More photos » Jonathan Hayward - AP
Relax Goran, You're the DRAGON! (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
When Linus Kleiza puts up 20 against you, you know you have trouble. Depending on how you view things right now as a Suns fan, you've either gone to bed and forgotten tonight's debacle, or you are like me, awake, and wondering if more trouble lies ahead.
On a night where the Suns probably would have lost to the Phoenix Mercury, the smartest players on the squad appeared to be both Grant Hill and Robin Lopez, who were both tossed from the game with two technicals each. The rest of the Suns appeared tired after playing last night, or completely out of sync, or both.
Never one to push the panic button too soon, I'll go out on a limb and say it was a little of everything. The Raptors are not a great team and the Suns are much better than a squad that loses by 51 points to a team like the Toronto Raptors. I will make a few observations before I leave the rest of tonight's putridness to the masses for comment.
* Editor's note: This writer fell asleep during the second quarter and woke up some time during the fourth, at which time he decided to forgoe the conlcusion of the contest in order to purchase alcohol, and in doing so locked himeslf out of his home and spent 30 minutes attempting to break in with the help of a screwdriver. All ended well with little to no property damage to said home.
- Dragon needs to chill; he's all over the place, attempting to do too much. Yes, he only had one turnover tonight, which was an improvement from last night, but 1-6 is not going to cut it.
- Hedo pulled down 8 boards, which is the good news. The bad news is he went 3-10 from the field, and is 3-15 in two games. I'm not down on our Turkish friend just yet; he's made some smart plays and will come around, I am certain. But for now, I'd say he is in an "adjustment" period.
- Gani Lawal pulled down 7 boards. That was the good news. The bad news is he missed 7 free throws, 5 of his 6 field goal attempts, and fouled out. Yes, he is a rookie. Yes, this was his first NBA game. Still, the Suns could use him, and if he's going to be part of the rotation, he's going to have to pull it together pretty dang quick.
- Earl Clark: 9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 turnovers. Sorry, I need more from a former first rounder now in his second season. Apologists, please speak up and convince me he's going to contribute this season, because I don't see it.
- Jared Dudley: I don't think the box score looks all the impressive, but he said he worked on creating his own shot over the summer and I saw glimpses of that tonight, which is encouraging.
- Josh Childress: I love him and my concern about him adapting to the NBA game after two years in Greece is gone. He's ready for prime time and my man-crush is on. Maybe he'll sign one of his 600 pairs of shoes and send them to me. I would certainly swoon with excitement.
- Robin Lopez: Our angry afro'd center will be OK. I am thrilled he is healthy. I like him angry, although getting tossed isn't a good thing. Reign it in, Robin ... please.
- Grant Hill and Steve Nash: no worries here.
- Jason Richardson: I haven't heard the shoulder injury was serious, so I'm again going to play the no worries card here.
- Channing Frye: a vital cog in the Suns wheels who hasn't played due to the birth of his child. With his addition, the second unit is obviously stronger, and kids like Gani can take their time and learn in practice, pick up a few minutes here and there instead of being depended upon immediately.
Remember, people, we all knew there would be an adjustment period, a time where the new would need to learn to mesh with the vets and vice versa. Well, you're seeing it, and it's the preseason. I trust no one is swigging rubbing alcohol or planning on picking up a Kobe Bryant jersey anytime soon. There's plenty of time to figure this out before the games count for real in the standings
Oh, and word around the campfire is Erick Dampier is or was in town. What do you all think about that?
In other news, this may happen
Next up, Indian Wells, in the annual pointless outdoor SoCal spectacle. Anyone going?