Siler Talks About Time in China

Siler said you’re not going to find much General Tso’s chicken in China.
(Not an actual photo)

Not all basketball players take traditional routes to get to the NBA. Some work their way through the D-League or Europe. [Read more...]

Suns' Team Effort Defeats Nuggets

(Christian Petersen)

Their fourth win in the last five games has moved the Suns two games north of .500, a modest accomplishment given they have grown accustomed over the years to residence considerably further north. However, given all the circumstances I think what we have here is one of the more impressive 6-4 runs in their history.

Okay, just TWO circumstances, but they bode well for the future.

Circumstance Number One— A top-loaded early schedule that saw the Suns open against four straight 50-game winners, and face 6 in their first eight games. And straight ahead are Miami, which only won 47 last year but had preseason aspirations of 70 this year, and Orlando, which fell one shy of 60 last year. Oh, and by the way, by the time they leave Florida the Suns will already have played four back-to-backs. [Read more...]

Suns Assistant Coach/Guitarist Seeks Band

Cartwright’s favorite genre is the blues, although he also enjoys rock.
(Not an actual photo. Although Coach can hear Jimi, he’s not actually Jimi)

Since we know that Yao Ming plays the drums (scroll to 58 seconds), at 7-1, Suns assistant coach Bill Cartwright just may be the tallest guitar player in the world. There may not be any statistical evidence to back that up, but that’s the beauty of a blog. [Read more...]

A Conversation With the Suns

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. [Read more...]

Miracle Win May Be Sign of Good Things to Come

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It may have been the greatest game ever played.

OK, maybe that’s a bit much. But for the modern-day Phoenix Suns, it sure had to rank up there with some of the greatest wins.

I’m talking about Friday’s 123-118 double-overtime victory over Memphis. I’m talking about Jason Richardson scoring 38 points, Steve Nash scoring 25, and Channing Frye not being able to make a shot, but grabbing 11 rebounds off the bench. And I’m talking about Richardson hitting a reverse layup off an inbounds pass with 0.4 seconds left to send the game into the first OT. [Read more...]

Maurice Lucas – Gentleman Athlete

Maurice Lucas was meaner than a junkyard dog with an impacted wisdom tooth. Maurice Lucas was as so soft hearted he wouldn’t hurt even the most annoying fly. No, there weren’t two Maurice Lucases.

Trust me, there was only one. And the Suns were fortunate to have him for three of his 12 NBA seasons.

During his career he was almost always referred to as an “enforcer”. In fact, The Enforcer! And you hardly read more than two or three paragraphs on him without coming across the word “fierce”. And with a menacing scowl and bruising game to match he was all of the above — on the court. [Read more...]

Remembering Luke

Lots of things come to mind when basketball fans remember Maurice Lucas, one of the truly underappreciated NBA greats, who passed away last weekend at 58 after a battle with cancer. The Phoenix Suns aren’t generally one of those things that come to mind. But Luke, who exemplified the “power” in “power forward,” played for the Suns for three seasons, and I’ll always remember him very fondly.

Luke was just past his prime when the Suns got him from the New York Knicks for another power forward, Truck Robinson, in 1982. Luke was not a prototypical Suns player, as I think of them. The prototypical Suns player, over the years of the team’s existence, has been a graceful, finesse-oriented player, precise and under control, creative and streamlined. I think of Connie Hawkins, Walter Davis, Alvan Adams, Paul Westphal, Larry Nance, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash. In some ways, the history of the Suns has been a long quest to find a bona-fide dominant power player to complement those prototypes, and when the Suns have found some good ones (Paul Silas, Charles Barkley, Amar’e Stoudemire), the team has come awfully close to championships. [Read more...]

An Encouraging Loss

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

Call me a cockeyed optimist (feel free to insert your own punch line here), or maybe an Alibi Ike, but offhand I don’t remember a more encouraging loss for the Suns, or at least a less discouraging one.

I know, I know. Any loss is a loss is a loss. And granted, when you take it out of context this one is no exception. However, when you put it the proper context (i.e. — mine), a much brighter picture emerges.

Translation: Considering they were playing their third game in four nights against a well-rested team many still consider the best in the NBA, and when you further consider that even by their own reckoning they are at least a month away from finishing the assembly of their new personnel package, the Suns actually hung surprisingly well with the Lakers.

(To digress for a moment, conspiracy buffs note darkly that when the teams meet the Lakers always seem to be well rested and the Suns always seem to be playing their third game in four nights, and the buffs do not seem to consider this a coincidence. But that’s another column.)

In the final statistical analysis the Suns actually wound up being hoisted on their own pet petard, the three-pointer, with the Lakers outscoring them 36-27 from arc city. But they didn’t have as big an edge on the boards as you would expect, and the Suns actually scored four more second chance points.

However, upon further review, there was ONE cloud in an otherwise mostly silver lining, namely and to wit that off this first look the reigning NBA champions actually seem to have even more firepower this year than last, as demonstrated by their ability to make the Suns pay for double teams down low by burying all those threes.

But that ill omen to the contrary notwithstanding, citizens of Planet Orange have to be greatly encouraged by the play of Robin Lopez and Goran Dragic. These two works in progress made significant improvement last year, and were expected to be even better this year. And so far they have been.

Lopez, as evidenced by his 14 rebounds and 17 points, seems to be fulfilling his promise to give the Suns help in an area they have need help for as long as even the oldest citizen of the Planet (i.e. — me) can remember.

As for Dragic, he always seems to give the Lakers fits. Who can forget how he drove them to distraction (although alas not to defeat) in Game Six of the Western Finals here last year, leading a rally with his dash and daring do that almost forced a Game Seven?

Last night he came off the bench to keep the Suns afloat with 10 second period points and finished with 15 in less than 19 minutes. But even more impressive than the numbers was how his bursts of energy made the Lakers almost seem like tired old men at times (the operative word there, of course, being “almost”.) And while it borders on the sacrilegious to even THINK about, let alone say it out loud, I can’t shake the notion the Suns might have had a better shot at an unexpected W this night if he had played a little more and Steve Nash had played a little less. (Hey, I said it was a sacrilege.)

On the other hand, Grant Hill offered yet more evidence there is a fountain of youth and that he has the map to it, scoring 21 points while chasing Kobe Bryant around and making him work for his 25. Not bad for an old gaffer who was deemed ancient two years ago and washed up four years ago.

The bottom line: Yes the Suns miss Amare, but not so much the ship be sinking. If fact, it’s actually more see-worthy than I expected it to be in the aftermath of his departure.

Thoughts on the Suns' Win Over the Jazz

(Melissa Majchrzak)

Random thoughts following the Suns’ 110-94 victory Thursday at Utah:

* While everyone seemed excited about the arrival of Hedo Turkoglu (and rightfully so), Phoenix may also prove to be the perfect landing spot for Hakim Warrick. The 6-foot-9 forward finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds against a Jazz team that is stacked at his position.

* Warrick finds ways to get open and has always finished well near the basket, no matter where he’s been. With someone like Steve Nash to deliver him passes, it’s highly likely Warrick will top his career-best scoring average of 12.7 points per game, accomplished during his second season with Memphis. [Read more...]

A Phoenix Suns Wedding

So I got married a few weeks ago, and I wanted to assure Suns fans the team was very much present, as can be seen in these photos (check out my shoes), and the audio clip Suns arena announcer

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

. [Read more...]