Welcome to the Madhouse! Bright Side of the Sun is an amazing and diverse community and it deserves a place where the tyranny of topicality does not rule. And that's what The Madhouse is. It's Bright Side of the Sun's place to talk about whatever you want, whenever you want: favorite TV shows, news from around the league or OH MY GOD WE HAVE 4 LONG MONTHS WITH NO REAL GAMES. It's all fair game here.

We always hear about how one draft is better than another. Let's put that to the test, and have all the prospects from the 2013 and 2014 Drafts available for a single composite draft.

For two years now, analysts, scouts and draftniks have said that the 2013 NBA Draft was terrible and the 2014 Draft would be the best in many years. What if we merged the two drafts together? How would the top 10 from 2013 fare in this gauntlet of prospects?

If you recall, 2013 was marred with a Top 10 that had no consensus. A player projected as low as 10th within the weeks leading up to the draft was taken #1 overall. Another player projected in the late lottery was taken 4th. Yet the two consensus #1 and #2 picks dropped to #6 and #7 respectively once the draft actually happened.

What does that tell you? It tells me that there was a whole lot nothing to get excited about in the 2013 Draft. Unfortunately for the Suns, that happened to be the year they had their highest pick since the 80s.

I asked many of those draftniks and scouts to give me their perspective on comparing the 2013 and 2014 Drafts, and then asked where Suns draftees Alex Len and Archie Goodwin would fall if the two drafts were mashed together.

But first things first. Let's compare the two drafts. If the 2013 prospects all went into suspended animation for one year and came out this year along with the 2014 guys, would any of the Top 10 in the 2013 Draft make this year's top ten?

On 2013 vs. 2014

Jonathan Wasserman, NBADraft.net and BleacherReport:

Last year's draft was flat out bad. We knew that heading into June. Nerlens Noel would be a top 10 pick this year. That's probably it.

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com and HarwoodParoxysm.com

Only Anthony Bennett and Victor Oladipo would make a composite Top 10 of 2013 and 2014 prospects. (paraphrased)

Kris Habbas, NBADraftInsider.com and Bright Side contributor:

Not one prospect in the 2013 Class had the upside of an Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, or Dante Exum. Alex Len would be in competition with the next tier.

James Plowright, The Lottery Mafia:

The 2013 draft class looks to be one of the weakest in recent times. The fact that Alex Len received one All-NBA [Rookie] Second team vote despite averaging just two points and two rebounds while playing just eight minutes per game signified the struggle of the 2013 draft class. If we look forward to 2014, it looks to be a very different picture with a historically deep draft.

ESPN Draft Tiers

Whatever you think of the mothership, their piece each year on draft tiers is a good one.

This year, ESPN projects nine 2014 prospects with a better future than any 2013 prospect. Nine players in the 2014 Draft have the talent to make multiple All-Star games, while none of the 2013 prospects were rated as better than "regular starters".

This year, three players rank in the "franchise player' category (Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins), Since 2009 (four prior drafts), only three players ranked this high on potential (Blake Griffin, John Wall and Anthony Davis). Each one of them is a true franchise player today.

Six more prospects rank in the 'potential All-Star category': Julius Randle, Dante Exum, Aaron Gordon, Dario Saric, Marcus Smart and Noah Vonleh. By comparison, only five prospects in the last three drafts - total - were considered potential multi-time All-Stars (Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams).

Clearly, ESPN can get it wrong. While Barnes, Williams and Kidd-Gilchrist have failed to show any signs of being All-Stars out of those five, ESPN overlooked Andre Drummond and Damian Lillard. Still, over the three prior drafts only Lillard, Drummond, Beal and Irving look like All-Stars waiting to happen.

In the regular starters group that contained the top 6 prospects from 2013, this year's draft tier contains more than a dozen players.

A composite 2013-14 NBA Draft

Among the draft experts' opinions two things stand out:

  • There is little consensus on who from the 2013 Draft would make a composite Top 10 of 2013-14. Nerlens Noel, Anthony Bennett, Alex Len and Victor Oladipo all got votes.
  • Yet, none of the draftniks/scouts suggested more than 2 of the 2013 Draftees making a composite Top 10
My personal guess at a Composite 2013-14 NBA Draft would look something like this (expanded to a Top 20):
  1. Joel Embiid, C
  2. Jabari Parker, SF
  3. Andrew Wiggins, SG
  4. Dante Exum, PG
  5. Marcus Smart, PG
  6. Nerlens Noel, PF/C (2013)
  7. Noah Vonleh, PF
  8. Julius Randle, PF
  9. Victor Oladipo, SG/PG (2013)
  10. Aaron Gordon, SF/PF
  11. Dario Saric, PF
  12. Alex Len, C (2013)
  13. Ben McLemore, SG (2013)
  14. Otto Porter, SF (2013)
  15. Nick Stauskas, SG
  16. Gary Harris, SG
  17. Anthony Bennett, SF/PF (2013)
  18. Cody Zeller, PF (2013)
  19. Adreian Payne, PF
  20. Elfrid Payton, PG

Again, this is assuming all of last year's guys were frozen for a year. Nerlens Noel is 18 years old again. Alex Len is 19 years old again. And so on. This is also assuming my own personal ranking of 2013 draftees, not the rankings of other sites. Bennett went #1 and Zeller went #4, but I had both guys in the 8-12 range in terms of talent.

In hindsight, you might put a Michael Carter-Williams in this Top 20 and drop out Otto Porter, but that's only with the beauty of seeing their rookie year in the NBA. I just didn't like Porter as a prospect, period. You might also drop Noel and Alex Len lower due to his injury issues if you knew how their rookie year went.

But I've got Noel in the top 10 and Alex Len just outside of it, because size matters. When GMs start sifting through similarly talented players, the ones with true NBA size and/or unique skills rise to the top. Alex Len's draft profile puts him as no worse than the third best center prospect in the composite draft. He's 7'1", can move, can score, can rebound, can defend. His only issues are production and health.

Let's delve a little more into Alex Len.

On Alex Len

Matt Moore:

(comments extrapolated from DMs on twitter) Moore says Alex Len would drop to about 20th overall. Moore admitted he would drop Len that low at least partially on the ankle issues. Few players in this draft have any injury issues. so Len's issue might have had more of an impact this year.

Kris Habbas:

I could see Len being a Top 10 Pick in the 2014 Draft. Len would be in competition with the likes of Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart, and Aaron Gordon for the next 3-5 spots after the Top 5.

(note: when the question changed to a full composite draft, Kris dropped Len into the 10-15 range)

James Plowright:

In a draft where there are a plethora of wings, but a shortage of centers (just two in DX's top 25) would Len still go as high as five? Probably not, but he would most likely go higher than his talent and potential suggests he should. You always hear that size rises in the draft, seven footers with an advanced offensive game, soft touch and good agile/athletic ability is a rarity today's NBA. A team lingering in the late lottery, or just outside would find it hard to pass up on such an opportunity.

If I had to give a range, I would say Len would sit in the 11-18 range, if I had to pick a team in particular where he would fit I think the Nuggets #11, Hawks #15 or the Suns at #14 would all be good landing spots. However, if teams were aware of Len's lingering foot injuries that plagued him during his second year at Maryland and rookie season in the league, then it is possible his stock would slide down to the early-mid twenties.

Aran Smith, NBADraft.net:

I would put him at 10, my first tier would be Embiid, Parker and Wiggins. Second tier Exum, Smart, Randle and Vonleh. He would be within the next group consisting of LaVine, Hood, McDermott, Stauskas, Gordon, etc.

(note: Aran was initially only asked about Len, in particular, being in this Draft. Not including other 2013 Draftees)

Jonathan Wasserman:

I'd have Len in that mid-to-late first round. Len isn't a top-five talent. He's got lottery upside (based on his size, athleticism, skill set) but no real production anywhere to show for it. Between the improved depth of this year's class, Len's foot problems and his underdeveloped game, I could think of 12-15 2014 prospects off the top of my head who'd be safer yet equally rewarding options if they hit their potential.

Thoughts on Len range from just outside the Top 10 to as low as 20th. A far drop for a guy ranked by DraftExpress.com as the #1 prospect in 2013 just before the draft.

On Archie Goodwin

A couple of the scouts gave me feedback on where Archie Goodwin would go, considering the depth of the 2014 Draft and Archie's underwhelming freshman season at Kentucky.

Kris Habbas:

I could see Goodwin in the Top 40 range. Last years shooting guard class was underwhelming after the top two prospects of Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo. In whatever order Reggie Bullock, Jamaal Franklin, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Tim Hardaway Jr. were the next tier in the positional class, but only Hardaway Jr. made any impact last year. This year, Goodwin would be in the mix with the plethora of combo guard athletes or big athletic point guards like LaVine, Jordan Clarkson, Elfrid Payton, and Spencer Dinwiddie, and well behind shooting guards Harris, McLemore, Oladipo and Bullock.

James Plowright:

I think Archie would be pushed into the second round, he only just scraped into the first last year despite most scouts and GMs thinking he would be a second round selection. I would see him going around the same area as Jordan Adams, so the 30-40 range would seem about right. What works in Goodwin's favor is his age, a bad rebuilding team may take a swing on someone with his upside with one of their early second round picks. Personally, I like Goodwin more than LaVine as a prospect, but I understand that I am in the absolute minority in that opinion, I have watched LaVine a lot this year and have constantly found myself flabbergasted (bonus points for using that word?) at his low skill level and poor basketball IQ.

Summary

It looks like the 2013 Draft has lived up to its reputation as a dog. A 19-year old Alex Len would drop to somewhere between 10th and 20th overall, maybe even going 14th to the Suns who would only have Miles Plumlee and Channing Frye on the post with Frye a potential free agent. Archie Goodwin would still probably be drafted right around where he was drafted last year, maybe just a hair later.

Since Len is just 20 years old a year later, it looks like the Suns actually have 4 first round picks in this draft, all slated in the 10-27 range, and two second round picks including 19-year old Goodwin. After this draft, Len and Goodwin may STILL be the youngest guys on the team.

That's a lot of draft picks, which further explains why the Suns have no intention of keeping all four draft picks in this upcoming draft on June 26. One way or another, you can't have half your roster being under-22 and expect to win a lot of games. And that doesn't even consider the two additional first rounders next year.

Expect the Suns to flip at least two of those assets, if not three, by October. Like Houston experienced in 2012, the perfect trade may not materialize at the draft. But by opening night, expect no more than three of Len, Goodwin and three 2014 first round picks to be on the active roster, not with two more high picks coming just a year later.

Poll
Would Alex Len be a Top 10 pick in a composite 2013-14 Draft?

  332 votes | Results

Could the best player of this generation wind up in Phoenix?

While watching LeBron James dominate the beginning of game 5 of the NBA Finals, my friends and I hypothesized what we would do to see LeBron don the purple and orange next season. From spending time in jail to things that are not appropriate enough to post here, it got pretty far. We couldn't really tell if it was pathetic or not that this would be the best day of our lives, but that's the reality of sports fandom and one of the greatest players of all time in his prime coming to your favorite franchise that has yet to win a championship.

A small disclaimer first. This is clearly a hypothetical situation I am divulging on. The logical thinking for me is to see LeBron to Phoenix as a great fit and ranking it as the best one in my opinion (more on that later), but I'd be shocked if he even got near a meeting with the Suns. Besides, we all know that with the magic of McDonough that he would have LeBron as soon as he entered the room like an in his prime Don Draper.

Now we take a look at why the Phoenix Suns are the best option for LeBron James in 2014.

"The Man"

Being the man on a team is simple, as you are the clear leader of the team and are unquestionably the best player. Dwyane Wade quickly learned during the start of the Big 3 era that this point of his "leading man" career was now over, and it was going to be LeBron running the show. While I love Goran Dragic and thought his All-NBA placement was well deserved, there is a vacancy for "The Man" at the Suns in my opinion. They lack a true alpha and superstar player, and who better for the job than the best athlete in the world? With veteran leaders like Channing Frye and PJ Tucker, LeBron would fit right in and be able to lead. A team like the Bulls already has a messiah in Derrick Rose (start debating his injury I guess) which is why people believe LeBron passed in the first place for The Decision.

The Fit

Here is what will cause the most debate and where we really get into this. I believe the Suns are the best fit for LeBron if he wants to win a couple more rings to truly make him and MJ a debate. First of all, the backcourt is set. Dragic is in his prime right now at 28 years old and has proved that he is an All-Star combo guard. Ditto for Eric Bledsoe, who could have easily debated a spot on the All-Star team had he been healthy. Bledsoe is also just 24 years old somehow, and in terms of volume and efficiency was one of the top 5 drivers in the NBA last season. Him and LeBron attacking the rim consistently would be frightening. PJ Tucker is the best and I love that man, but him testing free agency this season would leave the spot wide open for LeBron to step in. While some teams will try to pad their resume over the Suns roster with a solidified NBA head coach, our wonderful Rollin J. Mason has already given you the rundown on the best new coach in the NBA Jeff Hornacek.

While LeBron is struggling with Chris Bosh and the ten years later Sonics combo of Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen to be his perimeter shooters, the Suns would thrive. We've all seen how absurd LeBron's vision is while slashing the lane, and you could surround him with shooters like Dragic (40.8%), Bledsoe (35.7%), Gerald Green (40%), Frye (37%), and Marcus Morris (38%) from three. To spin that the other way, you would have two combo guards in Dragic and Bledsoe consistently finding LeBron in the right spot and from three (38%). This would also help improve the worst team statistic for the Suns last year, assists (29th in the NBA).

Defensively, the Suns would have two athletic freaks in LeBron and Bledsoe able to lock down the two wing weapons for a team and the consistently improving rim protection of a true center in Miles Plumlee (only 25). In terms of another prime defender to help LeBron with a timeshare, the Suns could look to the draft for that (cue K.J. McDaniels lovers freaking out) and still have some young guys trying to get better there. It wouldn't be the perfect fit for LeBron as a fit for a defensive team, but we all saw how surprisingly well this defense played despite being a brand new roster and it would get significantly better with LeBron.

The Rings and The Future

LeBron wants to be known as the best ever, and while I will definitely leave that argument to someone like Bill Simmons, LeBron needs a couple more rings before it can be a debate between him and MJ. I believe the Suns are the best fit for that. As I stated with the roster, this is the best mix of a current roster in terms of their age and ability right now. Now I'm no expert, but I think Dragic would do whatever he could to re-up in 2015 and win with LeBron and company. This would give the Suns a true "big 3" in LeBron, Dragic, and Bledsoe, with some humongous potential developments in youth.

Miles Plumlee is a bargain right now whether or not you are Team Alex, and it gives the Suns a true center while Len continues to develop. By the time Plumlee earns his payday or possibly earlier than that, Len would be ready to be an even better center than Plumlee ever could be based on his potential out of the draft. Archie Goodwin would continue to work out his combo guard quirk (he's only 19) while the Suns have five first round picks for the next two years. Either use those picks this year to grab a future of contributors now and later, or trade a bundle of them to move up and grab one of the lovely Randle/Gordon/Vonleh pieces at power forward.

Whatever scenario goes through in the draft, LeBron is getting the most young talent he has EVER had around him, and who better to help those players develop than him? The best part of this is that the Suns have the right mix of good enough players WITHOUT those young players (48 wins last season remember?) to make a serious run at multiple championships with LeBron right now and even in his twilight years. Adding in the eventual contributions of Len, Goodwin, Rookie X, Rookie Y, and Rookie Z (2014 trade up, international pick at 27/50, Lakers pick), and it looks to be a dynasty (gasp!). This is what separates the Suns from teams that aren't ready right now like the Sixers, Cavs, Celtics Knicks, and Lakers (HAHAHAHAHA), and teams like Miami, Houston, and the Clippers who would only be able to give LeBron his run right NOW (Miami PTSD).

Lastly, LeBron would be a Phoenix Suns and Arizona legend for the rest of his life. He'd be the best player to ever play for the Suns and would be seen as the lord and savior of a franchise that has never won an NBA Finals and a state that has had more arena football and WNBA titles than major sports titles. I don't need to explain how much everyone loves it in Phoenix and always finds a home here after their career is over. LeBron wouldn't face any scrutiny because the situation would quite simply be too good to fail and he could end his note on a couple more rings with a fantastic fan base that deserves to see their purple and orange jerseys hold up an NBA championship.

All in all, like I said, I'd be shocked if LeBron decided to even consider the Suns. He's got options like Houston and Cleveland that make a lot of sense both in narrative, a capable enough roster, and the legacy. I think he is far too tunnel vision on the option that first comes to mind. If he takes a step back though and considers all the options, I'd probably black out and wake up to the Suns finally winning a title. We can all dream right?

Image Credit goes to Daniel Kraus (@DanielNBA77)

Boris Diaw changes the way the San Antonio Spurs play, but never before these NBA Finals had we seen such stretches of brilliance. At least, we hadn’t witnessed the peak of Diaw since he filled...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

While other teams are stealing headlines, the Suns possibly stole the next great system coach.

The deranged carnival ride that is the NBA coaching carousel has become so bizarre that one can hardly be sure what the proper qualifications even entail anymore. The Nets' hiring of Jason Kidd in 2013 was strange enough considering that Kidd's playing uniform wasn't even out of the dryer yet, but apparently it was only a precursor. Now is as good a time as any to appreciate the stability that the Suns found in Jeff Hornacek, at a bargain price nonetheless.

Coaching Calamity

Permit me to start with an obvious statement: Head coaching is a fickle business. 13 teams changed head coaches last summer, and currently another 7 are making changes this summer. Detroit and Cleveland made the list in both years. While the salary cap ensures that players on guaranteed contracts are bound to stick around (unless they are Michael Beasley), coaches salaries do not count against the salary cap, and thus their job security is at the mercy of the team's ebbs and flows.

If the team improves and takes the next step, the coach is a genius. If they plateau and stagnate, then obviously the team has "tuned the coach out", or he has taken them as far as he can. Choose whichever cliche you prefer.

When that happens, and it usually does at some point, it's time to cue the funhouse music and hire a new coach. No matter what the team is looking for, be it an "X's and O's" guy or a motivational guru, rest assured that he will definitely be better than that last guy. That guy totally sucked.

Another contributing factor to the turmoil in the coaching ranks is the evolving strategies of front office executives. The wave of analytics has washed a new breed of GM's to the shore, and turnover in the front office almost always results in a change in coaching personnel. It isn't difficult to comprehend; the guy in charge of shaping the roster need to be on the same page as the guy instructing the players.

When you throw a party, you hire a DJ that can relate to the guests you're inviting. If you invite a bunch of bikers over and the DJ is spinning salsa music, that's how your patio furniture ends up getting tossed into the pool. It's bad for the DJ, it's bad for you, and it's bad for the pool.

Even crazier than playing salsa music for bikers is the recent hiring practices teams are employing.

Experience Not Necessarily Necessary

Not all teams disclose the terms of the contracts given to their head coaches. Included in these nine teams are Atlanta (Budenholzer), Houston (McHale), Minnesota (Saunders), New Orleans (Williams), Orlando (Vaughn), Philadelphia (Brown), Portland (Stotts), Utah (Snyder), and Washington (Wittman).

In addition to the nine teams that do not disclose coaching salaries, there are also two teams that are currently without a head coach -- Cleveland and the Lakers. This leaves us with 19 current available head coaching salaries, detailed here. Of these 19 salaries, it seems that $2 million is the unofficial minimum salary for an NBA head coach. Six coaches make $2 million a year -- Dave Joerger (Memphis), Steve Clifford (Charlotte), Brian Shaw (Denver), Frank Vogel (Indiana), Larry Drew (Milwaukee), and the head coach of your Phoenix Suns, Jeff Hornacek.

Two of those coaches (Hornacek and Clifford) received first-place votes for Coach Of The Year, with Hornacek coming in second to Gregg Popovich.

Conversely, five head coaches will make at least $5 million in 2014: Popovich (Spurs, $6 million), Stan Van Gundy (Pistons, $7 million/year), Doc Rivers (Clippers, $7 million), Steve Kerr (Warriors, $5 million) and Derek Fisher (Knicks, $5 million).

Two of the five (Kerr and Fisher) have never coached before.

The Warriors hired Mark Jackson, a man with zero coaching experience, out of the broadcast booth in 2011. After bizarre clashes with management and insubordination among his assistants, Jackson was fired and replaced with ... a broadcaster with zero coaching experience.

Steve Kerr flirted heavily with Phil Jackson and the Knicks, essentially driving up his demand to the tune of a $25 million dollar contract, then used those Dolan dollars as leverage to coach closer to home with the Warriors. This is the same guy who, in 2010, walked away from his post as Suns' GM right before the inevitable downfall of the post-Amare years commenced.

If an educational manual were to be written about how to inflate and maintain your value as an NBA coach or executive, it should be written by Steve Kerr. This dude is a straight pimp.

As for the Knicks, they had a $25 million check already written out for Kerr, and being the Knicks, by God they were going to give it to somebody. They were already committed to paying Phil Jackson $12 million yearly to tell them who else to give money to, so naturally it was longtime Jackson subordinate Derek Fisher that won the handsome contract.

Fisher was the second point guard in as many years to make the leap straight from playing to coaching a New York team, following Kidd's ascension to head coach of the Nets. It remains to be seen how long Fisher will stay in New York before using his family as an excuse to coach a better roster.

The Knicks have now invested $17 million a year in Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher despite the possibility that the triangle offense might be outdated in today's NBA, wherein offensive schemes are now widely predicated on spreading out the floor as much as possible. Normally this would be pure insanity, but the Knicks have a decorated tradition of paying gargantuan sums of money for mediocre results.

So on that note, pop the champagne!!!

(even though water would make more sense)

The Shot Doctor

In stark contrast to the high-stakes insanity occurring in Oakland and New York, there is Hornacek and the Suns. Hornacek became a head coach the old-fashioned way -- by coaching. Before serving 2 1/2 years as an assistant to Tyrone Corbin in Utah he was tabbed by Jerry Sloan to serve as a "special assistant" during the 2007/08 season. His job was to teach players to shoot, specifically the uber-talented Andrei Kirilenko.

Kirilenko's 3-point shooting improved to .379 under Hornacek's tutelage, from an abysmal .213 the previous season.

In the same season, C.J. Miles improved from .219 to .390, Deron Williams improved from .322 to .395, Ronnie Price improved from .323 to .347, and the Jazz as a team improved from 29th in the NBA at .335 to 10th at .372 (partly attributed to the midseason acquisition of Kyle Korver). Hornacek then decided to put coaching on the back burner until his children were older. Utah's 3-point shooting immediately plummeted back to 26th in the league at .349 in 2008/09.

Fast-forward to the 2012/13 season, Hornacek's last as a Jazz assistant. Gordon Hayward shot a stellar .415 from three, only to plummet to a paltry .304 in 2013/14 following Hornacek's departure.

If that isn't enough evidence of Hornacek's influence, consider that four Suns players (Goran Dragic, P.J. Tucker, Gerald Green, Marcus Morris) reached career highs in 3-point shooting in 2013/14, while the Suns as a team improved from 28th in the league at .330 to 8th at .372.

Coincidences of this magnitude simply do not exist, despite the insistence of Markieff Morris (career-worst .315 3P%) and Ish Smith (galaxy-worst .043 3P%) to serve as exceptions to the rule.

The Future Is Unwritten, But It Looks Amazing

In a game that bears the primary objective of putting a ball into a basket, the fact that Hornacek's nearly mystical ability to improve a team's shooting ability didn't enable him to earn more than a league-low $2 million a season is baffling. Factor in his calming influence, media-friendly personality, his ability to instill confidence in his players (specifically Gerald Green) and the fact that no one in the NBA out-hustles his team, and the Suns simply got stupidly lucky that the rest of the NBA didn't recognize these qualities.

The San Antonio Spurs have re-invented themselves as an offensive juggernaut in the twilight of Tim Duncan's career, crediting much of this success to their own shot wizard, Chip Engelland. Aside from fixing the jumpshot of a young Tony Parker and thus turning the Frenchman into an infuriatingly elite player, guys like Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard have been turned into knockdown shooters under Engelland, giving San Antonio the luxury of acquiring a talented wing like Leonard and fixing his one weakness -- shooting -- just like one winds a wristwatch.

Could Hornacek also give the Suns this same luxury? His body of work lends no reason for doubt.

On top of his shooting wizardry, the Suns found an immediate sense of stability with Hornacek. Over the course of the 2013/14 season, the only starting lineup changes that occurred were ones that resulted from injury. Channing Frye started all 82 games, PJ Tucker started all 81 games (missing one due to suspension), Miles Plumlee started 79 of his 80 games, and the only bench player to start more than 3 games was Gerald Green, who filled in when Bledose or Dragic were injured (mostly Bledsoe).

As Markieff Morris and Green enjoyed career years and turned themselves into reliable scorers, most coaches would respond by inserting them into the starting lineup. Hornacek didn't flinch, and the Suns finished the year with the third highest-scoring bench in the NBA (39.0 PPG), which kept the offense in a constant state of attack. For Suns fans that grew frustrated with incessant lineup changes and an overall lack of roster continuity over the previous three seasons, this has been a wonderful development.

Hornacek likely won't be underpaid for long, and as Suns fans we can only hope that his influence and tenure lasts longer than previous acclaimed Suns coaches like Paul Westphal, Scott Skiles, and Mike D'Antoni -- guys that were geniuses for a year or two before the warts became too gnarly to ignore.

The good news is, Jeff Hornacek is apparently way too qualified for anyone to throw a $25 million contract his way.


Page 764 of 2078

764

Web Links

Sponsored Ads