Channing Frye gets cryptic on Instagram

Phoenix Suns forward Channing Frye posted early Friday morning a simple message on his Instagram: “#yep!”

You can guess what he’s talking about — his heart. Or maybe he’s not talking about that at all. Former teammate Jared Dudley certainly appears to be leaning the way of the former, issuing a congrats to Frye via Twitter.

We assume JD meant to type “endured.”

Anyhow, there are a lot of assumptions going into this. While the Suns forward has been clear about wanting to return, it hasn’t been an easy road. Just yesterday, he posted on Instagram: “#tbt #classof2013 this year has been amazing and awful. I’m so thankful for all the support and know that great things are on the way.”

And Frye tweeted he would have a medical update a week ago today. Maybe he finally knows the result.

We’ll see if any news breaks about his return to the NBA. Whatever the case may be, it’s good to see he appears to be in good spirits, even if it is only through social media.

  • HankS

    Hopefully, that’s the good news we’ve been waiting for.
    We need Channing, otherwise Markieff Morris is the only true PF on the roster! (Assuming Beasley is as good as gone…)

  • john

    Good for Frye, if that’s the case. I know he’s a Wildcat, but I can put that aside to wish him good health and the continuation of his career. :)

  • Scott

    I’d assume that coming back from what is effectively a heart injury, Frye will be a little tentative, not so aggressive physically, and a bit slow. So it’s possible that either he won’t start, or if he starts his minutes may be medically limited.

    I have him penciled in as a starter.

    Starting 5: PG Bledsoe, SG Dragic, SF Marcus Morris, PF Frye, C Gortat

    2nd unit: PG Marshall, SG Goodwin / Brown, SF Tucker / Green, PF Markieff Morris / Kravtsov, C Plumlee / Len

  • Scott

    Now that Frye’s health question seems to be cleared up, I suppose some of the remaining top questions for the team are:

    Can Bledsoe reliably shoot midrange jumpers in the pick and roll? Can he reliably shoot the 3 on a catch-and-shoot?

    Can Gortat recover his pick and roll game with Bledsoe at PG? Or is that messed up again because Bledsoe tends to run it from the wing?

    Can Marcus Morris recover the high 3 pt shooting percentage he enjoyed last season with Houston?

    Will Marshall be more aggressive in creating plays for himself and others?

    Can Tucker and Green aggressively shoot and reliably hit their 3s?

    Can Markieff Morris find a way to impact games?

  • Brenton

    “I’d assume that coming back from what is effectively a heart injury, Frye will be a little tentative, not so aggressive physically, and a bit slow”

    So he will be about the same as the last time he played?

    Look, Frye is a good guy and I wish him good health, but please dont let him be the Suns starting PF.

  • Ty-Sun

    With the roster the Suns have now, I would start Tucker over Marcus M, at least to begin the season and especially if Frye is going to be starting at the 4. But if you are going to start Kieff at the 4 then start Marcus too.

    Tucker is a better defender than Marcus and if you compare their stats you’ll find very little difference between them. Their PERs are almost the same (PJ – 11.58, MM – 11.31), Marcus averaged slightly more points per game and PJ averaged slightly more rebounds and assists.

  • dave:f32

    Im glad we have Frye back!

  • Scott

    @Brenton -

    Due to depth issues and lack of 3 pt shooting among the starters, I doubt Frye could play as backup C at this point, which is where he would have natural advantages.

    As for Frye’s aggression … he’s not a guy who attacks the hoop, if that’s how you measure it. But poured a ton of energy into his game in the playoffs a couple years back when he was the primary option at C.

    @Ty-Sun -

    Except that Marcus shot so much better when he was with Houston. Only when he came to Phoenix did his accuracy drop down to Tucker’s level.

    I have Marcus penciled in to start only on the assumption he’s shooting like he did in Houston. If he’s not, then I agree Tucker wins the start.

  • Sunsn7

    Im glad Frye’s health situation is greatly improved but this season will be a wash for him. Like Scott said, he wont be aggressive physically upon his return. He’s about as finesse a frontline player as there is so he will have a slow return. I’ve criticized the guy heavily in the past but I sincerely wish him well.

  • Ty-Sun

    @Scott – Yes, Marcus’ averages were better in Houston than in Phoenix but I was talking about his overall averages for last season, not just his averages as a Sun.

    Just using the Houston stats, Marcus scored only 2.2 ppg more than PJ. Morris averaged 21.4 minutes per game in Houston while PJ averaged 24.2 minutes per game with the Suns. MM averaged 4.1 rebounds with Houston, PJ averaged 4.4 rebounds with the Suns. MM averaged 0.9 assists with Houston, PJ averaged 1.4. MM averaged .428 FGP with Houston, PJ averaged .473. MM averaged .381 in 3′s, PJ averaged .314.

    Even if MM plays more like he did in Houston he won’t be much better than Tucker offensively. Marcus does have more potential upside than Tucker (offensively) but Tucker is the better defensive player. If Frye is able to come back, I think Tucker is a better fit with him than Marcus. If Frye starts the season coming off the bench and Kieff starts at the 4, Marcus should be out there with him.

    My point isn’t that I think that Tucker is better than Marcus, it’s that I think that Tucker and Frye fit better together just as the Morris twins fit better together. If you are going to start Frye at 4, start Tucker at 3. If you are going to start Kieff at 4, start Marcus at 3.

  • Scott

    ^^ Well, I don’t see it the same way. To me, a 3 pt threat only works if he gets good looks. So to do it right you have to have 2-3 3pt threats on the court at the same time.

    Since Bledsoe and Dragic are merely okay from 3, you’d need to put Marcus in with Frye. Marcus’s 38% from 3, which he shoots at high volume, is far better than Tucker’s 31%, which he rarely shoots.

    If a defense needs to cover Frye and Marcus in the corners, as well as the roving guards, that opens Gortat up for the pick and roll.

    Now, if Frye isn’t hitting his 3s, or Marcus isn’t, then that whole strategy is pretty much up in smoke, and the Suns have no one else to throw in there to shoot 3s at high volume with a high percentage. In that case, if you’re struggling to score, you’d best try to improve your defense and try to win that way.

    The best defensive lineup? Probably Gortat, Frye (if he’s well), Tucker, Dragic / Goodwin, and Bledsoe. After that, it’s average defense or worse.

  • Ty-Sun

    @Scott – We have different philosophies about basketball. I believe that winning starts with defense shutting down the other team’s offense. From everything I’ve read that you have written here, it seems that you believe that offense come first.

    I’d rather win 59 -58 than lose 159-158.

  • Not a Scott Hater Here

    The whole point of the game is to score points by putting the ball thru the hoop, so i must side with Scott on this one.

  • http://none Keith

    I think we should do both, play D and score. That’d be swell. Think we can do that? Na, probably not.

  • Scott

    @Ty-Sun -

    Yup, we have a fundamental disagreement as to what wins games. I think that if players have no real options on offense it will be hard to score points and thus hard to win.

    On defense, you only have to bring their shooting percentage lower than yours, and try to not let them have the ball. ;)

  • Marcin Gortat

    Trade me.

  • Ty-Sun

    Once again, just look at Memphis’ season. The Suns actully averaged more points per game than Memphis (Suns – 95.2, Griz – 93.4) but Memphis led the NBA in defense by only allowing and average of 89.3 PPG by their opponents. The Suns allowed 101.6 PPG.

    Griz record – 56-26. Suns record – 25-57.

    The difference was largely defense. Yes, Memphis did also play at a slower more deliberate pace but that also contributes to your defense because the more time you take off the clock when you are on offense, the fewer opportunities to score you give to the other team per game.

    And if you want, I’ll even mention Miami. The do have three of the best players in the game but part of what makes them the best is that they all play exceptionally well on BOTH ends of the court. They do not just count on simply outscoring other teams. They play D as well and finished 5th in the NBA in points allowed (95.0 ppg average).

    With great defense, you don’t need a team loaded with great scorers to win. To win a championship, yes do need stars that can score almost at will but the Suns are far, far away from that and that’s why I keep saying that they should concentrate on developing a defensive team culture early in the rebuilding process. If you build a team that can win games with defense, that will get the all-star free agents’ attention.

  • DBreezy

    No way that a guy who hasn’t played in over a year and is only just now getting cleared for some level of activity is penciled in as a starter. People would be skeptical if we were talking about a bonafide star in that situation and Frye is far from that.

  • Scott

    @DBreezy -

    Perhaps you are thinking of the opening day lineup? I am not.

    I don’t know how long it will take Frye to get in shape and play real minutes, but when it happens, he’ll be starting because he’s a better player than the other power forwards.

    If Gortat is gone by the time Frye is ready, then Frye will be the best player available for either spot, most likely.

    @Ty-Sun -

    I’m not arguing what you may think I’m arguing. In order to win, you do have to score more points than your opponent, and that’s about all I’m saying.

    Miami knows how to get their points. Memphis knows how to get their points. The Suns? Not so much.


    I think just to please the crowd, frye will start on opening day if he is cleared. I don’t think it will continue but just to get the fans more wild because Phoenix has a love for him. He will probably go to the bench 6 mins into the game. I see him getting limited minutes early on to make sure his health is stable.

  • Scott

    So far there has been no official word on Frye, right?

    • Michael Schwartz

      Right, no official word yet.

  • Michael Beasley

    Keep me. I can bomb the three…I know I can!

  • BCrayZ

    I like Channing Frye.

    When he is “making Jimmy proud”, he is something else.

    Nice guy too, as he was kind enough to thank me for my support of the team at his first exhibition game with the Suns. He plays his best with the other 4 from “that killer bench unit.” Dud is gone. But the Suns still have Gogi. Free agents Louis & LB would help to recreate the energy & chemistry of that unit. That unit, with PJ replacing Dud, would give the newer & younger guys a very good role model for their own unit.

    MUST reunite that killer bench unit. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

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