Suns-Blazers: An Objective Assessment

(Christian Petersen/NBAE/Getty Images)

All the so-called “major” prognosticators — ESPN, 82games.com, Hoopshype, my Dad — have weighed in with their thoughts about how the remainder of this playoff series will play out, but none have provided you with the kind of highly-educated, statistically-driven, purely objective and unbiased analysis that you’re about the receive here, from me, the Phoenix Suns Superfan. Others have examined points in the paint, second chance scores, defensive rebounding and turnover-assist ration. I will look at the truly burning questions that will decide this series, such as:

1. WHICH TEAM HAS STEVE NASH, AMARE STOUDEMIRE AND JASON RICHARDSON?

I researched this one thoroughly, and after much contemplation, I think the edge here has to go to the Suns.

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Road Game

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So I fly to Providence, Rhode Island on business the night of the crucial Suns/Spurs game, and I arrive at my hotel just before tipoff. Not having eaten dinner, I race upstairs to my room to drop my bags,, then run back down to the hotel bar for a sandwich and to watch the game. The Yankees have just beaten the Red Sox in ten innings, so I figure I should have the television to myself. I settle in at the bar and wait or my turkey club between one guy named Sully, and another named O’Brien. The following is a transcript of our conversation, with a handy pronunciation guide thrown in for you non-New Englanders. [Read more...]

The Toughest Guy Named Robin

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

You’ll forgive me if this is a little bit all over the place.  I’m writing on four hours’ sleep, after a red-eye to Vegas during which Larry the Cable Guy’s less handsome older brother absolutely crushed my goobers when he slammed the seat in front of me down into a completely horizontal position.  Maybe it was in that delirium, as I rode in the cab to the hotel, that I had the thought that made me giggle:

Only the Phoenix Suns could have a tough guy named “Robin.” [Read more...]

Life In a Post-Nash World

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

I’m about to say something so outrageous, you may want to order Bill Cartwright to impale me on one of his elbows. So preposterous, you may dispatch the Oklahoma City Thunder to find some lightning to strike me with. So potentially upsetting, you may want to think of Charles Barkley in a tutu just to get your mind off what I’m about to say:

I have seen the future of the Phoenix Suns…and it is on defense.

No lightning? No sign of Coach Cartwright? Thank goodness. But still, I can sense most of you are staring at this blog right now the way Neanderthals stared at the dude who hit on the whole fire thing. “What’s up with that, and what does it mean?” I’ll explain. [Read more...]

Oh, Those '00s

(Chris Birck/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Chris Birck/NBAE/Getty Images)

With the dawn of an exciting new decade filled with possibilities, I thought it only natural to do what scores of journalists, bloggers, stat-heads and nerds have done before me: Look back.

For the Suns, the ‘OOs were a tenth of a century on the brink, ten years of coming oh-so-close, only for players and fans alike to wind up slapping their foreheads and moaning, “Ooooooooohhhh!” It started with the team running and gunning, and it ended the same way, but in the middle, there were ups and downs galore. [Read more...]

Does Anyone Want to Buy a Panic Button?

(Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)

Um, gee, guys, I appreciate the engagement gifts (Yeah, I popped the question last week) of the two horrible losses to the Knicks and the Cavaliers, but really, you didn’t have to.

No, really. You didn’t have to.

Suddenly, the chinks we suspected were in the armor all along during the surprising start now look like giant cracks in a dam, and from what I’m reading online, confidence seems to be leaking out in a giant rush, if not from the team itself, then from NBA-watchers. Anyone who was starting to believe in the Runnin’ Suns is now asking serious questions.

I’m not, at least not so much, because I had a feeling the hot launch to the season was a bit of a happy illusion. Yes, there were a lot of road games, but the schedule was largely soft, and wins over quality opponents like Boston and Houston made me wonder if the Suns were going to be better than I expected (I’ve predicted fifty wins). But I suspect bad losses to contenders like the Lakers and Cavaliers, along with horrible losses to barely-there teams like the Knicks and a CP3-less Hornets squad, reveal something closer to what these Suns are really about – a team that doesn’t yet have quite enough to really match up with the league’s elite, and a team that, if their outside shots aren’t falling, can lose to anyone. And the Knicks qualify as pretty much “anyone.” [Read more...]

Superfan vs. Megafan

(Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)

So, having lived in LA for nearly 15 years, it was inevitable I’d make some friends here, and it was inevitable some of them would be Laker fans. One of them is one of my best pals, Hoopler. We get along great…except when it comes to basketball. He is, quite simply, the most obnoxious Laker fan in the world. Everything every other team has, the Lakers have done it bigger or better. In fact, when he heard I’d gotten the tag “Superfan” on Suns.com, he instantly dubbed himself “Megafan,” even though he has no relationship to the Lakers and doesn’t write a blog. Actually, he doesn’t have a computer at all, as he spends all his spare time watching old DVDs of “Showtime” era games while wearing his Vlade Divac footie pajamas. [Read more...]

Perchance to Dream

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Thinking about the upcoming 2009-2010 NBA season, I got to wondering how many people, prior to the 1975-1976 season, thought the Suns had the remotest chance of being anything other than an afterthought in the league. Sports Illustrated didn’t. In a season preview that year, the magazine picked the Suns fifth in their five-team division, noting that the teams ranked above them all had centers among the finest in the league. The Suns, the editors reasoned in their barely-a-paragraph’s-worth-of-coverage, wouldn’t be able to defend bigger teams and would wither under their physical assault. After all, their only notable additions that offseason were a slender, undersized, rookie pivotman named Alvan Adams and a heretofore unheralded backup guard named Paul Westphal. [Read more...]

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Ah, when the Valley temperature cools to the low 200s, the Cardinals are driving everyone crazy with their inconsistency, and the Suns head back to training camp…Is there any better time of year?

I’ve named my fantasy basketball team this season “Team Microfracture,” in the hopes that putting that unsavory word out there will ward off injury and keep my team in the thick of it. It’s a risky “if” to put my faith in, but isn’t that all any NBA team can hope for, really? That a few of its major “ifs” come through for a given season?

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SUNS WORSHIP NEVER OUT OF FASHION

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I used to wonder why I never got much attention from the fairer sex when I was a teenager. Now I suspect it was my admiration of the Phoenix Suns that may have been the culprit.

No, that doesn’t mean I was so obsessed with the Suns that I couldn’t think, speak or interact with the rest of the world, like Patton Oswalt in the excellent new film, “Big Fan.” Rather, I thought the Suns were cool. So, in order to be cool myself, I thought I had to be more like the Suns. Now, obviously, I wasn’t tall. And I wasn’t athletically gifted. So I couldn’t emulate my heroes in those senses. But could I dress like them? You bet.

Was that a good idea? You bet it wasn’t. [Read more...]