Caption contest! What is Shannon Brown saying here?

Coming off of their highest offensive output of the season in Saturday's 125-105 win over the Lakers, the Suns again lit up the scoreboard in Minnesota tonight, winning 114-90 behind more excellent bench play and double-digit scoring from five players.

Shannon Brown continued his prolific scoring since he entered the starting lineup with 17, rookie Markieff Morris went for 21 and Sebastian Telfair had one of his finest games as a member of the team with 14 points and seven assists. Effective bench play allowed the Suns to play all of their starters fewer than 30 minutes.

The Wolves were led by Kevin Love's 25 points and 13 rebounds but the Suns threw a few different players at him defensively and held Love to 7-19 shooting. This wasn't much of a contest from the second quarter on, after the Suns bench came in and built a lead that got as large as 15 in the first half. A small Wolves push to close the first half and start the second brought them as close as 56-51 before a 15-2 Phoenix run buried Minnesota for good at 71-53.

The win was the Suns second in a row, 7th out of their last 10 games, and pushes them three games over .500 for the first time this season. But wins by the Nuggets and Jazz leave the Suns in 9th place in the West, one game out of the final playoff spot. They did gain a 1/2 game on the idle Mavericks and are also one game behind them for the 7th spot.

Follow the jump for more notes and the roll call.

  • Bench play was again the difference for the Suns, as they outscored the Wolves bench 66-27, with Morris and Telfair leading the way. What has gotten into these guys? A weakness for most of the season, the Suns bench has more than carried their share of the load in the last two games, both must-wins.
  • As much as we want to celebrate this effort, and it was impressive in a few ways, the Wolves are a team that is both banged up and looks to be mailing it in at this point. Outside of Love, they put up little resistance.
  • Nikola Pekovic again gave Marcin Gortat problems, as Gortat committed 3 personal fouls in the first half and scored only four points in 21 minutes. But he did grab seven rebounds, and Robin Lopez filled in well with strong post defense and three blocked shots.
  • With Shannon Brown playing so well as a starter and Redd rounding into condition, the Suns have not missed Grant Hill as much as we had feared. Paul Coro reported that Hill worked out hard before the game and looks to be close to returning, so it will be a nice problem for Gentry to have to decide how to divvy up those wing minutes.

    @realgranthill33 just worked out so hard that he was sweating like @Channing_Frye. Sprints, shots, side to side. He is getting close.

    — Paul Coro (@paulcoro) April 10, 2012
  • With 21 points tonight, Morris has now scored in double figures in three of his five games since returning from the flu. He looked to have hit a rookie wall in mid-March but he's producing as well as he has all season now.

Roll Call: twitte07, Aztiramtempe, noonoo, jc79, phxpurple, shawndy, atkammoh, sonicking, Dickwan Sasser, rsavaj, wedge1039, thedoovage, Catamaran1, waxmonkey, jatrex4suns, Antwuan, East Bay Ray, JoeWisco, Turambar, paulimer, ThatOtherCanadianKid, Airwave, PhoenixSons, nashisamazing, DukeNukeco, nashran3, ericscholwinski, Piotr Szczesniak, Suns2flyy, brian13, PHXSunsRunNGun, suns68, SS21, Scott Howard, SUNS PORTUGAL, Chafid Ahmad, troglodytes, Mint, suns90, marionette, Toon Army Sun, Colton Dodson, 2NASHTY, PatrickPetersonAZ, Fritzy, NashMV3, SmokinKieff, Not Disclosing My Name, BringBackBarkley17, modernage13, Dragic_is_Magic, 7footer, KnowGood, sreekar13, MMotherwell, STUPID KERR, blank_38, WilliAG, KholdStare88, blanke, Cynical Jason, haremoor, Omaha Sun (in spirit)
Total Users: 62 (+1 in spirit)
Total Posts: 708
Total Threads: 2

Name # of Posts
atkammoh 63
Antwuan 55
phxpurple 55
PhoenixSons 43
twitte07 38
brian13 35
jc79 29
Aztiramtempe 26
waxmonkey 24
JoeWisco 23
Dickwan Sasser 22
MMotherwell 22
PHXSunsRunNGun 20
East Bay Ray 19
noonoo 17
wedge1039 16
Scott Howard 14
Airwave 12
thedoovage 12
nashisamazing 11
SUNS PORTUGAL 11
paulimer 11
Piotr Szczesniak 10
sonicking 7
rsavaj 7
jatrex4suns 6
blank_38 6
Dragic_is_Magic 6
ericscholwinski 6
Toon Army Sun 6
troglodytes 5
Not Disclosing My Name 5
Suns2flyy 5
Turambar 5
suns68 4
blanke 4
DukeNukeco 4
ThatOtherCanadianKid 4
Chafid Ahmad 4
PatrickPetersonAZ 3
marionette 3
STUPID KERR 3
NashMV3 2
SmokinKieff 2
SS21 2
Fritzy 2
shawndy 2
nashran3 2
sreekar13 2
WilliAG 1
KholdStare88 1
Cynical Jason 1
haremoor 1
Mint 1
Colton Dodson 1
suns90 1
Catamaran1 1
2NASHTY 1
BringBackBarkley17 1
7footer 1
modernage13 1
KnowGood 1


A little sloppy with 10 turnovers, Gortat in foul trouble again with 3, but Suns still leading 53-45 behind 31 bench points, 12 from Markieff Morris. Suns defense held Timberwolves to only 34% shooting from the field.

Roll Call: Toon Army Sun, Colton Dodson, 2NASHTY, phxpurple, atkammoh, PatrickPetersonAZ, Fritzy, East Bay Ray, Scott Howard, NashMV3, Chafid Ahmad, SmokinKieff, jatrex4suns, ericscholwinski, Not Disclosing My Name, sonicking, BringBackBarkley17, Aztiramtempe, Dickwan Sasser, Antwuan, brian13, modernage13, Suns2flyy, SUNS PORTUGAL, PHXSunsRunNGun, Dragic_is_Magic, 7footer, waxmonkey, KnowGood, marionette, sreekar13, ThatOtherCanadianKid, twitte07, shawndy, MMotherwell, STUPID KERR, blank_38, Piotr Szczesniak, DukeNukeco, WilliAG, JoeWisco, KholdStare88, noonoo, blanke, thedoovage, PhoenixSons, paulimer, suns68, troglodytes, Cynical Jason, rsavaj, jc79, wedge1039, haremoor
Total Users: 54
Total Posts: 341
Total Threads: 1

Name # of Posts
atkammoh 45
phxpurple 26
Antwuan 24
MMotherwell 22
brian13 21
twitte07 18
JoeWisco 15
PHXSunsRunNGun 13
waxmonkey 12
Dickwan Sasser 12
East Bay Ray 10
SUNS PORTUGAL 9
Scott Howard 8
noonoo 8
Piotr Szczesniak 7
Dragic_is_Magic 6
blank_38 6
Toon Army Sun 6
Aztiramtempe 6
Not Disclosing My Name 5
thedoovage 5
blanke 4
jc79 4
STUPID KERR 3
PatrickPetersonAZ 3
ericscholwinski 3
rsavaj 3
sonicking 2
paulimer 2
ThatOtherCanadianKid 2
Fritzy 2
suns68 2
jatrex4suns 2
Chafid Ahmad 2
sreekar13 2
NashMV3 2
SmokinKieff 2
Cynical Jason 1
wedge1039 1
PhoenixSons 1
haremoor 1
troglodytes 1
7footer 1
modernage13 1
BringBackBarkley17 1
2NASHTY 1
Colton Dodson 1
Suns2flyy 1
KnowGood 1
WilliAG 1
DukeNukeco 1
shawndy 1
marionette 1
KholdStare88 1


That's right, Markieff. Don't take any crap from anybody.




Suns vs. Timberwolves game Preview: Let it roll


The Timberwolves are proving that "All You Need is Love" is an inaccurate statement as Kevin Love can't do it alone. Don't play around here, Suns. Bring home this win.


Shannon Brown has plenty to smile about with his recent scoring outbursts.

When we last saw the Timberwolves, they hung 127 points on the Suns in Phoenix behind 14-22 3-point shooting, Nikola Pekovic outplaying Marcin Gortat, who was in foul trouble most of the night, and three bench players scoring in double figures in a 127-124 Wolves win.

It was a disappointing loss for a Suns team that was starting to gain momentum last month and had beaten the Wolves nine consecutive times before that game, but turned out to be a mere bump in the road as Phoenix won their next four and have climbed back into the playoff race at 29-27

The Wolves, meanwhile, have fallen on hard times, posting a 3-11 record since that March 12th victory, including their current five-game losing streak. Their record now stands at 25-32, and Minnesota is all but eliminated from playoff contention. They've been missing rising star point guard Ricky Rubio, out for the season due to a knee injury, and his backup Luke Ridnour is also currently out with a sprained ankle.

In the Wolves' last three games, they've lost to the worst teams in the Western Conference: the Kings, Warriors and Hornets. This, Suns fans, is a team on the skids. But they still have All-Star Kevin Love, the gigantic Pekovic, and scorers Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams.

With 10 games left in a playoff race, trailing the 8th spot by a game, the Suns can't afford to slip up against a sputtering Wolves team.



The Suns are coming off their best offensive performance of the season in a 125-105 win over the Lakers Saturday night. Michael Redd and Shannon Brown exploded for a combined 47 points, Phoenix made 14 3-point shots and committed only 3 turnovers. In the 7 games Brown has started since Grant Hill went down with his knee injury, he's averaging 17.6 PPG and 4.3 RPG on 45% FG shooting.

Redd looks to be rounding into better health and conditioning and is providing the scoring pop in short stretches that the Suns have needed from a bench player, averaging 8,0 PPG in 14.4 MPG and leading the Suns in points/36 minutes with 20.0. The low risk signing of a player whose skill set exactly fits the Suns needs was a major win for the Suns front office, as Wil noted.

In the last meeting, Pekovic thorougly outplayed Gortat, scoring 24 points and getting Gortat into foul trouble. Gortat scored only 8 points to go with 4 rebounds in 20 minutes of action, but still had a chance to be the hero before missing two critical FTs late in the game. I'm looking forward to a Gortat redemption game tonight. At 290 lbs, Pekovic has a size advantage on Gortat, but he doesn't have the agility and quickness to keep up with our hard-working Pole. Gortat needs to show that tonight, and I expect he will.

This game has the potential to look similar to Saturday night's Lakers game, as Wolves bigs Love and Pekovic will be hard to handle, but the Suns should be able to continue their high-scoring ways against a Wolves team that does't play strong defense.

ESPN2 will broadcast the game, and I'm sure that looked much better to their programming directors when it figured to be a Ricky Rubio/Steve Nash matchup. They'll have to settle for J.J. Barea instead of Rubio.

Likely starters:

PG Steve Nash vs. J.J. Barea

SG Shannon Brown vs. Martell Webster

SF Jared Dudley vs. Wesley Johnson

PF Channing Frye vs. Kevin Love

C Marcin Gortat vs. Nikola Pekovic


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Kevin Love 53 39.6 8.8 19.5 45.1 2.0 5.2 37.7 7.0 8.5 82.2 4.2 9.4 13.5 2.1 2.3 0.8 0.5 2.8 26.5
Nikola Pekovic 38 26.1 5.3 9.3 57.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.8 3.6 77.5 4.0 3.2 7.2 0.6 2.1 0.7 0.7 2.3 13.4
Luke Ridnour 53 33.0 4.6 10.4 44.0 0.9 2.9 32.2 2.0 2.2 89.1 0.4 2.3 2.7 4.8 1.8 1.1 0.3 2.6 12.1
Michael Beasley 38 22.7 4.6 10.4 44.6 0.9 2.1 43.2 1.3 2.0 64.0 0.8 3.5 4.3 0.9 1.6 0.4 0.4 1.8 11.4
Ricky Rubio 41 34.2 3.4 9.5 35.7 0.8 2.3 34.0 3.1 3.8 80.3 0.5 3.7 4.2 8.2 3.2 2.2 0.2 2.4 10.6
J.J. Barea 32 22.1 3.4 8.9 38.5 1.0 2.9 34.8 1.9 2.3 80.0 0.4 2.2 2.7 4.5 2.3 0.4 0.0 1.3 9.8
Derrick Williams 57 21.8 3.2 7.5 42.7 0.6 2.0 28.4 1.9 2.8 67.1 1.2 3.6 4.8 0.6 1.2 0.5 0.5 1.4 8.9
Martell Webster 38 22.8 2.3 5.6 41.7 0.7 2.1 34.2 1.2 1.6 78.3 0.9 2.6 3.5 0.7 1.0 0.7 0.4 1.8 6.6
Wayne Ellington 45 19.0 2.4 6.0 40.3 0.7 2.1 34.7 0.6 0.8 82.4 0.3 1.5 1.7 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.2 1.1 6.2
Wesley Johnson 56 22.6 2.5 6.3 39.4 0.8 2.6 29.3 0.3 0.5 63.0 0.4 2.4 2.8 0.9 1.0 0.6 0.7 1.8 6.0
Anthony Randolph 25 12.0 2.2 4.4 49.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.2 1.7 69.8 1.1 1.7 2.8 0.4 1.0 0.4 0.5 1.5 5.5
Darko Milicic 29 16.3 2.0 4.5 45.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 1.3 43.2 1.2 2.1 3.3 0.6 1.1 0.3 0.9 2.0 4.6
Anthony Tolliver 42 17.8 1.5 3.7 41.3 0.5 2.0 26.5 0.9 1.2 74.5 1.0 2.0 3.0 0.4 0.6 0.3 0.4 1.7 4.5
Malcolm Lee 11 11.1 1.0 2.5 40.7 0.1 0.5 20.0 0.6 0.7 87.5 0.5 1.0 1.5 1.3 1.1 0.5 0.3 1.4 2.7
Brad Miller 12 7.6 0.5 1.4 35.3 0.4 0.8 55.6 0.6 0.7 87.5 0.2 0.6 0.8 1.3 0.8 0.1 0.1 0.6 2.0

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Jimmer can't touch The Dragon.

Goran Dragic has officially been killing it for the Houston Rockets. The "official" part comes in the form of a Western Conference Player of the Week Award from the NBA. LeBron James in the East. Goran Dragic in the West. Chew on that.

Gogi is averaging 17.9 points and 8.8 assists per game in 18 starts in place of Kyle Lowry this season. He's shooting a ridiculous 51.6% from the field and 42.5% from three.

Those are Jeremy Lin numbers (18.2 ppg, 7.6 apg, 25 GS, FG% .445, 3P% .343). Those are better than Jeremy Lin numbers actually, especially when you factor in the turnovers (Dragic, 2.95/gm; Lin 4.68/gm).

Clearly, the Suns trade that sent Goran AND a 1st round pick to Houston was a disaster. Let's not even go back over that ground.

The question for you, dear Suns fans, is this:

Poll
Does Goran's success in Houston make you feel MORE...

  592 votes | Results


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