There's Good News and There's Bad News…

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

It’s good news/bad news time already.

I realize some of you are saying it’s awfully early to break out the old BN/GN bromide to cure a headache,  and those who aren’t saying that are grumbling, “What GOOD news?”  But in the current philosophical idiom in sports it is what it is. So… [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...]

Pre-season is Over; Now for the Real Test

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/ Getty Images)

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/ Getty Images)

So, the mercifully short pre-season preparation for the regular season is over, and the interminably long regular season preparation for the post-season will officially get underway in San Antonio this Wednesday.

And frankly, I can hardly wait. For the post-season, I mean. I say this because we won’t know for sure until then whether Year One of going back to thinking INSIDE the box after four years of exhilarating – albeit ultimately somewhat unfulfilling – thinking outside the box, will work or not. [Read more...]

Shaq Shines

The buzzword around the Suns these days is “Patience.”  It will be a process and a journey with a brand new system implemented by Terry Porter.  There are times when the team struggles with the new half-court sets and the “push your man baseline” defensive concepts.  But through repetition and commitment to The Porter Principles, you can see progress every day.  And the model student at class is one of the oldest:  Shaquille O’Neal. [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...]

First game gives both questions and answers

In the wake of the coaching merry-go-round that spun Coach Mike off to New York, both General Manager Steve Kerr and Coach Terry Porter vowed these Suns would be different.  And one of the few things we could get out of last night’s game was that that promise is being kept.

These Suns are indeed “different”. [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...]

Nash hopes to play beyond current contract

So I just returned from two days in Tucson and here are some early impressions of training camp:

  • Terry Porter has instantly placed his imprint on this team with a no-nonsense approach which will make this a tougher team mentally and physically.
  • Terry is drilling the team on defensive fundamentals and even putting the guys through defensive slide drills!  (You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Shaq do the same drills we all did back in high school!)
  • Matt Barnes was the offensive star of the scrimmage last night at St. Gregory’s High School. He has a very quick release and showed off his accuracy from faraway. [Read more...]