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...]

Suns Waive Collins

The Phoenix Suns waived forward Coleman Collins following Wednesday night’s preseason opener versus the Atlanta Hawks at US Airways Center.  The Suns’ roster now stands at 15.

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...]

A Work in Progress

We had our intra-squad scrimmage tonight. It was a little sloppy, but that’s to be expected with the first real scrimmage. It was good to get out there and try to work all the kinks out, and it was fun to get out there and play in front of a crowd. I think the fans had a good time and hopefully you enjoyed the game if you watched it online.

 

Speaking of having a good time, we had a team dinner last night which was cool. It was nice to sit down and just relax together after working hard all week. We initiated the rookies, too, making them do some embarrassing things.

[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...]

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...]

Welcome to Suns 101. Now take your seats…

School was in session Tuesday at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Admittedly, that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. It is a college, after all.

But the only classroom the Suns were concerned with was situated on the McKale Center hardwood, where the team officially tipped off training camp.

With their first test slated for their season opener in San Antonio on October 29, that gives Phoenix just under a month to gear up for the new NBA year.

That’s not to say the Suns need a ton of instruction (remember, they have had some level of success over the last few years), but they do need to be brought up to speed on the Terry Porter way. While a lot of preseason pundits have predicted a new focus on defense this upcoming season, consider this. After the team’s initial “1-2-3 Suns” chant to break practice Tuesday, the new Suns head coach prompted a verbal addendum, “1-2-3 Defense.” [Read more...]

Barnes' Blog Debut

Training camp is here and I can’t wait to get things started. There is a lot of anxiety and tension as we figure out what this team has to offer, but everyone is ready to implement the new system and see what we’ve got.

The first day of camp was a lot of pictures, a lot of talking to reporters and getting everyone’s opinion on how the season is going to go. I was asked a lot of questions about how excited I am to be here and how I think I’ll fit into the system. As I’ve told everyone, I think it will be pretty easy to go from Golden State to Phoenix. They were the two highest scoring teams last season, so hopefully it will be a smooth transition. [Read more...]