The National Basketball Association has announced it's "Noches éne-bé-a" program for the 2014 season and "Los Suns" look to feature prominently. For the 8th year, the NBA celebrates its fans of Latin American and Hispanic heritage with 6 distinctive in-game NBA jerseys.
The National Basketball Association has announced it's "Noches éne-bé-a" program for the 2014 season and "Los Suns" look to feature prominently. For the 8th year, the NBA celebrates its fans of Latin American and Hispanic heritage with 6 distinctive in-game NBA jerseys. Additionally, for the first time ALL 30 NBA teams will wear specially designed Noches éne-bé-a shooting shirts from adidas, the league's official on-court apparel provider, during the first two weeks of March.
The Phoenix Suns will wear their "Los Suns" jerseys in 1 nationally-televised game and two locally broadcast games. Remember when the Suns barely had 1 nationally televised game at the start of the season? Nosotros hemos venido a long way, baby! (Don't hate on my conjugation, please). Phoenix will wear the jersey in the following games:
Thursday, March 6 - @ Oklahoma City Thunder on FSAZ
Monday, March 10 - @ Los Angeles Clippers on NBA TV
Wednesday, March 19 - vs. Orlando Magic on FSAZ
The Latin nights jerseys are one of my favorite NBA alternates for all the teams that participate. I'm a bit baffled by the choice to have the Suns sport the "Los" designation at an away game in Oklahoma City instead of another home game, but I suppose all 12 Spanish speakers in the state of Oklahoma need some amor también.
According to the league, Hispanic fans comprise 18% of the NBA's total fanbase. In addition to the special unis, los partidos de Noches ené-bé-a will feature special telecasts and in-arena festivities. If you'd like to see what the NBA looks like in Spanish, check out their official Spanish language website, enebea.com.
Los Bright Siders, let's have some fun with this. Got any good Spanish language nicknames we could implement during Latin Nights? I already nabbed "El dragón" for Goran Dragi? in the caption above, but how about "Hombre de Demolición" for P.J. Tucker or "Cirulea Gigante" (Giant Plum) for Miles Plumlee? Someone's got to be able to do better than that, verdad? Show your stuff in the comments!
Let's just have a little fun on a Thursday between games to distract us from the recent losing and injuries and general blah feeling among Suns fans this week.
Jimmer Fredette was highly coveted by many Suns fans when he was entering the NBA in the 20111 Draft. He ended up going to Sacramento (after some interesting trades) and now will be bought out by the Kings and become a restricted free agent looking for a home.
Needless to say, his pro career has not gone nearly as well as his time at BYU. It's not hard to consider the 10th-overall pick in his draft class a bust.
BUT, just for sake of argument, what if he was stymied playing for a dysfunctional Kings team? What if he came to Phoenix and like Gerald Green before him (and Channing Frye) (and P.J. Tucker) he rose from the ashes to fulfill his potential?
It could happen.
Look, the Suns have plenty of backcourt players already. Dragic isn't supposed to be out long and according to Coach Jeff (via Paul Coro) should be ready for Friday's game. Eric Bledsoe is getting closer and closer and the Suns already signed Barbosa for the rest of the season and most of us want to see more Archie Goodwin and not less.
But let me just throw this out there: Jimmer is shooting 49% from three this season and scoring 18 points per 36 minutes. His PER is a respectable 16.5.
It's not farfetched to think that he can contribute in the right situation and Phoenix has been the right situation for a lot of other guys. So...maybe?
Vote below. Comments encouraged as well.
And for the record: I'm voting, "no" because I want more Archie. ALL THE ARCHIE.
When Goran was ruled out before the game it was safe to assume the Suns had their work cut out for them. Instead they took the night off. The Jazz made short work of a team without their leader that looked like an Ish out of water.
The game didn't start as a bruising battle between defensive heavyweights. The Jazz were getting the shots they wanted early and by the first called timeout at 5:18 Utah led 18-13 by going 8-13 from the field and committing no turnovers. The first foul of the game wasn't even called until the back side of that timeout, though, which meant that the play was very fluid... especially for any game involving the Utah Jazz.
Ish Smith looked comfortable at the helm, with his new plenipotentiary power over the point guard position, and recorded four assists in the period. Despite Utah leading for the entirety of the first quarter, it was the Suns who were providing all the pyrotechnics. Gerald Green had a ferocious dunk on a breakaway after a steal coming out of Utah's first timeout and then followed that up with a slam dunk contest style reverse jam a few minutes later. Not to be outdone, Archie Goodwin joined the fun with a colossal driving one handed slam right over the lumbering Enes Kanter.
First Quarter: Jazz 28, Suns 25
The Suns took their first lead (31-30) early in the second quarter, but the Jazz responded by rattling off a 10-0 spurt. Channing Frye broke the slump for Phoenix with a three pointer and then Ish scored high of the glass with a teardrop to cut the lead back to four. At seven minutes into the quarter Smith's bucket was Phoenix's first score at the rim in the period, a stark contrast from the highlight reel performance in the first quarter.
The Suns kept within striking distance, but couldn't close the quarter as they let Utah outscore them 11-3 over the last three minutes. The pace was more plodding this quarter and the Suns started to look a little sloppy and disjointed. The Jazz, on the other hand, were actually running opportunistically and led the Suns 12-4 in fast break points. This despite Phoenix averaging a league best 19 per game to Utah's 12.4.
Richard Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Trey Burke were all in double figures by the intermission and were a combined 13-16 from the field. While Goran Dragic's absence on the offensive end was evident the Suns were also being outclassed on the defensive end. Gerald Green led the Suns with 13 points at the half, as he appeared to be asserting himself as the Suns primary offensive weapon.
Halftime: Jazz 53, Suns 44
P.J. Tucker fouled Hayward on an attempt at the rim at the 8:11 mark. This isn't necessarily notable except for the fact that I couldn't really remember seeing him do anything else in the game. Ghosting. That may have also been a good way of describing Phoenix's overall energy through the first half of the third quarter. Evidently coach Hornacek felt the same listless vibe because he subbed Dionte Christmas into the game. No offense to Dionte, but that's kind of a message substitution.
If nothing else it may have had an effect in some capacity, because Markieff Morris was given a technical foul moments later. It was the most spirited display from the Suns since the first period. But this wasn't like the entertaining brand of basketball to start the game, this was pretty hard to watch... unless perhaps you're a Jazz fan. The methodical pace favored the Jazz and they stretched their lead to 14 (69-55) while the Suns offense festered.
The Suns finally uncorked their offense at the end of the quarter, and we even got to see a Christmas three, but they were still giving the Jazz whatever looks they wanted and Utah was shooting 54.5% from the field through three quarters.
Third Quarter: Jazz 78, Suns 64
Early in the fourth quarter the Jazz lead swelled to 18. Goodwin was still out there doing work, but he may as well have been out there by himself. In absolutely (hilariously) fitting fashion, the final bullets were put in the back of Phoenix's head by none other than ex-Sun Diante Garrett. Garrett scored 12 points in the first 4:15 of the fourth quarter to teleport the game to the land of garbage time. I'm pretty confident in my guess that he never did that in a fourth quarter when he played here.
The bullet thing is actually somewhat fitting because I couldn't decide whether the fourth quarter of this game more closely resembled an execution or a funeral. Haven't been missing these types of games this season...
Final Score: Jazz 109, Suns 86
The Jazz really had a balanced attack, but I'll give it to Gordon Hayward since he finished just one assist shy of a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Archie Goodwin continued to ooze potential. He can definitely get around the court and appears to have the same nose for the rim as teammates Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. How
sad funny is it that the Suns best player on the court tonight was a combo guard when both of their elite starting combo guards are sidelined? Besides the general intrigue over the development of the precocious Goodwin the Suns may also be faced with a serendipitous glut of talent at the guard spots if they can ever keep them healthy. At least tonight, Archie looked like he deserved to be getting some burn. Sure, he's young and there's no need to rush him, but you're never too young to get playing time if you've earned it.
Goodwin finished the game with 16 points (on 6-10 shooting), six rebounds, two steals and one savage dunk over Enes Kanter.
Green's two dunks in the first quarter were pretty epic, too.
The Suns let Diante Garrett humiliate them (at least it looked pretty humiliating) with his dazzling display at the beginning of the fourth quarter. His career high before tonight's game (I had to look it up after I mentioned it earlier) was 13 (now it's 15...). His high as a Sun was nine. He scored 12 points in the first 4:15 of the fourth quarter as the Jazz lead ballooned from 14 to 22.
In my preview for the game I pointed out three areas to watch for this game (not that you'd have to be possessed of even marginal intelligence to suggest these):
Pick up the pace - The Jazz are 27th in the league in pace. That's just above the Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies, teams the Suns are a combined 0-4 against this season. Though Phoenix has won two of three against Utah, one of those came on a last second shot.
The Suns stumbled their way along to 86 points, which is tied for their season low.
Finish early - The Jazz have been prone to blowout losses this season. The Suns need to come out with a vengeance, seeking redemption for squandering leads in the previous two games. If the game is close early I expect it be close late. Stifling defense would be a key here, something the Suns have not been playing consistently. The 112 points the Suns surrendered to Utah earlier in the season (tied for Utah's third highest output) will not be acceptable.
This kind of came true... except for the close at the end part. Utah shot 57% from the field and 50% from three point range on their way to 109 points. That's fourteen above their season average.
Dragon fire - Goran Dragic needs to be Goran Dragic. I realize I'm being fastidious here, and somewhat discounting his career high in scoring Sunday, but in his last three games not including the one against Houston he is averaging just 13.7 points and 4.7 assists. Not very Dragon-like. Hopefully he will be engaged after never really getting into the flow of the game against Houston... and hopefully the training staff have enough rubber bands and superglue to keep his ankle from being an issue.
I guess they don't sell rubber bands in Salt Lake City. Obviously Phoenix could have used Goran's services tonight. Well, he didn't play and would have probably gained stature in pundits eyes based on the travesty of a team the Suns looked like without him... but I'm pretty positive nobody's going to take much time to analyze this suckfest.
Well, that sucked.
Sometimes when a team has a player go down they rally round the family for at least a game or two. The Suns didn't.
Hopefully Goran's ankle is better soon because these guys were flat like the world used to be.
Oh yeah, and Memphis won, too.