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...]

By the Numbers: Phoenix Suns vs Indiana Pacers

(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Indiana Pacers had the Phoenix Suns in their clutches for the first 2.5 quarters on Wednesday night.  Then the Suns decided that they were going to stop taking as many three-point shots as they did in the first half and also ratcheted up the defense.  That combination surprised the Pacers so much they couldn’t keep their lead and when the Suns finally went ahead, they didn’t give it up again.

But despite the big comeback the Suns had in the game, the main story on Wednesday night was Amar’e Stoudemire.  Because of the game he had, this “By the Numbers” is dedicated to STAT. [Read more...]

By the Numbers: Phoenix Suns vs New Jersey Nets

 

(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

For those people who may have wondered how the Phoenix Suns would react to their first East Coast road trip of the season, we now know the answer.  The Suns demolished the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night with a final score of 114-86.  

 

The team seemed to play a nearly perfect game last night.  They shot 63.2% from the field, 66.7% from three-point land, out-rebounded the Nets by 5 (grabbing 53.3% of the total rebounds), nearly doubling up New Jersey on assists and more than doubling them in blocks.  The starters averaged 26 minutes per player in the game after it was blown open late in the third quarter and early in the fourth.   [Read more...]

By the Numbers: Phoenix Suns vs San Antonio Spurs

(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

The NBA Championship is not won with just one win.

I knew what I wanted to talk about before the game even started this evening.  If the Suns had lost, my first sentence would have been “The sky is not falling with just one loss.”  Coach Porter, the Suns front office and the players have all said that this team is a work in progress.  The Spurs were missing Manu Ginobili in this game.  And now that Coach Porter’s new schemes are out “in the wild,” opponents will find ways to stop the team’s set plays. [Read more...]

Nash sprains ankle in Hawks game

Update:  Head Athletic Trainer Aaron Nelson told Suns.com on Wednesday evening that Steve Nash had “minimal swelling” in his right ankle.  He is expected to be held out of Friday’s game but will be day-to-day after that.

Only being able to listen to the play-by-play on the radio made my mind go a little wild after it first happened.  But luckily, Suns.com and Aaron Nelson were there to alieve all Suns fans’ fears of the worst.

Here’s hoping for a quick recovery! [Read more...]

Leandro Barbosa is back!

After missing all of training camp and the Phoenix Suns’ first three pre-season games, Leandro Barbosa is back from Brazil.  Barbosa was with the team on Media Day and then left the team to fly to Brazil so he could tend to his sick mother.

Many of the players didn’t realize LB would be back at practice this morning.  The flight from Brazil to Phoenix is 13 hours and he didn’t get in until 10:00am this morning.  He left the airport and came right to practice.  When someone asked him about the flight, he only said, “It’s a long flight.” [Read more...]

Gearing up for the season

Barry Gossage / NBAE Photos

Barry Gossage / NBAE Photos

The Suns had an all-employee meeting this morning in the Casino Arizona Pavilion at US Airways Center.  It’s something they usually do a few weeks before the season starts.  With employees spread out through the entire arena, it’s hard to fathom how many people actually work for the team.  But when we are all there together, you realize how many people it takes to keep an arena, 3 teams and many other events going on a daily basis.

Team President, Rick Welts, usually speaks to the employees and lets them know how the business is going, what the goals for the upcoming season are, etc.  That still happened and it was great to hear his vision of the next year.  After Welts spoke, we had several other people talk about the upcoming season including the All-Star Game that is coming to Phoenix in February 2009.  We had some discussion of what that would bring to Phoenix and to US Airways Center.  Then because of all of the changes that happened in the off-season, we also had some special guests. [Read more...]

Suns vs Suns: 2008 Edition

It’s 4:30pm in Tucson and I’m sitting at the very top of the McKale Center, listening to Steve Koek and Adam Beechen start the annual podcast of the Phoenix Suns scrimmage.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, this is my second time at the scrimmage and it’s really different this time.  At the first scrimmage, I had the privilege of driving Al McCoy to the arena.  I was surprised at how easy it was to get in when I was tagging along with Al.  No one questioned me at all.  I just followed Al and everything was ok.

This time was a little different.  With the scrimmage starting at 5:00, we had to leave for the arena mid-afternoon to get here on time and make sure we got everything set up.  Unfortunately, Suns.com’s Daniel Banks and I didn’t follow the example of our fearless leader, Jeramie McPeek, and we left a half hour later than he did.  That put us right in the middle of early Friday rush hour traffic in Tucson.  Not a good time.

After dropping Banks off at the arena to get started on setting everything up (and almost hitting Suns owner Robert Sarver with my car in my hurry to get to the parking garage – sorry, Mr. Sarver!), I found parking and was able to get inside.  I was nervous that it wouldn’t be so easy to get in this time without Al as my escort.  But the arena staff was very accommodating and helped me get in and find where I needed to be. [Read more...]

Practice makes perfect

In the last blog post I wrote, I talked about how my second training camp has been easier and more fun than the first. A lot of that has to do with repetition, I think. The more you do something, the easier it becomes.

Which brings me to something else I noticed today in practice. The Suns added several new players to their roster in the off-season. Add a new coach into the mix as well and you have the potential for a rough start to the season if you’re not careful.

At tonight’s practice, the team worked on several plays. But they didn’t just do it once. They did it over and over again. And each time, the players got better at it. Each play has several different possibilities for getting a shot and they had to go over each nuance of the play. [Read more...]

The need to be perfect

Training camp gets a lot easier when you’ve been here before. This season is my second with the Suns. Last year, I guess I could have been considered a rookie. I was so overwhelmed with everything, I didn’t really notice things. It’s all just a blur. I was trying to do everything perfectly and not screw up. I didn’t do anything unless I was specifically told and then only when I was specifically told how to do it. When I wrote a blog post, I sent it to all of the “veterans” of the Suns.com staff for review and I only posted it after I got approval from them all.

This year, I’m a lot more comfortable. I know a bit more about what my role is. I’ve learned how to enjoy my time while still working hard. I can get more things done in a shorter period of time because I have more experience at this level.

In this morning’s practice, I noticed the same thing happened with the rookies on the team. After doing warm-ups where the players went through several different stations, they had to run from baseline to baseline – running backwards, running with their knees way up, reaching up to the sky while running, etc. [Read more...]