It would be a colossal understatement to say the Phoenix Suns are struggling in a way they have not for decades. After tonight’s loss in Milwaukee, the team has dropped nine of 10 games and...

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The Phoenix Suns have made losing an art form over their last 10 games, and Tuesday night’s masterpiece in Milwaukee was no exception. As was the case in Friday night’s 87-80 defeat to...

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What, you were thinking that the Suns might have actually figured something out and "turned a corner" after they scored 33 points on 64 percent shooting in the first quarter? BA!

The ball movement was crisp at times but the Bucks defense adjusted to what the Suns were doing, took away some of the easy passing lanes, forced players out of their comfort zones and as is often the case, the Suns didn't have a player or two able to impose their will on the game.

The Bucks allowed the annoying Brandon Jennings to get hot and were never able to pour cold water on his flaming hands. He finished with 29 points. Larry Sanders had six blocks. His arms are SO LONG. (Video)

Goran Dragic led the Suns (someone had to) with 21 points. Phoenix shot 34 percent in the final three quarters as their offensive woes continue.

Has this team given up? It doesn't look like it but how many more of these losses can they take without starting to mail it in?

Side Note:

On behalf of the entire NBA and all of humankind, my apologies to those who had to suffer through the ancient stylings of the Bucks broadcast team on League Pass. They sound old enough to have been calling Jimmy Chitwood's games at Hickory High.

Even worse, they insufferably refused to pronounced Goran DRAGIC correctly. The guy's been in the league since 2008. There's a pronunciation guide in the media notes. If your JOB is to talk on TV during a basketball game, don't be a lazy ass -- learned to pronounce the players' names!

Suns head to Boston tonight and face the Celtics tomorrow. Unfortunately for all involved, I have game coverage for that mess too.

Head over to Brew Hoop and celebrate like a drunk deer and then come back and rosterbate some more.

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The Phoenix Suns started hot but ultimately the mighty deer would not be denied as the Milwaukee Bucks remembered who they were playing and put the clamps down. The Suns start their four-game road trip with a loss and fall to ~312 games under .500. The final score, 108-99.

Can we all just agree that the Bucks front office and coaching staff looked at the schedule, saw the Phoenix Suns were coming, and knew they HAD to make a change? Why else fire Scott Skiles in the middle of a .500 season?

Maybe our friends at Brew Hoop have some better ideas about what went down.

Next question: Would you be interested in Scott Skiles coming back to Phoenix if Robert Sarver parts company with Alvin Gentry?

Skiles is known as a hard ass coach who can get young teams to play solid defense and disciplined offense. He's also a guy who wears out his welcome after a couple of years but that might not be a horrible thing given the future the Suns are facing.

Another question: Will Ersan Ilyasova be available for Tuesday's game which tips at 6:00pm AZT / 8:00pm ET and will be broadcast on Fox Sports AZ and NBA League Pass?

Here's your answer, set your lineups accordingly:

Suns vs. Bucks Preview: Milwaukee begins the post-Skiles era - Brew Hoop
Ersan returns. Good news: the Bucks expect to be back at full strength on Tuesday, as Ersan Ilyasova should be available after missing Saturday night's game with a sprained ankle.

More questions:

What lineup will Alvin Gentry use in this game?

Is P.J. Tucker now cemented in as a starter which leaves the bench unit devoid of any defensive presence on the wing and leaves the offense in the "hands" of a Telfair, Brown and Beasley trio who probably sit around the dinner table refusing to pass each other the salt and fighting over the last slice of pizza?

Is Brandon Jennings bad or horrible?

Will Nick Saban run for Governor of Alabama against Charles Barkley?

Yawn.

Here's some other stuff being said about the Suns:

Grisly performance by Suns in familiar loss
Alvin Gentry's team-survival recipe has three key ingredients. Delivered in Gentry's descending line of progression -- if not order of importance -- these are items are (1) avoidance of fragmentation, (2) continued hard work and (3) belief in yourself.

and Goran is important...

Goran Dragic’s composure key to Phoenix Suns’ success
The Suns go as Goran Dragic goes, so Dragic can’t go the way of frustration.

but you already knew that...

Goran Dragic: Key to the Suns' Success - Bright Side Of The Sun
Goran Dragic is the best player on this year's Suns roster, and as such he is the driving force for the team: in both success and failure.

Ed Note: If you came to this preview looking for like "match ups" and "keys to the game" and "information about the Bucks" - sorry to disappoint. Please feel free to write your own FanPost with such details.

** Editorial Note (JP): Let's go get a win, all right?

PHX has 1,999 wins all-time & are just 1 win shy becoming the 4th fastest franchise in NBA history to reach 2K behind LAL, PHI & BOS.

— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) January 8, 2013

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According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Phoenix Suns are interested in acquiring Rudy Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies.

The 26-year old Rudy Gay was re-signed to a maximum extension a year ago, and has 2 more years left on his contract after this season. The commitment would be: $16.4 million, $17.8 million and $19.3 million through 2014-15.

Gay has a career average of 17.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. He is only a 31% 3-point shooter over the past two seasons and 34% for his career.

Note that the points and rebounds are while playing on a very good team, with competition for those stats from Zach Randolph.

The troubling stat is the 3-point shooting, for a team that really needs it.

Here are Gay's stats from basketball-reference.com:

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What would go back to Memphis is unknown, but the Suns can absorb only $6.3 million (cap space + $100,000) of the $16.4 owed to Gay this season.

So they must send out more than $10 million in salary back to Memphis in any deal.

According to Woj, the Grizzlies are particularly interested in Jared Dudley ($4.25 million this year) and future picks.

There's no framework of a possible deal in place, but the Grizzlies have expressed a strong desire that any package involving Gay include Suns forward Jared Dudley and future first-round draft picks, sources said.

In an effort to avoid paying luxury tax in the short term, as well as get off the $17.8 million and $19.3 million owed Gay in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, new Memphis management has aggressively shopped Gay. The Grizzlies have made proposals on Gay to several teams, front-office sources told Yahoo! Sports.

But where would that other $6 million come from? The assumption on Memphis trading Gay is that they want to reduce their future salary obligations, what with huge contracts to three other players on the books: Randolph, Gasol, Conley.

The Suns have (basically) expiring contracts in Wesley Johnson ($4.2 million), Shannon Brown ($3.5 million), Sebastian Telfair ($1.75 million) and a host of <1 million extras on the bench: Tucker, Garrett, Zeller. But sending out those expirings would seriously dent the cap space this summer.

Or it's possible that they could parlay a low future draft pick into Memphis eating Michael Beasley's contract (and then releasing him, and stretching the remaining $9 million guaranteed to him over 5 seasons).

What say you, Suns fans?

Is Rudy Gay that max contract you've been wanting for Christmas?

Update:

Rumor is quickly fizzling...

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Vernon is a Memphis guy, so I'm wondering what assets the Grizzlies think they "need" to get back for an over-paid SF?

And then there's this, for those who believe a certain local reporter has the ear of Suns ownership (though they didn't listen to him on Beasley)...

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Poll
Would you want Rudy Gay for max money in exchange for Jared Dudley?

  554 votes | Results

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