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.