Sigh. (AP Photo/Delcia Lopez)

Coming off their highest scoring game of the year, the Phoenix Suns try to steal a win against a Rockets team that has been playing extremely well, winners of 10 of 12 before dropping their last two.

The Rockets are somehow 4th in rebounds per game, that ranking boosted mostly on offensive rebounds. As far as Suns killers are concerned (besides rebounding, that is), Rockets players Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry and Samuel Dalembert (and even Chase Budinger) always do well against the Suns, while Kevin Martin usually plays poorly.

Yet despite those Suns killers, the Suns have won the last 7 matchups when Steve Nash plays.

Speaking of Nash, the Suns' all-time assists leader, he sure moved well for having a major charlie-horse didn't he? Lets hope nothing swells up in these last couple days. Let's also hope Markieff Morris feels good about himself, having hooked up with his brother for the first time since training camp started, and plays like the savvy rookie we loved in the season's first two weeks.

But let's be honest. BSotS eyes are glued to one guy, and that guy isn't even in the starting lineup for either team. We're all just biding time till late in the first quarter when youknowwho steps onto the court, looking down at the floor while wiping his hands off on the back of his shorts as he walks to midcourt. We're all just waiting for that herky-jerky guy to run the Rockets' second-team offense, hit a couple of threes, commit a couple turnovers and make a couple good passes. We're just hoping the still-Slovenian and former Sun Goran Dragic doesn't make a ton of threes on us, like a lot of other former Suns have this season.

Goran, if you're reading this blog (and you might, since you're a fan of overlord Seth and all), please know that we love you and miss you. You've got nothing to prove tonight. There's no need to take a bunch of shots, no need to play superhero like you did against San Antonio in the playoffs a couple years ago. Just smile into the camera, mouth "Hi Jennifer!" and play your usual game. K? Thanks!

Suns stats...


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
Marcin Gortat 21 31.8 6.6 11.8 56.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 3.2 65.7 2.3 7.8 10.1 0.9 1.6 0.6 1.7 2.0 15.3
Steve Nash 19 31.3 6.1 11.0 55.0 1.1 2.7 40.4 1.9 2.3 86.0 0.3 2.0 2.3 9.9 3.4 0.6 0.1 0.6 15.2
Jared Dudley 21 30.0 3.7 8.7 42.9 1.0 2.9 36.1 2.1 2.6 81.8 1.2 2.9 4.1 1.9 0.9 1.0 0.2 1.4 10.6
Grant Hill 20 25.9 3.7 9.1 40.3 0.3 1.2 20.8 1.6 1.9 86.5 0.6 2.9 3.4 1.4 1.5 0.7 0.7 1.8 9.2
Shannon Brown 20 20.8 3.4 8.6 39.0 0.8 2.5 32.0 1.4 1.7 81.8 0.5 1.6 2.1 0.9 1.2 1.0 0.2 1.3 8.9
Hakim Warrick 18 17.2 2.9 6.3 45.6 0.1 0.4 14.3 2.2 2.9 73.6 1.1 1.8 2.9 0.9 1.1 0.2 0.1 1.2 8.0
Markieff Morris 21 20.5 2.8 6.6 42.0 1.0 2.0 48.8 0.8 1.0 76.2 1.1 3.8 5.0 1.0 1.2 0.6 0.5 3.0 7.2
Channing Frye 21 22.1 2.6 7.3 35.7 1.1 3.6 30.7 0.9 1.0 90.0 1.0 4.6 5.6 1.0 0.9 0.6 0.8 2.4 7.2
Sebastian Telfair 15 12.6 1.7 5.5 31.3 0.7 1.5 45.5 1.1 1.4 81.0 0.3 0.8 1.1 1.4 0.9 0.8 0.0 1.7 5.3
Robin Lopez 19 13.5 1.5 3.4 45.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.4 1.8 74.3 1.0 2.1 3.1 0.4 0.8 0.1 0.6 2.3 4.4
Ronnie Price 21 17.0 1.6 4.1 39.1 0.5 1.6 33.3 0.6 0.7 85.7 0.6 1.1 1.7 2.4 1.4 1.0 0.1 2.1 4.3
Michael Redd 8 10.1 1.0 3.8 26.7 0.5 1.9 26.7 1.0 1.5 66.7 0.0 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.6 3.5
Josh Childress 9 13.2 1.6 3.0 51.9 0.2 1.1 20.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.9 1.3 2.2 0.8 0.4 0.6 0.2 1.1 3.3


Rockets stats...


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 Martin 20 35.8 7.2 16.5 43.6 2.5 6.8 36.3 4.1 4.6 90.1 0.5 2.9 3.3 2.7 1.7 0.9 0.1 2.0 21.0
Kyle Lowry 20 35.8 4.7 12.1 38.8 1.6 4.7 34.0 3.7 4.3 85.9 1.2 5.1 6.2 8.0 3.3 2.0 0.4 2.8 14.7
Luis Scola 22 30.1 6.4 13.4 47.8 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.8 2.4 75.0 1.7 3.9 5.6 1.7 2.8 0.3 0.2 3.0 14.6
Courtney Lee 14 24.3 3.9 8.6 45.5 1.0 3.0 33.3 0.9 1.0 85.7 0.3 1.8 2.1 1.4 1.0 1.3 0.4 1.4 9.7
Samuel Dalembert 22 25.0 3.5 6.5 53.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.6 1.8 87.5 3.4 5.5 8.9 0.5 1.5 0.6 2.2 2.6 8.6
Chase Budinger 19 20.5 3.3 7.2 45.6 1.2 3.2 37.7 0.7 0.8 81.3 0.7 2.6 3.3 1.0 0.7 0.4 0.1 1.0 8.4
Goran Dragic 22 20.0 3.0 6.5 45.5 0.6 2.1 28.3 1.4 1.7 81.1 0.3 1.5 1.8 3.7 1.5 0.7 0.1 2.0 7.9
Chandler Parsons 21 23.8 3.0 7.0 41.9 0.6 2.2 25.5 0.2 0.6 33.3 1.5 3.4 4.9 1.7 0.8 1.3 0.5 2.1 6.7
Patrick Patterson 20 20.0 3.1 6.5 48.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.3 50.0 1.5 1.9 3.4 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.7 6.4
Jordan Hill 20 16.3 2.4 4.6 51.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.8 1.2 62.5 1.7 4.1 5.8 0.4 1.0 0.3 0.8 2.1 5.5
Terrence Williams 9 16.4 1.9 4.7 40.5 0.8 1.8 43.8 0.4 1.1 40.0 0.2 2.3 2.6 0.8 0.8 0.3 0.1 1.2 5.0
Jonny Flynn 7 11.4 0.9 3.3 26.1 0.1 0.9 16.7 1.3 1.7 75.0 0.1 1.0 1.1 2.4 1.0 0.4 0.0 0.7 3.1
Jeff Adrien 7 6.6 0.9 1.9 46.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 1.4 60.0 0.7 1.1 1.9 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 1.3 2.6
Marcus Morris 3 5.7 0.7 3.3 20.0 0.0 1.3 0.0 0.3 0.7 50.0 0.7 0.0 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7 1.7
Hasheem Thabeet 4 4.8 0.8 0.8 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.8 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.8 1.5

Suns vs Rockets coverage

The Dream Shake


Houston Rockets 99, Phoenix Suns 81 Like the Phoenix Suns, the Houston Rockets don’t get much notoriety. They lack a great deal of star power and aren’t on a hot streak. Even when they...

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In this week's episode of the Sunscast podcast we talk about the changes to the Phoenix Suns starting lineup with Markieff Morris asking to go back to the bench and Josh Childress being allowed to showcase his skills and play to his strengths as a slasher and creator. We also discuss the revised expectations for the Suns season.

Mostly though, in this episode hosts Seth Pollack and Bryan Gibberman argue fiercely for and against the idea that the Suns should tank so they can rebuild through the draft.

Gibberman argues that the only way to eventually compete for an NBA title is to spend years being bad enough to get top draft picks. Pollack argues that losing is losing and you can't gear your entire strategy around losing the most possible games.

Subscribe on iTunes or stream online after the jump. You can find all the past episodes here.

For more exclusive content, follow us on Twitter @Brightsidesun and "Like" us on Facebook.

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So yeah, it's not like the Bobcats are a marquee team, but seeing the Suns from good seats, close to the action is a great experience, no matter the opponent. How many more chances will you get to see Steve Nash and Grant Hill in the purple and orange? And these tickets would normally put a serious dent in your wallet.

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Careful, we're listening, Markieff (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

In an interview with Arizona Sports, Suns rookie power forward Markieff Morris admitted he asked Alvin Gentry if he could come off the bench:

"When I was starting I was taking a backseat...For me I was kind of deferring to Gortat and Steve and Grant. I felt like I was just out on the court. I felt like I wasn't doing anything."

Um, so why weren't you doing anything? You don't need the ball to do things when you are on the court. Hm.

You can't blame Morris for wanting to go back to a more productive role coming off the bench, where he averages 8 and 5, as opposed to his mostly awful numbers as a starter. However, I am not so sure what kind of message that sends to Alvin Gentry and the general public. On one hand you have a Josh Childress dying for minutes yet continuing his mantra of team first. I'm ready, I'll do whatever coach wants, when he wants it. I'm ready to go. Morris however sees himself as a bench guy:

"I just told Alvin I think it would be better if I come off the bench and bring that spark off the bench."

There's nothing wrong with providing a spark off the bench, but if the rookie really means what he says, you don't have to read too much into his words to believe that he wants to establish his own role, and what the coach my think or say doesn't much matter.

"I know my role...I have to be aggressive because I'm one of the go-to guys off the bench."

Yes Markieff, but your team is lacking go-to guys in the starting lineup, too. And you were placed in the starting lineup due in part to your success coming off the bench. I suppose he hasn't realized that or has career aspirations of winning consecutive "6th Man of the Year."

I'm not going to lambaste the rookie over these comments. He is young. And youngsters often say things they do not mean. Heck, I say plenty of things I don't mean, and I'm old. But I would think a rookie who wants to play NBA ball for a long time would have a few tag lines in his repertoire ready at all times.

So, since I am mostly a nice guy, a fan of Markieff and the Suns, I would like to help the youngster. Call it taking him under my wing from afar. Here are a few simple quotes Markieff can use to stave off any doubts about what he is here to do:

1. "I'm just here to help my team win as many games possible. I'll come off the bench if coach wants or I'll be a starter. Whatever coach wants me to do."

2. "Playing with Steve Nash in the first unit is an honor and I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to play with a future hall of famer."

3. "Playing with Grant Hill in the first unit is an honor and I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to play with a man of such high character. I'm also learning a lot just watching him. He's the ultimate professional"

4. "I'm thankful that Channing Frye is sucking so bad because it gives me the chance to play starters minutes." (SARC)

5. "I didn't come into the NBA to sit on the bench. Coach thinks I'm a starter, and I'm going to play like a starter.

Hey, that was fun. Can you all think of some things
Markieff could say that would leave us no
doubt that he's here to be a beast?

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