NERD Alert: Suns Ranking Rising via Analytics

It’s not only the eye test that the Phoenix Suns are passing right now, after the team has won four of its last five and continued to rise through the Western Conference standings.

The Suns also improved their playoff chances over that stretch according to analytical surveys, as pointed out in its most recent NERD Rankings. Based off an analytical “platform that uses algorithmic modeling to better understand sports,” – and other such language that barely makes sense – the NERD Rankings place Phoenix as the 19th-best NBA team. [Read more...]

Is There a Spurs Curse to Reverse?

Hill said some of the characters may be the same, but this isn’t the same Suns-Spurs series of the past.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

One of the most interesting aspects of sports is that it provides a stage for beliefs to be tested. The second-round series between the Suns and Spurs sets the backdrop for one of the greatest age-old questions to be pondered: does the supernatural exist in sports? [Read more...]

10 Notable Notes From the End of the Season

Nash accomplished a feat no one has ever done in the NBA.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

For any Suns fans that need to be talked off the ledge after watching their club miss the playoffs for the first time since 2003-04, here are some notes that will ease your pain. Remember, the team went 12-5 to finish the season (unfortunately, Dallas went 11-6) and only missed the eighth seed in the Western Conference by two games. Playing without their leading scorer Amar’e Stoudemire for the last 29 games of the season and sixth man Leandro Barbosa for seven games during a crucial playoff push, the Suns missed being the sixth seed in the West by just four games. Although some cloudiness may have rolled into the Valley, here are 10 pieces of plenty of silver lining that foster optimism: [Read more...]

Hill Likens Dallas Game to World Cup Final

This is the guy I would want on my team for a World Cup Final. (Jeff Vinnick/NBAE/Getty Images)

This is the guy I would want on my team for a World Cup Final.
(Jeff Vinnick/NBAE/Getty Images)

After calling the Suns matchup against the Mavs in Phoenix on March 10 the “Super Bowl,” Grant Hill upped the ante by referring to this Sunday’s showdown against the Mavs as the “World Cup.” [Read more...]

My Return to Golden State

J-Rich and I are headed back to our former stomping grounds.
(Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images)

Tomorrow I am going back to Golden State for the first time since I signed with Phoenix. I’m excited because I had a lot of fun playing there, I’m originally from around that area and I’m going to have a lot of friends and family at the game. [Read more...]

Barnes Makes Picks for NFL Championship Games

You may want to listen up, I went 4-0 this past week.
(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

With the playoffs going on, everyone in our locker room has been talking football. J-Rich and Amar’e like to give me their predictions and Shaq wants to bet anybody on anything. He always bets the opposite team that I’m betting on, so I just take money from him. When I’m back at home, me and my friends will get together and watch the games together. But we really start getting into it once the playoffs start. [Read more...]