Finally, the Phoenix Suns get to play someone else. It's not an NBA team, but at least it's a group of guys not wearing Suns colors.

Tonight's preseason game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona for all to see - a rarity for Suns preseason basketball. Coverage starts at 7:00pm, with tipoff at 7:12.

The Opponent - Clube de Regatas do Flamengo

Flamengo kicks off a three-game tour of NBA preseason against the Phoenix Suns, followed by the Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies.

Flamengo is the Brazilian National League winner for the past two seasons. They recently warmed up by splitting a couple of games against fellow NBA-fodder Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Flamengo player, and Brazilian national, Marquinhos Vieira his foot in the NBA pool for New Orleans and Memphis, but has been with Flamengo since 2012. He was last year's second leading scorer (15.2) for the league champion team.

This year, the club added former NBA prospect Walter Hermann (Detroit) and Derrick Caracter (Lakers).

The Suns

The Suns will be without Alex Len today (and for the next couple of weeks, at least) because he rebroke his pinkie finger. This time it was from getting slapped by Tyler Ennis on a play under the basket. If I see him tonight, I'll ask him if he should become the team's next "Four Fingered Assassin". If Gerald can do it, why not Alex?

Anthony Tolliver won't play either. He injured his hand last week as well, getting caught in a teammate's jersey during training camp. Tolliver tore the webbing between two fingers, and will get the stitches out on Thursday.

Tough question: Should the Suns just tape all their fingers together and play the game like lobsters?

Otherwise, the team appears to be healthy. Isaiah Thomas, T.J. Warren, Tyler Ennis and Zoran Dragic should all be making their Suns debut in this game. Expect the kids to get a lot of run.

The Stats


The lineups

Expect the usual starting lineup for the Suns, with Markieff Morris taking Frye's old spot. Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, P.J. Tucker and Miles Plumlee will all start the game.

Key Matchup


The pick

These types of games never go well for the visiting team. The Suns get a chance to sweat on their game jerseys for the first time since April.

The primary starters likely won't see more than 20 minutes of action, and likely won't play that hard. It's an exhibition, so don't expect to take a whole lot away from this game.

Just enjoy the game for what it is: a chance watch the Suns play basketball.

The discussion links back the lesser of a starting guard on a team that probably doesn’t fall in the top-5 of the discussion. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters responded a bit too...

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It certainly is starting to feel like Alex Len is cursed. The young Phoenix Suns big man managed to re-fracture his pinky finger on his right hand.

According to a Phoenix Suns press release, second-year center Alex Len is sidelined with a fracture of the right hand fifth finger and will be re-evaluated next Wednesday, Oct. 15. This is the same finger Len broke in his first game of the Suns Vegas Summer League.

We don't know yet how the injury happened.

On NBA TV's "Real Training Camp" show, GM Ryan McDonough indicated that Len would hopefully only be out of action of a week or so. That, of course, is subject to change.

Len had reportedly been looking good in early camp practices and the Suns were optimistic about his ability to contribute this season. He'll need to find a way to avoid hurting himself repeatedly for that to happen.

UPDATE: Here's how it happened. No jerseys involved.

#Suns Len said he got hit---by Tyler Ennis---on the finger going up for a dunk, "It was an and-1; and I didn't get the call."

— Craig Grialou (@CraigAZSports) October 7, 2014

The Suns announced Tuesday that second-year center Alex Len will be out for a week and reexamined on Wednesday due to a fracture to his right pinky finger. It’s the same finger that Len broke...

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Who doesn't like a good nonsensical ranking in the pre-season? Well, this is for you...

We knocked out 25-21 on here for #SUNSRANK for the 2014-2015 Phoenix Suns season with some big names and other faces that will have a say in how the season goes overall. Go back and check out the list from yesterday if you missed it, but lets march forward.

In these rankings some great names were left out of the Top 25 like Casey Prather, Jamil Wilson, Joe Jackson, Earl Barron, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Alec Brown, the Cheerleaders, and the Hip-Hop Squad. They will not be forgotten.

#SUNSRANK is a compilation of 14 writers here on Bright Side that ranked the most important names and faces of the franchise for this one year. This is not a "future rankings" or some Fox News one-sided account of things. Everyone had their own opinion and the rankings are as the staff deemed fit. There were some wild rankings, but we are not going to leak like a sieve a la the NSA in here. We have some integrity.

Check back daily as well as on Twitter for #SUNSRANK where five more names will be released leading all the way down to No. 1. What do you think about these five listed so far?


25-21 20-16 15-11 10-6 5-1


No. 20: Al McCoy (20.142)

Profile: The voice of the Phoenix Suns.

Stats: 42 years and counting making him the longest tenured broadcaster in NBA history.

Interesting Fact: McCoy was the voice of the Arizona Diamondbacks for their inaugural season in 1998. What can't the man do?

Analysis: McCoy probably doesn't get the run he used to. Radio is a far less popular medium for sports than it used to be. Availability of any and every sports competition on high definition television has relegated radio to mop up duty when someone gets stuck in a car at game time. Hell, it's still possible to watch it there. For those of us who are a little (older) more in tune with the tradition of this franchise, however, McCoy's value shouldn't be understated. Broadcasting Suns games since 1972, he has been here for the long haul... and has left an indelible mark on the team's rich history.

That being said, I'll use this as a platform to make another petition for the Suns to do the right thing. I'm looking at you Sarver. Induct Al McCoy into the Ring of Honor. Don't make this a posthumous award. This is the perfect type of situation to honor someone who is still active in their role with the team. He's 81 years old, you can tell because he gets kind of cranky on the broadcasts at times, and would probably love to call games to his grave. I think he deserves the chance to be there for his induction ceremony. -- Jim Coughenhour

Important Question: How (when) do you replace a legend?

No. 18(tie): Robert Sarver (18.5)

Profile: Owner, Phoenix Suns/Phoenix Mercury and Bank connoisseur

Stats: Ten seasons, 478 wins, three Western Conference Finals, one Western Conference Semifinal, and one first round playoff appearance.

Interesting Fact: A Tuscon native who through a conversation with Lute Olson had a conversation with Steve Kerr which led to a conversation about purchasing the Phoenix Suns. Small degrees of separation.

Analysis: Managing Partner Robert Sarver has a bit of a checkered reputation around these parts.  He rode into town in the wake of Steve Nash's popularity and on the coattails of Jerry Colangelo's epic 35-year stewardship of the Phoenix Suns. And now, 11 years on, he is finally poised to succeed on his own terms.  Having learned the lessons from overseeing the second winningest coach in Suns' history (Mike D'Antoni's .650 winning percentage) and second worst season in franchise history (Beasleyfest 2012!), he seems to have recognized his strengths and limitations as an owner.  By delegating player and operations decisions to Lon Babby and Ryan McDonough, he has Phoenix on the cusp of a potentially historic run to end the 2010s.  He took a lot of blame as the D'Antoni/Nash/Stoudemire Era came crumbling down.  He deserves a lot of credit as the Hornacek/McDonough/Dragi? Era begins. -- Mike Lisboa

Important Question: The Billion Dollar Question -- Are the Suns for sale?

No. 18(tie): NBDL/Player Development/Bakersfield Jam (18.5)

Profile: Bakersfield, CA -- Head Coach Nate Bjorkgen -- General Manager Bubba Burrage

Stats: Damion James, Jerel McNeal, and James Nunnally have all been called up to the NBA from Bakersfield

Interesting Fact: The Suns are one of 17 teams with an exclusive partnership with a D-League Team.

Analysis: The Suns D-League affiliate will be very important for the player development of some of the younger players who probably won’t get many minutes for the Suns this year.Tyler Ennis and Archie Goodwin are likely to be among the players sent down to the D-League due to the Suns having seven players at the guard positions. Player development will always play a huge role for a team with a lot of young pieces. The development of Alex Len aka Sir Lencelot, the Morri, and Miles Plumlee will determine how the Suns decide what their front court of the future will look like.  -- Austin Elmer

Important Question: What will the free-trade agreement look like with the Suns and Jam?

No. 17: Zoran Dragic (20.5)

Profile: 6'5" 200 lbs. Shooting Guard -- Rookie Slovenia

Stats: With Unicaja Malaga 10.9 PPG 2.6 RPG 1.6 APG 41.3% FG 35.4% 3PT

Interesting Fact: Had 22 points against Mexico in the FIBA World Championships & 26 against Germany in the FIBA U20 Championships.

Analysis: Zoran has been on the basketball radar for years now. in some capacity. He is 25 years old and has played on a National stage for Slovenia since 2005 capped off by his play in the FIBA World Championships this year where he was a major component in Slovenia, a country of roughly two million, medal in a major event. While he is not his brother, Goran Dragic, Zoran has some ying to his brothers yang in terms of on court skill. He is the defender, the bigger of the two, causing deflections and making it tough for the opposition to find easy offense. That will be difficult to duplicate in the hyper athletic world of the NBA, but energy and defensive effort matter. In a crowded backcourt a defensive specialist that can hit threes and has some size will have major value in a marathon season that could culminate in the playoffs for this rookie who will not have the same growing pains his brother had in 2008 when he was a 22 year old rookie. -- Kris Habbas

Important Question: Which set of brothers will have the most impact on the Suns this season?

No. 16: Assistant Coaches/Staff (15.769)

Profile: Mike Longabadi, Mark West, Jerry Sitching, and Kenny Gattison

Stats (Years of NBA Experience): Longabardi (11), West (20), Sitching (25), and Gattison (21)

Interesting Fact: Kenny Gattison used to play pick-up games with Michael Jordan, like, it's no big thang: "It was like any other pickup game. We argued about fouls and everything. This guy traveled. We’re trying to win."

Analysis: I had the assistant coaches and staff ranked below Alex Len and above Marcus Morris. My reasoning here was logic based because I feel like the impact that the assistant coaches and staff can have on a game is above the "fringe rotation players" and below the players that will obviously have an impact on every game they play in. When everyone is healthy I really doubt that there is going to be a game that Morris or any of those players (Tolliver, Warren, Goodwin, Zoran, Ennis)  has that will have enough of an impact on the outcome in a positive or negative way. There certainly and hopefully will be games where Len has that sort of impact though and everyone above him is obvious enough for that.

There is of course the most obvious man to talk about here in terms of impact and that's Mike Longabardi. His job defensively has been worth the spotlight he's received, but there's also all of the game prep and adjustments in-game here that the assistants do. A lot of simple logic here in saying the more eyes the better and I'm sure the assistants help Jeff Hornacek pick up on little nuances that could give the Suns a distinct advantage in any game this season. -- Kellan Olson

Important Question: Is Longabardi the Frank Mike Vogel or Eric Spoelstra?

Come back tomorrow for 15-11 in the #SUNSRANK series and follow along on Twitter!


Each ranking will also include one write-in ballot from the writers. We have five tremendous write-in's starting with Garrett Benson:

Write In: Eddie Johnson's Nicknames

Who was single-handedly responsible for the "Plumdog" nickname? Our one and only FSN Suns commentator, Eddie Johnson. That one even got national recognition. Eddie Johnson knows how to get the Suns national attention, and for all the right reasons. What sort of nicknames will he come up with next season?  Only EJ knows, but one thing is for sure. We’ll be hearing them all season. -- Garrett Benson

Plumdog Millionaire

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