20121004_mjr_su5_013

Wesley Johnson was recently the #4 overall pick in the NBA draft. While that may have been a bit high, virtually everyone had him as a lottery pick. He was a great combination of rebounder and shooter in his one season at Syracuse under Jim Boeheim, who swore Johnson would be a great pro.

He never fit with the Timberwolves, who envisioned him as a long, athletic shooting guard thanks to his picture-perfect stroke. They saw a potentially elite defender and spot-up shooter in a lineup with playmaker Ricky Rubio and scorer Michael Beasley and rebounder-scorer extraordinaire Kevin Love at the forward spots.

In Phoenix, Johnson will spend most of this minutes at small forward, where he can play a little closer to the basket for rebounds and move and cut with the new Suns offensive system.

In a week of training camp, Johnson impressed coaches and players by making a lot of shots and helping teams of second- and third-stringers beat the starters on most nights. In the scrimmage, he pulled down seven rebounds to go along with 12 points.

"I think he's playing with more confidence," Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry told Stefan Swiat of suns.com. "And we have confidence in him. He's shooting the ball well."

Johnson is not a vocal leader, nor is he an aggressive scrapper. He won't wow you with foot speed.

But if he can defend at a high level, rebound a bit and make open shots, Wesley Johnson will be an effective backup small forward for the Suns.

"What they're telling me now is building up my confidence to take shots," Johnson said to Swiat. "I think this week I've come into my own and have gotten back to the old Wes.

"Everyone in the organization is making me feel like I'm at home. And I feel like that's translating to the court."

The Suns did not invest a lot of resources into Wesley Johnson. They took a one-year flier to see if he can succeed in a new system. If he plays well for the Suns, look for them to extend him next summer. If he doesn't, there's a lot of other guys on the roster who can play his minutes.

It's all up to Wes. And he looks like he's making the most of it.


20121007_jel_se9_053

Nash took the floor for the first time with the Lakers and delivered an assist to Kobe Bryant and made some no-name rookie (Robert Sacre is his name) look like a stud. Steve only played 14 minutes in his preseason debut, but of course, it prompted the expected flood of gushing from the national media (and local sycophants).

We want to be the local Steve Nash sycophants! We don't like Steve Nash getting attention for doing good things as a Laker! BOO FREAKIN' HOOO!!!

Steve Nash bonds quickly with Kobe Bryant in his Lakers debut - Yahoo! Sports
"It was awesome," Bryant said. Judging from the way Bryant smiled whenever Nash's name was mentioned, he's looking forward to a long, successful season playing next to the Lakers' new point guard. "It felt pretty pretty good," Nash said of playing with Bryant. "It's been less than one week. We got a long way to go. …You never know what to expect, but I felt like it wasn't bad."

I don't know what the right answer is here. I can't tell you to, "get over it and feel happy for Steve". I won't tell you to hate him either. It's Steve Nash, Captain Canada America.

So yeah, it's just going to be a long, long season because we all know how much attention the Lakers are going to get this year. Buckle up and get used to it.


20121004_mjr_su5_100

Crack investigative reporting by East Bay Ray shows that the Golden Nugget is giving us the opportunity at quite a windfall if the Suns win the West.

If you believe in how the oddsmakers predict the future, then you might believe that the Phoenix Suns have no better shot to make the Western Conference Finals than the Kings, Hornets or half a dozen others.

Best odds to win:

Longest odds:

Poll
What odds would you give the Suns to win the West?

  149 votes | Results


PHOENIX — Back in 2010 the Phoenix Suns embarked on a franchise-altering offseason without a general manager, instead seemingly making decisions on the fly once Amare Stoudemire fled for the...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
20121001_mjr_su5_032

It was good to see Goran Dragic back in a Suns' uniform (like he belongs). His less than perfect enunciation (complete with those Slovenian h's) was more than compensated for by his photogenic visage, which included a little bit of stubble above the upper lip. Goran said that until recently he hadn't been able to sport a 'stache, so now he was experimenting with it. What do you think girls, mustache or no mustache? The direction of the conversation then veered off of facial hair to expectations for the coming season.

"I don't care when other people say we're not going to make the playoffs," Goran said dismissing the pessimistic pundits. "Me personally, I have my own goals. We want to make the playoffs. I know it's going to be hard, but dreaming is not forbidden." I'm going to let this one slide due to Goran's less than impeccable mastery of the English language. Dreaming about the playoffs? Look how the mighty have fallen.

Goran echoed previous sentiment that as soon as he found out the Phoenix Suns wanted him back he was "all in". Right after the Suns called to express their interest, Dragic was buying a plane ticket to Phoenix (which I hope they reimbursed him for before the ink was dry on his new contract). He definitely appeared quite smitten when he arrived for his free agent visit to cheers from the paid staff adoring fans.

"Of course (I always wanted to come back)," stated Dragic. "My family lives here, my cousin lives here, I have a house here and I know the people in the Phoenix Suns' organization. It's really not hard to adapt on this team." Goran had other glowing remarks about living in Phoenix as opposed to Houston, mentioning that he preferred heat to humidity and monsoons to hurricanes.

Goran was brimming with brio and vim, the sparkle quite evident in his eye during an unfettered session with reporters. It appears that there isn't an iota of ill will stemming from Goran's demotion to the Texas farm team. Now that he has been called back up he is ready to play ball. Then the conversation took on a more tenebrous tone as the topic tilted to everyone's favorite new Laker.

"I'm not like Steve," said Dragic. Very true, Goran, you are not a perfidious traitor.

"Nobody can be like Steve," continued Dragic. Correct. Steve Nash's treachery has debased his character to unparalleled depths.

"He is one of a kind," cooed Dragic. Remember when that used to be a compliment?

"I just want to be me. Goran Dragic," Dragic finished. Fair enough. Just please don't ever go all Hollywood on us. It makes my stomach turn.

The words are Dragic's, but of course I'm adding my own commentary to pervert his intent report the truth. These opinions do not reflect the viewpoints of Goran Dragic. Obviously, because guess what the Dragon had to say next....

"(The last time I talked to Steve) was the last time we went out. (It was) last week," revealed Dragic. "We had a great time. We talked about my future and his future. We talked about the old days."

Ah, the good old days. Back when Steve Nash still had a soul. Those were halcyon times. That is when I was struck by an afflatus. Why is the Lakers' new point guard trying to corrupt Goran? Hasn't Nash already done quite enough for to the fans in Phoenix? What diablerie is at work here?

I know that players have lives independent of what takes place on the court. It is not my place to be the arbiter of which types of friendships are permissible. Players can develop and maintain relationships with teammates just as well as adversaries. Accepting that still doesn't leave me in a safe haven of neutrality for the events that we will be subject to this season.

I can almost see it now. Nash disporting himself jovially onto the court at USAC amidst a vociferous barrage of boos from the obstreperous crowd. Then, at the placid center of the maelstrom, Steve and Goran will share a gentle embrace. Kobe Bryant will be off to the side giving Alvin Gentry a playful pat on the ass. Not only will the Lakers kick our teeth in, but the Suns will be smiling while they do so.

Don't listen to him, Goran! Steve is conning you just like he conned all of us. I know this is a very serious accusation, but I'm calling shenanigans on this unholy tryst. Evil shenanigans. Stay away from our point guard, Steve! Haven't you already done enough....

Shenanigans_medium

What do you think? Is it appropriate for Dragic to be sleeping with the enemy? Do you care, or is it much ado about nothing? Maybe instead of my allegation of shenanigans sticking, it will end up being the place that Steve and Goran meet for drinks to celebrate the Lakers' latest conquest....

I will aver this much. After they hug it out at center court (I've resigned myself to the fact that this will happen), I want Dragic all over Nash like a Rottweiler on a ribeye. I hope he knocks him right on his ass. Hard. Then embarrasses and exposes him. That's my dream of the way it plays out, and just like Goran said, "dreaming is not forbidden."


Page 771 of 1528

771

Sponsored Ads