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We got some great basketball coming tonight folks!

Settle into your barcoloungers, sofas, beds, beanie bags and futons as the NBA gets rockin and rollin all night long!

Both games are on ESPN - the first starting at 8PM Eastern Time

First up, we got an early evening tilt between the Heatles and the Bulls!



We got the hurting Bulls going at the favored Miami HEAT, who came out of their funk in game two to behead the Bulls.

But now the Bulls are at home and are ready to challenge the HEAT for the series lead. Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich are all out again tonight. But the angered Joakim Noah and his band of merry men will do the best they can to lay an early haymaker on the HEAT's momentum.



In the next game, the aging (and looking older than ever) San Antonio Spurs look to hold off the charging Golden State Warriors, who boast the best backcourt in the series. No longer are Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili the class of the West. Now the three headed monster of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Jarrett Jack are running roughshod over the old guys.

Let's see if that can hold up the rest of the series.

Let's go!

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How many athletes have got themselves into trouble by simply hanging out with "the wrong crowd?" Or even "squandered" their potential by letting others drag them down after they have made it to the top?

Ryan McDonough is not an athlete or a performer, but he has risen to the top and has tremendous potential. The company he keeps speaks volumes to that. He did not saunter into the press conference decked out in a Louis Vuitton suit with bling all over and the arrogance some might have. Instead he carried with him a small group that were quiet in nature as they watched Ryan achieve his dream, but spoke volumes about the person the Phoenix Suns just hired.

The McDonough family specializes in sports excellence. Will McDonough was a long time fixture at the Boston Globe working with the Patriots, Red Sox, and all the events in the city of Boston. He was a nationally known and respected writer.

His three sons all followed along the path of sports after many long nights talking sports in the living room and having deep thoughtful conversations.

Sports along with politics, religion, and a few other selected topics are easy to speak about with lackadaisical thought and pun filled rants, but the McDonough family analyzed things as they were happening and see things through different eyes than you and I. That is because of father Will.

His son Sean McDonough has been working on the TV side of things within sports with ABC and ESPN over the years. He is the man behind the camera and knows sports from that perspective.

Terry McDonough was a part of the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl winning team in 2000 before moving to Jacksonville and now, this year, joining his brother Ryan in Phoenix as a part of the Arizona Cardinals.

Both his brothers were present and the allure of Ryan's greatness (as well as golf) brought in another universally respected sports mind to the press conference; Jay Bilas. As most already know Bilas is the anchor of ESPN's college basketball coverage and one of the brightest most outspoken minds in the world of basketball.

That was Ryan McDonough's entourage. A football scout, a sports TV producer, and a college basketball aficionado. No bells, no whistles.

Ryan is a basketball mind. He did not come in with public adulation as the "big name" that the Suns could have went after to sell tickets while ultimately floundering. Instead they got the right guy for the job, a well respected basketball mind with the pedigree and inner circle of what most would expect from a successful basketball decision-maker.

As Ryan was asked about the importance of having his family there he understandably choked up. His father was in sports and was no longer with him to see him get to this point. But the atmosphere he provided opened up the doors for the McDonough Family to walk through and make a mark in the world of sports.

Dad was the writer, Sean is behind the looking glass, Terry is football, and Ryan is basketball. It pays to have deep, thought provoking conversations while sitting in the living room.

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Last season was tough and for all intents and purposes a historically bad season. There is that. This is a new season with new faces and the same goal; to win the WNBA Championship. Meeting with the new faces and the old faces give the feel of a team ready to get on the court and have some fun.

Winning seven games in any given season is never fun and the Mercury are ready to get back to having some fun on the court.

Here are a few videos to get your palette wet for the upcoming season that could end up being another historic season, but for all the right reasons. This team has a personality that borders on reality TV with the amount of fun the individuals have and it gets ramped up to 11 with all of them in the same room.

Corey Gaines

Diana Taurasi

Brittney Griner

Erin Thorn

PHOENIX – Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby labeled this the “Summer of Analytics” and by doing so provided a direction for the franchise. But where last summer’s...

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Ryan McDonough, by all accounts, had a smashing debut yesterday in his press conference and later radio interviews. He is a no-nonsense, serious, analytical guy who has a clear vision of his coaching and front office structure going forward. He knows what he wants.

And what he wants doesn't fit the skill sets of Grant Hill, Lindsey Hunter or Michael Beasley.

Grant Hill

"On my staff, I told Lon and Robert I don't want specialists," he said, regarding what he wants in the front office with him. "What I generally prefer is a few guys that are master evaluators who know all the players, who can compare a guy who just got bought out in Europe to a guy who is available in the D-league to an NBA free agent who's at home working out. I want my top guys who can do that, and tell me who the best players are."

Grant Hill has been only a player in the NBA since graduating college. He's not a scouting junkie. Ryan McDonough seems to value a small team of guys who know it all, and have seen it all. He wants guys whose lives are all about video and travel to watch players face to face. Does that sound like Grant Hill, in the here and now, to you? Me neither.

You could say the Suns need better communication, and who's better than Hill at that? Well, after listening to McDonough, who got a communications degree, whose father was a journalist and whose brother is a TV guy, we don't need a mouthpiece who isn't the decision maker any more.

Ryan McDonough and the new coach look to be the faces of this franchise.

Grant Hill could fill a Mark West role, or an Alvan Adams role. They've been with the organization in various front office roles for years. But would Grant Hill be best served in a such a supporting, background role? Probably not.

Lindsey Hunter

While Hunter is still up for consideration, he doesn't appear to have the complete profile that Ryan McDonough wants in a head coach.

"Whether that's adjusted plus/minus, emphasizing corner threes, the value of two-for-ones," McDonough said about a future coach. "Those are just a few of the things we're going to ask our head coaching candidates about during the coaching search and I'm positive that the next coach of the Suns will understand the value of all those things."

Anyone who listened to Lindsey Hunter last spring, which I did a LOT, knows that Lindsey and analytics are not lifelong buddies.

"We are looking for a guys who's a leader," McDonough said, citing character and principle. "A guy who can develop players.

This might be Hunter, but that's still a stretch.

"Someone who's a good communicator. Someone who can embrace the rich tradition and history with the Suns, communicate our vision to the fans, to the media and all the people in the organization."

Hunter communicated, but not that well. He wasn't comfortable behind a mic, or sitting in his office with the press around him. It seems the Suns want a much better communicator this time.

While Hunter potentially has the leadership qualities that McDonough wants, the hard-working qualities, the toughness, Hunter just doesn't have the appreciation for analytics and the communication skills to fit McDonough's perfect profile.

And back to Grant Hill for a moment, you can write him off the list too. Hill's a wonderful communicater but he's not a coach, and McDonough already has a long list of actual, proven coaches at his disposal.

Michael Beasley

Emphasizing corner threes. Smart offense. Taking advantage of two-for-ones. Cutting edge analytics that prove theories and help you identify value that's not all about points and rebounds. Drafting Rondo at #21. Drafting Bradley at #19. Drafting Sullinger in the 20s.

How will Michael Beasley stack up to that scrutiny? Not well, I wager.

For now, McDonough is being diplomatic. And possibly also not killing Beasley's potential trade value, if there is any.

"With Michael, he's a talented player, " McDonough said on KTAR yesterday. "I've watched him for a long time. I remember seeing him in 2004 in Adidas camp. He was a child prodigy.

"He still has a lot of ability, but he has some maturing to do. I've seen him dominate at the high school level, at the college level at Kansas State. He has some growing to do. The new head coach and I get will get to try to have him see the value of hard work and hopefully he learns from some of those mistakes."

Being diplomatic. But also saying they have to investigate the allegations against him. Meaning, they aren't poo-pooing these rumors. The Suns are allowing the process to play itself out without defending Beasley in the meantime. It is what it is, and what it will be.

Doesn't bode well for Beasley's future, in my opinion.

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