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So, you think it's the year of the Dragon?

Think again. There is one guy that has even more to prove.

Marcin Gortat had a pretty good year. He was one of 3 centers to average a double double, he pushed his career averages way up and he cemented himself as a Robin to Nashes Batman.

But now, during a completely new era for the suns he is the backbone of a team searching for new identity. He is the guy that needs to produce each and every day for this team to have a chance of even flirting with a playoff spot. And all that without Steve - the greatest PnR player of all time.

So what did the Hammer do? The only thing he ever knew. He worked his ass off. He carried a mediocre Poland team through Fiba Europe qualifying averaging 21/11/2 in 8 games of the tournament. He battled double and triple teams for a 62 FG% and finished the key game against Finland with a 4/4 final quarter and a 27/21 double double.

He is hungry. He knows Euro Quali was nothing compared to the NBA regular season. But he seems ready. He seems determined to prove he is a Top 5 all-around center. That ESPN NBA Rank (that advanced him 18 spots BTW year-to-year) still is underestimating him putting so many other Centers in front of him... Nene, Cousins (43% shooting??? Seriously?), Al Jefferson (no D whatsoever), Andrew Bogut (PER 14?!?!?!?!? 12 Games played?), Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert, Tyson Chandler... This seems harsh. Then we have the regulars, that are still better than Marcin - Marc Gasol, Bynum, Howard.

But is Gortat really the 13th best Center in the league? Can Thor allow it? This is the season with no alibi, no Nash, no lockout, no "This is my first season as a starter" BS. This is the Elite center vs. Limited hardworker time.

The time, Suns fans, is now. And it is, it will be, HAMMERTIME!!!!

Marcin_gortat_kadra092012newspix470_medium

via i.wp.pl

So, you think it's the year of the Dragon?

Think again. There is one guy that has even more to prove.

Marcin Gortat had a pretty good year. He was one of 3 centers to average a double double, he pushed his career averages way up and he cemented himself as a Robin to Nashes Batman.

But now, during a completely new era for the suns he is the backbone of a team searching for new identity. He is the guy that needs to produce each and every day for this team to have a chance of even flirting with a playoff spot. And all that without Steve - the greatest PnR player of all time.

So what did the Hammer do? The only thing he ever knew. He worked his ass off. He carried a mediocre Poland team through Fiba Europe qualifying averaging 21/11/2 in 8 games of the tournament. He battled double and triple teams for a 62 FG% and finished the key game against Finland with a 4/4 final quarter and a 27/21 double double.

He is hungry. He knows Euro Quali was nothing compared to the NBA regular season. But he seems ready. He seems determined to prove he is a Top 5 all-around center. That ESPN NBA Rank (that advanced him 18 spots BTW year-to-year) still is underestimating him putting so many other Centers in front of him... Nene, Cousins (43% shooting??? Seriously?), Al Jefferson (no D whatsoever), Andrew Bogut (PER 14?!?!?!?!? 12 Games played?), Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert, Tyson Chandler... This seems harsh. Then we have the regulars, that are still better than Marcin - Marc Gasol, Bynum, Howard.

But is Gortat really the 13th best Center in the league? Can Thor allow it? This is the season with no alibi, no Nash, no lockout, no "This is my first season as a starter" BS. This is the Elite center vs. Limited hardworker time.

The time, Suns fans, is now. And it is, it will be, HAMMERTIME!!!!


ESPN began unveiling the top 50 players in #NBARank today yet the final Phoenix Sun was announced yesterday. That in itself is one more telling indictment of the lack of top end talent on the...

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Rockets.com put together this retrospective on the rise of Goran Dragic from 2008 to 2012. I have to tell you that whoever edited this video did an awesome job. My blood was pumping the entire time.

As our old buddy Seth puts it: Killing it!



No longer a Sun, Steve Nash may still play a big part in the Suns advancing against his new team.


Last week, the first round of the SB Nation 3-on-3 Tournament came to a close and eight teams, including the trio from your Phoenix Suns, advanced. Now it's time for round two.

Check out the mothership for a brief recap, the updated bracket and a preview of round two. Also, remember to follow along with the tournament on the NBA 3on3 StoryStream.

The Suns were the only squad to pull off a true upset in the first round when the team knocked off the Denver Nuggets on the strength of their (pick-and) roll. However, the second round has proven to be a completely different beast as we've already had two big upsets on the first day.

Jump it to see who got knocked out and for a preview of the Suns' second round match-up.

The first match-up of the second round in the Eastern Conference was the 1-9 game between the Chicago Bulls and the Eastern Leftovers. The judges made the Bulls nearly a 4-to-1 favorite to win the series. Likewise in the West, the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs were judged to have the upper-hand against the Western Leftovers, although they were only 2-to-1 favorites to advance. However, both underdogs beat the odds and came out with victories.

Today we have two more great match-ups as the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks face off in the East, while the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves do battle in the West. Check the StoryStream for the results.

On Wednesday, it will be our turn as the Suns march forward with their sling and their stone to challenge the Goliath that is the Los Angeles Lakers 3-on-3 team.

The Suns are represented by Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat. The Lakers counter with Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. This doesn't seem fair. However, that's not going to discourage me from telling you the Suns can win this series.

Unlike in the first round series against the Nuggets who featured an all-wing lineup, this one is pretty straightforward and the match-ups are obvious. The Lakers have the edge in talent, but there are weaknesses the Suns can exploit.

We are all familiar with Steve Nash and what he does offensively. His shooting ability and a pick-and-roll partner like Dwight Howard should make him nearly unguardable in this format. However, we also are just as familiar with his defensive shortcomings, and in 3-on-3 play straight-up man-to-man defense is even more important than in 5-on-5 as it is more difficult to send help. Dragic is a little bigger, more athletic and has a more attacking mentality than Nash does, and this is a match-up that favors the Suns.

Dwight Howard is a monster. He's a handful in the post and even more dangerous rolling to the basket. Gortat has excellent mobility but is a tad slender as far as centers go, and he would likely struggle against the brute strength of Howard. However, this isn't necessarily a slam dunk for the Lakers. For one, in 2010-2011 Gortat fared pretty well against Howard (I'm using 2010-11 instead of last season because they only played 26 minutes against each other in 2011-12, compared to 64 minutes in 2010-11). According to NBA.com, Gortat held Howard to 15-34 shooting -- including 8-18 around the rim -- while shooting 7-11 himself. So maybe it's not such a huge mismatch after all. Also, according to the rules players cannot foul out. That means Gortat and company can hack Howard all day long and force him to prove he can hit his free throws, something he has yet to do in his career.

Finally, we have Kobe versus Jared Dudley. Kobe's game is made for 3-on-3. Less players to share the ball with, much more space to operate, Kobe's mid-range, off-the-dribble and post-game would be very difficult for Dudley to defend straight up. However, Kobe is very aware of this, and we all know he has a massive ego and hates the Suns with a burning passion. There's a very good chance he completely ignores his very talented teammates and tries to win the game himself. Especially when he sees Howard go to the line over and over again and miss free throw after free throw. As good as he is, I'll take Kobe going 1-on-3 against a Suns team working as a team. If need be, Dudley could always channel his inner Raja Bell.

Offensively, the Suns would run plenty of Dragic isolations and pick-and-rolls, involving Nash as much as possible. If Dragic torches Nash early, the Lakers may have to send help, in which case whoever they help off of will get some wide open looks.

My prediction: Suns pull off one of the biggest upsets in 3-on-3 history and knock off the Lakers in three games.

Poll
Do the Suns have any shot at pulling this off?

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It's the offseason, and things are incredibly boring in the NBA world.

As I read all about the Suns having informal workouts and pick up games, I got to thinking what it would be like if members had a BSOTS pickup game. Obviously we all live in different parts of the world and so the real thing would never be impossible.

It's the offseason, and things are incredibly boring in the NBA world.

As I read all about the Suns having informal workouts and pick up games, I got to thinking what it would be like if members had a BSOTS pickup game. Obviously we all live in different parts of the world and so the real thing would never be impossible.

I wonder how you BSOTS fare on the basketball court? What sort of basketball experience do you have? What position do you play? Have you ever hit the buzzer beating 3 pointer in a rec league final?

I hope this fan post can generate a bit of fun conversation, and maybe one day we will actually have our pick up game!

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I myself am only 16, and have been playing basketball for 3 years. I play for my high school here in Auckland, New Zealand. Last year we were the champions of our province (there are 12 provinces in New Zealand). I play power forward and center, though I am only 190cm (about 6'2-6'3). I am a good shooter from anywhere on the court, and I have a pretty good post game (however, my lack of size and the fact that I am rather skinny can limit me). My biggest strength is passing, particularly from the post. My biggest weakness is that I am smaller and weaker than most of the people I guard, and I don't have the foot speed to guard quicker guards and forwards (though I do guard the slower ones well).

That's me! I'd love to hear from the rest of my BSOTSers!


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