I had planned to write about the trends for the Phoenix Suns’ wins and losses during the first 23 games of the season after the game tonight. But the trade of Raja Bell, Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary for Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley on Wednesday afternoon changed not only the topic of my blog but also may have made the numbers from the first 25% of the season insignificant when looking for trends.
Like most Suns fans, I’ll be sorry to see Bell, Diaw and Singletary go. Who can forget the shot Bell made against the Clippers in the playoffs a few years ago? Or how Boris Diaw stepped up his game when Amare Stoudemire was out from knee surgery? I interviewed Singletary during the pre-season and found him to be a great guy although we didn’t get to see him play a lot during this short season so far.
But Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley are going to bring a lot to the team. Jason Richardson brings an explosiveness and excitement to the court that the Suns may have been missing for the first quarter of the season. He can create his own shot and will be one more person defenses need to worry about when they are coming up with a game plan to guard the Suns. Do teams stick with single coverage and allow Shaq/STAT/Richardson to score? Or will they double-team one of those players and leave Matt Barnes, Grant Hill, Leandro Barbosa or Steve Nash open to shoot a jump shot?
Suns.comhad a chance to interview both Richardson and Dudley this evening after the trade was announced. You can hear the excitement on coming to the Suns in their answers. No one is really sure how the addition of the two new players will change the Suns team in this 2008-09 season but one thing is for sure. The two players Phoenix acquired on Wednesday are excited to be in the Valley of the Sun.
And despite being short-handed with Shaq away from the team for the funeral of his great-grandmother and the three traded players not in uniform as they get ready to head to Charlotte, Phoenix tried their best to keep up with the Lakers but ended up faltering in the final minutes of the fourth-quarter to lose a hard-fought game, The defense for the Suns was very active and Phoenix kept their turnovers lower than what their season average has been. But in the end they just didn’t have an answer for Pau Gasol and couldn’t get rebounds in the last three minutes of the game.
Good luck to Bell, Diaw and Singletary as they move East. And welcome to the two new players who will arrive in Phoenix on Friday – just in time to play the Orlando Magic.