Turnovers lead to Suns loss against Nets

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

This isn’t the end of the world, but if you stand on a chair you can probably see it from here.

The Suns continue to shoot the lights out, but unfortunately they are having all kinds of problems passing, dribbling, and defending in the dark. And while it’s far too early for weeping and gnashing of teeth (although a sob or two would not be out of order) there is a decidedly disturbing pattern of bad omens, both tactical-wise and chemistry-wise emerging – one which could lead glass-half empty parties to fear that what we’re seeing here is the early stages of the unraveling of a season. [Read more...]

No Nash Means Big Problems for Suns

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

No Nash, no problem For the Heat that is.

As high as Nash’s stock is when he plays, it goes even higher when he doesn’t play. The Suns are now 5-14 when he’s out of the lineup, and they have seldom looked more lost without him than they did last night in getting blown away by a Heat team coming off a 38-point loss at Portland and struggling to hover around the .500 mark.

However, in all fairness, this time it must be duly noted that Dwayne Wade’s presence hurt even more than Nash’s absence.

When a player with Wade’s awesome skills is hitting jumpers (see Bryant, Kobe) you have no chance whatsoever. The last time out the Heat star couldn’t hit anything and wound up with a season low 12 points on 33 percent shooting against the Blazers. On Friday, he hit just about everything and wound up with a season high 43 points on 63 percent shooting.

However, neither Nash’s absence nor Wades other-worldly presence is sufficient to absolve the Suns for all the sins they committed at both ends of the court in this drubbing. Turnovers have been a season-long problem even WITH Nash, and they set the tone with three before that game was 90 seconds old. And then, when an 8-0 run to close out the third period breathed a smidgen of hope (a smidgen being about half a tad), they turned the ball over on their first possession of the fourth period.

By the time it was over the Suns had turned the ball over 19 times compared to only 8 for the Heat. And to put those numbers in even more painful perspective, the tally on points off turnovers was 21-4 in favor of the Heat.

As for the other end of the court, one of the cornerstones of team defense is the “help” concept, but the Suns seem to be under the impression this means simply hollering “help”. This has to be frustrating for Coach Terry, whose main mandate was to improve the defense, and at some point it has to become obvious that no amount of emphasis and coaching can make up for the fact that the team has very, very few solid defenders.

The wonder is that with all their flaws and foibles, the Suns are still sailing along at a spiffy 11-6. But the bad news here is that the court they seem to be having the most trouble on is the one on which they are scheduled to play half of their games this year, namely their own. They are only 4-4 at US Airways Center, with the four losses by an average of 13 points.

In addition to making more mistakes than any other 11-6 team in recent memory, they also seem to be having less fun than any other 11-6 team in recent memory.

The bottom line: Let’s hope this was it.

By the Numbers: Phoenix Suns vs Minnesota Timberwolves

(David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images)

(David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Suns’ performance tonight is what I expected on Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Even though it was a night later, I’m still glad to see the team have more energy and, for the most part, keep their opponent down by double-digits. [Read more...]

By the Numbers: Phoenix Suns vs Oklahoma City Thunder

(Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images)(Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images)

Nobody said winning on the road was easy.  But I don’t think anyone thought the win the Phoenix Suns pulled out against the Oklahoma City Thunder would be as hard as it was.

Out of any team in National Basketball League, the Suns probably thought the Thunder would be one where they could rest many of their starters in a blowout win.  But it ended up not happening that way. [Read more...]

Blast From the Past: KJ, Pike, Casey and more!

 

(Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

 

(Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

As the Suns landed here in Oklahoma City for the start of a back to back set with the Thunder(thanks, Dan, for releasing the naming rights)and the Wolves, my trusty Treo phone illuminated with an email message from Berlin.  Lo and behold, it was Casey Jacobsen just checking in to say “hey” while he plays in the Euroleague.  He gave me the update on his family–his wife Brittney is 7 months pregnant with their 2nd daughter.  They have just moved into a new apartment in downtown Berlin and are loving the culture and adventure of raising their youngest daughter in this bustling, Euro hub. Just yesterday they took her to The Berlin Zoo, and they also live right across from Germany’s Niketown which gives the Jacobsens a little dose of American commerce to relieve some of their homesickness. [Read more...]

Barnes: Just Checking In

Matt Barnes poses for a picture at Celebrity Waiters 2008.

I’m just about ready to board the team bus for a quick two-game swing but wanted to make sure I checked in as I know it’s been a while. Things have been a bit hectic for me lately, but it seems I’m getting back on track and minus a couple minor injuries, things are going well. [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Week Looking Bright for Suns

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Blazers found themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place on Saturday night, but then that’s where they usually stay when they’re in town these days.

With Shaquille O’Neal and Amare Stoudemire dominating inside and assorted snipers  dropping five treys on them from outside in the last six minutes of the third period to open a 10-point lead, the Blazers suffered their 11th straight loss to the Suns in a venue  they haven’t won at since March of 2006. [Read more...]

Walk Reflects on the Hawk


Hawk was a schoolyard legend that became an NBA legend.
(NBAE/Getty Images)

When I think about basketball and the players I have played with and against over the years there are many that jump up to the fore for many reasons. One of those players is the Suns’ first Hall of Fame inductee of which there are sure to be quite a few more. His name is Connie Hawkins, more widely known simply as “Hawk.” [Read more...]

A Worthy Opponent

Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty

Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty

Forget the good news and bad news. I’ve got some really horrible news: The Lakers are who we thought they were.

Even on a night when Kobe’s jumper looked like Shaq’s free throws the defending Western Conference champions blew the Suns out of their own building. They have power, size, speed, defense, shooting, and depth deeper than the Pacific (the ocean, not the Division).

[Read more...]

Suns-Lakers Breakdown


Nash and Fisher are just one of the many intriguing matchups between the Suns and Lakers.
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

That great American thinker, Ferris Bueller, once talked about how quickly life can change. In the NBA, life can move even faster than normal. [Read more...]