Phoenix Suns 114, Denver Nuggets 103 — Dueling Rope-a-Dopes

Posted by on November 8th, 10:26 pm


It’s official. The Suns are the most entertaining team in the NBA. Though the season is still young, the Suns are already old pros at keeping the drama night in and night out. Their 114-103 victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets is just the latest example of how much fun the Suns are to watch. Phoenix can dunk, shoot, and run with the best of them, and whether they are succeeding or failing, it’s hard to take your eyes off this team.


For all you sports heathens out there who don’t know what the Rope-a-Dope is, it’s a boxing strategy made famous by Muhammad Ali. Essentially, it involves backing up to the ropes and letting your opponent hit you repeatedly. The goal is to let the ropes take the punishment while your opponent tires himself out. Once he’s exhausted, you come alive like Rocky Balboa and clean his clock. The Nuggets and new head coach Brian Shaw pulled an incredible Rope-a-Dope on the Suns in this game.

In the second quarter, Phoenix was leading by eight points when Denver suddenly went ice cold. The Nuggets went the last seven and half minutes of the first half without a single field goal. The Suns poured it on, running up and down the floor at lightning speed, trying to put Denver away for good. They kept the crowd on their feet and grew the lead to 17 points by the end of the half. The Nuggets looked finished, and the Suns looked like they felt a victory was already assured.

But Coach Hornacek made a critical error. He played Bledsoe 20 minutes in the first half because he didn’t trust Ish Smith to contain Ty Lawson. When the Suns came out in the third quarter, Bledsoe was visibly exhausted. He gave the ball up on offense just after crossing half court on nearly every possession and seemed content to stand out on the wing while the Suns committed six turnovers and shot a pathetic 2-of-13 from the field. Defensively, Bledsoe was hopeless. Lawson scorched him for 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the third quarter alone. Bledsoe constantly lost Lawson when he moved without the ball. Eric was lazy in fighting over screens in pick and roll situation. All in all, he was hurting the team more than he was helping it. Over the first 10 minutes of the third, the Nuggets turned a 17 point deficit into an 11 point lead en route to a 40-20 third quarter.

But the Suns refused to go down without a fight. They reeled off an 8-0 run of their own to cut the lead to three heading into the fourth. In the final frame, the roles were totally reversed. Lawson was too exhausted to contribute, and Bledsoe was too much to handle. All of Lawson’s shots were short, and his only two points came after the Suns had retaken a double-digit lead. Bledsoe, on the flip side, triumphantly rebounded from his abysmal performance in the third. He scored nine points include a game-sealing three as the shot clock expired that put Phoenix up nine with one minute left to play. It was a truly gutty performance.

It has been a long time since the city of Phoenix has had a basketball team capable of winning this type of game. Most Suns’ teams of the past would have given up when their 18-point lead withered away. But this iteration of the Suns is young and hungry. The rest of the league will take notice soon.

Can the Suns’ defense get back on track after the hiccup against the Spurs?

The short answer is no. The Suns were content to run all night long and try to outscore the Nuggets. Denver finished the night shooting 45% from the field, but that figure doesn’t really tell the story. As I mentioned before the Nuggets were ice cold in the second and fourth quarters, where they shot 26% and 39 % respectively. When they took the lead in the third they shot a red hot 59% from the field. Trust me when I say that the Suns played the same lackadaisical D the entire game, the Nuggets were really only able to take advantage of it in the third. The only defensive adjustment Phoenix made was running a second defender at Lawson to get the ball out of his hands. Denver’s rotation pretty much guaranteed that there would be at least one offensive liability on the court at all times. Why Hornacek waited to employ this double-team strategy until the end of the third quarter is beyond me.

Which team will have the advantage from downtown?

The Suns won the battle from downtown, but only barely. Phoenix shot 9-of-20, while Denver hit 8-of-22. Denver did a great job penetrating, kicking, and zipping the ball around the perimeter to the open man. Most of their attempts were wide open. They just didn’t hit the shots the way they have been thus far this year. Between the clutch threes the Morris twins hit and all of Gerald Green’s breakaway dunks there must have been at least five plays in this game which swung the momentum and made the crowd jump to their feet.

Welcome to the Thunderdome: Which point guard tag team will come out on top?

Lawson certainly won the battle, but I think the Suns’ duo won the war. Both pairs played 48 minutes, but the Phoenix split was 36 to 12 Bledsoe to Smith where as Ty Lawson was forced to play all but seven minutes of the game. Lawson, with his 29 points and 4 assists, had the more impressive stat line for sure, but Bledsoe was there when his team needed him most in the final quarter and was no slouch himself in the stats department (17 points and 9 assists.) Ish Smith was pretty much powerless to stop Lawson defensively, but he was key to the Suns 8-0 run to end the third that definitely swung the momentum and helped the Suns find victory.

Ryan Weisert

Ryan Weisert is a staff writer for ValleyoftheSuns. You can also find him at his sports and pop culture blog

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Tags: Denver Nuggets · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Recap

58 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ShanMan // Nov 8, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    I have a strong feeling a third twin has been standing in for Markeiff.

  • 2 SHAZAM // Nov 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    “if sonny liston whips me,ill climb to the center of the ring,kiss his feet and take the next jet out of the country”_cassius clay
    any article with an ali reference has to be great…good job

  • 3 BUTLER // Nov 8, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Horn Attack undoing SUNS history, sifting through the ashes of nash’s teams to give rise to a rebounding team that defends.

    Judging by Keef M0 humiliating the Manimal, he’s not immune to the draft pick pecking order talk. Starting to look underpaid all of a sudden.

    Plumlee is plum welcome after Gortat.

  • 4 Luka // Nov 9, 2013 at 12:21 am

    It is amazing what Kieff is doing right now. I know many Suns’ fans, myself included, have been critical of his play. Perhaps it was more Gentry not utilizing him properly. Hornacek has done a tremendous job getting Kieff to play the right way. I really hope he keeps this up.

  • 5 shooter flatch // Nov 9, 2013 at 12:46 am

    The only reason why you think this team doesn’t play defense is that you apparently don’t recognize it. Check how they rotate, how they cover up for each other. They never did those things did those things under previous regimes. They didn’t play any D in the third quarter because they were gassed.

  • 6 Scott // Nov 9, 2013 at 1:22 am

    The Suns are a young team playing together under this system for the first time. They probably need a refresher in their schemes.

    They’ll have a little time in the next few days at home to go over stuff in practice. This could help them out.

    I’m hoping they can keep Dragic out for the rematch against the Pelicans on Sunday, giving him a pretty nice rest before coming back to play against Portland on Wednesday.

  • 7 Scott // Nov 9, 2013 at 1:23 am

    @Luka -

    After the game, Markieff told Tom & Tom that he played on the perimeter under Gentry because that’s what Gentry was asking him to do.

    He’s playing inside now because that is what Hornacek has asked him to do.

  • 8 hawki // Nov 9, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Markieff Mor
    Do you think you’re
    What they say you are ?

  • 9 EBJM // Nov 9, 2013 at 4:14 am

    OK now, Denver was another ideal match-up for Markieff. Fareid and Hickson have their strengths taken away in Shaw’s offense. They were held to only 9 boards and 30 minutes which was great. Frye matched their overall production.

    Plumlee showed why Washington and George Karl gave up on JaVale McGee, going for yet another double-double with 18/11 and 2 blocks. McGee and Mozgov only played 17 combined minutes.

    Shaw went small going with Randolph, Jordan, and Arthur. I’m a bit disappointed 3rd string SF Jordan had a good game, better than Marcus. The Morri had a combined 9 T.O.s but hey, at least they showed up.

    I’m surprised that Shaw rode Lawson so hard and didn’t give Robinson much burn but maybe it was because Ish shot 100% for 8 points and 4 dimes in only 12 minutes?

    I hate to say it but Bledsoe looks so much more comfortable playing alongside Green who had another solid game; 12/5 and 2 steals.

    Defense is mostly mental and I think the young guys just got lazy after building the big lead.

    But as I pointed out on several sites Denver is a mess and I didn’t understand how the “experts” projected them as a playoff team. Tony Parker on the Suns after their game gave the Suns a compliment saying something like he knows nobody believes in Phoenix but he thinks they are a good team.

    He points out that the Morri and Bledsoe are hard to defend.

    So far McMiracle is the front runner for EOY.
    Horny easily is front runner for COY
    Bledsoe and Plumlee are running 1st & 2nd for MIP.
    If Markieff can continue his play he might compete for 6th man of the year.

    I’d take those awards and Julius Randle in the draft any day of 2014 up to May.

    I’m still very impressed with McMiracle picking up Plumlee, Ish, Green and Christmas off the scrap heap for literally nothing and getting a 1st rd pick for his troubles.

  • 10 vtsunrise // Nov 9, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Suns on the rise. So soon. Who knew?

    Nice write-up, Ryan. You, too, EBJM.

    “Horny easily is front runner for COY”


    Can’t wait to see this young, dynamic, well-coached team up close and in person. Tomorrow night!

    And I have no choice but to fork up for LP Broadband on my return. Gotta catch as much of this as I can.

  • 11 EBJM // Nov 9, 2013 at 4:28 am

    Indiana is the cream of the East at 6-0 followed by Philly at 4-2.

    Out West S.A. top at 5-1 followed by the Thunder, Warriors and Suns at 4-2.

    So Philly and Phoenix were supposed to be the doormats of the NBA?

  • 12 EBJM // Nov 9, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Here is the last piece of contract negotiations for a teams own RFA that I wasn’t sure of so I thought I’d share it:

    In some ways matching an offer sheet is a better option for Phoenix because the team making the offer can only offer 4.5 percent increases on a four-year deal. If the Suns negotiate on their own, and they technically can’t begin negotiations until July 1 and sign him on July 10, then they can go to five years with an increase of 7.5 percent. Babby and company may have done the smart thing because an offer sheet may actually save them some money.

    Courtesy of Burns and Gambo.

  • 13 hawki // Nov 9, 2013 at 9:04 am

    @ Earl Black Jesus Monroe
    You’re rounding into mid-season form….great posts last couple of days.

    @ VT
    manana @ Majerles….Nine-Ish Smith

  • 14 HunterSThompson // Nov 9, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I enjoyed the game last night, as well as every road trip game. This team is young and fun, and clearly has some good coaching to provide the foundation.

    Some random thoughts:

    WTF happened to Markieff…and to a lesser extent Marcus??? I was readly to call both of them the most vanilla players in the NBA after the NO game…and then they suddenly come out with intensity and attack? Not sure if it lasts, but enjoying it right now.

    I have hated on Channing Frye for many, many years (as some of you know) but the time away, and maybe a bit if maturation have improved his game, IMO. The added weight and a touch of perspective has him appreciating the role the Suns NEED him to play, which is a little more inside strength to set up the outside daggers. Am I dreaming, or is Channing actually becoming a more rounded player?

    Finally, to go off the first two points – at the start of the year I thought this team had (unproven) depth and athleticism at every position, and if they came together could be better than last season’s squad and give several WC teams some trouble. Of course it is early, but from what we have seen, sould this team challenge for an 8th playoff spot?

    I see SA, OKC, GS, MINN, HOUS, and the CLIPS as automatic top 6….but after that? Seems like PHX, POR, NO, DAL, MEMPH for the final two spots (no, the Lakers suck). The Suns have already handled POR and NO, and I sure see the youth being able to run DAL off the court (and mutual opponents). PHX and Memphis for the final 2?

    So, the ultimate question then is this: What would be best for the franchise? Assuming this exact roster gets the Suns into a position for a playoff spot before the trade deadline, do you hold pat, or maybe trade off some assets that will obviously be proving valuable…like Dragic, the Morrii, Frye? We slip back into lottery land for a better pick, but we miss out on valuable playoff experience for the core guys (Bledsoe, etc). I know it is early, but my eyes tell me that this team is going to be in a lot of games this season. Are the other teams mentioned THAT much better/proven/consistent?

    Curious to see how this season plays out!

  • 15 tthecat // Nov 9, 2013 at 9:25 am

    It’s nice to hear I’m not the only one thinking of getting cable again just to check out this team. When I saw the moves in the off-season, I assumed we were building for the future and that I wouldn’t need to watch this team but only wait to see where the draft picks ended up. Well, so far, I was way off. I keep telling myself it’s early, but then I listen to the games and read the accounts that say they’re playing way over their head so far. Or, maybe some of our young guys have matured a lot faster than any of us thought possible. As far as I’m concerned, this is totally a win-win situation for the team and the fans. Long story short, if this is rebuilding, I love it.

  • 16 HunterSThompson // Nov 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Another thing ….I had hoped it was due to the Halowwen holiday, but since we are now in November I cannot believe that the Suns permanent home colors (court and uniform) are WHITE, ORANGE, and BLACK!!?????

    Please….someone tell me this is a cruel joke. The black and orange court end boundary looks like permanent Haloween, and those white unis are the most boring home jerseys in the entire NBA. Give me at least SOME purple!

  • 17 HunterSThompson // Nov 9, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Speaking of the draft – I admit to not knowing as much about college ball as many here, but it seems as though the upcoming draft class is PACKED with guards. What might that so to Randle’s stock if he shows that he is by far the best PF option out there? What might that do to the trade stock of Dragic? What might that do to the competition (and ultimate price) of Bledsoe’s contract?

    Right now it seems that this Suns roster is a banging PF away from being a real load (like a lot of teams, I suppose). What might the options be to get a top guy in FA, or through trade? Are there other guys that fit the bill in the upcoming draft I need to start watching…cuz there seems to be no way the Suns are getting Randle…

  • 18 Sunsn7 // Nov 9, 2013 at 10:02 am

    This thread looks like an azcentral throwback!

    Good to too VT

  • 19 Bam // Nov 9, 2013 at 10:12 am

    @hunter, i’ve always been keeping track of Mavs and Suns, courtesy of Nash and Dirk, the 2 players who i had a lot of respect for. It’s unlikely that the Suns will outrun the Mavs, who have one of the highest pace in the league right now. In fact, the biggest problem they have is that they went up TOO FAST, especially with Monta Ellis, and causing turnovers and sometimes missing out open teamates.
    Considering their starters average 30+ years old, it’s miraculous.
    Back to Suns though, i must say it’s such a refreshing case to be able to watch suns game again this year. I was avoiding them last year simply because of how bad the entire team was in terms of chemistry, in terms of the staff, and how basically the team felt like Bobcats except they dont even have the youth.

    Great times it is this year, i forsee this being the year where we see a lot of power changing hands, as traditionally strong teams for the past decade like Mavericks, Lakers, Nuggets, etc, get knocked down the rankings in the western conference. I was hoping that Spurs will too, but with Pop at helm, i doubt it’s possible unless the whole team gets hit with some strange super-flu.

  • 20 vtsunrise // Nov 9, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Yo, back at ya 7.

    Hawki, Can’t wait. Thirsty already!

    zona-bound… soon!

  • 21 vtsunrise // Nov 9, 2013 at 11:21 am

    The more I see the Morri, the more I like them.

  • 22 DBreezy // Nov 9, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Bustling times on the ranch these days, lots of great comments out there and continued good play by the team. The star of this remains Hornacek and staff, no matter where the season turns from here.

    Still plenty to learn in a young season, where only Utah has been truly awful. Even that should even out as the Jazz get healthier as they’ve always been strong at home even when they aren’t a playoff team. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see Sacramento gain some of their old home court mojo back with new ownership this season and a surprisingly calm DMC. Boston will get better with Rondo. I think what we might find is that while a lot of teams can be considered to be in the tank zone including the Suns, they’re going to have be more competitive than we thought and have better records for at least the first half of the season. I think the record jockeying may come later on for many teams. However if last night’s great debuts for several prospects hold up, rest assured there will be record jockeying to come at some point.

  • 23 DBreezy // Nov 9, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Long term, it’s hard to see McD giving up on the idea of a top 5 pick in this draft unless he’s able to get a star player in return for some his draft picks. All of this excellent play thus far has to have him dreaming about the possibilities that a guy like Wiggins or Randle could put into place quickly. You grab one of those guys, resign Bledsoe, add UFA’s on reasonable deals, and draft wisely with the remaing picks and you’re looking good.

    In fact, if the Morii can demonstrate consistency, you’re possibly a year ahead of schedule as you’ve still got excellent room for growth from Goodwim and Len. At worst, consistent Morrii suddenly make this a very deep team in future years although they could obviously try and move them if their value gets high enough? They’ll also probably consider a Dragic trade at some point too. Sure they can and should try and see if their picks can net them a guy like Love, but that’s a smart wish not a plan.

    What they have now is a solid plan with the coach and GM to back it up. Just because OKC faltered in choosing Ibaka over Harden, doesn’t mean Presti’s original plan was flawed. The Suns could keep all of their picks and execute a smarter version of that plan. The challenge in today’s NBA isn’t just to build a contender,it’s to build a sustainable one within the new rules.

  • 24 DBreezy // Nov 9, 2013 at 11:38 am

    The more I see you Vt, the more….never mind that wasn’t gong anywhere good!

  • 25 foreveris2long // Nov 9, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Hunter and EBJM great stuff. Yeah EBJM Green and Bledsoe look really good together. The team truly looked like a young, inexperienced and exhausted team at times last night only to have an emotional charge to finish the campaign. I do not know if I have ever seen a transformation in one’s game the way I have seen Markieff go to a low post player embracing the contact who can take you outside.

    I know Coach Horny gets a lot of props but as DBreezy alluded to above the rest of the coaching staff gets a lot of credit as well. Mark West and company are making Plumlee, Morris and Frye look like they belong in the low post.

    I am obsessed with watching these guys, grow, tumble and then take two steps forward and grow some more. Scott, I too hope they keep Dragic out at least one more game.

  • 26 Roger // Nov 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    2014 Plan need to revised by Xmas!

    McD must be redoing his blue print or at least thinking of back-up plan to his throw-away season. I’m thinking, if Suns continue to play good ball, maybe consider signing or trading for a good veteran free agent SF by All-star break for the 7th or 8th in Western Conf. Just have a feeling the way Suns are playing and considering the young roster, they may be in the 11 to 14 slot anyways so why not try for playoffs!!

    Candidates for trades – Frye, Green and Marcus.

    Any reponse ?

  • 27 Keith // Nov 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Suns make playoffs this year, pull off a superstar trade in the offseason for someone like Love, Aldridge, or Monroe, and are a real contender next year. Book it.

  • 28 Andrew // Nov 9, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Last night Kieff looked like a poor mans Barkley..I also hope we can package him along with Green and Frye and even Dragic for a potential stud

  • 29 EBJM // Nov 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Gortat over five games:

    Plumlee over six games:

    Suns 4-2 Wizards 2-3

    Suns gained two 1st rd picks in the swap at center and improved defense. Nice job McMiracle.

  • 30 foreveris2long // Nov 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    IMO the Warriors are not as good as they were last season. As of today they are last in the league in turnovers and a big reason for that is their backup point guard Douglas is not nearly as good as J. Jack who left for Cleveland. I also do not think Barnes is very happy about coming off the bench with a bum point guard. Since they likely consider themselves a championship contender perhaps they will be a team interested in Dragic because he would get a lot of minutes there where Curry can play the two spot at times. If we could somehow get Harrison Barnes back in some deal (we would have to include a 1st round pick) it would be a great acquisition.

  • 31 Azbballfan // Nov 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    If the Morris twins keep this up, Channing Frye is going to be expendable

    i love Frye, he is a great guy, but with the Morris twins and plumlee playing so well, all we need is to get something out of Len and its gonna be hard to fit minutes in there for Frye

  • 32 Keith // Nov 9, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Warriors are a top 3 team in the West and absolutely better than last year (Iggy). The teams that are worse than last year are the Clippers and Grizzlies, first round fodder. But Warriors are a legit championship contender.

  • 33 EBJM // Nov 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Yeah Forever, that is part of the fall-out from signing Igoudala. I thought it was a bad signing because of the domino affect it had on rotations and future contracts.

    They couldn’t afford Jack anymore who signed with Cleveland for around $25 million I believe. Three days later they signed Toney Douglas who is well-traveled already, Knicks, Rockets, Kings and now Warriors. The guy is a scoring PG who couldn’t even flourish under D’Antoni.

    Then Igoudala pushed Barnes to the bench and after failing to sign Howard they had to make nice with Andrew Bogut and extended him for $36 million and up to $42 if he meets incentives.

    That means the Warriors window is two years because then they will have to extend Thompson and Barnes.

    So the West isn’t really as strong as the “experts” have projected. Spurs will be good but Duncan is 37 and Ginobilli is clearly on the downside.

    We know the Clippers have deficiencies, especially considering they have former Suns Dudley and Barnes at SF. Griffin is another Amare and I’m not be complimentary.

    Thunder miss James Harden and let Kevin Martin walk away to the Wolves. The Wolves have a lot of firepower by adding Martin but team chemistry took a hit.

    Pekovic was THE man with Love hurt and remained the 2nd option with him back. Martin is jacking up the 2nd most shots now at Pekovic’s expense, his shots are down from around 16 to 11. Not making the big bruiser very happy. Pekovic is a load down low and you need him happy to be effective against Howard Marc Gasol, Cousins and even Bogut.

    Houston obviously will be good but Asik is a very expensive back-up center. He is owed $15 million in ’14-’15. Lin simply will not help them get to the Finals and he is owed $8 million. How are they going to trade either one or both of them?

    Grizzlies haven’t done anything to improve and still need a SF badly. I still don’t like Conley and Allen as a championship back court.

    So what was that? Seven teams? Dallas has surprised me as the Calderon and Ellis back court is really clicking and they still have Dirk and Marion but Dalembert at center.

    So our Suns are in a predicament. They are turning out to be a bit too good for the lottery. With the Morri playing so well now and Ish being a good back-up PG especially for those little PGs the only real guy that has become expendable with value is Dragic.

    So do you trade him within the division to the Warriors? Suns might end up in the playoffs facing them. The biggest issue with making that trade is the Warriors will have to send back close to his $7.5 million.

    They don’t have many workable pieces and the Suns will be stuck with some filler.

  • 34 DBreezy // Nov 9, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    This Cavs and Sixers game has been great. Youth uprising everywhere.

  • 35 foreveris2long // Nov 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    EBJM, It would be a problem trading with GS but man if we could get Barnes it should at least be entertained. DBreezy I saw the overtime of the Cavs game and it was great. I think Michael Carter Williams is the early front runner for rookie of the year. Was he picked 12th? he is a player.

  • 36 foreveris2long // Nov 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Keith, The Clippers have a better coach and they are a better shooting team with Mullens, Riddick and Dudley. Considering they did not lose any starters I have no idea how they are worse than last year. Have you seen them play very many games?

    I have no idea how the Warriors will be better or as good as last season when they do not have a legitimate backup point guard. Curry will be worn out unless they get another guard. Iggy is good but I thought they were electrifying with Barnes at the 3 spot. We will see soon enough.

  • 37 Keith // Nov 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    They lost Bledsoe and they are a horrible rebounding and defensive team. West is also better. They have no chance of making it out of the first round. Warriors on the other hand are a title threat.

  • 38 Keith // Nov 10, 2013 at 12:02 am

    And Michael Carter Williams was the 11th pick and is the runaway rookie of the year. That is the easiest award to pick. No one else is even close….You don’t need a top 5 pick if you draft well, especially next year with so many talented players.

  • 39 Elviro (Italy) // Nov 10, 2013 at 3:05 am

    I’m really happy for the beginning of the Suns!
    that MK Morris was a potential great player and you guessed I have always supported!
    MK Morris, however, is young and as such can live ups and downs in its growth path: you have to wait for him and support him!
    Of course, this year has a great coach!
    I’m surprised by Plumlee: I did not expect such a positive impact!
    I hope that other young team can grow well, it is important for our future!
    But in my thoughts in the near future …. about the Suns …. there is the draft ….. and apparently this year is full of talent ….. I wonder just now had to start win??

    P.S.: McD is a great!

  • 40 joey // Nov 10, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Suns are going to cost themselves a chance at a true superstar in wiggins if they keep playing so well. Horny-check is a great coach already because he knows how to coach to his players strengths and mask their weakness. This team is fun to watch and who knew you could run and gun and still play D. But if we dont get wiggins then we’ll just be a mediocre team thats fun to watch. Which is disappointing and doesnt deliver any rings.

  • 41 EBJM // Nov 10, 2013 at 5:55 am

    So Keith, the Clips lose Bledsoe but replace him with Collison who has played twice as many minutes. Collison also has 219 starts to 44 for Bledsoe.

    They both played about16-17 playoff games but Collison has 5 starts. Collison has also produced better across the board because of the increased time and experience. The Clips fans call the switch going from chaos to controlled chaos so switching to Collison doesn’t support your assertion that it has made the Clips weaker.

    Last season they grabbed 41.6 boards. #10 team, Brooklyn grabbed 42.8. A little bit than one more board per game and the Clips grabbed 2.5 more boards than their opposition.

    Their top two rebounders, Jordan and Griffin return. So how exactly does that translate to “horrible”?

    They lost to the Grizzlies who made it to the WCFs.

    How can you plan a draft around teams blowing their lottery picks like Cleveland selecting Bennett who is now an underwhelming 1-12 and buried behind Earl Clark and Alonzo Gee? Or selecting mediocre players with damaged knees like Nerlen Noels?

    The West is not better, it actually has regressed. There isn’t one clear favorite that doesn’t have obvious deficiencies. How Igoudala suddenly makes the Warriors contenders is laughable at the least. Acquiring him at the cost of losing Jack and less minutes for Harrison Barnes arguably makes them weaker.

    What has Igoudala done to warrant such biased accolades? They shipped him out of Philly in favor of Young and Turner. In Denver where they desperately needed a Super Star to compliment Danilo Gallinari, Igoudala shrunk under the pressure and ran to the Warriors for less money and less pressure.

    The man is satisfied being the 5th option. Hardly a piece to put you over the hump when factoring in the loss of Jack and reduced role for the dynamic Barnes.

  • 42 RudeCerveza // Nov 10, 2013 at 5:58 am

    I’m not really sure where is that point in rebuilding, when you have to start treating your players as teammates and not just assets, but I have a suspicion that the Suns got there prematurely.

    That changes a lot. Suddenly you have to care about relationships, cameradery, chemistry and other not so rational stuff and not just about what a certain player is good at on the basketball court. You can’t just care about numbers match anymore, you have to care about people match.

    In order to build a team players have to feel the loyalty, sense of belonging and that’s not going to happen if they know they are just one “interesting” phone call away from having to pack their bags.

    I believe this McD dude is smart enough to know you don’t mess with a good thing going and is not planing on any trades while this lasts. Because it’s very possible that even a good trade for a better player now can make the Suns worse and rebuilding longer.

    Is this two point guard starting a good thing? I don’t really know, we haven’t seen it enough, but I’m pretty sure that getting rid of one of them a this point wouldn’t be a good thing. You can’t have front office salivating all over you at one moment and then dumping you a moment later … if you want to build something real.

    We all use phrases like “they play as a team”. You can’t really point a finger at what that playing as team thing is, but you can feel it.

    Players who don’t trust their front office and don’t feel secure (… well, as secure as an pro sports athlete can be) rarely play as a team. And the free agents who can choose don’t sign contracts with executives, who are known for empty compliments and broken promises.

    So, if I was in charge of things, I would immediately stop all trade rumors floating around. That doesn’t mean I’d pass on an offer you can’t refuse, but I would definitely give this bunch of guys an opportunity to grow together.

    I know it’s only been six games, but I believe they earned it.

  • 43 Harry // Nov 10, 2013 at 7:38 am


    Best post on a Suns board in like forever. Somebody gets it.

  • 44 RudeCerveza // Nov 10, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Thanks Harry. I’m just getting a bit annoyed with who should the Suns replace next talk, when we haven’t even seen yet what the guys we have are capable of. I have no idea what the ceiling of this team is or will be after rookies get some mileage… all I know is, I get pleasantly surprised every time they step on the court.

    I understand these trade ideas and speculations are fun, I just think that accepting our team as it is and enjoying this fast paced ride toward the future can be even more fun.

  • 45 Matt // Nov 10, 2013 at 8:36 am

    All that must be done is draft Randle sign Gordon hayward and rebuild complete!
    Thats a nice line-up

  • 46 Keith // Nov 10, 2013 at 9:28 am

    West is clearly better. Warriors are better. Rockets are better. Minny is healthy and better. Suns are better. Collison is no Bledsoe. Clips’ bench is one of the worst in the league. Clips are giving up third most points in the league. They are a playoff team, but that’s as far as it goes. They’ll get slaughtered in the first round.

  • 47 Keith // Nov 10, 2013 at 9:30 am

    And the Warriors were there last year but Bogut wasn’t healthy and it was their first year. Now with a healthy Bogut, having Iggy, and one more year of experience, Warriors will be right there. They have as much chance of anyone of coming out of the West.

  • 48 BUTLER // Nov 10, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I agree with Rude – nothing is more boring to me than to engage in the “what if” scenarios. Sure it might be interesting to speculate on which playas can take PHX to the title but what they have now is better than anything we’ve seen since Amare’s last season with the SUNS.

    I’ll take these SUNS just the way they are. And in the meantime I’ll envision this team with a killer PG named Dragic and another athletic big named Len joining the team.

  • 49 Ty-Sun // Nov 10, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I agree with RudeCerveza, Harry and Butler and hopefully so does McD. Let these guys play and see what they can do together. They will just get better as the season goes on and their chemistry builds. They don’t need to be shopping anyone at this point.

    But if another team calls with an offer that’s too good to turn down…

  • 50 foreveris2long // Nov 10, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Rude, Butler, Ty, the Suns have surprised everyone to date and they can leave the team exactly the way it is and we will all like the 2013 finished product. There are no quarrels there. However like Houston, if an opportunity presents itself to acquire a young and potential allstar, they will likely consider it. If that should happen Dragic would likely be the casualty.

    It is a business first and foremost and should that happen I seriously doubt it would tarnish the team’s reputation or the team somehow be perceived as not being loyal. Keep in mind the goal is not to create a happy playoff relevant team but a championship caliber team. I think this discussion with other teams only takes place for a potential allstar not draft picks. Look you guys all have well respected opinions but I think a team on the rise like the Suns do not stop thinking of ways to get to the championship level. Like Ty said “…if another team calls with an offer too good to turn down…” That is exactly my point.

    Keith your analogy is flawed for the reason EBJM pointed out and is grossly inconsistent. Golden State loses a very good backup point guard and they improve but the Clippers lose their backup point guard and they decline. Look I am not going to change your mind I just wanted you to see what you are saying is illogical.

  • 51 RudeCerveza // Nov 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    No doubt, Foreveris, there are offers you can’t refuse. My point was, how do you improve on something if you don’t know what that something is?

    I don’t know about you, but I would perceive the team as not being loyal if they were actively shopping Dragic. He came back because he believed he was really wanted in Phoenix. They gave him red (well, it was orange) carpet treatment and promised him the team to lead and so on and so on.

    If it was just business, he wouldn’t have left bunch of money on the table to be in Phoenix. Charlotte offered $36 mil guaranteed, he would’ve got more money had he stayed in Houston, but he chose loyalty over money.

    He suffered through the worst of times, he played his heart out last year, he played so hard they had to literally bench is ass in the end so they could lose more games.

    And now that things got better, we should immediately start thinking about shipping him out? That’s not loyalty. That’s just bad business.

    Who will be the next guy who will choose Phoenix for less money? Who will be the next guy to come to Phoenix because he is promised great things?

  • 52 foreveris2long // Nov 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Rude, Man I love Dragic for all the reasons you just outlined and I do not think they are actively shopping him. Actually I would hate to see him leave if that happens as it seems we owe him something after he came back to the Suns after we insulted him by trading him.

    I do think one of the point guards will be traded by next summer at the latest. If it is Dragic it will leave a void in the team and me because how he respects the game and leaves his heart on the floor every night. While he will likely be the casualty, I think it will have more to do with the development of Bledsoe than anything Dragic did or did not do. The fact Bledsoe is approximately 4 years younger and the Suns are not a championship caliber team will make it very difficult for the Suns to trade Bledsoe. However if the Suns could trade guys like Hornachek and Thunder Dan, they will probably trade Dragic one day if a great deal presents itself.

    However let me be perfectly clear, if he is not traded I am ok with that because he is a baller with high character and you have to love him for that.

  • 53 Keith // Nov 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Forever, you are blind. Everyone knows the Warriors are better. The experience alone makes them better but a healthy Bogut and then Iggy matter a hell of a lot more than Jarret Jack. They are a bigtime contender.

  • 54 foreveris2long // Nov 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Keith I am not sure who everyone is but just on this board EBJM and I respectfully disagree with you that the Warriors are better. Just because you say it does not make it true. There you go again with wild conclusions, the experience alone makes the Warriors better but the experience alone does not make the Clippers better. By the way Bogut was healthy last year, it was Lee who was injured in the playoffs. Since you are such a student of their evolvement I thought you knew this but I was obviously mistaken. You continue not to make sense.

  • 55 Ty-Sun // Nov 10, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    My point is that the Suns should listen to offers but that they actively shop NO ONE. One of the great things about the team they already have is that they are all high character, athletic team players with at least above average B-ball IQs.

    You can’t ask for a better core to build from and I think that McD understands that there is more to consider than pure talent when putting a team together. Right now, every player on this team is an asset but an asset to the team and not a trade asset. A trade may come at or even before the deadline but I think McD should – and will – hold this team together until/unless someone makes him that kind of offer that he just can’t refuse.

  • 56 Keith // Nov 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Forever, nothing you say makes any sense. I don’t think you watch or understand basketball.

  • 57 DBreezy // Nov 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    The rules are fair. The regulations are fair. The competitive balance is fair…….

  • 58 foreveris2long // Nov 10, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Keith I suspect I have played more competitive basketball than you have ever watched.

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