Slava Kravtsov brings the damage

Posted by on October 28th, 8:00 am

PHOENIX — When speculating the Suns’ final cuts before the Marcin Gortat trade, the mere possibility of said trade made center Viacheslav Kravtsov a player Phoenix was unlikely to cut. Once Gortat was traded to the Washington Wizards for the injured Emeka Okafor, Kravtsov’s opportunity grew.

It appears Miles Plumlee, Channing Frye and Alex Len could eat up the minutes at center, but lurking in the background is the 25-year-old Ukrainian who brings everything they won’t. Plumlee will bring the hard rim-rolls, Frye the outside shooting and Len the high-post passing and faceup game.

Kravtsov can bring the hammer that the Polish version leaves with — or arguably, never had — and despite the Ukrainian’s rough English, he’s not shy about it.

“First of all … as a classical center, I will create some damage in the paint,” Kravtsov said at media day. “I’m a good finisher, good rebounder, good shotblocker. I just want to put those (together) … and help the team.”

Kravtsov didn’t know Len personally — the younger Ukrainian played in the lower levels before joining Maryland — and his inclusion in the trade that sent Caron Butler to the Milwaukee Bucks made him a late addition to the Suns roster. And since his Ukrainian team went deep into the EuroBasket tournament, he arrived in Phoenix just before training camp.

Rough around the edges, Kravtsov at the very least is in shape and arguably the most physical player on the roster. He only took a few weeks off after the 2012-13 season, his first in the NBA. He returned to the Detroit Pistons training camp to work out, then headed to Europe where he trained with the Ukrainian national team.

The jury is still out on Kravtsov. He’s limited offensively and couldn’t crack the lineup for a bad Pistons team. Shooting 29.7 percent from the foul stripe, Kravtsov isn’t good for anything but finishing at the cup. His shot chart in 224 minutes played with Detroit last year said it all.

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.11.59 PM

Kravtsov took one of his 46 shots outside of the paint, but he did shoot 73 percent inside the paint. The limitations very well could hamper the physical 6’11 center, and they did just that with Ukraine in the EuroBasket tournament. The Suns’ new center didn’t even start for head coach Mike Fratello this summer, and he came off the bench behind former University of Arizona center Kyryl Natyazhko — for perspective, Natyazhko left the Wildcats after struggling to scratch the rotation.

Off the bench, Kravtsov played 19 minutes per game and averaged 7.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and a EuroBasket-leading 2.0 blocks per game. Kravtsov might not speak English well, but his confidence comes across just fine despite the language barrier.

“They didn’t write down all of mine,” he said of his blocks totals at EuroBasket. “Lots more.”

The blocks allude to his underrated fluidity as an athlete. In his few preseason minutes, Kravtsov hit all six of his shot attempts in 42 minutes played. He scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had two blocks in those minutes, and if anything displayed his style by shouldering into opponents chests with one-dribble moves off catches in the paint.

No, it’s not all that likely Kravtsov cracks the Suns’ rotation. Frye and Plumlee could actually garner heavy minutes, and Len and the Morris twins surely will be included as well. It’s unclear when or if Okafor could return, but nonetheless, Kravtsov will provide an insurance big man off the bench and an above-average practice player to toughen up Len, the younger Ukrainian and fifth overall draft pick.

The opportunity for the man whose shortened first name is Slava and whose Internet-given name is Ctrl-V (because Viecheslav is just too difficult type type out) is a little bigger than it was before the Gortat trade.

And the intrigue for the confident, fun-natured center remains.

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: Phoenix Suns

56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 east coast // Oct 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I think the Scola deal is shaping up to be the best deal of the offseason. The Suns got him as an amnesty casualty, and Plumlee alone may have been worthwhile – to throw in Kravtsov and a 2014 pick is a big-time steal.
    I just listened to the Suns podcast interview of McDonough. It was very thought-provoking.
    The picks the Suns have acquired for 2014 are good bets to be utilized – the Pacers pick will probably be 22-28, the Wolves pick about 16-20, and the Wizards pick in the same range (16-20). This is similar to how Harden was acquired by Houston. If the Suns can’t find a franchise player to trade for (Okafor and 3 picks between 16-28), the Suns can leverage the picks into another top ten pick (assuming the Suns end up with one of the 5 worst records this season).
    Dream scenario: the Suns get the top pick (Wiggins) and trade the other three for another top 10 pick (a legit SG with range or a PF to replace Frye and the Morrii).
    Then 2014-15, the Suns improve a great deal, but most importantly, beat up on the Lakers as they head to the division cellar – giving the Suns yet another top 10 pick, courtesy of the Steve Nash trade.

  • 2 Slap Dog Hoops (SDH) // Oct 28, 2013 at 9:54 am

    In limited minutes last season with Detroit, Kravstov showed plenty of promise. Hopefully he will have a chance with Marcin Gortat traded away.

  • 3 BUTLER // Oct 28, 2013 at 11:16 am

    The Ukranians won’t be short on toughness, this much is evident.

    As for the rest of the Suns, as long as we’re not pinning hopes to B-Ezy and Kendall Marshall any longer, I’m ecstatic.

  • 4 Azbballfan // Oct 28, 2013 at 11:22 am

    I love it, totally agree

    Kravtsov is a good center, he and len as well as plumlee should one of the bright spots of the season

    i dont expect Len to play a TON of minutes, however the Suns brass would not have shipped Gortat for a player who may not play at all if they were not totally confident in their center rotation

    i expect plumlee to get 25 minutes a game, followed by Len, and Kravtsov to get the rest

    Len may miss the 1st game due to soreness in his surgically repaired ankle, but i doubt his ankles end up being a long term issue

    i dont think we would have drafted him and traded our starting center if we thought his issues would have haunted him his whole career

    i really hope i am right, but if there is any team that can prevent serious injury……..its the Suns!

  • 5 RudeCerveza // Oct 28, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I was watching this dude play live in Eurobasket and I have mixed feelings about him. He’s tough, no doubt about that, but clumsy as hell. He’ll turn that thing over and over … he’s also not good finisher. But he can block shots. When he’s inside, no one wants to go there.

  • 6 hawki // Oct 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    This is the 1st time I can remember not seeing the Suns play once in the pre-season.
    We will find out Wednesday night just how bad things are going to be.
    Portland opened as a 2 1/2 pt favorite but that has already been bet up to 5 pt fav.
    Caught some of the Kings v Clips game & I tell ya what, the Kings & Cousins in particular look like a tough out this year.
    Bob Young over at AZC says the Suns win 26 this year…not sure about that…Earlier I said 23-59 but since Gortat already got traded could be 19-63…..TANK ….it’s our only hope.

    Good to see ya Rude…opening game Thursday morn in Slovenia…go easy on the brewskis :)

    Is that the real Butler ? wow….O-Dumb just turned the ball over.

    ps….I been gambling on college basketball a long time & would never recommend making a “futures” bet…..but, Oklahoma St. @ 35-1 to win NCAA Tourney is outrageous….worth at least a $20 spot.
    5 starters returning from a 24-9 team that includes POY candidate Marcus Smart should be no higher than 20-1.

  • 7 Ty-Sun // Oct 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    If all he can do is guard the paint and block shots, that’s good enough for a backup 5.

    And AZ is right that if any NBA team will know how to deal with Len’s ankle issues, it’s the Suns. I was reading up a little on Plumlee the other day and if anyone has the genetic potential to be successful in the NBA it’s he and his brothers. Both his parents played college basketball, as did two of his uncles and his grandfather!

    The Suns have plenty of young, athletic players with potential upside, a high BBIQ coach and a crafty GM that I think knows WTF he’s doing. I don’t think this season is going to be nearly as “ugly” as a lot of people think it will be. It will start out bad but will get better and better as the season goes on. The Suns will likely still finish last in the West but they will have some nights where everything “clicks” and win a few games that they shouldn’t win too.

  • 8 DBreezy // Oct 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Butler, Rude, and Smovas reappearing? Wow. When the Blanks is away…..

  • 9 DBreezy // Oct 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Looks like Len practiced today and probably will be available on Wednesday. By mid December, he’ll probably be getting the majority of the mins at the 5.

    Hawki, you’re right about the Kings. I don’t see them making a big enough leap to make the postseason, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them in the 35-40 win area kind of like the Grizzlies a few years back. Cousins is a load and he seems to be improved mentally. If that holds, he’s likely a top 3 center in the league.

    I actually think that mental area is one spot new owner Shaq might help. Shaq isn’t a great analyst but I do like his breakdown of how Howard should be scoring 28 a game. He breaks it down into points of O boards, running the floor, and off dimes to show that he really doesn’t have to do a lot of post moves every night to get those numbers if he works hard. Howard shies away from such challenges, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Cousins takes him up on it. Vasquez is a steady point for them and Patterson is solid. B-Mac’s got potential. If their shooters are on, they can be a headache especially at home. I think we see them b2b later this month.

  • 10 Scott // Oct 28, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I’d think that if the Suns can manage it, they’d prefer to have Len always close out games, because otherwise they open themselves up to “hack-a-Plumlee” and “hack-a-Kravtsov” strategies.

    Though, as Popovich once showed, the “hack-a-” strategy can start whenever you want.

    As I’ve said before, if Plumlee and Kravtsov want to stay in the NBA, they’ve got to raise their FT%.

    Even with Marshall gone, Hornacek still has his hands full with players who need to improve their shooting. (Pretty much every single player on the roster not named Frye or Green.)

  • 11 Scott // Oct 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    BTW, in the east …

    SHOENE predicts a 7th seed berth in the playoffs for WAS, a step ahead of NYC at #8. If this prediction holds, the Suns will get the WAS pick in 2014.

    However, while the top 4 seeds in the east seem secure (MIA, CHI, Brooklyn, IND), after that it gets fuzzy – at least to me – with Detroit, Atlanta, Washington, and the Knicks rounding out the projected standings.

    Due to the fuzziness in the latter part, it’s possible that teams on the bubble like Toronto and Cleveland might make it in. WAS could possibly go as high as #5.

    In terms of the lottery, the projected eastern contenders for the top pick are Philly (22 wins), Orlando (23 wins), and Boston (28 wins).

    http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2013/10/28/schoene-projects-raptors-as-9th-seed/

  • 12 Al // Oct 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    The Suns will draft the Harrison twins, calling it right now:

    PG-Andrew Harrison
    SG – AAron Harrison
    SF – Marcus Morris
    PF – Markieff Morris
    C – A lex Len/Plumlee

    ^ That’ll be second unit for Phoenix next year. You can never have enough set of twins…

  • 13 Ty-Sun // Oct 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I think that Dragic’s 3 point shooting will improve this season because playing with Bledsoe will give him more spot up shooting opportunities and he won’t have to try to create his own shots off the dribble as often.

  • 14 Ty-Sun // Oct 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I don’t know anything about the Harrison twins, but I predict that the Morris twins won’t be wearing Phoenix unis next season unless they start living up to their potential this season.

  • 15 Scott // Oct 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I haven’t found a detailed listing of the SCHOENE for west teams yet, but here’s the gist of the playoff teams:

    Spurs
    Clippers
    Rockets
    Thunder
    Wolves
    Grizz
    Nuggs
    Mavs

    So, if the projection holds true for the Wolves at #5, the Suns will get a late 2014 pick from them, possibly falling very close to the WAS pick.

    I guess it might be like this:

    WAS pick is #18 (DX currently has: PG Jahii Carson)
    MIN pick is #22 (DX currently has: SF TJ Warren)
    IND pick is #23 (DX currently has: SG PJ Hairston)

    Of course, SCHOENE doesn’t have the Warriors in the playoffs, and the Wolves seem a bit high for where they’ve been lately, so things may not go as planned in the west.

    The positive angle coming from these projections is that both WAS and MIN have a fair amount of room to drop in the standings before the Suns have their respective 2014 picks roll over to 2015.

    The protected pick from Indiana is almost certainly going to go to the Suns in 2014.

  • 16 Ty-Sun // Oct 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    It’s hard to have any faith in the SCHOENE predictions if they predict that Golden State doesn’t even make the playoffs this year. If the TWolves stay healthy, they should make it. Same goes for the Mavs. I don’t see Denver making it this year and GS missing the playoffs unless GS has multiple injury problems.

  • 17 Ty-Sun // Oct 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    And I would be shocked if the Indiana pick is as high as 23. Granger’s return may actually disrupt team chemistry but Indi will figure it out very soon and trade him if necessary. Granger is an overpaid scorer that doesn’t play D but some team will trade for him if he’s put on the trading block. Best to count on the Indi pick to be between 25-30. If Indi plays it smart and trades Granger for some quality bench players, they will beat the Heat and be in the finals this year.

  • 18 Azbballfan // Oct 28, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    although it would be fun to have 2 sets of twins on the same team, all playing on the court at the same time……

    we have big long term holes in this team at the 4 and the 3

    i dont really expect the morris guys to be picked ahead of guys who are more talented, play a position of need, and were not drafted by the current GM

    besides i doubt we spend picks that way

    atleast one of the 2 is going to be a lotto pick but we already have dragic and bledsoe and both are going to be plenty good

    unless you advocate nuking our backcourt which we got for basically nothing…..dragic in a cheap FA deal and Bledsoe for Dudley….

    I love Frye, but if the Suns get Julius Randle, you think Frye would start over randle 2 years from now when Frye is an expiring contract? i dont think so

    I personally hope we get Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon with our 1st two picks

    i am not saying Wiggins just because i dont expect us to get lucky and actually get the number 1 pick

    i think, that ironically the Bobcats will get that

    because you know, the year they try to win it back fires on them, they have a ton of injuries, and now have to trade MKG because they are gonna draft a SF with the 1st pick

    i think the Suns will go 21-61 thats my prediction

  • 19 NOitall // Oct 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I was excited about Slava until you said he couldn’t even supplant Kryl. That guy is awful, so I can’t imagine Slava is cracking any minutes at all this year. Miles and Frye will get ALL the minutes [unless Okafor returns - which is doubtful].

    For everyone prognosticating about where everyone ends up, I tend to think you are all over-reaching on WAS and MIN.

    MIN definitely has talent, and should be a playoff team. However, their two stars have serious injury history and cannot seem to stay on the court. If they stay healthy, I am with you on them being a playoff team. I am just not so sure that will happen.

    As far as WAS is concerned, I fail completely to see how this is a playoff team, even in the Leastern Conference. Yes, they had a nice mid-season run [14-10 jan-feb] but went 11-15 the rest of the way, including 1-8 to end it. And that was with Wall. Gortat isn’t much of an upgrade to Okafor [when healthy] in that Gortat may give you a little more offensively, but gives up more defensively than Okafor. I am just not sold that this is a playoff team and don’t think we end up with their pick. I am rooting for it, but not sold it will happen.

    Good news on the Indy front is that, record-wise, I actually think they drop some games in the regular season and start slowly with trying to integrate Granger. Hopefully they don’t get serious until the end of the year and we can slide up a bit on their pick.

  • 20 Smovas // Oct 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I suppose if we can’t beat them, we can always …beat them.

  • 21 HunterSThompson // Oct 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I really wish the Suns would come out and take the position that Len’s long-term importance is priority and that they will keep him off the court for most of the season. We are talking about healing bones here, not working out the swelling from sprained ankles. Sitting for the year and working with the Suns training staff on better running posture and muscle strength while saving those ankles from in-game stress seems the obvious move to me…and actually helps the “tanking” philosophy.

    If I am missing something legitimate here with regards to the cost-benefit analysis, please help me out. But just like the Rose/Bulls situation last season, the upside gained from playing a guy too soon in a lost season seems pretty minimal in comparison to having your lottery-pick future center fully healed and healthy when it really matters.

  • 22 Scott // Oct 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    @Hunter -

    While I agree the Suns shouldn’t run Len ragged, probably Len just overdid it and had some soreness as a result.

    I seriously doubt they’ll play him if he has chronic soreness. The hard part might be getting him to admit it when he has pain. Keep in mind, he played on both fractures last year in college.

    Len might be a little like Grant Hill in that regard. The Suns will have to try to keep him honest about his sore feet to make sure his competitiveness doesn’t cause him to re-injure himself.

  • 23 EBJM // Oct 28, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    21 comments and not one person made the comparison. Slava’s game sure sounded a lot like former Suns starting center and current big-man coach Mark West who manned the paint for Phoenix all the way to the Finals.Horny should play the Ukrainians together so Slava can help Len from getting injured.

    Big Jake Tsakalidis wasn’t quite as athletic as Slava but we got some quality banging out of him.

    Frye and Len will probally get hurt alot so it should be fun watching Slava and Plumlee.

    As far as Detroit goes, they had two starting centers in Monroe and Drummond, no way Slava was cracking that rotation.

    In regards to Mike Fratello, Natyazhko did not always start ahead of Slava. Fratello’s only issue with Slava was his effort, he wasnt always highly motivated, In a game againest Hungary where Natyazhko came off the bench, Slava fueled a 4th quarter comeback with 6 blocks and 13 points.

  • 24 vtsunrise // Oct 28, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Hello to all the familiar “faces” from azc. Looks like a long, hard season ahead. Hang in there.

  • 25 vtsunrise // Oct 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    By the way, I’ll finally make my pilgrimage to PHX and the rest of AZ in 2 weeks and will be in attendance at the Pelicans game (Pelicans – wow – what an inspiring name) on Nov. 10.

  • 26 Ty-Sun // Oct 28, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    When Wednesday night comes, we will really get some idea of what to expect from the Suns this season. On paper, Portland is a better team but far from a great team by NBA standards. They are a good team for the Suns to open the season against.

  • 27 EBJM // Oct 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    The gang is all here except Jay! Jay, where are you hiding?

  • 28 hawki // Oct 28, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    VT Sunrise ? I’m having a flashback…going to youtube & throw on an old Doors song….good to see ya VT & hope SueB is recovering from Missouri’s heartbreaking loss to S Carolina.

    @ Azbballfan
    I’ve heard rumors that Parker might stay 2 years at Duke.

  • 29 Scott // Oct 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    @hawki -

    If Parker does stay in college another year, I think it makes it easier for the Suns to acquire him.

  • 30 Smovas // Oct 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Good to see you here, Vt.

  • 31 hawki // Oct 28, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    @ Scott
    You mean the Suns are going to get the #1 pick 2 years in a row ? Yikes

    btw….caught some of the Arizona v Augastana pre-season college basketball game.
    Aaron Gordon is longer than I thought he would be & very athletic….but at this point he is not as good as Brandon Ashley.

  • 32 azbballfan // Oct 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Unless Len has a undiagnosed Chronic condition, he should be able to play a lot of games

    I see your point about tanking but the easiest way for players to develop is consistenin minima playing time

    Assuming Len is in minimal danger of Serious injury, he should get all the minutes he can handle

    At this point the worst it should be is ankle soreness

  • 33 azbballfan // Oct 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Oops I meant consistent playing time

    Typing on a tablet is hard!

  • 34 RudeCerveza // Oct 28, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Just to prevent any misunderstandings… I and a bunch of AZC regulars never jumped of the “Suns express”. We stayed in touch after our board went down and we were discussing the Suns privately. It only took one to guide here…

    I’m only telling you this because I was already called bandwagoner (in a different context) once today and I don’t think I could handle that ugly ugly word again…

  • 35 foreveris2long // Oct 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    VT, Good to have ya in the house. I saw Sue B. in the house yesterday on a previous thread.

    Regarding cashing in on the asset acquisition, one place where contract negotiations could become a major issue is Golden State. I believe both Curry and Bogart have been extended with Iggy getting a nice payday this past summer. This could make signing Klay Thompson or Barnes a real challenge, not to mention Iggy cutting into someone’s minutes. I suspect McD already has his finger on the pulse of the Warriors.

  • 36 foreveris2long // Oct 28, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Rude, I know you are a lifer as you suffered through the bad times like the rest of the old gang. The Suns Express was just a casual reference to Planet Orange speeding in a new direction. Anyway glad you are here.

  • 37 vtsunrise // Oct 29, 2013 at 1:45 am

    It’s nice to be able to nurse wounds with the other chronically afflicted fans. Try as I might, I could never leave. I tried to follow Nashty and cheer him on in LA, but c’mon, what a train wreck and such a sad ending to a glorious career.

    I followed the Suns in summer league – UNDEFEATED!!! (almost) and the preseason more than I would care to admit. Yes, I am hooked for good (or bad and mediocre). Through thick and through yuck.

    Yes, it’s me. I never really left. How could I?

  • 38 vtsunrise // Oct 29, 2013 at 1:49 am

    So, I am psyched about Bledsoe and Goodwin – great energy – and even though there may not be that many good wins this season, it’s interesting to see someone who seems to know what he’s doing sitting in the GM chair finally, and I like what I see of the new coach. Horny has pedigree and I think what it takes as a coach to get these guys to play to their best. What else can we ask for except perhaps a few breaks in the draft next spring?

  • 39 vtsunrise // Oct 29, 2013 at 1:51 am

    And thanks, forever, hawk, smovas and EBJM.

  • 40 SueB // Oct 29, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Ugh, Hawki, thanks for mentioning that terrible Missouri game. My only consolation is that I’ve been a fan long enough to have a good inkling that was going to happen. Cue the missed chip-shot FG. Indeed.

    Re the Suns, I cancelled NBA League Pass before last season, but I’m strangely looking forward to checking out the free preview games in Week 1. When expectations are low, but the future seems bright and all that. We’ll see.

  • 41 vtsunrise // Oct 29, 2013 at 2:48 am

    A quick nod to Lou Reed (RIP), and Lou Reeeed. I think I’ll cave and upgrade on cable again so I get NBA TV. I don’t care if I have a gazillion other things going on. I can always catch some nasty (if not Nashty) bball…

    Sue! long time – 5 minutes? – no “see”…

  • 42 Azbballfan // Oct 29, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Speaking of NBA league pass, this will be the 1st year i have ever had league pass, and the 1st year i was able to watch Suns games on a regular basis since 2009

    i cant wait!

  • 43 hawki // Oct 29, 2013 at 3:21 am

    VT….just in case ya didn’t know
    DBreezy + David1787

    Yeah, sorry to hear of Lou Reed’s passing….saw him in concert back in the mid 70′s right after the “Heroin” album came out….freaking Great Show.

    Looking forward to your Suns season prediction….think you nailed it on the head couple years ago.
    All we need now is Coro…lol

    SueB…the BCS has me so angry I can’t even see straight…Miami beats mediocre Wake Forest (at home) on a last second TD & is not penalized…Fresno St beats pathetic San Diego St in OT & actually moves up a spot….but lose to a powerhouse in a nip & tuck game & down you go….hopefully it all sorts itself out in the end.

  • 44 hawki // Oct 29, 2013 at 3:32 am

    That + is supposed to be =

  • 45 RudeCerveza // Oct 29, 2013 at 3:47 am

    It’s all good Foreveris and thanks for the welcome. I’m just having a shitty day.

    Being here makes it better.

  • 46 DBreezy // Oct 29, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Good to see you again Vt and Sue!

  • 47 hawki // Oct 29, 2013 at 6:22 am

    I’ll give Aaron Gordon a pass on last night’s game.
    It is being reported that he was playing with a slight groin strain which was why he sat on the bench for most of the 2nd half.

  • 48 SueB // Oct 29, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Hey, dbreezy. I do miss the old avatars, but it’s at least great to see the old names – or in your case, new name!

    I guess new-ness is in keeping with the times.

    Last year I confess I didn’t watch the Suns. But to be honest, I didn’t watch the NBA at all. I think that was my way of protesting/avoiding seeing Nash in purple and yellow.

    I took some time off from basketball and followed boxing instead. Talk about a crazy, corrupt, sport / business / racket. The NBA is a perfect world of joy and harmony and reasonably-compensated athletes and owners in comparison.

    Anyway ….

    Go, Suns!!

  • 49 vtsunrise // Oct 29, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Hi to David. Now I have no choice. I’ll HAVE to keep coming back to read your intelligent commentary. I’m not dissing the others. Just giving some props.

    Re: a prognostication, hawki, wow. For now, I wouldn’t dare. I will have to give it some thought. How about I make an informed judgement upon my return to VT on Nov. 18?

    The Suns will have had 3 weeks under their belt, and I will have seen them live. For just the second time – man, that was such an amazing game in Boston in November 2009, electrifying…

    Memories can wait. Where’s the youtube link button to the Talking Heads…? Just for fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICDJjTlBoMk

  • 50 EBJM // Oct 29, 2013 at 7:09 am

    In response to Rude’s comment, I can remember being on “our original board” since around 2004 or 5. Some of the others longer than that. Rude I’m thinking of making a trip to the U.K. to visit some old friends. I was just wondering since you are the Minister of foreign affairs and entertainment that if I was to visit Slovenia if you would welcome me as if I was a diplomat or State Dignitary? You know, limousine, five-star hotel, a couple of beautiful Slovenian women “conceirges”. (Wink, wink!).

  • 51 HunterSThompson // Oct 29, 2013 at 8:08 am

    In thinking about the Suns win projections this season and the rebuilding process in general the comparison I keep coming up with is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Total rebuild around raw, dynamic point guards. The past two seasons the Cavs won 21 and 24 games. Is that a good expectation for the Suns? Is the East-West competition divide legit…tempering the Suns win expectations a bit?

    Finally, I am very interested to see how this team jells. There appears to be talent and diversity at every position, and I think Goran continues to be underrated as a leader and facilitator. A lot of “ifs”, but I can’t help believing that this team could win as many games as last year’s squad (25).

    It starts tomorrow night! Should be fun!

  • 52 Joetom // Oct 29, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I’m not much of a commenter, but I followed all of your guys posts on azc since 2008.
    I grew up in Anaheim Ca and was a huge laker fan since the days of Chamberlin. Moved to Arizona in 2005. Went to a suns game to see Shack but it was Nash who got me hooked. Reading azc was great not just for what was going on at the time but for all the Suns history I learned. Glad to be able to lurk on all of you again.

  • 53 HunterSThompson // Oct 29, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Lurk on, JT! I too am glad to see this gang back for the upcoming rebuild. Has to be one of the most intelligent (and humorous!) group of posters any team could hope to have following them. Enjoy the show!

  • 54 RudeCerveza // Oct 29, 2013 at 10:36 am

    EBJM, all you need to do is land here and I’ll make things happen. Well, “concierges” will probably be Ukrainian, but limo, 5 Star Superior Hotel and the entire whale package … I can take care of that with one phone call.

    I kinda moved up (and down and then up again) in the world since the last time we talked. Not spending hours obsessing about the Suns can be quite lucrative.

  • 55 vtsunrise // Oct 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Hawki,
    reach me through this email: alkkla@aol.com and we can work out details off the board. It’s a junk email address but I’ll look for your note there.

  • 56 ????? // Nov 23, 2013 at 12:20 am

    ???????

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