New Orleans Hornets 93, Phoenix Suns 84 — Too much Mardi Gras


Greivis Vasquez (21) drives and scores over Marcin Gortat (4). (Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE/Getty Images)

Greivis Vasquez (21) drives and scores over Marcin Gortat (4). (Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns let a very winnable game slip through their fingers Wednesday night in New Orleans. They visibly ran out of gas down the stretch and succumbed to the Hornets 93-84.

Though the Suns have been light years better under Lindsey Hunter in terms of their effort and confidence, this team still has issues which a new coach cannot fix. Chief among them is depth. In European soccer, the most dominant and prestigious clubs like Barcelona and Manchester United carry upwards of 20 world class players on their rosters. All of these players cannot play in every match, but the clubs keep them on the roster at exorbitant cost because the season is long and grueling, and the players need rest. Squad depth allows for rotation, which in turn allows for rest and recovery. Depth allows these elite clubs to rely on different players to carry the load in each match.

All of this applies to the NBA as well, though players are considerably less likely to be cleated in the ankle on a basketball court. An 82 game schedule is incredibly rigorous. Asking any one player not named LeBron James to carry a team night in and night out is unreasonable. Players’ legs, no matter how young or old, get tired, especially in back-to-backs on the road. This was the case with Phoenix tonight. After a big win in Memphis yesterday evening, the Suns simply didn’t have the energy, stamina, or focus necessary to beat the Hornets, who were fresh off a five-day rest.

Most notable among the Suns who sputtered was Goran Dragic. The Dragon was nothing short of amazing last night, scoring 15 points in the final period to single-handedly top the Grizzlies for the second time this year. He continued his offensive production in the first half tonight, scoring 11 points on six shots. But he was terrible defensively. Greivis Vasquez torched Dragic for 15 first half points on 6-of-7 shooting. Dragic could not stay in front of Vasquez at all, and Vasquez single-handedly kept the Hornets close in the first half despite the struggles of Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson. In the second half, Dragic scored only two points. He was nearly invisible on offense, spending several possessions in a row standing in the corner, letting Kendall Marshall run the show. Whether it was exhaustion from an illness or continuing knee and elbow pain, he simply did not have it tonight, and the Suns had no one to pick up the slack.

For the first eight minutes of the game, it looked like Phoenix would cruise to victory behind a stellar performance by Luis Scola. Scola scored nine points in the opening period, all of them against No. 1 pick Anthony Davis. In college, Davis feasted on less athletic opponents and led the nation in blocks. On Wednesday, Scola showed him that he still has much to learn. Scola penetrated with ease past the Hornets’ prized big man. The only thing that stopped his impressive roll was an early substitution by Hunter, who was trying to get Jermaine O’Neal into the game earlier than normal as a way to help O’Neal engaged.

Scola played only 14 more minutes the rest of the game. It’s unclear if he was nursing an acute injury or just exhausted, but Scola only playing 22 minutes requires some sort of explanation. If he was up for it, the Suns could have used him as he was the only starter with a positive plus/minus (+3).

Filling in for Scola, Markieff Morris had a disappointing night. He led the team with a -12 plus/minus rating and was totally ineffective on both ends of the floor. On defense, he left Anderson open from downtown several times. He was slow to help when Vasquez or Al-Farouq Aminu penetrated. He and the rest of the Suns frontline allowed New Orleans to score 56 points in the paint which, even for Phoenix, is pretty awful. Offensively, he attempted only three shots in 26 minutes on the floor.

Morris has nights where his contribution puts the Suns over the top and secures a victory. Then he has nights like Wednesday when he’s totally ineffective. He can only contribute to this roster’s depth if he can be counted on consistently. At this point, he cannot.

In the end, proof of the Suns’ exhaustion and lack of effort can be found in the numbers. Phoenix’s scoring decreased in every quarter falling all the way to a pathetic 13 points in the fourth. After outrebounding the Hornets by 10 in the first half, the Suns lost the battle of the boards in the second half and gave up seven offensive rebounds. Three of those were grabbed by former Sun Robin Lopez, who looked healthy and spry with his new team. He and Aminu combined for 19 boards overall.

Despite all of that, Phoenix only trailed New Orleans by two points with six minutes to play. Sparked by Anderson’s third three of the night, the Hornets proceeded to go on a 13-2 run, which slammed the door shut on the Suns.

The last time Phoenix lost a game like this was at home to the Bucks. That was the night everyone within the organization and the fan base realized that Alvin Gentry could not carry the team any further. Tonight, the same thing is true. While Lindsey Hunter does have the team playing better, he can only do so much with this roster. This team is and will continue to be capable of beating better teams on any given night. But the Suns don’t have what it takes to play at that high level every night, which means sometimes they’re going to lose to the Hornets.

And 1

  1. The Hornets wore purple, green, and gold uniforms in honor of Mardi Gras. I, for one, hope they burn these jerseys before switching to the Pelicans.
  2. Mason Ginsberg, one of our fellow bloggers over at Hornets 247, wrote an interesting case for Robin Lopez as most improved player. Personally, I think his stiffest competition is his teammate, Greivis Vasquez.
  3. P.J. Tucker is impressive when handling the ball in transition. He may not be a huge threat to dribble penetrate in the half court offense, but on the break, he’s got handles.
  4. The Hornets have paid Eric Gordon over $54,000 per point this season. Still think their decision to match was bad for the Suns?

Tags: New Orleans Hornets Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns Recap

  • bkkkkkkkk

    1-15 on 3 pointer against a poor defensive team should be the worst performance, the season low.

  • 4everis2long

    I just do not understand a point guard like Marshall who does not penetrate the lane to either score or setup other players. I suspect his physical limitations and confidence have a lot to do with that. All he really does is make perimeter passes. He has a really long way to go. Personally I hope he is traded but I am not optimistic you can even get a 1st round pick for him.
     
    Morris offers little on defense and like Frye, if his shot is not falling he is basically useless. We need a young, tall athletic power forward in the worse way. Then after Gortat leaves we will need a center too. Therefore other than losing Clark and Lopez I am not sure what we have accomplished recently. Maybe securing a likely top 5 lottery pick which we probably would have gotten if they both stayed as there are a lot of holes on this roster.
     
    Anyway enough griping. Beasley and Dragic do seem more comfortable playing under Hunter. Whether that equates with a permanent hire remains the million dollar question.

  • DBreezy

    Foreveris,
    We’re just gonna have to see what Kendall can do with time at this point as he’ll be here for a couple more seasons IMO. He had a good shooting night vs MEM, although I thought it was funny that he stared down the bench after hitting some treys. Nice to see Dudley out it in perspective. I really want to see how he reacts as the league begins to accept that he is the backup pg, not Bassy. Right now it doesn’t look like teams have scouted him much other than knowing he can’t shoot well. I say that because he seemed to face more ball pressure, even 3/4 court pressure, in both the summer and D league than he’s seen so far in the NBA. Kind of the same treatment Goran got years ago.
    Imo, Morris has to accept that his niche is one of being a consistent defender and rebounder and that his offense is gravy. He seems suited to be like fellow KU alum Nick Collison, but he seems to think he’s more of an offensive guy like other alums Drew Gooden and Darell Arthur. To me he offers less than Frye, because he’s shorter and he’s nowhere near the same threat from the 3pt line. To a certain degree, you can accept Frye’s low fg% because of how many threes he shoots, but it’s hard to accept Markieff shooting 40% when he’s not that good of a 3Pt shooter and the overwhelming majority of his shots come inside the arc.
    As for Lindsey, I’d say that right now in the front office’s eyes, he’s looking good to stay next season probably with a bench addition or two. Wins and losses supposedly the main part of his evaluation criteria so the fact that the team continues to play hard (they did under Gentry too) and that guys like Beas and Dragic look good along with Marshall playing has to look good for Lindsey. I wonder how much love Coach Igor will get? If you watch the games, he’s making a lot of input and it appears to be more than just the offense. Will he get the permanent lead gig, which would be a big visibility boost in his quest to become a foreign head coach in the NBA? Has he raised his visibility enough to be picked up elsewhere if he isn’t retained here?

  • IowaPhXfan

    “Dragic could not stay in front of Vasquez at all, and Vasquez single-handedly kept the Grizzlies close in the first half”…….
     
    We played NO last night. FYI. Sorry I know writing articles on our beloved Suns is probably about as exciting as watching paint dry at this point….but you’re getting paid for this…right?
     
    Good to see Marshall break out of his funk and go back to form….0 pts 3 asts in 20 mins. Well done. I hope Marshall hammers home the point I’ve been making about him, he’s not quick enough to get past his man or stay in front of his man. Not good. Well I’m okay with it for the rest of the season because I want a top 3 pick. Let’s hope we see plenty of Marshall standing at the top of the key trying to figure out how to get in the paint while his defender plays 5 feet off daring him to shoot.
     
    @DBreezy Agree with your assessment on Morris and Frye. Morris wants to be Frye, but he’s not. Morris needs to become Thomas Robinson if he wants to stay in this league. Rebound…defense…repeat.

  • 4everis2long

    DBreezy I admit I am clueless about Marshall. I do not like his game but I suspect he is going to be here for awhile, so may as well get use to him. I just have never seen a point guard play 20 minutes and only penetrate once or twice. He needs to develop a skill set if possible to get him in the lane (killer crossover or some type of deception) and get comfortable with it as he may notice this roster is really void of a multitude of players who can get their own shot.
     
    Absolutely Frye is better than Morris. Morris like you said will be a career backup. Let me get off course for a moment and ask if you or any of the fans saw TCU upset Kansas last night? Coach Trent Johnson who went from Nevada Reno to Stanford to now being at TCU has done an excellent job with recruiting and coaching despite the fact they are terrible at the free throw line. They have one or two NBA caliber players, Green (I think is his name) in particular. It was a real impressive victory.
     
    Do you have any idea where Kansas point guard Johnson is projected in the draft? You, Iowa and Hawki seem to pay close attention to the draft boards so I thought I would throw that out there.,not that the Suns will be drafting a point guard this summer unless maybe it is with a 2nd round pick.

    • IowaPhXfan

      @4everis2long Yeah that TCU/KU game was crazy. One of the biggest upsets I can remember just because TCU is so horrid offensively. Reminds me of the Iowa State/Texas Tech game earlier in year. Think you can just show up and win (and you pretty much can against TCU/Texas Tech) but then it’s still close with 10 mins left and the other team plays as hard as humanly possible because now they think holy $hit we could actually win. Funny stuff.
       
      On the draft, Johnson is projected later 2nd rd if at all. No thanks if you’re interested in Phx getting him. Only PG I would want Phx to draft is Trey Burke. He will likely go anywhere between 6th-15th. So we could get him with possibly our pick or LA’s pick. I’d take him as starting PG right now, move Dragic over to SG or what I think will eventually happen is move Dragic back to 6th man role where he excels at giving lots of scoring for 2nd unit for about 20-25 mins/gm. Burke is very very similar to Lillard. And Lillard will win ROY.

      • 4everis2long

        @IowaPhXfan  I 100 % agree Trey Burke is probably the best point guard in the draft and does resemble Lillard in Portland. Yeah he can ball. I am so afraid the Suns will once again draft for need instead of available player, that it will cost us to miss out on a potential allstar, if such exist in this draft. As far as johnson goes while he currently is eractic, I love his upside. He was huge in March madness last season.
         
        Under Kerr it seemed we drafted based on potential, i.e., Clark and Lopez and now it is based on need, i.e., Morris and Marshall. Have you seen the senior center in Miami who I think is 6’11″? He was pretty impressive against Duke a couple of weeks ago. Looks like a second rounder to keep on the radar along with Payne at Michigan State. Good stuff.

        • IowaPhXfan

          @4everis2long Agree the Suns have drafted on need recently instead of talent. Really really bad strategy unless you are already a title contender looking for specific pieces i.e. Mia, OKC, SA. etc.
           
          Very very easy draft strategy to follow. Listen closely Phx FO.
          The skills that translate the best from college to the NBA is rebounding, shot blocking, shooting, and quickness. If you aren’t great at any one of those….most likely you aren’t in the NBA (cough cough Kendall cough cough Marshall).
           
          2nd round is best to find a guy that does one thing very well that can be a solid bench player. Too many teams are hoping to get lucky in 2nd rd and find a potential starter when there are very solid rebounders or shooters available.

      • Sillmarillion

        @IowaPhXfan
        I’m afraid that we won’t get this Lakers’ pick, cause it looks like they will make the playoffs after all. I guess they’ll finish at 7th place.

    • DBreezy

      @4everis2long I didn’t see the TCU/KU game, I only caught the Suns and the Baylor/OSU game. Of all the reasons I wasn’t crazy about picking Marshall, right now my number one reason is one I never even thought of back at draft time. He appears to have an attitude about his game that does not match his current ability. You could catch the faintest whiff of it during SL when looking at his reaction to is play vs Majerle’s, but it really didn’t show until the season started. I have to admit I was shocked when AZC reported early in the season that Kendall was not staying after practice or coming in early to work on his game with the player development guys. I know that has supposedly changed since then, but considering his known weaknesses coming into the league, his struggles in SL, and not even being close to beating out Bassy for the backup spot, you’d figure he would be working his ass off from the jump to get in the mix. It was noted by a few writers that he didn’t exactly attack his D league assignment with fervor, and his own quotes about it seemed to indicate that he was doing it just for cardio and game time not because he needed to be there. NBA scouts were reportedly unimpressed with him there as well. In this context, it’s hard to ignore some of the stuff he posts on Twitter that we can see on this site as well. Also as you found, the comments from his father and the reports that he was in favor of Hunter vs Majerle or Turner. The latter I point out not because of all the locker room and other controversy about the coaching change, but because to me it was just another indication that Kendall thinks the only thing that’s holding him back is the coach.
      All that said, he is a Sun and they need to see if they can get the most out of him, even if that ultimately is a trade as you want. I don’t see much hope for that with him on the bench because I don’t see him understanding how far away he is there or in SL. He’s gotta see what happens when teams deny his passes or play off of his shots. Or how a guy he’s probably never heard of in Brian Roberts can easily exploit him time and time again for open jumpers. Or how a smaller Mike Conley immediately bullied him to the hoop on his first possession vs Kendall in the 4th.
      On your point about penetration, I wonder if Kendall would ultimately be better suited for a style that hasn’t been seen in the NBA in awhile. Remember how a lot of pg’s in the nineties would often create with their backs or sides to the basket? Jackson, Payton, Rivers, Kidd, older Harper, etc? I’m sure that was a byproduct of the influence of Magic on the game, but it sure didn’t hurt some of the bigger points who weren’t the most athletic at getting to the hoop at creating the kind of defensive movement needed to create dimes. It also allowed them to score easy buckets inside and sometimes get some of their smaller, quicker counterparts in foul trouble or at least tired from having to defend in a physical way they aren’t used to.
      It’s just a thought because from what I see Kendall has the solid, confident handles Goran didn’t coming into the league, but he doesn’t have the speed Goran had even then. Nash is a bad comparison too as he was far more athletic than he was given credit for. It’s only been in the last couple of years that he can’t consistently get into the lane to create havoc and even now he has 17 years of savvy on Kendall when it comes to creating angles to get by people. Also at age 39, he’s not only a better finisher and shooter than Kendall he can still get those shots off quicker as well.

      • 4everis2long

        @DBreezy  @4everis2long DBreezy, I really had not noticed that Marshall was so high on himself however seeing that his dad places him on such a high pedestal I guess I should not be surprised.
         
        Regarding the post game of some pretty good point guards, Yeah that is a thought since it might be easier to learn that than to pick up speed and quickness. Although I could be wrong it seems a lot of those guys because of their athleticism and probability they played shooting guard or forward in high school and perhaps college, they had a moderate or decent low post game already. If Marshall ever played SHOOTING guard it was probably an accident. 
         
        It is difficult like you said comparing him to Nash because nash could shoot in college and had begun learning to be crafty with the ball allowing him to blow by defenders (noting it took a few years in the NBA to perfect). While Dragic had limitations, he was fast and athletiic. Anyway it will be a painfully SLOW process watching Marshall run the point (please do not let Dragic get hurt). Personally, like IOWA, I think Garrett is and will be a better point guard. I hope he is working hard on his game.

        • DBreezy

          @4everis2long
          I agree that most of the pg’s probably played some of on the wing previously or were asked to be lead scoring guards, but Kendall has to start somewhere. While we’ve only seen a small sample of Kendall so far, he seems to have a set shot similar to John Wall who also is a poor shooter. Wall has the threat of that quick dribble penetration to give him some space to shoot, Kendall does not. So even if Kendall improves his shot consistency, he’ll probably struggle to get it off cleanly in a lot of situations. He’s not particularly strong yet, but he’s got good size for a pg and there’s no reason he can’t get stronger to where he can use his size down low to abuse defenders and create space for short J’s or flippers/teardrops a la Mark Jackson. However he plays long term he has to put in a lot of work. That includes D, where he is a somewhat curious selection considering that Blanks and Hunter both have made comments that some of their moves are unpopular because they’re trying to change the culture of the Suns to one of defense….
          While I do think a guy like Burke could force the issue with the Lakers pick, generically speaking do you really think they’d take a pg? I think they’d have to see how well Dragic does defensively against top of the line twos in the recent two pg lineup to buy in. While there was an uptick in teams using those kinds of alignments as starters in recent seasons, that seems to have abated. GS gave up on theirs and MKE probably will as well after this season. DAL and MIN prefer Barea and Ridnour as a bench guys now. I haven’t watched a lot of DEN this season, but it looks like they’d rather go with a bigger two than the Lawson/Miller lineups they used to use. PHL abandonded the Lou Williams deal in favor of bigger players. While I think fatigue is part of it, truth be told Dragic has struggled defensively against a lot of 1′s this season let alone 2′s who tend to bigger….
          For the draft, right now I’m wondering what will happen if Zeller becomes a bit of this years Sullinger. As is typical for college stars who return off big fresh years, he hasn’t dominated as much as people hoped with the preseason hype as teams focus on him more. Sullinger was dropping before the back stuff came out, despite a second final 4 season, lost weight and an improved jumper. The way this NCAA season has gone, it wouldn’t surprise me if none of the #1 seeds make the final four which will be used against Cody as a soph despite the fact that some of the other top 5 picks may not sniff the tourney or be early outs. Then I expect to hear ‘new’ concerns about his uninspiring wingspan and people questioning his strength/athleticism. Add in the standard player or two who explode into the lottery late based on a good conference or NCAA tourney run or draft workouts and the seeds for a slide are in place. I don’t think he will drop as much as Sully or PJ3, but my question is for some reason he’s still on the board at the Lakers pick do the Suns take him? Do you consider a trade if he’s still on the board after the Suns 1st pick? I’m not a huge fan of the guy, but I’m not an idiot either. There’s a point in the draft where guys become a steal and the Suns are a team that need to manufacture some luck. This same thing could apply to other players as well, I just see Zeller as a guy right now who could drop further than he should.

        • DBreezy

          @4everis2long
          I wrote a reply to you but the paragraph thing is pissing me off, so I deleted it. There was some other stuff, but basically I agree that those others were likely scorers at the 2 or 1 earlier in their careers whereas Kendall wasn’t. But whatever he does he has to improve from where he is now on both ends and he needs some kind of framework whatever that is.

        • 4everis2long

          @DBreezy  @4everis2long I received your paragraph in my email. Regarding Burke, I suspect the last thing the Suns want is to draft another point guard. However if he performs really well in March madness and in pre-draft camps I think he has to be an option. With that said my money says they will pass on a point guard in the 1st round. As for Zeller, I do not love the guy primarily because I do not think he is a good defender. However since this probably is not a big man draft, he should not drop out of the lottery. I would be perfectly happy with the Suns drafting two wings in the 1st round. I am hoping Payne from Michigan State  or Univ. of Miami center slips to the Suns in the 2nd round..

  • ojai1980

    I understand the playing time for Marshall, I just think that if they are going to sit Telfair they should trade him asap, even if its just for a 2nd round pick.  If the FO has plans to package him they should play him now and try to see if he can inflate his value a little.  Go Suns.

    • IowaPhXfan

      @ojai1980 I agree on trading Telfair. He is useless to our team in our current rebuilding stage. I would like to see Garrett getting a chance at PG with Dragic at SG, and also play Garrett at SG with Marshall/Dragic at PG. They keep yanking him around between D-League and NBA roster, he is a young guard just like Marshall who needs to play. Telfair and Brown are a complete waste of time. They better both be traded or after the trade deadline released. Brown’s ONLY use is he can still jump and do cool dunks. That’s it. He’s shooting 27% from three yet keeps jacking them up. Telfair is shooting 37% on 2pt shots. 39% on 3pt shots. WTF. I guess he worked REALLY hard on his 3pt shooting…and that’s it?
       
      In 2 weeks our lineup better look like this:
       
      Dragic/Marshall/Garrett
      Dragic/Garrett
      Wes/Tucker/Beas
      Scola/Morris/Beas
      Zeller/O’Neal
       
      Bye Bye Gortat/Dudley/Brown/Telfair.

      • GregBrannan

        @IowaPhXfan   Zeller is horrible. Why would you ever play him over O’Neal? No athleticism or defensive ability. He has no future in the NBA.  Wes over Tucker and Beasley? Morris over Beasley? You must be eating mushrooms. That team would win 1 game the rest of the season.

        • TySun

          @GregBrannan  @IowaPhXfan O’Neal probably wouldn’t last long playing starter’s minutes for the rest of the season and as for the rest of it, it sounds like the recipe for a good run at the #1 draft pick while giving younger plays court time.
           
          I think that the Suns will find a trade partner for Johnson’s expiring contract before the deadline though as part of a multi-player deal.

        • IowaPhXfan

          @GregBrannan See TySun’s response below……You want to win games this year? Strategy at this point should be play ANY young players you have. Veterans are worthless unless you can trade them.
          You want to be stuck at the #13 pick for the next 5 yrs????
           
          OPEN YOUR EYES. WE NEED TO TANK TO GET TOP DRAFT PICKS AND HOPE OTHER TOP PLAYERS WANT TO COME TO PHX. PLAYING WASHED UP VETERANS WHEN YOU ARE 16 GAMES UNDER .500 IS THE MOST WORTHLESS PLAN EVER.
           
          /rant.

  • bkkkkkkkk

    To draft a new PG, you will need to try both Marshall and Garnet first. There aren’t much PG talent so far so I seen. So, the first consideration should be the Center or SG in the draft.

  • DBreezy

    Ok this is like AZC all over again! How are you guys getting paragraphs to work in your posts? I’m putting breaks in when I write , but they’re not coming out when I post.

  • hawki

    @ Forever…..Suns used to have a PG similar to K Marshall….Don Buse.
     
    Buse rarely made a turnover, but like Marshall he stayed out by the top of the key & rarely penetrated…..Marshall still has a ways to go  before he can match Buse’s overall game though.
     
    As for Elijah Johnson (Kansas PG) he is more of a combo guard than a strict PG….he has not shown the innate ability to run a team but this is his 1st year as a PG & he does possess NBA athletic ability.
     
    The long & the short of it….Johnson should be a 2nd round pick & go to the D-League to develop his PG skills.
     
    ps…..Great Loss by the lakers tonight.

    • 4everis2long

      @hawki From what little I remember about the guy, good comparison. Hawki regarding Johnson, man you and Dbreezy know how much I love certain combo guards. I try and look at a guy and determine if he is genuinely selfish (will be a bad point guard) or is simply very competitive (makes it easier to transition his game to pure point guard). I think Johnson is the latter and I would love for the Suns to use a second round pick on him and one on either the Univ of Miami center (name keeps escaping me) or Payne from Michigan State.  
       
      I love watching the Lakers lose. Even better is Howard and Kobe continue to feud, now over whether Howard should play hurt. I would be shocked if Howard returns next season which combined with a Lakers lottery pick and the Suns making proper use of it, could make for the PERFECT SUMMER.

      • Sillmarillion

        @4everis2long  @hawki We won’t get this Lakers’ pick, they gonna make the playoffs for sure. 7th place is my guess.

  • Sillmarillion

    I hope Marshall gets more playing time, he will develop into a reasonable PG. Whereas Dragic is a mediocre player at best, I really don’t understand the big hype about him. Nash played almost with the same starting lineup (and keep in mind, Scola is an upgrade over Frye) and made the Suns nearly a playoff team. Dragic makes the Suns the worst team in the Western Conf.

    • IowaPhXfan

      @Sillmarillion Wrong. Dragic’s strength is getting to rim. How is he suppose to do that with Scola/Gortat/Beas/Tucker/O’neal standing in his way? The issue is we have no 3pt shooting. This is by far our worst 3pt shooting team since 2001-2002. 11 years! We had a 36 yr old Majerle and Tony Delk leading the way. Horrible. In our glory 7 secs or less years, we shot about 40% from 3. We are shooting a dismal 32.6% this year. Only worse team is Minn. Last year we shot 34.3%, with Frye being a big part of that. Brown & Morris also shot WAY better last yr, they have both been awful this yr.
      If we just shot 3pts as good as we did last year, we would’ve made 15 more 3′s so far this year. That’s 45 points. We’ve lost 8 games by 4 pts or less. I think we’d be close to 25-25 with same 3pt shooting we had last year.
      Scola is NOT an upgrade over Frye for THIS team. As an overall fundamental basketball player, yes he is better. But that doesn’t mean he makes our team better. We need shooting, badly. Phx has had 11 games where we shot 40% or better from 3. We’re 8-3 in those games.
      The Lakers would be better if they replaced Gasol with Gallinari or Ryan Anderson or Chandler Parsons……yet Gasol is by far the better player. Proper spacing is the foundation of any good offense. Hence the triangle offense….or 4 shooters around 1 big guy….

      • Sillmarillion

        @IowaPhXfan I agree that Frye’s absence is painful, his 3 pointers were very important for this team and allowed Gortat to get more points inside.
        But, why is it that Brown and Morris are shooting worse? Maybe it’s because Nash created way better scoring oportunities for them than Dragic? And Nash is a way better shooter than Dragic as well.

        • IowaPhXfan

          @Sillmarillion Nash made Brown a 1% better 3pt shooter than when he was in LA. He is down 8.5% this year.
          Morris is getting just as open looks this year, nobody is hounding him at the 3pt line, he can take a wide open 3 anytime he wants. He’s down 7.5% this year.
          Obviously Nash is a better shooter, he’s one of the greatest of all time. But he didn’t take many 3′s last year. He made less than 1/gm!
          Sorry but I don’t think replacing Dragic with Nash would increase our scoring at all this year. Dragic has done a good job for his first half season at being a team leader and knowing he is the PG of the team. I’ve said before, I think he will end up back as a 6th man eventually he just fits that role too well.

  • TySun

    This livefyre is crap

  • TySun

    Lol, Sorry for that last post.  For some reason the new comments system hasn’t let me sign in since the site started using it.  But somehow it finally started working.  I have no idea why.