Hakim Warrick plays his usual lockdown defense.

Here at Bright Side of the Sun we take the words TOTAL COVERAGE pretty dang seriously.

While our beloved Suns are off taking nice vacations, we are still slaving away, attempting to provide you all with first class Suns coverage.

So friends, without further adieu, we present you with the Phoenix Suns Season in Review, 2011-12.

Up for discussion today is Hakim Warrick.

Hakim Warrick was in a heated battle this season. Not a heated battle for playing time, a heated battle to win the inaugural Taylor Griffin Least Valuable Player Award. As part of this spellbinding analysis I will ask you to not only consider what grade you would give Warrick for the season, but also whether he was actually the least valuable player on the team.

He had some stiff competition. I think you all know who I’m talking about.

The report card I’m about to hand out won’t be pretty. I don’t necessarily subscribe to the "No Sun Left Behind" ideal. There appears to be one thing that Warrick excels at (dunking) and very little else that he does at an even average level. There were fugacious moments where Warrick did make contributions, but they were few and far between.

As a very clever person put it, Warrick is like a $1 scratcher lottery ticket. You’re not investing much, and you don’t expect much in return. Every once in a while you win $5 and are pleasantly surprised, but the next 9 times you scratch it off and get nothing (or at best your dollar back).

If you’re feeling lucky, scratch ahead and keep your fingers crossed.

Here are Warrick’s numbers as a Sun.

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2010-11 28 PHO NBA 80 6 17.7 2.9 5.6 .511 0.0 0.1 .091 2.7 3.7 .721 1.1 2.6 3.7 0.9 0.4 0.1 1.0 1.3 8.4
2011-12 29 PHO NBA 35 0 14.4 2.1 5.1 .411 0.0 0.3 .100 2.2 2.8 .768 0.9 1.7 2.6 0.9 0.2 0.1 1.0 1.0 6.4
Career NBA 498 94 20.4 3.4 7.0 .494 0.0 0.2 .196 2.6 3.6 .728 1.3 2.7 4.1 0.8 0.4 0.3 1.2 1.9 9.5
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/17/2012.

There is a pretty conspicuous decline here. His points, rebounds, and minutes per game were the lowest since his rookie season. Field goal percentage – career low (and a drop of 10%!). Advanced numbers reveal the same conclusion. This was Hakim Warrick’s worst year statistically since his rookie season. Considering that was his rookie season this may very well have been his worst year as a pro.

What I think is a telling stat is that Warrick’s career ORtg/DRtg are 109/110, but this year they were 100/109. Warrick still played the consistently poor defense that has plagued him his whole career, but this year failed to provide an offensive spark to offset this deficiency.

Now let’s look at something else that is rather condemning:

TOP INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS

PLAYER 1

TEAM

+

-

+/-

MIN

+/- /MIN

G

S. Nash

Suns

4,205

-4,028

177

1961:06

62

C. Frye

Suns

3,564

-3,397

167

1669:25

64

G. Hill

Suns

2,895

-2,786

109

1377:41

49

M. Gortat

Suns

4,433

-4,345

88

2114:00

66

J. Dudley

Suns

4,242

-4,155

87

2019:52

65

R. Price

Suns

986

-1,029

-43

517:04

36

R. Lopez

Suns

1,730

-1,791

-61

894:40

64

J. Childress

Suns

953

-1,015

-62

491:27

34

M. Morris

Suns

2,407

-2,480

-73

1226:59

63

S. Brown

Suns

2,819

-2,894

-75

1399:54

59

M. Redd

Suns

1,523

-1,644

-121

770:07

51

H. Warrick

Suns

936

-1,062

-126

503:01

35

S. Telfair

Suns

1,692

-1,839

-147

894:39

60

Table Courtesy of NBA.com

As depicted, Warrick was second to worst in +/-. Steve Nash (big surprise) was #1. However, by manipulating the numbers to militate the interpretation and using an adjusted +/- per minutes played, Warrick ranks dead last at -1 point per 3.99 minutes played. With Nash at +1 point per 11.08 minutes played, if Warrick played 12 minutes in a game it would basically take Nash 33 minutes to undo the damage he caused. Surprisingly (or not), Channing Frye ranks #1 on the team in +/- per minutes played at +1 point per 10 minutes played.

Warrick narrowly edged out Josh Childress to avoid having the least number of games played this season. In fact, the three Suns at the end of the bench appeared in 34 (Childress), 35 (Warrick), and 36 (Price – who actually started 8) respectively. All three of these players showed flickers of promise, but all three failed to earn regular playing time and found themselves completely out of the rotation for stretches of the season.

Warrick was thrust back into a larger role again at the end of the season after a devastating injury to Channing Frye left the Suns scrambling for frontcourt help. Warrick actually played more minutes in the last 3 games (66) than he had in the previous 21 (62). To his credit, Warrick appeared ready to play and there were even brief glimpses where it appeared he was helping the team, but those were ephemeral, and Warrick the defensive sieve rematerialized as he did throughout the season.

After playing in 80 of 82 games during the 2010-11 season, it seems that Warrick has fallen out of favor/played himself out of a position and that two years into his contract this experiment appears to be an utter failure. I find it highly improbable that Warrick will find himself in a consistent role where he’s helping the team and contributing next season.

The Suns should attempt to move Warrick, if possible, even if for nothing more than the sake of opening up a roster spot for somebody who might be able to contribute more next season.

I give Warrick a D- for his lack of performance.

What do you think Brightsiders? Who was the least productive Sun this year and what grade do you give Hakim Warrick? Place your vote in the poll and leave your grade in the comments below.

280937966_04ebd59e0a_m_medium

This will be presented to the the Taylor Griffin LVP award winner.

Poll
Place your vote for the inaugural Taylor Griffin Least Valuable Player Award. (Even the last Sun on the bench has an opportunity to be a winner)

  98 votes | Results


Price worked hard on defense and provided a positive locker room presence.

Here at Bright Side of the Sun we take the words TOTAL COVERAGE pretty dang seriously.

While our beloved Suns are off taking nice vacations, we are still slaving away, attempting to provide you all with first class Suns coverage.

So friends, without further adieu, we present you with the Phoenix Suns Season in Review, 2011-12.

Up for discussion today is Ronnie Price.

How does one evaluate a third team point guard who earned the minimum salary, scored the second fewest points on the team and was the team's worst player by a boatload of other measures?

Ronnie Price was the least productive member of the Phoenix Suns this season, but that was expected given the road he's taken to the NBA. Price was offered no scholarships coming out of high school in Friendswood, Texas before playing at Nicholls State University and then Utah Valley State College.

The undersized underdog went undrafted by the NBA when he finished his college career, yet latched on with the Sacramento Kings, and then the Utah Jazz. He landed on the Suns this past December to replace Zabian Dowdell.

Price just concluded his seventh season playing with the best players in the world in the NBA; he's come this far on hard work and smarts. And while he may not have contributed much to the Suns on the court, he was another example of a positive locker room presence on a team full of them. For that, he deserves our respect. As for his performance on the court this season, well....read on.

It doesn't require much stat crunching to see that Price was an ineffective player, as his FG and 3-point %s were even lower than his career averages, and his career averages left him as a player for the Suns to pick up before the season as an insurance policy at the league minimum salary.

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2005-06 22 SAC NBA 29 0 5.2 0.7 2.0 .362 0.2 0.9 .222 0.4 0.4 1.000 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.0 0.3 0.3 2.1
2006-07 23 SAC NBA 58 1 9.7 1.2 3.0 .390 0.4 1.1 .323 0.6 0.9 .673 0.3 1.0 1.2 0.8 0.5 0.1 0.6 1.1 3.3
2007-08 24 UTA NBA 61 3 9.6 1.4 3.3 .431 0.4 1.2 .347 0.4 0.6 .684 0.1 0.6 0.8 1.3 0.5 0.0 0.5 1.4 3.7
2008-09 25 UTA NBA 52 17 14.2 1.5 3.9 .379 0.4 1.2 .311 0.7 0.9 .756 0.2 1.1 1.3 2.1 0.8 0.1 1.2 1.4 4.0
2009-10 26 UTA NBA 60 4 13.4 1.6 4.0 .405 0.3 1.1 .286 0.7 1.0 .695 0.5 0.8 1.2 2.1 0.7 0.2 0.9 1.8 4.3
2010-11 27 UTA NBA 59 0 12.2 1.3 3.6 .352 0.3 1.2 .290 0.5 0.7 .744 0.4 0.7 1.0 0.9 0.7 0.1 0.9 1.8 3.3
2011-12 28 PHO NBA 36 8 14.4 1.4 3.6 .377 0.4 1.2 .295 0.6 0.7 .800 0.5 1.1 1.6 1.9 0.9 0.1 1.3 2.0 3.6
Career NBA 355 33 11.5 1.3 3.4 .389 0.3 1.1 .304 0.6 0.8 .729 0.3 0.8 1.1 1.4 0.6 0.1 0.8 1.5 3.6
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/17/2012.

Still, Price beat out Sebastian Telfair for the job as Steve Nash's primary backup to start the season and even worked his way into the starting lineup for eight games. Remember that? Yeah, it really happened. The Suns went 2-6 with Price as a starter, he did little to distinguish himself, and generally only played in garbage time after the all-star break as the emergence of Telfair relegated him to the end of the bench.

A selfish player might have begrudged Telfair his success. After all, it did cost Price the opportunity for playing time and Price is a fringe NBA roster type who needs every opportunity he can get. But Price, in addition to helping Telfair improve by battling him hard in practice, was also one of Bassy's biggest supporters.

"I'm a competitor and so is Bassy, so when you have two competitive guys going against each other at the same position, every day, night in and night out, you're gonna have some clashes," said Price. "But at the end of the day, we have so much respect for one another that I can push him. I can say things to Sebastian that maybe someone else can't say. I can get on Bassy as a player getting on a friend. He's like a brother to me. So I think we learned from each other. The way he finished off this year was special."

***Price final day audio (I guarantee you'll like him more after listening to this.)***

I'll give two final grades for Ronnie Price. If we look at bottom line production without regard to expectations, role and salary, Price gets an F. While a feisty defender, he has no discernible point guard skills. He's a poor shooter and playmaker, both his stats and the eyeball test showed he wasn't much use to the Suns.

If we do takes those other factors into consideration, as well as his positive locker room presence, Price earned a C. For an end of the bench player who rarely played, he contributed in whatever way he could, and there was no downside to having him around. Put another way, he scored more than Josh Childress this season, at about 1/6 of the cost!


Mar. 18, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Sebastian Telfair (31) handles the ball against the Houston Rockets guard Courtney Fortson (9) during the second half at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Rockets 99-86. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE.

Here at Bright Side of the Sun we take the words TOTAL COVERAGE pretty dang seriously.

While our beloved Suns are off taking nice vacations, we are still slaving away, attempting to provide you all with first class Suns coverage.

So friends, without further adieu, we present you with the Phoenix Suns Season in Review, 2011-12.

Up for discussion today is Sebastian Telfair.

Let's get this out of the way - I'm giving Sebastian Telfair an A for his final season grade.

Now before you all jump on me in the comments about how ridiculous and out-of-touch I am - let me remind you of my logic. My grading criteria are based on expectations and season performance, plain and simple. Once again Sebastian Telfair is a player on this year's Phoenix Suns team who played above and beyond his expectations during the most critical times of the season. I'm pretty sure when you do that in school you get an A.

I'm not comparing Telfair to Steve Nash or LeBron James - I'm grading Bassy for who Bassy is. Now understanding that - bring the beef in the comments... my body is ready.

My_body_is_ready_medium

Now if you want to see how big trophies, Jay-Z, old poetry and the energizer bunny all relate to Telfair, take the jump and enjoy the ride.

Describing Sebastian Telfair's personality this year brings to vivid imagination the lyrics of this famous poem. If you've never heard it (or at least heard of it) I strongly suggest staying in school.

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

"Invictus" - William Ernest Henley

But maybe more appropriately, so also do the lyrics of this timeless classic,

...

Ball so hard, this shit weird

We ain't even s'pose to be here,

Ball so hard, since we here

It's only right that we be fair

Psycho, I'm liable to go Michael

Take your pick, Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, Game 6

...

That shit cray

"Paris" - Jay-Z

Let that work the palate for a second.

EXPECTATIONS

What expectations did we have for Telfair when he arrived in Phoenix before the start of the season?

This was his sixth different team in just as many years.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think they were, try to beat out Zabian Dowdell for the back-up position. Re-read that. As the tides of life provide and retract, a knee injury to Dowdell gave Sebastian a chance - but then came Ronnie Price and yet more challenge was given to Telfair to even have an opportunity to perform here in Phoenix.

He was the 3rd string Point Guard. You tell me what the expectations are for a 3rd string point guard.

He was indeed in the clutches of circumstance - and it was his unconquerable soul that pushed Bassy to stay upbeat and evolve his game during the course of the season.

SLOW START

Like the majority of this Phoenix Suns team, Telfair struggled to open the season in form - something you expect from a 3rd string point guard on a new team, learning a new system, receiving inconsistent minutes, in a shortened lock-out season, oh and not to mention playing behind Steve Nash.

He jockeyed early in the season with Price as Alvin Gentry experimented with line-ups, sometimes he played 6 minutes - other nights 23 minutes, then back to 7 minutes and so on. Despite struggling to find offensive cohesion and offensive consistency on his new team in his opportunities, Telfair was absolutely consistent in one thing from the start. He played with fearless abandon on defense and never gave up.

It didn't matter if the team was being blown out and the final seconds of the game clock were being dribbled away by a smug opposing team - Bassy was still playing as if the game was on the line. When he was on the bench - it was visibly noticeable as a spectator that he was also consistently vocal and impassioned by the game. His heart was in the right place and Alvin Gentry and his coaching staff took note.

WHEN IT COUNTS

The back-up job was solidified for Telfair just before the All-star break and with the consistent minutes and now a known and familiar role Sebastian seized the opportunity and ran with it.

Give Mike Schwartz over at VotS the credit for this little tidbit I came across -

Through April 1, Bassy ranked dead last on the Suns by producing a -0.083 WP48. During the team's final 14 games Telfair shot all the way up to first on the entire team with a 0.212 WP48 that was percentage points ahead of Steve Nash himself!

Telfair took his opportunity and his game and elevated to another level. He nearly single-handedly took control of the weakness that was our second unit and made it one of our strengths with this defensive intensity and improved offensive play. He got under the opposition's skin and his energizer-bunny-like tenacity was contagious for his teammates.

I have a fun exercise for you - take the time to go up to the search bar here at Bright Side of the Sun and type in "Sebastian Telfair" or "Bassy" and just read through the plethora of recaps and posts written as a testament to the contributions he made to this team as they pushed to fight for a playoff spot at season's end.

Without Telfair - the Suns would have no way been in any type of position to compete for that 8th spot.

HUSTLE

I remember the game that Alvin put Telfair on Chris Paul in the final seconds of a tightly contested and important game against the Clippers - and Sebastian had proven through the course of the season that what Gentry did was the right move. I had no objection; in fact it made me smile because I believe it was the move that we all had been hoping would be made. Telfair's hustle and effort were unmatched by anyone on the team this year and that's why he was this year's Dan Majerle Hustle Award recipient.

Telfair_hustle_300x350_2_medium

via www.nba.com

Did anybody guess that at the beginning of the season? No. Telfair went above and beyond his expectations and elevated his team because of it this year, he was the master of his fate and I believe he's earned himself a spot on the 2012-12 Phoenix Suns roster. For 1.5 Mili and some change? I have zero issues with that.

I hope to see Bassy in a Suns uniform again next year.


PHOENIX — For three months, the Phoenix Suns received the same kind of abysmal backup point guard play they have become accustomed to throughout the Steve Nash era, save for a Dragon sighting...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
PHOENIX — For three months, the Phoenix Suns received the same kind of abysmal backup point guard play they have become accustomed to throughout the Steve Nash era, save for a Dragon sighting...

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

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