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Michael Beasley: F

Beasley was the first guy the Suns met with and signed this past summer. He was given a 3-year, $18 million deal to be the Suns new starter at small forward, replacing the departed veteran Grant Hill.

Now, 37 games into his Suns career, the Beasley experiment has been a total and abject failure. He's averaging 9.6 points on 10.1 field goal attempts. He's accomplished such a feat (more shots than points) by shooting 37.2 percent from the field. He's putting up career lows in almost every single category.

Beasley is playing the worst basketball of his career, and it's not even close. Beasley's O-Rating is a putrid 86 and he's at a -1.2 offensive win shares. And he was supposed to be one of the Suns' go-to scorers. Defensively, he hasn't been much better, with a 110 D-Rating and 0.3 defensive win shares. By any statistical measure you look at, Beasley has been one of the worst players in the league.

Beasley spent a couple games riding the bench before rejoining the rotation against Boston, and as soon as he stepped on the court Boston went on a run and took control of the game with Beasley's man Jeff Green going off for 10 points.

I really have no idea why Beasley has been this horrendous, but the fact is he has been and I see no reason to expect much improvement. It's time to pull the plug on the Beasley experiment already. If the Suns can't find a way to move him in a trade, then they need to bite the bullet and waive him at the end of the year using the stretch provision. This would allow them to spread the remaining money due to Beasley over the next five years for cap purposes, minimizing the damage done.


Goran Dragic: B

Goran Dragic was the Suns' other big free agent acquisition this summer. The Suns brought Dragic back to the Valley of the Sun to replace another departed veteran in Steve Nash, and thus far Dragic has done a solid, if unspectacular, job of running the point.

Dragic is putting up 14.5 points and 6.3 assists in 32.7 minutes per game. Those are above-average number for a point guard. However, Suns fans thought they were getting a little more in Dragic after seeing him put up 18 points and eight assists per game as a starter for Houston.

Dragic got off to a great start in November, but has struggled with inconsistency since then, and the Suns have struggled to win. However, while Dragic does need to step up and be more assertive, he has been placed in a very difficult situation (the Suns' roster is a mess, and their play on the court reflects that). I'm giving Dragic a bit of a pass right now.

Overall, Dragic was a good signing and is a solid, above-average starting point guard moving forward.

Shannon Brown: C-

The Suns brought Shannon Brown back on a cheap two-year contract after the shooting guard market dried up, and they've got pretty much what they expected out of him. He wasn't good last year, and he hasn't been good this year. Occasionally he gets hot and makes some shots, but his shot selection is almost always poor and he really doesn't do much to help the Suns win, especially considering his efforts on the defensive end.

Brown has been what the Suns should have expected him to be so far, although he's really been struggling over the last several games and we haven't seen any of those games where he's got it going (thus the minus).

Brown's second year is not fully guaranteed, so the Suns can move on without him next year if they so choose. I'm hoping they do. Jared Dudley and P.J. Tucker are a solid pair of wings. Now the Suns need to focus on upgrading at the other two wing spots (Beasley, Brown). Either draft or sign someone. Just don't bring Brown back for another year.

Jermaine O'Neal: B+

When the Suns brought in O'Neal, I thought he was done. He looked really old in Boston, and couldn't stay healthy. But we've seen a completely different O'Neal in Phoenix. Jared Dudley tweeted this summer that O'Neal looked five years younger, and he wasn't kidding.

However, at times O'Neal has played as if he really were five -- or maybe 10 -- years younger offensively, and it's led to some very poor shots. However, poor shot selection is not an uncommon trait on this Suns roster, and O'Neal has provided a solid interior defensive presence.

The fact that O'Neal has played in 28 games this year in itself is a small miracle, and more than good enough for a B grade. But this should be a one-year thing, for both parties. In fact, the Suns might be well-served to scope out the trade market and see what contender may be in need of another big.

P.J. Tucker: A

From Summer League, to a guaranteed contract, to a rotation spot and now a starting spot, P.J. Tucker's path is a testament to where hard work and a little defensive intensity can take you. Tucker was the the Suns best pick-up, value-wise, an he continues to impress.

Tucker is a hard-nosed player who doesn't back down from anyone. He's easily the Suns best perimeter defender, and probably one of their better rebounders as well. And now he's even begun to show some signs of an offensive game.

Tucker isn't a gamechanger by any means, but he is a solid find and should be a keeper moving forward.

The Phoenix Suns switched up the script a bit, yet the ending remained the same. As has been the case in nearly every game this season, the Suns played some quality stretches of basketball but enough...

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20130109_gav_aa6_319

It's like watching the same movie over and over and over. The plot has changed a bit since early in the season when the Suns struggled to start the game and out of the half. Now they are starting the first and third quarters well but getting torched when the bench unit comes in and simply can't close out in the end.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Are there any answers? Are there any more possible ways Alvin Gentry can tweak his rotations? Probably not. We might as well start giving some of those minutes to Kendall Marshall and Luke Zeller if for no other reason than to give us poor fools who watch this team something different to look at.

There are times, especially when the other team is lulled into laziness, when the Suns starters do a decent job running the offense. The ball can zip around a bit with Dudley and Scola providing nice interior passing that leads to some open shots.

Tucker, of course, works his tail off on both ends. But that's about all I got.

The second unit is a complete disaster.

Gentry gave Beasley some burn just because I guess he felt like he had to or why not. Beasley rewarded Gentry with statuesque defense and black hole offense that even all the neighborhood black holes were ashamed of. Did I forget to mention Shannon Brown? No.

The Suns did manage a 17-0 run to start the third but it felt like the Celtics were coasting more than the Suns were cruising. At some point around half way through the period they remembered they had to actually try a little bit and Boston quickly stemmed the tide and retook the lead before the Suns could separate.

The fourth quarter? Well, you've seen that before. Fill in the blanks. The only difference was Gentry's benching of his bench but the starters getting more minutes didn't change the outcome.

Next up, Brooklyn Nets on Friday. In Brookyln. What could go wrong?

Visit CelticsBlog to hear how horrible their team is playing and remind them what horrible really looks like.


Final - 1.9.2013 1 2 3 4 Total
Phoenix Suns 24 17 23 15 79
Boston Celtics 23 30 14 20 87

Complete Coverage >


Suns vs Bucks boxscore

Boston Celtics 87, Phoenix Suns 79 The first 36 games of the season are gone, and it’s already that point of the season. People are already beginning to count the Los Angeles Lakers out of the...

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Gyi0064326812

There is a slight upside here with the return of the NBA to a great sports city and the NBA dumps one of the worst ownership groups in the game.

Here are the main points from our friends at Sactown Royalty:

Woj: Kings Being Sold to Seattle for $500 Million - Sactown Royalty
As I write this, my hands are shaking. News that we have been dreading for a few years now appears to have arrived in the form of this report from the well-respected Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Rough.

The deal is reportedly worth $500m. It makes you wonder what Robert Sarver, who's investor group paid about $400m for the Suns, could get for this team in Phoenix. Fortunately, there's not even a hint of the Suns leaving town.

[UPDATE by Seth Pollack, 01/09/13 4:09 PM EST ]

You can now sign a petition to help try and keep the Kings in Sacramento. Details here.

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