Morning Sunshine: Phoenix Suns news from around the web (January 20)
We’re starting a daily feature here at Sunngun where we scavenge the internet for recent stories related to the Suns organization and relay them to you, so we are the one-stop-shopping for all things Phoenix Suns. We’ll have it for you everyday, hopefully in the morning. The links to these full articles are in the headings, take a look at the entire stories, the writers at all the other blogs are good and have some interesting information.
“Beep beep! Enter Leandrinho Barbosa. When the Suns signed Barbosa after Bledsoe’s injury, it was as if the waters parted and provided the Suns with a perfect partner for Dragic in Bledsoe’s absence. “He got to the hole several times,” coach Hornacek said of Barbosa after the 117-103 win over Denver in which Barbosa had 13 points and 3 assists. “[It] doesn’t even look like he is going that hard but he knows when to do it. He takes one or two dribbles and then he explodes and that explosive step is what gets him by people.” In only 5 games, after missing the past 12 months of NBA action due to a knee injury, Barbosa already ranks 31st in the entire league in drives per game (6.2) and 18th in points created off drives (8.6), despite only playing 22 minutes per contest. Even better, his 54.2% field goal percentage on drives ranks him 7th in the league, among players who drive at least 5 times per game. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t in the NBA two weeks ago. “I think that could be a big weapon for us as we go forward,” Hornacek said. “He can also make some plays and passes and kick outs and it will probably help our whole team. He has always liked to drive the ball.””
Bright Side of the Sun: “Next Man Up” and a bunch of other tidbits from their roundtable discussion-
“Next Man Up,” is an old philosophy, but the Suns seem to have embraced that with this roster. Look at Smith when he is checking out of a game. Disappointed he is not closing when he is playing great. Coach Hornacek routinely has to give him a smile, pat on the back, and let him know he did his part. Everyone wants to close and the even more important revelation — everyone feels like they can close.
That is a dangerous game that can create the biggest surprise in the NBA and the story of the year for the first half of the season, but also can create a house of cards. Through 40 games they have yet to fall over…
“George Gervin remembered his first experience affected by the wide-ranging impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The future Hall-of-Famer was 16 years old and, not surprisingly, playing basketball in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Gervin’s mother called to her son, telling him to stop playing. Dr. King was in town and they were going to listen. He admits that, due to his age and its subsequent innocence, he was unaware of the immediate and future impact of the message the civil rights leader would have. Now, at age 61, Gervin is all too aware and grateful. “Forty, fifty years later, we’re still talking about Dr. King,” he said.”