Tough Times in Phoenix


Does Steve Nash look lke the type to escalate a fight?
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

A new coaching staff. A different style of play – more emphasis on defense and no more “7 seconds or less” on offense. Preseason injuries to their 2 best players. A rookie backing up Steve Nash. Various family matters and league rulings that have pulled players from the lineup. An early schedule that included 5 of the first 7 games away from home. [Read more...]

Response Time

Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty

Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty

The Detroit Pistons rolled into town looking for their fourth-straight win but instead found a team with an answer for everything. Terry Porter’s Suns wouldn’t back down from a challenge came through their identity crisis with a new attitude. While they showed traces of the fast-paced, offensive-minded team of previous years, the Suns also brought a “no excuses” edge to both ends of the US Airways Center court.
[Read more...]

Phoenix continues to improve

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

 

It has been an article of faith (or maybe hope) that the re-tooling, back-inside-the-box-thinking Suns would get better as the season went along, but who knew they’d be this good this soon?

This was by far their most impressive performance of the young season, a night when the new system produced everything it promised, namely precision offense at one end and sticky defense at the other. [Read more...]

By the Numbers: Phoenix Suns vs Sacramento Kings

(Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

Terry Porter said he wanted to get Steve Nash some rest this season.  I don’t think a suspension was what he had in mind.  With Leandro Barbosa heading to Brazil to be with his family after the passing of his mother, the last thing the Suns needed was to lose another two players – let alone two of their starters.

But at the end of the day, the Nash/Barnes suspension may end up being a good thing.  The two rookie point guards for the Suns, Goran Dragic and Sean Singletary, played a combined 53 minutes and scored a combined 10 points.  Both of the guys kept their composure in a somewhat pressured situation and they helped Phoenix to a win in Sacramento.  Considering the next three opponents for the team, this win against an also-depleted Kings team will hopefully get them on the right track – even if it did take an extra 5 minutes of overtime to get the job done. [Read more...]

Suns Still Fighting to Find Their Identity

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

As one who never could carry a tune I couldn’t recognize whether this was a wakeup call (i.e., reveille) or taps. But even one with a tin ear could tell this game demonstrated not only where the Suns are but how far they have to go to get where they want to be.

Where they are is clearly not ready for prime time at this stage in their development. And don’t let that 94-82 score fool you. This one wasn’t nearly that close, and the Suns weren’t nearly as respectable offensively as even those feeble numbers would have you believe.

[Read more...]

Barbosa Saves the Day

 

(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

Two words are all that are needed to tell the story of this one, namely beep and beep, as in “Beep Beep,” which is the sound that’s always piped over the public address system whenever Leandro Barbosa, aka The Roadrunner, does anything.

And this night Barbosa did EVERYTHING — almost single handedly turning what could have been, maybe even should have been a loss into a victory. And Barbosa could hardly have picked a more opportune time to play his best game of the year and one of his best fourth periods ever as a member of the Phoenix Suns. [Read more...]

Introduction to Fatherhood

Just wanted to check in after what has obviously been a pretty hectic week. After missing the previous few ballgames, I got back into Phoenix this weekend the proud father of twin boys, Isaiah Michael and Carter Kelly Barnes. [Read more...]

By the Numbers: Phoenix Suns vs Milwaukee Bucks

(Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images)

The difference an O’Neal makes!  One night after Shaquille O’Neal sat on the bench in a suit, he suited up for the Suns and scored 29 points on 12-16 shooting from the field and 5-9 shooting from the free throw line in 35 minutes.  He also added 11 assists rebounds and four assists. [Read more...]

By the Numbers: Phoenix Suns vs Chicago Bulls

(Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images)

I guess we couldn’t expect the Suns to go 41-0 on the road.

 

When the Suns lose, I always try to look at the box score and try to figure out the one thing the team could have done better to keep themselves in the game.  Unfortunately, this time there were several things Phoenix could have improved upon Friday night:

[Read more...]

STAT Stuffer

(NBAE Photos/Getty Images)

(NBAE Photos/Getty Images)

What a thrill it was to call and experience the most recent masterpiece by Amar’e.  His 49 point, 11 rebound, 6 assist, 5 steal “instant classic” against the Pacers on Wednesday will be talked about for years to come.

The crescendo came when Stoudemire “YouTubed” Jeff Foster and then laughed off the weak attempt by Travis Diener to bait him into a confrontation. [Read more...]