Foam finger for upcoming home game $10.00…

    An owner who actually cares about winning? Priceless.

    Get the new Business MC, because there are some things money can’t buy. For everything else there’s MasterCard.

  • 15 foreveris2long // Feb 3, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Luka, Downright money response to Rich. Rich, while you want to insult the fans as cry babies and in your opinion conclude this is the 1st year of the rebuild, what were the last two seasons that netted the Suns lottery picks? Criticism is not warranted for spending lottery picks on Morris and Marshall who look like lifetime role players? While we may be employing the same method as Clippers, OKC, Golden State and Detroit, it is the execution that is the problem.

    I even question the method as last summer we could have traded Gortat and signed Lopez who is playing well for New Orleans, who is younger, has yet to hit his prime, has a better low post game than Gortat, is more aggressive protecting the rim than Gortat and was cheaper as he signed 3 one year contracts for approximately $5m/yr with New Orleans giving the team the option to renew at the end of each season. Now we want to trade Gortat after losing our other center. You want to justify this stupidity?

    This Suns roster is void of any likely allstar talent despite two years in the lottery and after giving a 1st round pick away of Dragic and the fans are not justified in their criticism? You have to Really watch the game Rich because you refuse to pay attention. I think most fans are hopeful but do not trust this front office to do anything right and for good reason.

    Hawki, are you kidding me, we are only 6th for the lottery ? Ok we are building momentum so here we come. Hey I saw Bennett last night for awhile against Boise State and he looked fairly good but defenses I think are playing him better. I really want to see him in March madness.

  • 16 Robert Sarver // Feb 3, 2013 at 8:14 am

    http://i.azcentral.com/commphoto_images/commphotos/2/4/4/244746.jpg

    Pull my foam finger, and watch as I fart all over the franchise!

  • 17 DBreezy // Feb 3, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Well said Foreveris and Luka. It’s easy to dismiss anybody who says anything negative or in disagreement with your personal opinion of something as a fair weather fan but that’s kind of weak IMO. Most of these people have been posting here and elsewhere for a long time during both good and now bad times(which didn’t just start this season).

    The core problem is just what those two and others have said. It isn’t the plan that’s the problem, it’s the fear that those executing it are suspect. Take Gortat for example. We know from his own comments to the Polish media that he would like a long term deal for max money and we also know that the Suns weren’t interested in paying him that much. In fact, they were of that opinion before this season started and I don’t think his play on the court has changed that view this year. Knowing how the market works and that someone will in fact pay him what he wants, they should know that he must go. Yet looking at the history of the franchise in this situation under Sarver, one would expect to be having this same conversation not only at the deadline next season but entering free agency as well.

    I hope they prove me wrong, but they haven’t shown they deserve the benefit of the doubt thus far.

  • 18 Scott L // Feb 3, 2013 at 8:42 am

    All you morons complaining about the Marshall pick need to just stop talking like you know something. Is Marshall a good PG right now? No, no he’s not but he has more potential than any other play drafted after him besides Perry Jones 3. The Suns wanted Dion Waiters and that was going to be the pick until Cleveland surprised everyone and took him 4th, if he’d fallen to 13 and they’d have drafted him you morons would be talking shit about his poor shot selection his rookie year.

    Did they Fuck up last year’s pick? Hell yeah they did, Kenneth Faried should’ve been the pick, and even when they drafted Earl Clark they Fucked up by not taking Jrue Holiday who they supposedly wanted.

    The point is there was nobody left in the draft they should’ve taken over Marshall, and don’t say Sullinger because he’s proving right now why he dropped. Sullingers got a degenerative back problem and he’ll never play a full season at 30+ minutes a game.

    Marshall has the ability to be a 15-17 PPG 10-12+ APG guy if he puts in the work and gets the minutes in games to get better and perfect his game. He’s never going to be a 20+ point guy and he’s never going to be a lock down defender but he does have the ability as a passer to be a game changer, but only if he wants it bad enough and the team gives him his shot.

  • 19 Azbballfan // Feb 3, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I agree with everyone except Rich

    Fans are upset because this team was very very close to being a finals team, then the bottom fell out and blanks and babby were hired

    They promptly gutted the team and brought in their role playing former clients or in blanks case, a head coach

    this team has been a disaster since Sarver took over, and the reason why it looked ok at the beginning was because Sarver didnt have the oppertunity to make his mark and screw up the team yet

    All our good players were around when he bought the team, Sarvers early record is based on someone elses work and drafting (brian and jerry colangelo among others)

    The Front Office resembles a frat house rather than a pro sports team

    Add in the fact that it really, really looks like Beasley and Marshall together with Hunter conspired to get Gentry fired, and the front office is not trust worthy

    Marshall has not backed up “let my game on the court do the talking” mantra

    2 points in 19 minutes? come on you can do better

    Let me run you through the process the Suns use to decide who to draft

    Babby, Blanks, and Sarver all get together in a hotel room the night of the draft

    Instead of watching highlights of players on, say, youtube, they go and watch several star wars movies instead

    “Hey Robert, that wookie in this movie is pretty good! you think he could play center for us”

    Robert “Sure what the hell”

    Blanks: Dude, can the wookie play the point? maybe if we dont get him we could get someone distantly related to him!”

    Trelor walks into the room “Hey you guys ready to draft? i think John Hensen would be awesome”

    “Blanks: Shut up Trelor cant you see we are watching Star Wars?”

    Trelor, leaving the room “Im out of here, time to go get a beer”

    Thats pretty much how the process works and thats why we have gotten basically no one good in 10 years (or if we do they are quickly traded for a can of beans and a coke machine for Babbys office)

  • 20 Azbballfan // Feb 3, 2013 at 10:23 am

    15 to 17 points a game and more than 10 assists?

    I would love to see that but i doubt it

    Marshall averaged like 9 and 9 at north carolina, on a team flanked by future NBA lotto picks

    12 and 8 is probably more realistic

    Marshall has one elite skill and that is passing the ball.

    I hope he does pan out but given the Suns brutal track record in developing players, if he does it wont be with this team

    The Suns should have traded Morris and drafted Henson who they passed on

    Morris is decent but so far from what i have seen i would guess his career is going to be “role player who every once in awhile has a really nice game”

    Marshall will be lucky to get to that level with his flawed skill set

    Nobody thought Dragic would work out either, but Dragic had the beneift of learning from Nash and he has athleticism that Marshall does not possess

  • 21 foreveris2long // Feb 3, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Marshall who shot about 30% in the D-League, is going to someday average 15 points a game Scott L? Are you kidding me? What have you seen in college or pro to make you think that? John Henson has a lot more potential than Marshall and the suns should have been taken ahead of Marshall.

  • 22 Scott // Feb 3, 2013 at 11:09 am

    @forever -

    Well, there’s nothing wrong with being optimistic. :)

    Marshall’s college career hints nothing at his ability to score decent numbers in the NBA. That’s something he’s going to have to add to his game. Marshall has known he’ll have to step up his offense if he wants to stick in the NBA; getting more minutes on court this year should prove it to him. A coach going over tape with him should be able to show all the missed opportunities. If Marshall has an ounce of self-improvement in him, he’ll be working on it all summer.

    Marshall is like a lower grade Rubio. He’s coming into the league with no offense, like Rubio, but Rubio at least had solid defensive ability and lots of high level experience (Olympics, Europe ball). Since Marshall’s unlikely to develop top notch defensive skills, he is going to have to get good on scoring and rebounding.

  • 23 Rebel 2 // Feb 3, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Doesn’t Hunter look totally lost out there when it is crunch time and a play has to be drawn up to win or stay in the game? It seems like his assistant coach does all that. Agreed, he did say he was going to focus only on defense and let everything else be decided by his staff. But this is ridiculous! When have you seen any coach not be engaged with his team in the final or crunch minutes of play? It would seem like Hunter is in fact “the assistant” rather than the coach. But perhaps, this was also part of the plan: firing Gentry, getting Majerle and Turner upset enough to get them out of the picture and then have some sort of puppet team that don’t really run anything on the court.

  • 24 Scott // Feb 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    @Rebel -

    I do find I’m yelling at the TV less now that Gentry’s gone.

    So either Hunter’s doing some things right, or I’ve lowered my expectations. ;)

  • 25 Ty-Sun // Feb 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    The draft is always a crap game regardless of how well you scout. Just look at the lists of ALL the players drafted by ALL the teams over the last 10 years. The further back I go, the more names I find taken in the top 10 that I don’t even remember. It’s even worse now since many of the guys in each draft can only be judged on one or maybe 2 years of college level play.

    By time the trade deadline rolls around I think we’ll have a better idea as to whether the FO has a clue as to what it’s doing or not. Yes, they’ve screwed up a lot in the past but at least some people are able to learn from their mistakes. If they do something between now and then that is idiotic and hurts the future of the team then certainly B&B should be given the boot.

    The question isn’t whether the FO has a plan or not, it’s whether it turns out to be a good plan or not. And the next few weeks until the trade deadline should give us the first clue.

  • 26 Tony // Feb 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    @Rich,

    Wow, it’s astonishing how little sense you make but yet, you obviously truly believe your own nonsense! It’s good to confidentially assert your opinions, but how about taking the next step by incorporating the truth, i.e., “Facts,” into your arguments? Armed with your resolute conviction, once you learn to make reasoned assertions with a strong factual foundation, there will be no stopping you!

    Anyway, since you haven’t reached that point, I will explain why I believe your arguments to be asinine.

    Firstly, you’re wrong when you claim that this is year 1 of the rebuilding process. To the contrary, this is year 3. Rebuilding a team does not begin as soon a franchise acquires young talent and draft picks. Rebuilding begins with getting rid of a team’s best players who are currently in their prime or beyond that point, while simultaneously adopting a strategic vision and team culture to lead the franchise into the future.

    In the past two years, the FO has only cared about ridding the team of skilled-players that had higher contracts while replacing them with role players with little to no potential. Furthermore, instead of drafting higher risk players, but with greater potential, the FO has in each instance drafted low-risk low-ceiling players, i.e., Morris and most recently Marshall.

    Secondly, it is ludicrous for you to argue that the franchise was shackled by a “Nash-driven” system and it really only demonstrates how ignorant you truly are. Outside of Frye, the Suns roster for the two previous seasons have not included anyone else who ideally fits in a Nash system. Just because Nash handled the ball most of the time as a Sun, that doesn’t mean that the players surrounding him were well-suited to his style. In particular, they’ve lacked athleticism on the wings and a lack of great shooters which is necessary in the type of offense Nash-flourishes in. For example, although Brown has tremendous athleticism, he’s a very inconsistent shooter and has the tendency to hold the ball too long, causing the team’s offensive flow to become stagnant. In contrast, while Dudley has markedly improved his spot-up shooting, he’s still arguably the least-athletic wing player in the NBA.

    As far as this season is concerned, once again the Suns roster that was assembled hardly indicates the FO’s plan included being one of the worst teams in the NBA. I’m sure you remember your good buddy Babby’s comments about this roster assembled-that it was a more talented roster than last season…..

    If the FO intended on putting together a lousy roster so that they could land a top-3 draft pick, they wouldn’t have signed Scola, O’Neal, and Dragic because the first two players are already past their primes and while Dragic has shown he’s a good pg, he’s already in his prime now and is unlikely to be as effective by the time the Suns are in a realistic position to contend. This is especially likely since so much of Dragic’s offensive-abilities are predicated on his speed and athleticism, while too little is based off of skill. As he ages, one of the first things to go will be his athleticism.

    Furthermore, if the FO intended this season to truly be a rebuilding season, they would have traded Gortat instead of the much younger Lopez along with Telfair, to give Marshall more opportunities earlier in the season. Gortat’s already 28 turning 29 soon, again too old to rebuild around. Furthermore, they had the opportunity to lockup Lopez for a long-term contract, but instead held onto Gortat, who only had 2 years left on his contract and who they must recognize the unlikely chance he resigns with the team. As a result, the FO has little leverage with Gortat.

    Lastly, unless you are claiming they were lying, Sarver and Babby both were adamant about not tanking this season. Now, before you say that no owner or front office would publicly admit they were planning to tank the upcoming season, neither would they be so explicit about their determination for this team to contend for a playoff spot if they secretly intended and expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA.

    In sum, make no mistake about it; the Suns FO put this roster together expecting it to be a playoff-caliber team and were not at all intending on tanking for a high lottery pick. As a result of their miscalculation, the FO is going to be forced to deal with Gortat’s pending free agency with the unlikely chance he wants to return. They will have to deal with Dragic, both in terms of his age and in regards to prolonging Marshall’s development by limiting his opportunities to play.

  • 27 Azbballfan // Feb 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I think fans get frustrated when a team front office comes out and says ‘we are not tanking”

    then of course their record totally looks like it, and the talent level on this team says “we are rebuilding, we just dont want to say it! shhh!”

    Just call it a player development year, a transition year, anything but “we want to do more than make the playoffs this year”

    if that was true, they would have signed better talent and drafted better

    I know every team makes mistakes when drafting people, but when you are the Suns and have the least amount of talent in the NBA, you cant afford to miss twice in a row.

    Thats how front office people get fired (unless your elgin baylor)

  • 28 SHAZAM // Feb 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    earl clark explains the frustration…we gave him away..for nothing because our evaluators and developers cant evaluate or develop..how can you rebuild w/ this structure?

  • 29 foreveris2long // Feb 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    DBreezy, Tony and Azbball, way to keep the board honest. Scott you know I am not mad at ya regarding your optimism surrounding Marshall, I just had to make sure you were sober on Superbowl Sunday. You do not need me to tell you there is nothing wrong with hoping because I hope Sarver sells and Babby and Blanks get fired sooner than later.

  • 30 foreveris2long // Feb 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Shazam, bam with a triple in the late innings with the bases loaded. I don’t know if you saw the game today but he had 17 points and 10 boards for a double double. Nah we don’t need that in Phoenix.

  • 31 Scott // Feb 4, 2013 at 1:15 am

    @forever -

    Two different Scotts, FTW. ;)

  • 32 Lon Babby // Feb 4, 2013 at 2:27 am

    I’m impotent.

  • 33 DBreezy // Feb 4, 2013 at 3:29 am

    @Ty-Sun,

    The draft is a crap shoot, but at this point does that matter? The Suns front office like to act like their detractors aren’t aware of what their crack research has taught them about teams that tank vs rebuild on the fly. Thing is most of us already knew that and if we didn’t that research had already been done awhile ago.

    There was a True Hoop article years ago that had run the data and come up with the same kind of conclusions. I know because I used to reference it when arguing that the Suns should rebuild on the fly as far back as the 2007-2008 season. Thing is that the Suns didn’t do the things that rivals like DAL and SAS did to keep themselves in contention for years and years. They got nothing for their assets and have put themselves in a tough spot where the draft is the most likely way out. Free agency is tough. Few of the best truly make it out there and those that do usually have a narrow list in mind well before free agency opens. Restricted free agency is a rose bush. That leaves overpaying guys like Josh Smith which is even more suicidal under this cba than it was previously.

    On the draft though, I always wonder how much of a crap shoot the lottery truly has to be? Nothing’s ever going to be 100%, but it seems like many teams make the same mistakes year in and out at least as far as the lottery is concerned. Every year you can look at the various draft sites and the lottery players are pretty set. Sure you see guys with rising and fallng stocks or slight reorderings, but those prospects in the top 15 spots or so are pretty consistent. It even tends to stay that way through the conference tourneys. Then March comes and all hell starts to break loose and it’s madness all the way through draft night.

    To me what changes in March is that the GM’s really start to get involved. The rankings prior to March are largely based off the opinions of scouts, most of whom have been watching nearly all of these kids games going back to high school. The GM’s don’t get to watch all of those games as its not their job an they have a ton of other responsibilities. By tourney time though, most of the lottery teams know their fate and with the trade deadline gone the draft is fully in focus.

    All of a sudden guys who have been big time prospects have everything riding on every tourney game. Big tourney game vs Kansas, Derrick Williams? All of sudden you’re the consensus #2 pick and Brandon Knight is in a free fall. Bad night as a PF posting up a center Jared Sullinger? Now you’re plummeting out of the lottery-he was falling hard well before the back report came out. Can’t get it done vs a stacked Kentucky team, PJ3? Welcome to the 20′s. First round exit Jeremy Lamb or DeAndre Jordan? Well Jeremy your great 2011 tourney and high in-season ranking are toast. We’re going to slobber over the smaller, poorer shooting, Brad Beal who got it going at tourney time or have our eyes wander over to Dion Waiters or Terrence Ross. DeAndre you can kiss the first round goodbye despite entering tourney time as a top 5 pick on most boards. Clearly Alexis Ajinca is the man.

    It’s amazing and it happens every year with teams like the Spurs, Thunder, Celtics, etc looking like geniuses for simply waiting, trusting their scouts and not getting caught up in the latest hype. It’s worse for a team like the Suns who have a pres of basketball ops who isn’t a basketball guy. Everything is on Blanks from scouting players pro and amateur to monitoring the daily work of the coaching staff.

  • 34 Daniel // Feb 4, 2013 at 3:54 am

    @Tony,
    I thought “so long as Sarver owns this franchise, my alliegance to the Suns is over” and you “hope they remain a perpetual lottery team, devoid of both star talent and respectability.”

    I am impressed that you are able to criticize people’s opinions so passionately about an organization and team that you do not root for and you have no allegiance to.

    Leave people to their opinions, they may not agree with you and you may not agree with them but in the end, this is a sport people watch for entertainment.

    I direct my comment at Tony, because he is the only one on this board that I have read, who has stated he wants the Phoenix Suns to be a “perpetual lottery team”.

    Including the pending sale of the Sacremento Kings, the average ownership time of an NBA owner is 14.4 years, Sarvar has owned the SUNS since 2004.
    Tony come back in 5.4 years…

    http://valleyofthesuns.com/2013/01/18/alvin-gentry-phoenix-suns-mutually-part-ways/#comments
    Quotes taken from Comment 46

  • 35 foreveris2long // Feb 4, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Scott, Thanks for the clarification. I did not recall you being so hopeful on K. Marshall but I thought maybe it was me who may have been under the influence after one glass of bubbly.

  • 36 DBreezy // Feb 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Only one glass Foreveris? I cannot say that I shared the same restraint yesterday!

  • 37 IowaPhXfan // Feb 4, 2013 at 9:28 am

    @Scott L

    I’m sorry but I have to call complete BS on your defense of Marshall….

    “He’s never going to be a 20+ point guy and he’s never going to be a lock down defender but he does have the ability as a passer to be a game changer” – @Scott L

    He can’t score…he can’t defend… but he can find the open man! watch out! LOL.

    Here’s some facts for ya buddy. Marshall severely lacks quickness, aka agility. You know, something detrimental to being a point guard in the NBA. See, they do these things called agility tests at the NBA combine. Very simple. Below is a description of the test and what it is judging. (For those too lazy to click the link, it judges lateral quickness and change of direction, also giving a range each position should fall in – Guards, Forwards, Centers)

    http://www.topendsports.com/testing/tests/agility-lane.htm

    Marshall had one of the slowest agility times for a PG at the NBA Combine…..EVER. No, seriously.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?page=&year=All&source=All&sort2=DESC&draft=30&pos=1&sort=15

    He had a time of 12.03 seconds. The average for all PGs over the years is 11.1 seconds. Isaiah Thomas for Sacramento had a time of 8.22 seconds, setting the record. Our own Diante Garrett had a time of 9.28 seconds….

    Is agility the only test that matters for a pg? No. George Hill had a slower agility time than Marshall. But he also had one of the fastest 3/4 court sprint times and is a good shooter (37% 3p, 80% ft).
    I just don’t know how the FO sees this and thinks he will have any chance of excelling in this league.
    Can’t shoot…35% 3p, 69% ft in college…those percentages seldom increase once in NBA…. can’t defend….can’t get past his man…. average full court speed….
    Yes, he had good assist numbers at UNC…HE PLAYED WITH 3 OTHER FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICKS!!!!!!!!
    Pretty sure I could’ve averaged at least 10 apg throwing alley oops to barnes, henson, & zeller.
    Sorry not trying to trash Marshall, more so trying to show just how inept our FO is at judging talent. It literally took me 30 mins to do some research to see how Marshall’s quickness stacks up against other pgs, shooting, & talent he had surrounding him at college level. 30 mins!!!!!! And after my research I wouldn’t have drafted him with the 30th pick in the 1st rd! How the hell is he ever going to drive past or defend another pg?? He’s not.
    Hopefully our FO sees this soon and gives Garrett a shot. He at least has the talent to be a good pg in this league (much quicker, better shooter).
    If you are slow, you better be able to shoot/score VERY efficiently. Name me a slow player who can’t shoot that has been even an average pg in this league. Please. I’m begging you.

    -IowaPhXfan

  • 38 hawki // Feb 4, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Last thing I remember was the power going out.

  • 39 Forever is2long // Feb 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Hawki, DBreezy, I do not know if the one glass of bubbly was so strong, I wimped out after playing 3 full court games of hoops earlier in the day or the power outage but I was beat after the game. I guess I am just not the man I think I use to be.

    If time permits, check out Bleacher Report today article written by Sam Cooper discussing possible trades Suns should consider. They discuss Gortat to either OKC or Boston but point out that Gortat’s value isn’t that high, which I have to agree it has diminished post Nash. As I think DBreezy alluded to earlier, if management knew or should have known Gortat was not interested in signing an extension with the Suns, why the extended love affair with him? So now we keep him on a terrible team until his value decreases.

    Anyway Dbreezy and I have beat where Gortat might go to death but the article discusses other possible trades.

  • 40 john // Feb 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Where to start with this mess of a comment thread… I’ll try to be brief:

    From Luka, comment #9: “Hey front office please trade Gortat, Morris, and Marshall for Diop.”

    If you honestly believe that’s a good idea, you have no room to insult people as you do. Yikes.

    From azbballfan, comment #10: “It is a turnover if your shot hits the rim and goes over the backboard, negating a rebound for either team.”

    Just because a ball can’t be rebounded after a shot doesn’t make it a turnover. It’s an OB violation, same as if a shot came hard off the rim and went OB before anyone could get to the rebound. From my understanding of the rules (I’m admittedly not an NBA official, so someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), an airball would also not be a turnover whether it’s caught by the opposing team or goes out of bounds. There’s a little bit of wiggle room when it comes to airballs because what defines a field goal attempt can be a little subjective, but the point still stands. Missed field goals that don’t result in opportunities for rebounds aren’t necessarily turnovers, by definition.

    From Luka, comment #13: “We also have to believe Sarver is actually willing to spend the money on star players. Something he has never done, aside from re-signing Nash.”

    Again, someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Amar’e get his first max extension when Sarver was owner? I’m not saying that wasn’t an obvious choice as well, but you’d still be even more wrong in assuming that Sarver won’t pay stars what they deserve. Think of it this way: What stars has Sarver low-balled? Maybe Joe Johnson, although that’s a completely different situation involving cap constraints, and Joe Johnson is now one of the most overpaid players in the league (along with Amar’e, go figure).

    From DBreezy, comment #17, regarding Gortat: “Knowing how the market works and that someone will in fact pay him what he wants, they should know that he must go.”

    That’s super easy to say without knowing what deals are actually on the table for him. Do you really think teams are going to be scrambling to take out a second mortgage to get a decent center (middle of the pack when looking at the rest of the league) who wants to get paid somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25% of the entire salary cap? I’ve already expressed my opinion on it, and while there might be some GM out there stupid enough to make a stab at Gortat for a long-term deal, I don’t think it’s as likely as you guys would like to hope. He’s very valuable at $7M per year. He’s a liability at $12-13M per year. I wouldn’t touch Gortat with a 10-foot pole unless I only wanted him for one season to help me take a shot at a title (and I don’t really think he’s the type of player who could help in that regard, anyway).

    From DBreezy, comment #33: “Thing is that the Suns didn’t do the things that rivals like DAL and SAS did to keep themselves in contention for years and years.”

    That might also have something to do with the fact that the Suns didn’t have one of the top 10 (Duncan) or top 20 (Nowitzki) players of all time in their prime for a decade. Would any team be bad with a prime Duncan? A prime Nowitzki? Look at the Mavs now that Nowitzki has faltered a little bit/succumbed to injuries. When Duncan/Ginobili/Parker aren’t wearing black and silver any more, I won’t be surprised if the franchise falters a bit. When OKC loses Durant, it won’t surprise me one bit when they end up in the cellar. When LeBron and Wade take their talents from South Beach, I don’t expect Miami to be winning championships for a while.

    I get why you guys don’t have any hope that this FO can figure things out. I don’t have any faith in them, but in order to throw out some of the criticisms you guys do, I think I’d either have to be sure of the plausible alternatives to certain situations or remove myself from having the benefit of hindsight. I wanted Jrue Holliday. I wanted Kenneth Faried. However, I don’t blame the Suns for those picks due to the draft day feelings about the players that were selected. And whoever mentioned the top-10 picks that have gone bad was spot on. It’s rare to land a star even in the lottery. Most draft classes will end up with 1-2 perennial all-stars (much more often it will be one rather than two). Some zero, and VERY rarely a class will have 3 or even 4 all-star caliber players. Even if you have a top 3 pick, your chances of getting a star player are very low. There simply aren’t that many good players to go around. At any given time, there are only around a dozen game-changer type players who have the ability to turn their teams into playoff contenders, and there are usually only two players at any given time who have the ability to single-handedly turn their teams into championship contenders. It takes more luck than anything else to get your hands on one of those guys.

  • 41 IowaPhXfan // Feb 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Marshall is not anything close to an NBA pg. He had one of the worst agility times at the NBA combine for a pg….EVER. By the way agility basically equates to how well you can stay in front of a guy on defense and how well you can penetrate by your man on offense.

    Well at least he can shoot….right? Oh wait. 35% 3p in college. And basically nobody shoots better in the NBA than they did in college. Unless you were throwing up ridiculous off balance threes in college (i.e. curry, fredette) He also shot 69% fts.

    He isn’t going to become a great shooter. He isn’t going to magically become much quicker. Marshall has great vision. That’s it. He’s Vlade Divac stuck in a pg’s body. Now that’s a comparison you never want.

    Diante Garrett runs circles around Marshall, and I hope they give Garrett a fair shot soon. He at least has shown in d-league he could be a decent shooter, plus he’s quick enough with long arms to be a good defender.

    /rant.

    -IowaPhXfan

  • 42 john // Feb 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I don’t like Marshall’s chances. That said…

    There are two main schools of thought that his detractor’s subscribe to:

    1. He can’t shoot now, therefore he’ll never be able to shoot.
    2. He’s slow, therefore he can’t defend or penetrate at the NBA level.

    To play the devil’s advocate, I’ll point out an NBA player for each point that questions each preconceived notion about Marshall.

    1. Consider Jason Kidd. His career eFG% is about 46%. Know what it is in the past five years? 52% (I didn’t adjust for volume in any given year, because I didn’t want to take the time, that’s just an end-of-year average). His eFG% was regularly below 45% until he finally realized he couldn’t move any more and he would be forced to develop a 3-pt shot if he wanted to stay in the league. We all know what happened next, but just to reiterate, his past six seasons shooting the three-ball have been 46.1%, 40.6%, 42.5%, 34%, 35.4%, and 40.4%. His career mark is 35%, to put those numbers into perspective.

    Point is, shooting can be taught, it can be developed. Kendall Marshall isn’t going to turn into a freak of nature like LeBron, but he CAN learn to shoot the ball well enough to make defenders respect his ability to put the ball through the twine.

    2. Andre Miller. Career PER of 17.8 with above-career-average years coming at ages 31-34. Andre Miller has never been fast, but he has been especially slow for the past five to seven years. Yet, somehow, he remains effective, both with his shot AND through penetration and working in the post. His percentage of shots at the rim is astonishing for someone lacking anything resembling athleticism. You don’t need athleticism to get to the hoop (although it most definitely makes things easier).

    Another guy Phoenix fans are well-accustomed to who has a lack of athleticism but has always been able to get to the rack is Nash.

    And for the defense aspect of things, I guess I’d go back to Jason Kidd. I don’t hear a whole lot of folks complaining that Jason Kidd is a total liability on the defensive end. A lot of defense is just knowing rotations and having good instincts. It doesn’t take a lot of athleticism to make the right rotations defensively, it just takes a brain, focus, and effort. Marshall is capable of playing good team defense even if he’s not going to be an outstanding individual defender.

    Two of the best defenders in recent memory have actually been fairly poor athletes. Bowen and Battier. They know how to foul up to the point of making the ref blow their whistle. They get away with every little bit that they can without making the ref take action. They take advantage of how poor NBA officiating is. I think Marshall is capable of that as well.

    Let me just say again, I don’t think Marshall will ever amount to anything, but I’m never going to come out and say it with such certainty. After all, a lot of Suns fans said the same thing about Earl Clark a couple of years ago, and now he’s doing fairly well for a bad team that’s going nowhere (let’s not overreact and pretend Clark has arrived).

  • 43 IowaPhXfan // Feb 4, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    @john

    Well…you sure are…optimistic? Sorry but I’ll take the hundreds of past players that back up my point over your 1 out of 1000 player that has an insanely high basketball IQ and instincts.

    Jason Kidd? Seriously comparing Marshall to Kidd? First off, it took Kidd about 10 yrs before he was a decent shooter. I don’t feel like waiting around 10 yrs for Marshall to become an average shooter.
    Secondly, Kidd had amazing agility when he came into league, it’s why he was one of the best defenders in the league. He also has arguably the biggest and strongest hands for a pg in NBA history. It’s why he’s always been a great rebounder and good at getting steals, because once his hands touch the ball it’s his.

    Andre Miller…talk about the most boring average pg ever. He has been to the playoffs 8 times…and lost in the first round 8 times. Funny stat, huh? Andre Miller is a product of longevity….piling up average season after average season. If at the absolute best Phx could have an Andre Miller type for the next 10 seasons, I’d say no thanks.

    Lastly, defensively you compare a pg to 2 of the best wing defenders in the last 20 years who are both 6’7 with great agility. Battier was known for his defense and 3pt shooting coming out of college. He had an agility time over a second better than Marshall.

    Bottom line: Marshall is a slow pg who can’t shoot and can’t guard anyone.

    I’m certain.

  • 44 IowaPhXfan // Feb 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    (Didn’t feel the need to address you comparing Marshall to Nash….just one of the greatest shooters in NBA history and excellent agility – ability to change direction quickly…horrible on defense because too small, not very strong, small hands, and no vertical)

  • 45 Ty-Sun // Feb 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Just for the hell of it, here’s a list of the top 10 draft picks over the last 10 years. 2003 looks like that best year of them all. LBJ, Carmelo, Bosh & Wade were all drafted in the top 10 that year but so were T.J. Ford, Mike Sweetney and Jarvis Hayes. And Detroit picked Darko Milicic with the second pick over Melo, Bosh and Wade. Just look through the list and you’ll find lots of bad top 10 picks by a lot of teams over the years as well as some very good players that were drafted by one team that were traded away on draft day by the teams that drafted them. The Suns aren’t alone in doing that.

    2003

    1. Cleveland LeBron James
    2. Detroit Darko Milicic
    3. Denver Carmelo Anthony
    4. Toronto Chris Bosh
    5. Miami Dwyane Wade
    6. LA Clippers Chris Kaman
    7. Chicago Kirk Hinrich
    8. Milwaukee T.J. Ford
    9. New York Mike Sweetney
    10. Washington Jarvis Hayes

    2004

    01. Orlando Dwight Howard
    02. Charlotte Emeka Okafor
    03. Chicago Ben Gordon
    04. L.A. Clippers Shaun Livingston
    05. Washington Devin Harris
    06. Atlanta Josh Childress
    07. Phoenix Loul Deng
    08. Toronto Rafeal Arajuo
    09. Philadelphia Andre Iguodala
    10. Cleveland Luke Jackson

    2005

    1 Milwaukee Andrew Bogut
    2 Atlanta Marvin Williams
    3 Utah Deron Williams
    4 New Orleans Chris Paul
    5 Charlotte Raymond Felton
    6 Portland Martell Webster
    7 Toronto Charlie Villanueva
    8 New York Channing Frye
    9 Golden State Ike Diogu
    10 LA Lakers Andrew Bynum

    2006

    1 Toronto Andrea Bargnani
    2 Chicago LaMarcus Aldridge
    3 Charlotte Adam Morrison
    4 Portland Tyrus Thomas
    5 Atlanta Shelden Williams
    6 Minnesota Brandon Roy
    7 Boston Randy Foye
    8 Houston Rudy Gay
    9 Golden State Patrick O’Bryant
    10 Seattle Saer Sene

    2007

    1 Portland Greg Oden
    2 Seattle Kevin Durant
    3 Atlanta Al Horford
    4 Memphis Mike Conley Jr.
    5 Boston Jeff Green
    6 Milwaukee Yi Jianlian
    7 Minnesota Corey Brewer
    8 Charlotte Brandan Wright
    9 Chicago Joakim Noah
    10 Sacramento Spencer Hawes

    2008

    1 Chicago Derrick Rose
    2 Miami Michael Beasley
    3 Minnesota O.J. Mayo
    4 Seattle Russell Westbrook
    5 Memphis Kevin Love
    6 New York Danilo Gallinari
    7 LA Clippers Eric Gordon
    8 Milwaukee Joe Alexander
    9 Charlotte D.J. Augustin
    10 New Jersey Brook Lopez

    2009

    1 LA Clippers Blake Griffin .
    2 Memphis Hasheem Thabeet
    3 Oklahoma Cty James Harden
    4 Sacramento Tyreke Evans
    5 Minnesota Ricky Rubio .
    6 Minnesota Jonny Flynn
    7 Golden St. Stephen Curry
    8 New York Jordan Hill.
    9 Toronto DeMar DeRozan
    10 Milwaukee Brandon Jennings

    2010

    1. Wizards John Wall
    2. 76ers Evan Turner
    3. Nets Derrick Favors
    4. Timberwolves Wesley Johnson
    5. Kings DeMarcus Cousins
    6. Warriors Ekpe Udoh
    7. Pistons Greg Monroe
    8. Clippers Al-Farouq Aminu
    9. Jazz Gordon Hayward
    10. Pacers Paul George

    2011

    1. Cleveland Kyrie Irving
    2. Minnesota Derrick Williams
    3. Utah Enes Kanter
    4. Cleveland Tristan Thompson
    5. Toronto Jonas Valanciunas
    6. Washington Jan Vesely
    7. Sacramento Bismack Biyombo
    8. Detroit Brandon Knight
    9. Charlotte Kemba Walker
    10. Milwaukee Jimmer Fredette

    2012

    1. New Orleans Anthony Davis
    2. Charlotte Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
    3. Washington Bradley Beal
    4. Cleveland Dion Waiters
    5. Sacramento Thomas Robinson
    6. Portland Damian Lillard
    7. Golden State Harrison Barnes
    8. Toronto Terrence Ross
    9. Detroit Andre Drummond
    10. New Orleans Austin Rivers

  • 46 Michael // Feb 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    @John:
    Great work, but it’s wasted time arguing with haters.
    Some people know everything better and can easily run a franchise ……… NOT.

    Every franchise has it’s time to be on top and it’s time to be at the bottom. We had a long way of entertaining and successful decades.
    Now some decisions have led to a periodic decline of the Suns franchise. Soooooo what? Here we go and stand together. FO will surely do their job, sooner or later. A lot of you guys suggest ridiculous trade scenarios that will never happen. You don’t know what’s on the table, so relax and stop insulting people. It’s just a game.
    And I’m sure Sarver’s intention with this franchise is rather winning than losing. So some things will happen.

  • 47 Scott // Feb 4, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Marshall has the potential to get better as he goes. Since it’s generally easier for high IQ guys to add skills than low IQ guys, he has a good chance at improvement.

    He needs to become a more aggressive scorer and he needs to become a more accurate shooter. Due to lack of speed and athleticism he needs to become crafty when scoring, he needs to rely on help defense, and he should aggressively attempt steals. He needs to get defensive rebounds to enable a faster outlet pass, and he needs to hang back on offensive rebounds and prepare to take charges.

    If Marshall gets better, I suspect that’s what his game will probably look like.

  • 48 john // Feb 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Did you fail to see the multiple times I said I don’t think Marshall will amount to anything?

    Please, learn to read before you blast someone pointlessly.

    “Seriously comparing Marshall to Kidd?”

    When did I “compare” Marshall to Kidd? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    “First off, it took Kidd about 10 yrs before he was a decent shooter.”

    Kidd didn’t NEED to shoot when he came into the league. Once he figured out that a long-range shot (and a post-up game) would increase his longevity in the league, he started developing those aspects of his game. He didn’t attempt to become a bomber until the last half-decade. So, no, it’s inaccurate to say it took him 10 years to develop his shot because he wasn’t developing it for his first dozen years in the league.

    “He also has arguably the biggest and strongest hands for a pg in NBA history.”

    Do you know Kendall Marshall’s hand size? Do you know Jason Kidd’s hand size? I’m not saying I believe Marshall’s hands are as big as Kidd’s, but that information isn’t all that easy to come by, and I highly doubt you knew either of those figures at the time you posted that statement. I did a quick google search and couldn’t find reliable measurements for either player’s hand size. So, if you know Marshall’s hand measurements, please share. If not, try posting some useful information.

    Regarding Andre Miller, playoff success is the barometer for the quality of a PG? So, is Derek Fisher going to walk into the hall of fame? How about Kenny Smith? Ron Harper? What about Chris Paul? How far has he ever made it into the Playoffs? I can’t remember, did Steve Nash ever make it to the Finals? I’m not saying Andre Miller is one of the all-time greats, but a PER of 17.8 and WS/48 of 0.122 are more than just a product of longevity. Efficiency has nothing to do with longevity. Throughout a 13-year NBA career, Andre Miller has been consistently above-average despite lacking the physical tools deemed “necessary” for success. That’s a fact.

    Battier doesn’t have that agility any more. Bowen didn’t have that agility for at least his last few years in the league. Even if you want to pretend that’s not true, I can give you countless examples of guys over the years who maintain their defensive abilities well-beyond the point of athletic decline, and the reason behind that is mostly that they learn how to foul and get away with it, and they solidify their rotations (and learn how to anticipate the required rotations).

    Again, I’m going to say that I don’t think Marshall will amount to anything, but I will also say that the two facts I mentioned are indeed facts:

    1. Shooting can be taught/developed (and it doesn’t take a decade).
    2. You don’t need to be a supreme athlete to be able to penetrate and defend in the NBA.

    Fact and fact.

  • 49 john // Feb 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    And I also didn’t “compare” Marshall to Nash as well. Again, I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

  • 50 Scott // Feb 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Regarding top draft picks, keep in mind that teams that end up in the lottery typically do so because they have a poor GM / scouting dept. So if you look at the lottery picks and say, “Half these guys were bad picks” … well … consider who is doing the picking. In most cases, it’s the worst in the league.

    For example, look at Seattle going from 2006 to 2007. The difference between Saer Sene and Kevin Durant is not just a few spots in the draft, there’s a change of GM from Rick Sund to Sam Presti.

    In 2007, Sam Presti traded Rashard Lewis to Orlando for a second round draft pick and an exception which he then used to take Kurt Thomas from the Suns along with 2 first round draft picks. He then drafted Westbrook the next year, and Harden the year after. Presti picked up Serge Ibaka with one of the Suns’ picks.

    When he was with San Antonio, it was Presti who directed them to draft Tony Parker.

    So the point is that good scouting and good GMs can probably pick better than bad scouts / bad GMs.

  • 51 Lon Babby // Feb 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Pastrami on rye, thanks.

  • 52 Ty-Sun // Feb 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    That’s one of the reasons I originally said the the draft is a crap game, Scott. Really good NBA teams rarely have draft picks in the top 10. And those that do usually have the luxury of drafting for need OR talent depending on who is available when they pick. There are probably less than 10 really good GMs in the NBA and Phoenix doesn’t have one of them. The teams that stay at the bottom have the worst and/or have owners that aren’t willing to to pay to keep young talent after their relatively cheap rookie contracts run out (like Donald Sterling used to do).

    Phoenix is crippled by both a cheap owner and an inept/inexperienced FO. I’d love to have Presti as the Suns GM. So would the fans of probably at least 20 other NBA teams. Great GMs don’t come cheap and they are rare. If you know of one that is available and the Suns should go after, please illuminate us. Just saying that the Suns FO/GM haven’t done as well as one of if not the best GMs in the NBA isn’t enough. We already know that. It’s like someone thinking that they are making an amazing revelation by pointing to the sky and saying “it’s blue!”

  • 53 Scott // Feb 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Kendall Marshall -

    Hand length: 8.5″
    Hand width: 9″

    According to the Draft Express database, Marshall’s hand length is the same as that of Austin Rivers, Bradley Beal, and Dion Waiters.

    His hand width is the same as that of Bradley Beal and Tony Wroten.

    The only PG in that draft with bigger hands than Marshall’s belong to Damian Lillard, at 8.75″ L x 9.75″ W.

    Diante Garrett has a hand length of 9.5″ (but no recorded width).

  • 54 Scott // Feb 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    I’m just saying that while there is always risk in drafting, better GMs are likely to do better than bad ones. So when you look at a draft history and see a lot of picks that didn’t pan out, that may be more of a measure of how many GMs are bad than the level of risk involved with taking a high draft pick.

  • 55 Scott // Feb 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    FWIW, if Boston trades its key players, what I see as the most likely trade is a two-parter.

    First, Boston would trade LA native Paul Pierce to the Lakers for Pau Gasol and Earl Clark. With Rondo injured and Pierce traded away, that clears the ground for trading Garnett (who has a no-trade clause).

    If Garnett consents, the second trade would be sending Garnett and Barbosa to OKC for Perkins, Lamb, Jones, and the first round pick from the Raptors.

    This would give the Celtics a quick reset, and a starting unit of Gasol, Green, Clark, Terry, and Bradley. Backups would be Perkins, Bass, Jones, Lamb, and Lee. On the IL are Rondo and Sullinger, and Melo, Wilcox and Collins would be available as needed.

    In the summer, Boston would drop Wilcox and Collins in favor of their two first found picks, and be ready to roll into the next season.

  • 56 Ty-Sun // Feb 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    But it’s not always that, Scott. There are often drafts that only have solid rotation players available even at the top spots (such as the 2000 draft in which Kenyon Martin was the #1 pick). In 2004 only Dwight Howard became a star player out of the top 10 selections. In 2005, only #3 pick Deron Williams, #4 pick Chris Paul and maybe Andrew Bogut (#1) are star players. In 2006, there was #2 LaMarcus Aldridge, #6 Brandon Roy and #8 Rudy Gay. In 2007, there was #1 Greg Oden, #2 Kevin Durant, #3 Al Horford, #4 Mike Conley Jr., #5 Jeff Green and #9 Joakim Noah. I could go on but my point is how many of even those players are super stars in the NBA? I admit that both Roy and Oden’s careers were undercut by injuries but during just the amount of time I mentioned you have very few truly outstanding NBA players. All of them are very, very good and a few are actually great but my point is that truly great franchise players are very rare and they aren’t always obvious because of their play in college.

  • 57 Ty-Sun // Feb 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Paul Pierce to the Lakers for Pau Gasol and Earl Clark just makes little sense for either team. Pierce is a 3, Clark is a 4 and Gasol is really a 5 even though LA trys to play him at the 4. It makes no sense because it leaves Boston very thin at the 3 and it leaves LA very vulnerable in case Howard decides to leave LA as a FA at the end of this season. Howard and Bryant just clash. They don’t like each other no matter what anyone says or thinks. And even if you don’t want to believe that, believe that Howard wants to win a championship. Unless LA makes a very big turnaround this season and makes it at least into the Western conference finals, Howard will likely leave LA as a free agent. Believe that Mark Cuban is salivating at the opportunity of offering Howard a max contract and I think that Howard would much rather share the spotlight with an aging Dirk N. than Kobe.

    But back to Scott’s Boston trades…

    Garnett might actually OK a trade to OKC… but maybe not. And Boston traded Perkins away to OKC for more than just Jeff Green. Perkins is a strong, tough NBA center but not a great or even very good NBA center. And why would they want Perkins back if they already made a trade with LAL to get Pau Gasol?

    I could go on and on as to why Scott’s trade scenario makes no sense for either team but I think I don’t need to.

  • 58 DBreezy // Feb 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    @John,

    Yes, neither of us nor the front office knows which teams will offer Gortat what after next season. What we do know though is that the Suns offered Gortat an extension and that he turned it down. We also know that under the cba rules that extension could not have been for greater than 17.2M over two seasons or an average of 8.6M per. We also know that there are several centers who are getting paid considerably more than Marcin who aren’t considered better players. I just think that if the Suns know that they aren’t going to pay Marcin what he wants (a good thing) then they need to get the best value out of the asset vs waiting until Summer of 2014 and possibly getting left empty handed. The new cba doesn’t even offer a financial incentive for a free agent to do a sign and trade which used to be some teams safety net.

    As for the Spurs and Mavs I wasn’t talking about the greatness of some of their players relative to the Suns and what will happen when they move on. I was getting at the fact that the Suns front office still seems to think that there is a rebuild while being competitve vs bottoming out debate ongoing. There was a recent article on AZC about it. The Spurs, Mavs and even the Jazz are examples of what Babby and crew want to do, but those teams got more out of their assets when it came time to retool than the Suns have so far. The Suns don’t have much in the way of assets at this point, so the draft crap-shoot that it is will have to be a big part of the rebuild. I wasn’t trying to say that Suns should have been just as competitve as the Mavs and Spurs over the runs of Duncan and Dirk.

  • 59 Tony // Feb 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    @Daniel,

    Oh wow! You really got me there didn’t you…..?! I’ve followed the Suns for so many years and am still a fan of the team, just not the FRONT OFFICE!!
    Now I’m assuming that you must have way too much time on your hands if you are going back and quote comments from a while ago. Instead of trying to rebut my arguments with non-contradictory statements that have absolutely no relevance to my most recent posts, maybe you should consider doing something productive with your life.

    “Every franchise has it’s time to be on top and it’s time to be at the bottom. We had a long way of entertaining and successful decades.”

    What a dumb and completely useless statement. By this poster’s logic, we can substitute just about anything and make the same bogus argument. For instance, “every person has had $10 in their pocket at one time, and every person has also had nothing in their pocket.” Or, “all civilizations rise and then fall.”

    Now obviously his point is that because the Suns franchise had many great years, subsequently followed by the current embarrassingly bad times, that we as fans should just be patient and not complain because every franchise goes through these losing periods.

    Hey Michael, great argument…….NOT!!!!!!

    You call us haters because we’re not sheep, pretending everything’s fine while the FO continues to embarrass our once elite franchise. You want to be a sheep, go ahead and be one, but those of us who are truly Suns fans have a right to be upset with how Sarver, Babby, and Blanks are running the organization.

    @Dbreezy,

    There’s simply no point debating John, he’s as obtuse as the rest of the Sarver-clones. If Sarver had U.S. Airways demolished and then moved the Suns to another city, John would support whatever Sarver’s justification would be for doing so. Then Michael would follow up with criticizing us for complaining about Saver moving the franchise because, “at one point or another, every franchise moves in some degree.” So we should just smile and pretend everything’s just fine….Oh, and then good old Rich Anthony would give his two-sense, along the lines of, “everything’s going according to plan.”
    I can’t forget about Scott! He would blame Steve Kerr!

    Good times over here at VOTS!

  • 60 john // Feb 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    @DBreezy

    I see your point. Also, I didn’t realize Gortat would be owed so little on a max deal. It seems to me like that’s a tiny raise. Under the old cba, I believe he could have made nearly double his salary of the last year of his prior contract.

  • 61 john // Feb 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Btw, how do you know that’s Gortat’s max salary for next year? I just briefly looked at the max salary portion of the Coon faq, and it appeared that max salaries were quite a bit higher. Admittedly, I didn’t really care to look into the details though. Any CBA experts around that can clear that up? What kind of money can Gortat earn on his next deal?

  • 62 Scott // Feb 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    @Ty-Sun -

    Regarding the draft, I don’t see where there is an argument between us. I think you agree with my point about some GMs being better than others, which is separate from your point about talent, and I agree with you that there’s different levels of talent available each draft. Some years will have one or more Hall of Fame caliber talents, and others won’t.

    As for the Celtics trade I proposed, what I was trying to show was more along the lines of what a trade would ideally look like from the Celtics’ side. They’d probably trade both Pierce and Garnett for as much young talent as possible, and they’d probably trade Pierce first in order to push Garnett toward accepting a trade to a contender.

    As for the other ends of those trades, it assumes that OKC is willing to sell off its young assets to obtain an older defensive center with championship experience in order to win this year and/or the next. If Garnett was leaving Boston, I assume OKC would probably be tops on his list of destinations, as from his view they’d have everything they need to win but him.

    The Lakers trade was offered as an example of where Pierce might end up. If you put through that trade, then as I see it the Lakers start Nash, Kobe, Pierce, and Jamison, with a hole in the middle where Howard and Gasol used to be. I think the Lakers need to move Howard as well as Gasol, so maybe they can find a taker for Howard. That may be hard with Howard in the final year of his contract, so unsettled, and out with a season-ending injury to boot.

    But, seeing as how the Lakers seem to get whoever they want, maybe Kupchak will be able to turn Howard’s expiring into Marc Gasol. :p

  • 63 Voqar // Feb 5, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Sarver is terrible, the franchise has been in steady decline since Collangelo fucked us and sold it to that greedy moron.

    The FO is a couple of scrubs he got to work for next to nothing and as a result, they are worth next to nothing and will accomplish next to nothing. Even if they had some kind of workable plan or remote clue they would be crippled by Sarver.

    The part that really sucks is that as miserable as it’s been to watch this decline and to watch the trainwreck this season, it scan still get worse.

    We’ll probably end up with nothing for Gortat so we’ll lose out on a mediocre center who sometimes shows up to play and is a legend in his own fertile imagination. Delusoinal as he may be having no real center again would suck..again. I guess. Most of the time it’s hard to consider gortat a “true center” because he all but disappears against anyone with talent or size.

  • 64 Voqar // Feb 5, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Somehow I miss Beasley’s moments of scoring and looking good. Every time I watch, he’s hurling bricks and the rim is crying for mercy – if he even hits rim.

    I guess if you shoot enough you will eventually score…while you lose games.

    Beasely probably holds the record for most travelling calls against in a season and we’re not even done yet.

    I feel bad for Gentry because when they signed Beasely he had to act pleased when he was probably thinking inside, these fucking clowns just signed a permanently high and brainless dipshit who flushed his talent down a toilet of not giving a fuck with his weed.

  • 65 DBreezy // Feb 5, 2013 at 8:13 am

    @John,

    Those numbers are the maximum that Gortat can get in an extension. I got them from an article earlier this year about Gortat turning down the offer. The most they can offer is something like 7% raises startng with the last year of his current deal which is quite affordable. He can get more if he goes all the way to free agency which is at least one of the reasons he has stated his intention to do just that.

    Idk that the Suns are willing or should offer him more than 8M or so when you consider his game, the current state of the team and to some degree his age although I’m not as concerned about that as some. Look at the Cavs whowere reported to be actively shopping Varajeo before his injury. He has been consistent for longer than Marcin and was having an All Star season before the injury on a young team that doesn’t really have any big contracts anymore. The Suns could resemble that over the next few seasons.

  • 66 IowaPhXfan // Feb 5, 2013 at 8:34 am

    @john

    1. You want to have to teach a guard how to shoot? Rondo and Wall are only 2 I can think of that can’t shoot and still considered good pgs. Both athletic freaks. Boston might be better offensively without Rondo, they’ll miss him most on defense. Wall is highly overrated, has one of worst shooting percentages for a guard, he should really never shoot outside 15 ft again. (30% for career)

    2. I’d argue you need to be decently quick and athletic to guard just about any of the playoff team pgs…(CP3, RW, Parker, Bledsoe, Conley, Harden/Lin, Lillard, Lawson, Curry….) Otherwise you’re hiding your pg on defense like we tried with Nash.

    Fact and Fact.

  • 67 IowaPhXfan // Feb 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

    @Scott

    Perkins back to Boston? Ummm….are you high?

    I agree with Ty-Sun’s assessment of the trades.

  • 68 john // Feb 5, 2013 at 8:49 am

    @DBreezy

    Ah, I see, so there are different rules for the max on extensions vs new contracts.

    @IowaPhXfan

    1. No, I wouldn’t want to have to teach a guard how to shoot when he’s already in the NBA. I never said I would, but thanks for allowing me to clarify.

    2. I would argue that there isn’t anyone in the league who can always stay in front of a quick guard. No matter what, when you’re playing a guy like Chris Paul, whoever is defending him will be relying on help quite a bit. No one is going to man up Chris Paul.

    I’m not sure where your facts were. You started by asking me a question, then you made a subjective argument (and by the way, how many teams championship teams over the past couple of decades have had great defensive PG’s? Any of the Chicago teams? Houston? LA? SA? Could Billups have been considered a defensive stalwart in those days? I don’t think Miami had a great defensive PG for either of their ‘ships, but maybe I’m forgetting someone. Would you still consider Kidd a great defender when he was with Dallas? In all honesty, I don’t think you need a great defensive PG in the slightest. I think it’s important to have someone who is smart and works on team defense, but individual, man-up defense from the PG spot has never been all that critical in my opinion).

    So, by “fact and fact,” I’m assuming you meant, “question and statement.”

  • 69 IowaPhXfan // Feb 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

    @john

    1. So we agree, neither of us want a guard who can’t shoot. There’s no debate. You just made it sound like it’s not a big deal, like lots of guards who can’t shoot become good shooters. You gave one example of Jason Kidd 10 yrs into his career…congrats. 1 out of 1000. I’m no math professor but I don’t like those odds.

    2. So since nobody can guard Chris Paul, who cares if you put Nash on him or Westbrook…same diff! Right?? That’s the lamest argument ever. Sorry but there’s a huge difference. If you can limit the pg from penetrating it takes away a ton of offense.

    No, the pg position is not necessary to win a championship if you have 2-3 all-stars at other positions. That’s exactly the reason this debate is relevant…last I checked Phx is nowhere near an all-star at any position. Easiest way to become a contender from this point? Get an elite pg. Chicago/LA/SA/Hou all had multiple HALL OF FAMERS. If Phx gets a couple HALL OF FAMERS then a monkey can be pg for all I care!
    I’m fine with Dragic, I think he can be a very good pg. The better the pg the less the talent around them needs to be….hence why teams with MJ, Lebron, Kobe don’t need much talent at pg. If Phx dropped down to Marshall at pg I think all it does is increase the amount of talent you need around him to contend, thinking 3 all-stars. With Dragic, I think all you need is 1-2 all-stars around him to contend. That’s the difference. When Felton went out for the Knicks this year they went 6-6. They’re 25-9 with him. That’s the difference in the dropoff for them. Felton is much better at penetrating to get open shots for all their shooters. Without him the Knicks are just a bunch of 1 on 1 shooters with no one to get them the ball.

    If your pg can’t beat his guy off the dribble consistently, then you better have someone else you can throw the ball to in order to create offense (i.e. Lebron, Kobe, Durant, Duncan, MJ, Hakeem, Dwight, Dirk) All these guys made it to finals in last 20 yrs, the other teams? Detroit (Billups), Philly (Iverson), Phx (KJ), Boston (Rondo), Seattle (GP), Nets (Kidd), Utah (Stockton)……

  • 70 john // Feb 5, 2013 at 11:20 am

    If the question is, “You have to guard Chris Paul for one game, would you rather have Rajon Rondo or Steve Nash?” then the answer is obvious. That’s never the question, though. There are four other guys on the court for each team.

    My argument, to put it more simply, is that an elite defensive presence at an individual position is not necessary for a team to put forth a solid (or even great) defensive effort. And furthermore, if any position on the court can be “skimped” on defensively, the PG position would be it.

    Would I rather have the greatest defensive PG in history or someone else? That’s not the right kind of question. The right kind of question in this discussion is, “Can Marshall’s supposed (I say supposed because he hasn’t really had a chance to prove himself one way or another yet in the NBA) faults be covered by a solid team defensive concept and, say, a defensive stud at the 4 or 5?”

    Right now, that’s a question that won’t be able to be answered, as the Suns don’t have that stopper or the team defense mentality to cover Marshall’s faults. But, with personnel changes, who knows what could happen. If bad defensive PG’s have won in the past (which they have in plenty), bad defensive PG’s can win in the future.

  • 71 IowaPhXfan // Feb 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    @john

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. We’re basically agreeing with each other at this point.

    My only point is that I think it is much easier/quicker to get back to a contending level by having an excellent pg because a pg can create tons of offense for his team and also limit tons of offense for the other team. I’d rather have a great pg than have to find 3 great players to makeup for a bad pg. Look at NO couple yrs ago with Chris Paul, he had no help but he made them a threat because of his ability to penetrate and his defense. Add one really good big guy and they would’ve been contenders. Without a great pg you need a really good big man, forward, and wing. (Gasol/Bynum/Kobe, Lebron/Wade/Bosh)….much easier to try and find 1-2 great players with one being a pg than to try and find 3-4 great players without a very good pg.

  • 72 john // Feb 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Indeed. I think we were mostly agreeing to begin with as well, just emphasizing different points. I typically agree with you (and I even agree that I don’t think Marshall will amount to anything in the NBA), I just felt like playing the devil’s advocate on this one.

  • 73 IowaPhXfan // Feb 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Apparently we both enjoy playing devil’s advocate, haha. I suppose it’s what forums are meant for. At least I think we both agree that Phx has a long ways to go before we are talking about contending again. Sigh.

  • 74 DBreezy // Feb 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I think something that isn’t mentioned often by pundits is that while the change in hand checking rules absolutely helped unleash pg’s offensively, it hurt the slower ones defensively-especially since the majority of NBA teams are poor in zone D. Years ago, a guy like Marshall would have been taught to get really strong and use hand checks and angles to be strong on D. Doc Rivers has talked about this before in interviews with respect to his career.

  • 75 ghoulbuns // Feb 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Lol @ the Lon Babby alias

Leave a Comment