Scott Cunningham

A conversation with myself about the Suns …

Question: How are the Suns doing?

Answer: Not bad. Began the week with a nice road win in Atlanta to hand the Hawks their first loss of the season.

Q: Yeah, but didn’t they lose a couple nights later in Memphis?

A: Can’t win them all.

Q: Do you EVER win?

A: Can we please keep this about the Suns?

Q: Hey, I’ll ask the questions here. What do you think about Hakim Warrick?

A: I love watching the guy play. To be honest, I never paid much attention to Warrick before he came to Phoenix. But he seems to have found the perfect landing spot — for both he and the Suns. Warrick is averaging 12.3 points and 5.1 rebounds, practically duplicating his career-best season in Memphis in 2006-07 (12.7 points and also 5.1 rebounds).

Q: What about Jason Richardson?

A: After all the off-season changes, I told anyone who would listen that it was important for Richardson to play well, especially early. He’s one of the returnees with real scoring potential, and so far, he’s doing everything the Suns have asked, probably more. And his behind-the-head layup at the buzzer against the Grizzlies last week was the NBA’s highlight of the early season.

Q: That’s all great, but what about the starting small forward? At 38-years old, should we start calling him Grant (Over The) Hill?

A: Go right ahead — but you would be wrong. Hill is averaging 12 points on 50-percent shooting. He went 8-for-10 the other night for 19 points (and 12 boards). He is also the Suns’ best defender. Bottom line is Hill does all of the little things that go a long way toward actually winning games, and is still capable of putting up strong numbers.

Q: Have you ever been fitted for a Suns cheerleader outfit?

A: Next question, please.

Q: OK, fine. What about Steve Nash? Some Internet reports say the Suns are trying to trade him. Is that true?

A: No, absolutely not. If the Suns trade Nash before he retires, I promise to move to Guam and write about handball for a living.

Q: Seriously? I’m calling the Suns and making a trade offer for Nash.

A: Are we finished yet?

Q: Not even close. Do you realize the Suns have a game against the Lakers on Sunday, only this time in L.A.?

A: Yes, I have a copy of the schedule. What about it?

Q: The Suns need to beat them, right?

A: Well, yes and no. You have to remember that the Suns are still figuring things out after adding Warrick, Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress, and losing Amar’e Stoudemire and Leandro Barbosa. The Lakers, on the other hand, have everyone back.

Q: What about the Miami Heat?

A: What about them?

Q: You do realize the Suns play in Miami on Wednesday, right?

A: I have a feeling I know where this is going, and I don’t like it.

Q: Oh, come on. Everyone is afraid of the Heat!

A: The Suns aren’t. And I can tell you that without ever asking them. After all, the Suns went to the Western Conference finals last season, and Nash, Hill and Richardson were three huge reasons why. And as far as I can tell, those three guys are still on the team. The Heat, while certainly powerful, are not unbeatable.

Q: But aren’t you excited to see what happens?

A: I’m excited every time the Suns play.

Q: Lame answer.

A: Anything else?

Q: You do realize if the playoffs started today, the Suns wouldn’t make it?

A: Yep. Good thing the season doesn’t end after seven games. It ends after EIGHTY TWO. In other words, there is a long way to go here. The Suns are about where I expected them to be, even better considering some of the changes. What’s important is they win some games while they learn about each other. Right now, they are doing that. As former Boston great Kevin McHale once said, “All that matters is you play well in May.” There is some truth to that, and Nash, Hill, Suns coach Alvin Gentry and others get it.

Q: I’m going to buy you a skirt and some orange pom poms for Christmas.

A: Whatever. Go ahead and keep doubting. The Suns and their fans have gotten used to it. But the bottom line is this team has just as much potential as last season. And not even you can deny watching the Suns get to where they are going this year will be a whole lot of fun.

Q: Final question: Any plans for tonight?

A: Yeah. To get as far away from you as possible.

Sam Amico is a reporter for and a regular contributor to Follow him on Twitter @SamAmicoNBA.

  • JAS

    I had a conversation with myself about our Suns after the last Memphis game. Needless to say the language would not be appropriate for this blog. Truthfully, I thought it would take alot longer to see even a glimmer of chemistry but there have been moments and it’s way early. Play Waarick and Childress. I know we gave Frye more than he’s worth but if we can toughen him up a little he will contribute. Hill needs to come off the bench and Djuric has to be given more time especially early in the season even if Nash has to sit. Goran is younger, faster and is able to play defense. Sorry, but Nash is a huge liability on defense. Without the frantic running game and Amare’s pick and roll he’s a dribbling turnover waiting to happen. Trading him is not out of the question. If were serious about contending a trade is required. Otherwise, Suns are usually entertaining but thats all we have this season.

  • Jey

    You forgot to ask yourself about the gaping hole at the 4.

  • Dee Bass

    Everyone is asking if Steve Nash will be traded. Well if he does, he should be sent to a team where he would have a chance to win. Also the Suns should get something in return. I propose trading him to the Lakers and getting Shannon Brown and Andrew Bynum in return. That way Phoenix addresses their rebounding issues, and they also have a backup or starting guard.

  • JAS

    Nash to LA, come on, even in my wildest dreams we couldn’t get Brown and Bynum for him. Lakers would belly laugh that proposal right out of the Stapel Center. No, the only thing a Nash trade could have in common with LA is if our Suns ever pull one of the Lakers so called miraculous gifts and get someone who can really impact in exchange for a once great player who no longer fits the style Phoenix is attempting. Until then, keep wishing in one hand and you no what in the other, see which fills up first.

  • JAS

    I know, just when whispers start about Nash going somewhere else via big trade, he comes up with an I’m young again game vs the Kings. And he’s more than capable “at times” to have huge games and therin lies the problem. Suns need him to have those games almost all the time, otherwise were just a “good” team and they struggle to make the playoffs. What I am excited about is the play of Warrick, especially on the pick and roll. Play Childress more!!!

  • JAS

    It took a franchise record 3′s along with a tremendous group effort to beat the world champs but our Suns pulled it off. Lets just be happy with the outcome and hope Lopez isn’t out to long. Gasol and Odem destroyed us inside and the rebounds were 2 to 1 LA. Turk can’t guard either one. It doesn’t work against the elite teams without a 3 barrage or someone having a huge game and neither can happen often enough. One way or another the power forward position has to be dealt with for Suns to be considered a serious threat.

  • JAS

    Tremendous win for the Suns over Denver. Taking one from LA was sweet with the 3′s and all but this one was pure heart and guts basketball. The game had everything that usually means a Suns loss, not this time. To much Warrick, who needs to start. Childress played tough and Turk is showing signs of coming around. All to much for the Nuggets to deal with. All this with no real inside presence but were ganging up on the rebounds, playing team ball and getting away with it. The rotation is starting to show chemistry, a tinker here or there, maybe a decent big man pickup and who knows.

  • http://conversationwiththeSuns Manuel Romero

    This is a response to the Suns Bulls game. How do you go from a 23 point lead to losing the game in triple overtime?

    Obviously, Nash was tired. That was plain to see. Warrick and Hill were great but like always, whatever is working is always taken away from the game. Hedo, after he got hurt, hurt the Suns. Gentry like always didn’t call time out at criticle times. This team has enough talent but Gentry can’t seem to find the right combination. From here it’s obvious Hedo should start from the bench w/warrick starting.
    Defense was there in the begining but faded away in the 2nd half. Everybody else plays defense, why can’t the Suns? Manny Romero

  • http://conversationwiththesuns manuel romero

    I think the Suns did great in LA but that only tells me that they can do better. When they take Hedo to the bench and start Warrick, maybe will see a better starting team. If Gentry would call time outs to stop the opposition momentum, that would help when the suns seem to be letting their defense down. I just saw the Suns Chicago game. What a dissapointment. How do you build up a 23 pt lead and lose in triple overtime? Nash was played for too many minutes. It was obvious he was tired.. Defense is still almost non existent. When they do play defense, everything else seems to work.

  • http://conversationwiththesuns manuel romero

    I think the Suns did great in LA but that only tells me that they can do better. When they take Hedo to the bench and start Warrick, maybe will see a better starting team.