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9 days ago: PHOENIX - OCTOBER 12: Hedo Turkoglu #19 of the Phoenix Suns lays up a shot against the Utah Jazz during the preseason NBA game at US Airways Center on October 12, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
As the preseason progresses, these games are becoming more meaningful. The rotation is shaping up, the starters are playing more minutes, and Alvin Gentry is getting down to serious business. It is clear another 51 point loss could signal off a panic both in and outside of US Airways Center.
It appears that Hedo Turkoglu is feeling better after aggravating his back in a bout of either NBA basketball or vigorous television watching, and should start. That is certainly good news. Other than that, I'm hoping to see some improvement, namely in the following areas:
- Defense - the numbers show the Suns have been giving up too many points
- Offense - the numbers show the Suns have not been scoring enough points to win games
- Rebounding - rebounding is not the same as defense and the Suns need to rebound better, more specifically obtain more rebounds than Utah tonight
- Three-Point Shooting - as a facet of scoring, the Suns three point shooting has been poor; I'd like to see some more accurate three point shooting.
There are other areas of improvement, I am sure, but that is kind of the bulk of it.
On a more serious level, it's time that some individuals come out tonight to play ball:
- Gani Lawal: He should be watching Lou Amundson videos if he isn't already. Maybe buy a beach cruiser and get a pony tail extension if that works. Whatever motivates the kid, let's get it on. The training camp raves are history. It's time to throw some of that muscle around and prove you belong on the floor with the big boys.
- Hedo Turkoglu: I believe he's trying. I believe he's been a bit dinged up. But I'd like to see 18/8/5 from him while shooting 48-50%. Too much to ask? Well if so, maybe it's time to get on the Nash diet and throw your TV out the window. We're getting to prime time and many of the Suns keys to success lie in his hands.
- Hakim Warrick: Averaging 10 and 2 in the preseason. How about a few more boards? Time to impress your buddy Wil over here at BSOTS. Maybe 15/7? You're ready, Hakim.
- Earl Clark: Um, nevermind, no one's expecting much from you. Let's shoot for just trying not to embarrass ourselves out there, Earl.
- Channing Frye: He's got an excuse (the baby thing), but he needs to get the stroke on track. Hire up another nanny and tell your wife you've got work to do. You can be a father any day, but the NBA doesn't last forever (extreme sarc). Seriously, though, how about a few threes, several rebounds, and some D.
- Dwayne Jones: Does it matter? I like Dwayne; l like his size. I'd like to see him make the team. In 17 minutes against Sacramento, he pulled down 5 boards, yet had more turnovers than blocks. Guess it doesn't matter; preseason stats don't hold much water, but I want to see a more aggressive, active Dwayne. And maybe a Dwayne that can hit a free throw or two.
As for the rest, more of the same from the starters and J-Chill. Not that there isn't room for improvement, but the more court time together, the better.
For a more journalistic and interesting preview, check out AK-47's hair and what Seth has to say over at SBN.
And just for the heck of it, why not a daily poll?: