Wishing Steve all the best in his retirement, remembering his time in Phoenix, and previewing the big game tonight between the Suns and Blazers.
I’ll keep today’s opening monologue brief. A lot of characters have been dedicated to Steve Nash, the greatest Phoenix Sun of all time and there is nothing I could say to honor his memory much further. I became a basketball fan about a year before Steve Nash came to Phoenix. I was in fifth grade and I will always remember the day I decided to start watching Phoenix Suns basketball. I wanted to tell you about it.
I was sitting at home on a weekday night early in Nash’s first season in Phoenix, 2004-2005. My dad, who is also my best friend, worked out of town Monday thru Friday night so we used to talk on the phone almost every single day. That night, whatever the date was in fall of 2004, he called me and asked if I was watching the game. The words he said will always resonate with me and will always be the absolute best way to describe Steve Nash’s tenure in Phoenix; "Alex… you’ve gotta see this." I saw it, and I never stopped.
Thank you so much, Steve. You were the best. I was lucky to see it.
Suns versus Trail Blazers tonight, let’s get into it with the outsiders!
What Vegas Thinks: Get Used to This (Portland -2.5, O/U 205)
If the Phoenix Suns are going to make the 2015 NBA Playoffs then this song is going to play a huge role in their success. Outside of the Thunder game on Sunday and the Jazz game next week at home this line is about as close as the Suns are going to get to favorites. This schedule is brutal, and every win is going to be extremely difficult, so get used to playing the underdog!
By the way, in case you have been kept up late at night wondering what the value of Lamarcus Aldridge is to the Portland Trail Blazers the answer is about eight points according to Vegas. Earlier in 2015 LMA sat out against the Suns in Phoenix and the Suns were favored by five points. It’s no surprise the Trail Blazers are favored seeming as Portland has had the better season and has the two best players in a game that only allows ten players on the court at a time, but the Blazers have not looked the same since Wes Matthews left. The Trail Blazers are 4-6 since the loss of Matthews, and a win on Wednesday night over the Jazz was their first win in six attempts. Things don’t look good, and this game could actually be the Suns second easiest game between now and the end of the season. Read that sentence again. Now look at the schedule. Tell me you disagree that a Batum-less Trail Blazers at home while they are against the ropes is harder than any of the other eleven games remaining other than the still extremely terrifying Jazz game next week.
Vegas Predicts: Portland 104 Phoenix 101
Bonus: I predict the Suns win 101-97. Close game wire to wire with PJ making a huge play to seal this one. I invite any and all readers to come back and mock/praise me post game for this prediction.
What the National Media Thinks: Suns got profiled!
Grantland did its second profile of the Phoenix Suns and for the second time it was awesome and horrible and inspiring and depressing. Zach Lowe is a writer famous for data and hardcore X’s and O’s, but the Suns column he wrote earlier in the week was actually largely narrative based. Here were my take aways from the column, sorted into the positives and negatives so that you can take the liberty to be as biased as you want. Skip the negatives if you feel it necessary! We’re not here to judge.
- Lowe confirms that two future draft picks from Miami for a free agent demanding a trade is a pretty decent haul, and even compares it to the Lakers trade.
- A quote from McDonough about the Lakers pick and the Knight gamble where McDonough basically grabs the area below his belt and says "We’ll take Knight."
- The Suns went for Knight because he has the ability to be elite, which is rare in the market.
- Most of what the Suns do wrong defensively can be attributed to youth, such as lazy gambles or not getting back on defense. Newton’s fourth law states the Suns roster should get older as time goes on.
- Lowe ends his profile the same way most Suns fans end their season: Trust in McDonough.Negatives:
- Pretty much every GM thinks we got crappy value for what we gave up.
Nobody understands how Dragic, Thomas, Ennis, Plumlee, and that Lakers pick turned into Brandon Knight, Danny Granger, Marcus Thornton, Marcus Thornton’s bald spot, and four unknown value draft picks.
- The Suns defensive woes largely revolve around them not getting back on defense to save their lives and not playing smart basketball. Sure, they should get smarter with time, but the same could have been said about JaMarcus Russell.
- Plain and simple: the Suns STILL don’t have an All-Star in the near future.
Do yourself a favor and read the article. The Suns are just one step away from the next step! Wait….
What Do the Portland Fans Think: Sean Sullivan!