Phoenix Suns 98, Denver Nuggets 79 — Rally finale

Posted by on October 23rd, 8:33 pm

This is how the Phoenix Suns will roll. On Wednesday, head coach Jeff Hornacek went with what all along has appeared to be the starting lineup. Goran Dragic returned from his ankle injury and started with Eric Bledsoe, P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat in the Suns’ 98-79 win at the Pepsi Center.

Phoenix trailed 44-39 at half and 65-60 after three before it outscored the Nuggets 38-14 in the fourth with a lineup led by Dragic, who recorded eight assists and scored eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.

For the second game of the second night in a row, Phoenix found itself in a dogfight for the most part. Bledsoe led Phoenix with 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Gerald Green recorded his second strong outing in a row, this time off the bench. Tuesday against the Thunder, he scored 15 points and on Wednesday added 19.

Here’s what was answered of Dave Dulberg’s questions in the Suns’ final preseason game.

Is the Kendall Marshall era coming to a close?

When Hornacek was asked about swapping Ish Smith’s minutes and handing them to Kendall Marshall before the Suns left Phoenix for Denver, he went straight to wondering whether Dragic and Bledsoe would be healthy. If both were, it’d likely be hard to use a third point guard. Just that happened, as both Dragic and Bledsoe started before staggering the point guard position.

That meant neither Smith nor Marshall saw any floor time. Shannon Brown was also relegated to the bench as Dionte Christmas got some rare run, and Archie Goodwin even got on the court for a brief seven-minute stint.

Has Markieff matured?

A disappointing game by Markieff Morris on Tuesday was forgotten against Denver. Morris scored 12 points on 6-for-11 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds. He and Gortat saw from 25-27 minutes, and interesting point to note as the regular season approaches.

Hornacek seemed set on playing Channing Frye and Miles Plumlee a great deal, and Plumlee saw quite a few minutes down the stretch.

In fact, both Plumlee and Frye could end up breathing heavily down Morris’ back this season. Hornacek is of course fond of Frye’s three-point shooting but also of Plumlee’s rim-rolling ability that will help a player like Frye get open shots. Plumlee finished with eight points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

Going Green?

Hornacek said strong performances in the final two games by the Suns wouldn’t sway the coaching staff’s decision of who makes the teams and who falls into the regular-season rotation. Yet, Green put together another strong outing. Green brings shooting that Tucker doesn’t, but rather than Green taking Tucker’s minutes, he could eat up minutes previously occupied by Marcus Morris at small forward or Shannon Brown at shooting guard.

If anything, Green’s 3-for-3 behind the arc accounted for half of the Suns’ longballs. In the last two games, he’s hit six of the team’s 12 three-pointers. Phoenix is 6-for-46 the last two nights, which is an abysmal 26 percent.

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of AZDesertSwarm.com, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and Pac-12.com.

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Tags: Eric Bledsoe · Gerald Green · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Recap

38 responses so far ↓

  • 1 foreveris2long // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I would start Green because we need offense but either way as long as he gets 25-30 minutes a night at the 2 or 3 he will make us a better team. Him and Plumlee are going to make the Suns more competitive than I thought. Kev, you can do a discount double check but I think Bledsoe was on the floor not Dragic to start the 4th quarter when the Suns came storming back. Unless I am mistaken Dragic did not enter the game in the 4th quarter until there was about 6 minutes left. If I am mistaken please accept my apology.

  • 2 Scott // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Another excellent stat line for Bledsoe. Unfortunately, it’s hard to count what happens in pre-season games, as all too often it turns out to be unreal.

    In the regular season, the Suns will have been scouted and defenses will act accordingly. If Bledsoe truly lacks a midrange shot, and if he can’t shoot 3s (except on the catch and shoot), I’ll be curious to see how he gets his points.

  • 3 DBreezy // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Finally caught a little preseason action tonight, although the video on the feed crapped out for awhile. Both teams had rough goes of it at times tonight, but it looked like the Nuggets thought there was a gentleman’s agreement to only play 3 quarters tonight while Horny was rightfully having none of that.

    I think Green should at least take Shannon Brown’s minutes in the rotation. Shannon has had plenty of time to show the Suns what he’s got. Green like Brown isn’t the defender that their respective athleticism suggests but at least from what I saw tonight he had a level of activity that I’ve never seen from Shannon in a Suns uni. He also seems more effective in transition as Shannon’s athleticism doesn’t seem to end up in as many fast break finishes as you would think.

  • 4 DBreezy // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Not a good sign for Marshall at all that he didn’t he get any burn these last two games. Forget his option, he may not be here beyond Monday. Pure financial logic says the Suns waive Smith instead of Marshall, but I wonder if there’s something more here. McD could have a standing trade offer out there that he was hoping that he could do better than but is now close to being out of time.

    Or he could be thinking about buyout. A guy like Smith has nothing to gain career wisefrom a buyout, he’ll want all of his money if he’s shipped. Kendall on the other hand is in a different boat. He’s played 702 uninspiring minutes in the NBA showing poor athleticism, poor shooting, poor attitude, and not enough improvement to warrant more than 52 preseason minutes from the team that drafted him. Yinka Dare is shaking his head at that last point. Now Marshall is facing another year of pine time behind at least Brown/Green/Goodwin in the rotation on a team that looks like it will be horrible. As a free agent next summer he could have trouble even attracting good overseas offers, let alone the NBA. Especially because of the attitude stuff, he seems like the kind of guy GM’s will want to see in the NBDL for a bit before taking more than a non-guaranteed training camp flier on him. So it might be worth it for him to try and change that. Perhaps he takes a buyout for roughly half of his remaining salary so that the Suns cap hit is the same as if they had cut Smith. Kendall gets a chance to try and latch on with a team that currently has pg depth issues like Utah or Detroit where perhaps he can show enough to keep himself relevant in the league going forward because he’s headed for Joe Alexander territory here.

  • 5 DBreezy // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Scott,

    You’re points on Bledsoe are well taken, but from what I saw tonight it’s more of a team thing not just Eric. Outside of a 4th quarter where the Nugs just mailed it in that was an ugly offensive game. 25 assists to 21 turnovers, and 30% 3pt shooting with all of the numbers helped greatly by that 4th quarter. Even the rebounding advantage was mostly indicative of Denver’s poor effort as the Suns had 13 more defensive rebounds than the Nugs who had 12 fewer caroms overall.

    What I saw tonight was how much the Suns will rely on Goran and Eric for scoring night in and out and how tough it will be most nights. The Nugs bigs didn’t even both to hedge on S/R’s, in fact the big was generally sunk as far in the lane as they legally could be meaning good luck for Gortat, Plumlee or any of the other bigs scoring much on roll action. From what I saw the Suns moved the ball decently for the most part, but they still aren’t great shooters so unless you get a streaky night from a Green, Frye, or Marcus type it’s going to be tough sledding offensively.

    Bledsoe and Goran are both still quick/crafty enough to get themselves into the paint even vs. sagging defenses, but they’ll still have to finish amongst trees focused on them. The 10 combined turnovers the two had tonight looked a manifestation of what happens when you penetrate against a sagging defense and can’t find a good crease to score. Last season teams seemed content to let the Scola and Kieff shoot all the mid range jumpers they wanted. This year it looks like they’ll let Goran and Bledsoe do the same thing. Not a bad plan considering the Suns only scored 98 points despite 23 fast break points and being +16 in the category.

    Clean that up as an opponent and it’s probably a long night for the Suns most games. I also know this: the Suns better not lose the battle of the boards/second chance points. The double whammy of giving up easy points and killing the break could be nasty.

  • 6 foreveris2long // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Is Blanks selling used cars yet for drafting Marshall? Scott as I said on another post, Nash shot 36% for the season when he was 24 years old. We all know how that turned out. The guy scores 20, get 6 or 7 boards and 7 assists and you are speculating about the stats not being meaning much in the regular season. You got to let it go Scott as the guy is a young point guard who is improving before everyone’s eyes. How much he improves remains to be seen but he will keep improving whether you acknowledge it or not.

  • 7 DBreezy // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Foreveris,

    Funny that you say that about Blanks, I was thinking the same thing earlier today. He somewhat jumped the line in going from scout to GM in the first incarnation of Sarver’s front office model when no one else wanted it. Now I’m sure he’s hoping to at least get a scouting gig somewhere and he likely is desperate for something to hang his hat on. The Morrii, Marshall, and guys from his CLE days like Shannon aren’t it and he has to be watching with more than passing interest.

  • 8 Scott // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    @forever -

    My recollection of Nash was that he was older when he entered the NBA (he had four years of college) and he was an excellent scorer in pre-season. But – taking your argument about him needing to improve – how many players have followed that path, of rising from being unknown to becoming 2x MVP? Not many. Surely the vast majority of college players of varying levels of notoriety who get drafted fail to make sufficient improvements in their game and fall entirely out of the NBA before they turn 30.

    I’m not hating on Bledsoe. I don’t know much about his game other than what I have related, and I’ve said what it looks like to me.

    As I’ve said before, I’ve not seen any of the pre-season, and I didn’t pay much attention to Bledsoe when he played in LA.

    So good luck to him, and if he can show improvement and stay with Phoenix and have a great career … well, more power to him!

  • 9 Scott // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    As for the success the Suns have seen in pre-season … it mainly tells me that the only team that feels threatened by the Suns this year is Sacramento.

  • 10 foreveris2long // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    DBreezy In my opinion Blanks and Sarver together were a total disaster to the franchise. Sometimes you see players and you know right away they have stardom in their future or they are going to be a bust. When Coro said the Suns were going to draft Marshall I could have fainted because I knew he was an unathletic one trick pony who would never be a starting point guard in the NBA. The other reason I was furious was we passed on Henson who was on the same North Carolina team. He used a lottery on Marshall and he wasn’t the best available point guard. Yikes!!! Anyway it will likely be yesterday news soon enough.

    As for tonight the Suns were horrible in the 1st quarter with a ton of turnovers. We will have a number of games like that with a young squad. However they weathered the storm and blew it open in the 4th. While Bledsoe will be inconsistent this year, what I like about him is whether he is on or not he boards and defends. He had 7 boards, 2 steals and a block tonight. That is effort and supreme athleticism.

  • 11 hawki // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    @ DBreezy
    “from scout to GM”
    as in used car salesman for General Motors ?

    @ Forever
    Dragic entered the 4th qtr at the 6:09 mark….the Suns held a 78-72 lead at that point.

  • 12 foreveris2long // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Scott, Your boy Adams (former Pitt center)looked good for OKC tonight. They were saying he had a good pre-season. If he plays well in the regular season it may dampen any potential interest they may have in Gortat. With J. Lamb, PJIII and Adams they building with youth while trying to win a championship. Lamb also looked good for them tonight.

  • 13 hawki // Oct 24, 2013 at 12:01 am

    I still say starting EB & Goran in the backcourt is nonsense….strictlyan ego-soothing exercise.

    G-Bledsoe
    G-Green
    F-Tucker
    F-Kieff
    C-Gortat

    G_Dragic
    G-Christmas/Goodwin
    F-Marcus
    F-Frye
    C-Plumlee/Len

    Dragic & Bledsoe can still spend SOME time together in the same backcourt as a quick change of pace unit.

  • 14 hawki // Oct 24, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Note:

    The NBA owners voted to change the NBA Finals format to a 2-2-1-1-1 format, ending the old 2-3-2 format.
    It will take place immediately…..Finally….not that the Suns have that to worry about for awhile.

  • 15 DBreezy // Oct 24, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Hawki,

    After all they’ve been through, I doubt GM would have Lance. I haven’t seen most of the preseason, but I get the sense that Goran and Eric will spend less time on the court together than the team intimates. Then again, seeing how they struggle in the half court that may be fluid.

  • 16 Azbballfan // Oct 24, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Gortat had a great game

    I hope Gerald Green gets good minutes this year, he has shown enough to me that he should get atleast 25 minutes a game

    only 7 minutes for Goodwin and none for Len

    Lens best game in the preseason so far was 6 points, 9 boards, and a block in 25 minutes

    there must be a marshall-gortat trade being cooked up right now by McMiracle

    I really dont want to criticize players i dont know personally, but i am pretty sure that Marshalls status with the team must be in question if got 55 minutes in 8 possible games

    Looks like they are bringing Len in slowly while he works into shape

    Thats fine with me, it just brings up Gortats trade value

    The Morris twins need to drive to the hole more, they take way too many jump shots at the PF position

    its not like they are excellent shooters like Frye is, please take it to the basket more guys

    Plumlee was great tonight

    Bledsoe was great too hopefully he can carry it over to the real games

  • 17 David // Oct 24, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I know they preach patience with Len (and most all young bigs), but MAN I hope Alex Len shows something soon to feel better about Suns using a top 5 pick on him.

  • 18 hawki // Oct 24, 2013 at 1:01 am

    With Noel out for the year it will be interesting to see how Len stacks up against fellow rookie center Gorgui Dieng (Louisville) now patrolling the paint for the TWolves.
    Last night, Dieng had 6 pts, 4 rebs, 2 blks & an assist in 11 minutes in the TWolves blow-out win over the 76ers.

    T-wolves have about a hundred point guards but only one SG…Kevin Martin…unless Shabazz gets time at SG…he had 8 pts (4-6) & 6 boards last night in limited action.

    I’ll be a huge T-Wolves fan this year since their success also helps the Suns.

  • 19 Azbballfan // Oct 24, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Yep, go T Wolves and Pacers

  • 20 Luka // Oct 24, 2013 at 6:38 am

    I heard Lance Blanks is selling brooms somewhere in the Ozarks these days.

  • 21 DBreezy // Oct 24, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Hawki,

    I wonder if Noel really will be out all season. He and his agent, Andy Miller, don’t seem like they’re on board with the Sixers plan. This could get like A Rod and the Yanks if he’s ready in December like many reports say he will be. Remember Noel not only wants to play, but he wants to prove a lot of people wrong for letting him slide-this isn’t a Blake Griffin or Oden deal.

    Between his desires and the leagues view of flagrant tanking, my bet is that we see him in action sometime after the All Star break. League’s happy, Noel’s happy, Sixers are happy as its doubtful he gets his rookie sea legs together enough to impact their tank and the fans get a taste.

  • 22 EBJM // Oct 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Suns struggled against a Denver team missing their best player and starting SF Galinari AND his back-up Wilson Chandler. For the Faried lovers who believe he is the 2nd coming of Charles Barkley @ 6′-6″, he was also a DNP, so I can only guess that if he played the Suns would have been blown out.(sarcasm)

    To those complaining about Bledsoe, that was Denver’s 2nd best player, Ty Lawson at the point and playing 32 minutes wasn’t it?

    How does Denver get picked to finish higher than Phoenix when Shaw is pushing real hard for for Hickson and Randolph to be his PFs? You all remember Hickson? The guy we wanted for Amare but Cleveland wouldn’t give him up. Correct me if I’m mistaken but wasn’t Lance Blanks the Cavalier’s asst. G.M. during those discussions?

    You have to feel bad for Goran Dragic. The guy proved himself in Houston, taking Kyle Lowry’s job and quickly help Houstonians forget Aaron Brooks. The Rockets were in full salary dump mode and weren’t in a rush to re-sign him until they made their best offer to Howard. Now some are suggesting to put him on the 2nd unit in favor for Bledsoe who hasn’tproven a thing.

    I wonder if Dragic is 2nd guessing his decision to Houston and now knowing that if he was patient he could now be playing alongside Harden and Howard instead of Howards back-up and possibly losing his job to Chris Paul’s back-up?

    Ouch!

  • 23 john // Oct 24, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I actually liked the 2-3-2 format better. All the talk about it favoring the away team is nonsense, in my opinion.

    2-3-2 started up in ’85, I believe. In that time frame, the team with the best record in the NBA won the Finals 13 times, lost the finals twice (three if you count the Jazz in ’98, who had home court). and didn’t make the finals 14 times. More often than not, “upsets” are happening in conference playoffs, where the format is 2-3-2. Not the Finals.

    13-3 for the NBA’s overall #1 is pretty indicative of the fact that the 2-3-2 favors the home team.

    I could also look up the numbers for the home squad (regardless of seed), and I’m sure it would indicate the same thing.

  • 24 EBJM // Oct 24, 2013 at 8:05 am

    David referred to Joe Alexander who I think is still on the Warriors roster, for now anyways, but two other former lottery picks were just cut by bad teams. Josh Chldress by the Wizards & Patrick O’Bryant by the Bobcats.

  • 25 EBJM // Oct 24, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I’m positive that I can skew any stat to support any point that I’m making.

  • 26 SkyBill40 // Oct 24, 2013 at 8:20 am

    The lack of run for Marshall should be the proverbial writing on the wall for him. It only confirms what we’ve been thinking all along: Marshall was a waste of a lottery pick and another failure to put on the shoulders of both the previous front office and Robert Sarver.

    The sooner we can cut our losses (and at this point, whatever measure to do so will be the right one), the better off the team will be.

  • 27 EBJM // Oct 24, 2013 at 8:27 am

    The rich just got richer! Greg Oden finally took the court and on his first possesion slammed a two-handed dunk that didn’t blow out his knees.

  • 28 john // Oct 24, 2013 at 8:29 am

    @EBJM – Not sure why you’re so butt hurt over people suggesting that Faried and Gortat aren’t similar players, but since you’re keeping it going.

    Marcin doesn’t have a power game offensively. He’s a lot more versatile. He attempts well over 1 shot a game from 16-23 feet and also from 10-15, hitting a relatively high percentage from each of those locations for a 5. He’s a far better jumpshooter than people give him credit for, and a far better finisher than most people realize as well. Offensively, he knows how to pick his spots, and he seems to know his limitations fairly well, even if that results in “timid” shots from time to time (his 3-9 feet numbers are awful, because that’s typically where he defaults to weak fades and hooks rather than attacking the rim).

    Faried’s game is virtually all at the rim, and he grabs offensive boards at nearly double the rate of Marcin. And despite playing the four (where about half of the NBA now employs perimeter players), Faried’s defensive rebounding rate is still equivalent to Marcin’s. Overall, Faried grabs 3-4% more of the available boards than Marcin does. That’s one or two a game (the difference being offensive boards, equaling more possessions).

    Faried also NEVER shoots outside of 5 feet from the hoop. And he’s also assisted far less than Marcin. Typically, Faried is cleaning up the mess, coming up with the loose balls, and putting them back up at the rim. Marcin is assisted around 80% of the time at the rim. Faried is assisted around 66% of the time (a couple of shots a game).

    I could keep going on an on about how they’re not the same type of player (different positions, Marcin is about a half a foot taller), but I really don’t think there should be a need.

    Faried is a relentless animal who plays filthy with virtually no skill. Gortat is a typical Euro center, but not nearly as good as guys like Divac or Sabonis, especially in the passing game.

  • 29 Sunsn7 // Oct 24, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Havent seen any Suns action this preseason but I see Archie Goodwin isnt getting many minutes. Hornacek absolutely needs to give this kid more time on the floor. Bledsoe, Dragic, Goodwin, and Christmas are the guys im especially looking forward to seeing in action, regardless of w-l record.

    And anybody else think this Len guy has “bust”,”soft”, and “fragile” written all over him? Coulda had McLemore smh

  • 30 Sunsn7 // Oct 24, 2013 at 8:40 am

    TRADE STEVE NASH! SUNS FOR THE TANK!

    my bad, just had a flashback ;)

  • 31 john // Oct 24, 2013 at 8:40 am

    And those finals numbers aren’t skewed. Those are just facts. 13 out of 16 times when the best team in the NBA’s regular season made the finals, they won. Without even looking at the numbers, I would be willing to bet that the home team in the 2-3-2 NBA finals won more often than the home team in the 2-2-1-1-1 conference finals.

  • 32 Sunsn7 // Oct 24, 2013 at 8:45 am

    You’re absolutely right John. Last 3 Finals the Heat have had Games 6 AND 7 at home, a daunting task for any road team, just ask the Spurs.

    With the 2-2-1-1-1 format, it’ll make for more competitive and less predictable Championship matchups. A welcome change.

  • 33 Foreveris2long // Oct 24, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Hawki thanks for the confirmation that it was Bledsoe not Dragic who led the 4th quarter comeback. EBJM, I said this when the Suns got Bledsoe, I feel sorry for Dragic whom I really like. While I am not ready to suggest he not be a starter, I think if a decent opportunity presents itself the Suns will trade him between now and the start of next season. Maybe that will be a blessing for him but today I feel bad for him because I think it is inevitable he will be traded unless Bledsoe is insisting on $12m/yr which will likely cause the Suns to re-think this.

    I said after the Scola trade if either Plumlee or Green made it to the rotation to go along with the 1st round pick, the 2013 summer will be one to remember assuming Goodwin and Len are worthy. Plumlee and Green are really good acquisitions and should make the Suns better than an 18 win team. Two months ago I did not think we could win more than 20 games. Props to those of you who had them winning 25 plus games. I do not know how many they will win but I do think they will be more competitive than I thought.

    Once Frye becomes a starter Tucker’s defense with the starters will likely make for a better starting unit. However with Markieff starting I vote for Green starting at the 3 spot because I think more offense is needed.

  • 34 EBJM // Oct 24, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Don’t know what you are talking about John, haven’t made a Gortat/Faried comment anyhere on this thread. But thanks for proving several of my points about Gortat/Faried and skewing statistics to support to support one’s own point.

    But I apologize, I use the word skew as a generaliation of how someone interprets stats to support their own point. After all of your whining your post reduces down to exactly what my point is about Gortat/Faried. Two athletic rebounders with little else to their game.

    Gortat does have the advantage though as he is a legitimate 7′-0″ center while Faried is barely 6′-7″ with his sneakers on.

    My issues with Faried is that he is the size of a SMALL SF without the skill-set. He plays PF because he is a rebounding beast but lacks the traditional PF skill-set. Your comment that he rarely shoots outside of 5′-0″ and cleans up eveyone elses mess has me ROLMAO! That is my point! HE DOESN’T SHOOT OUTSIDE OF 5′-0″ BECAUSE HE CAN’T SHOOT!

    Faried is availible because Denver will not pay what Faried will demand to extend him because Shaw wants to play a halfcourt game with Hickson, Randolph, and Arthur at PF.

    Why waste the Suns cap space on him when you have three 1sr rd picks in a draft rich in bigs and the possibilty to sign a true big in Greg Monroe this summer?

    So how have all the current “tweeners” fared? Beasley? Derrick Williams? Dejuan Blair was given away by Popovich, Jazz gave away Milsapp, Chicago only wishes they could give away Boozer. With the expected emergence of Greg Oden. Bosh will slideback to PF and undersized Udonis Haslem.

    It has nothingto do with being butt-hurt, only having to read pure nonsense in response to vague and innocent comments. Just like comparing Len to Bargnani. The ONLY point I was making is that as of today he looks to weak to play the post, nothing more.

    As far as you liking the 2-3-2 format, fine that is your right but it is still one of the most ridiculous format changes in the history of the playoffs. I’m supported by FACT that the league agreed to change it. The ONLY reason they changed it in the first place was to save money on traveling costs. Nothing else.

    So let it go already.

  • 35 DBreezy // Oct 24, 2013 at 10:15 am

    EBJM,

    While I remain curious about Shaw, it’s pretty easy to see they get picked to finish ahead of the Suns. They may not make the playoffs, but they’re more talented. Pretty much their entire projected starting 5 (when healthy) would beat out the Suns starters if they were on this team. They also have more reliable depth than the Suns currently do.

    The Nuggets and the Lakers playoff spots seem to be up for grabs going into the season, but who fills the void? Dallas has the veteran edge and the best player of last year’s lottery teams. The Pelicans look like that wild card that could make a big jump like the Thunder did a few years back. Minnesota has the 2nd best player of the lottery teams, solid talent if healthy, and like Dallas a good veteran coach. I tend to want to count Utah out completely, but I’m not sure the loss of Millsap and Jefferson will hurt them as much as people think and they’ve been hovering around that 8th seed for the last couple of years. Their defense should actually be better with those two gone and they only had a .1 differential last season, so who knows?

  • 36 john // Oct 24, 2013 at 10:24 am

    @EBJM

    Not sure if you’re trolling or if you just aren’t too bright. You seem like you at least have some smarts about you, so I’ll assume you’re trolling. I’ll briefly entertain you anyways because I’ve got a lull at the moment.

    1. Your second sentence was this: “For the Faried lovers who believe he is the 2nd coming of Charles Barkley @ 6?-6?, he was also a DNP, so I can only guess that if he played the Suns would have been blown out.(sarcasm)”

    If you didn’t mean that as a direct reference to the last thread where you went on about the similarities between Faried and Gortat, then I apologize. But I think you did.

    2. “Two athletic rebounders with little else to their game.”

    No. Gortat isn’t half the rebounder that Faried is, and Faried isn’t even a tenth of the player that Gortat is outside of 10 feet. They aren’t “two athletic rebounders with little else to their game.” Gortat is a guy who does virtually everything at a decent rate. Faried is a guy who does one thing at an incredible rate. Totally different.

    3. “Your comment that he rarely shoots outside of 5?-0? and cleans up eveyone elses mess has me ROLMAO! That is my point! HE DOESN’T SHOOT OUTSIDE OF 5?-0? BECAUSE HE CAN’T SHOOT!”

    You commented on the similarities between Gortat and Faried in the last thread, but now you’re saying Faried can’t shoot? It’s known that Gortat can, and that’s actually a very big portion of his game… so how are they similar again?

    4. On the 2-3-2 change. I actually agree that they should have changed the Finals format back to 2-2-1-1-1. But it has nothing to do with being a disadvantage to the home team and everything to do with continuity. It makes no sense to have three rounds of 2-2-1-1-1 and then all of the sudden switch to 2-3-2 for the Finals. That change was made back in the mid ’80s to ease the travel woes of national media. It had nothing to do with basketball.

  • 37 Luka // Oct 24, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Denver is looking like the stupidest team in the NBA right now. Handing McGee a huge contract was just asking for trouble. Letting Karl go was just shameful. Shaw won’t last there. If I was Faried I’d demand a trade.

  • 38 Scott // Oct 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    If Faried could defend at SF he’d be useful in a Shawn Marion type way: a guy who defends his position, gets rebounds, and makes his points off broken plays and garbage.

    He’s energetic and has a good wingspan, IIRC, so there’s some possibility of playing him there, so long as you’re not looking for much offense from SF. You’d have to have studs at PF and SG to make it work, I think.

    You’d also give Faried the long term assignment of developing a reliable corner 3 shot. If he’s a bright guy, he ought to be able to develop his game and add the shot, so this is where the IQ test comes in handy.

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