The Phoenix Suns released their official intro video for the 2012-13 season.


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The Phoenix Suns dropped their season opener at home to the Warriors. It wasn't pretty. Work in progress.




Both teams are entering the season with new optimism. The Phoenix Suns have basically started over, rebooting their hopes and dreams with a new starting point guard and small forward to replace you-know-who and you-know-who-else. In addition, there's a new starting power forward to replace the enlarged-hearted incumbent.

Beginning tonight, the Suns will trot out a healthy Opening Night lineup that doesn't boast Steve Nash and Grant Hill as two of the starters for the first time in six years.

Beginning tonight, the Suns will trot out an Opening Night starting point guard with boring hair for the first time in nine years.

For the first time in just as many years, the offense's production will be unpredictable.

Goran Dragic will run the point for the Suns, while Michael Beasley takes over the starting small forward position. At power forward, Luis Scola takes over for the injured Channing Frye. Only Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley return from last year's opening night lineup that lost to the eventual winner of the #1 over draft pick, New Orleans Hornets.

Oh yeah, remember that night? The Suns coulda won that game, but the Hornets scrapped and clawed and eventually pulled out the victory on the wings of a last-second miss by Jared Dudley. The game was painful to watch. Despite the Suns returning all their starters from a strong finish the prior season, they looked lethargic and unsure of their bearings. Sure, players were out of shape from the lockout, but it's not like the Hornets had any more time to prepare for the season than the Suns.

Let's hope that general malaise does not return this season.

Tonight, the Suns face the open-and-down Warriors, who defeated the Suns handily in Cali last week to the tune of a 15-point win. Were the Suns playing possum? Yes, of course they were! (say Suns fans).

Check out a Q n A I did with Nate at Golden State of Mind for more details on the Warriors.

Notes:

  • The Suns entire lineup and bench are healthy entering the season
  • The Warriors entire projected starting lineup will play tonight, with Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry practicing fully yesterday for the first time in a while.
  • Don't expect Bogut to start or play many minutes - he hasn't played competitive 5-on-5 basketball against another team in several months
  • Watch out for Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson to light it up - they are a very strong, long and young wing rotation
Warriors roster:

The season is upon us, folks!

Let's get to it!


Golden State Warriors 87, Phoenix Suns 85 Ladies and gentlemen, it’s finally here. After a seemingly interminable offseason highlighted by “Gangam Style” parody videos, the downfall of Lance...

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From all accounts, it seems that Johnson has been successfully acclimating to his new environment. By virtue of trading for Johnson it seems safe to assume that there was at least a scintilla of intrigue on behalf of the Suns. A glimmer of hope that he may shake off early career struggles and realize some of the potential that made him a high lottery pick. Likewise, it would adhere to logic that Johnson would welcome a fresh start in a new setting with this being a very important year for him to establish himself as a player in the league (and audition for his next contract).

Johnson has had his ups and downs this preseason. He actually played pretty well the first four games, reaching double figures in scoring in each game, before his role shrunk in the last three outings. His overall points, rebounds and efg% were actually above his career averages (per36) of 11.2, 4.2 and 47.0%. But it's the preseason and there's no way the Suns are making an important decision off of a minute sample size in meaningless games.

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Despite the love-fest filled with obligatory platitudes issued from both sides, declining Johnson's team option shows sound judgment. In this situation it's a numbers game. First, Johnson's option amount of $5.4 million is ludicrous. To this point he hasn't shown he can even make a positive contribution to a team. His numbers have been meager and unspectacular. The Suns appear to have at least four players on their roster who will provide more bang for the buck. Why be a wastrel and overpay for the unproven commodity of Johnson when a player like Jared Dudley comes cheaper? Second, the Suns have cap implications to consider and giving Johnson that guaranteed money severely hinders their flexibility.

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As the above graphic (courtesy of Dave King) reveals, the Suns are slated to have around $13 million in cap space next season. If the Suns had exercised Johnson's option it would have been closer to $7.5 million. The Suns are still working towards their goal of reaching the zenith of the NBA and competing for a championship and having enough cap room to sign a top flight player is a priority. Locking up money on an unproven Johnson doesn't facilitate that goal.

So where does that leave the Suns, Wes Johnson and their mutual affection? Here are some possible scenarios:

1. Johnson continues on his previous career trajectory. No thanks. Good luck Wes.

2. Johnson solidifies himself as a solid contributor off the bench. The Suns entertain bringing him back at a reduced rate.

3. Johnson wildly exceeds expectations (very remotely possible) and the Suns have a more difficult decision to make. With Johnson being an unrestricted free agent he wouldn't come as economically in this delusion scenario.

4. The Suns trade Johnson's expiring contract before the trade deadline.

With either 1, 2 or 3 the Suns will have Johnson's cap hold to deal with this summer. They may have to make their decision quickly, or ahead of time, in order to maintain maximum maneuverability next summer. So while they both love each other now, both sides (especially the Suns) will have important decisions to make between now and July 1, 2013.

The good news is that no matter what they decide I will still love peanut butter cups.


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Both teams are entering the season with new optimism. The Phoenix Suns have basically started over, rebooting their hopes and dreams with a new starting point guard and small forward to replace you-know-who and you-know-who-else. In addition, there's a new starting power forward to replace the enlarged-hearted incumbent.

Beginning tonight, the Suns will trot out a healthy Opening Night lineup that doesn't boast Steve Nash and Grant Hill as two of the starters for the first time in six years.

Beginning tonight, the Suns will trot out an Opening Night starting point guard with boring hair for the first time in nine years.

For the first time in just as many years, the offense's production will be unpredictable.

Goran Dragic will run the point for the Suns, while Michael Beasley takes over the starting small forward position. At power forward, Luis Scola takes over for the injured Channing Frye. Only Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley return from last year's opening night lineup that lost to the eventual winner of the #1 over draft pick, New Orleans Hornets.

Oh yeah, remember that night? The Suns coulda won that game, but the Hornets scrapped and clawed and eventually pulled out the victory on the wings of a last-second miss by Jared Dudley. The game was painful to watch. Despite the Suns returning all their starters from a strong finish the prior season, they looked lethargic and unsure of their bearings. Sure, players were out of shape from the lockout, but it's not like the Hornets had any more time to prepare for the season than the Suns.

Let's hope that general malaise does not return this season.

Tonight, the Suns face the open-and-down Warriors, who defeated the Suns handily in Cali last week to the tune of a 15-point win. Were the Suns playing possum? Yes, of course they were! (say Suns fans).

Check out a Q n A I did with Nate at Golden State of Mind for more details on the Warriors.

Notes:

  • The Suns entire lineup and bench are healthy entering the season
  • The Warriors entire projected starting lineup will play tonight, with Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry practicing fully yesterday for the first time in a while.
  • Don't expect Bogut to start or play many minutes - he hasn't played competitive 5-on-5 basketball against another team in several months
  • Watch out for Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson to light it up - they are a very strong, long and young wing rotation
Warriors roster:

The season is upon us, folks!

Let's get to it!

Poll
Will the Suns win tonight?

  149 votes | Results


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