Vinsanity is dead. Can we just call him "the Charitable Mrs. Fields?" (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

More photos » Ben Margot - AP

Vinsanity is dead. Can we just call him "the Charitable Mrs. Fields?" (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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I'll keep this short and bittersweet since we all know what the score is on the matchup tonight.

The Warriors won a tough one last night versus the Nuggets and in theory should be feeling a bit tired. Regardless, the Suns need to take the game to the Bay City Rollers like last time. Look for G. Hill to slow up Monta Ellis again. Look for Vince Carter to get every opportunity to manipulate a mismatch. Look for Stevie to be Stevie, and here's to another 20 and 10 for Channing Frye. Double-doubles fit him just fine if you ask me.

There are no keys to the game here, we're talking about a team that Suns know how to defend, use their size as an advantage versus the undersized opponent.

.500 should be motivation enough for the Suns tonight. How about grabbing a big lead and holding it this time? How about giving the starters some rest? How about a Silo and Chill appearance, and maybe Dowdell on the floor long enough to hit for 30?

LET'S DO THIS!

 

Master of the Obvious Thought Provoking Statements:

  • The Suns are currently at the 10 seed, 2.5 games back of PTL and the 8th. Do the Suns need another piece to get over the hump and get into the post season? That is, even though the Suns FO are saying they are not going to be a player come trade deadline time, do you think they will try to add an expiring or other to the mix?
  • How will Goran Dragic play once he returns from his injury? Sure it doesn't matter how it happened, but it did happen, and I'm willing to bet a beer or two he's very pissed off at himself for letting it happen. Now Dowdell is in the mix and signed for the rest of the season. Sure Dowdell hasn't looked great, but he has been sufficient. He's intelligent, and he's a scrapper. Do we see a more motivated, focused, and productive Dragic upon his return?
  • Jerry Sloan just resigned. Is this good news for the Suns? Utah is a 6 seed currently. Does the Sloan departure improve Utah's shot at maintaining or improving, or is this an obstacle potentially out of the way for the Suns? Or, does it impact the Suns at all.
  • The phrase "turn the corner" is being used a lot around these parts. What does it really mean? Does it mean the Suns are back to where they should be and will beat sub-.500 teams consistently while challenging the better teams of the league on a consistent basis? Or is staying around .500 what we will see for the remainder of the season? Have the Suns been underachieving? Can they overachieve for the remainder of the season?

And here's something you've already read from Steve Nash:

"I just think we haven't been a very good team this year for the most part. We're under .500 and every win we've had has been difficult. I feel like we're hopefully getting to a point now that we can gain some confidence and momentum and start to win at a clip that's over .500 and get ourselves in a good position here.

Hearing such an honest, accurate asessment on a team's performance by the MVP of the squad is very refreshing to hear. Hell, it's beyond refreshing. In sports we constantly hear watered down cliches and individuals attempting to stay positive in the midst of adversity and massive suckitude. To hear Nash call the Suns [not] "a very good team for the most part," is something most of us have been saying all season. We can buy the line, it's neither falsely uplifting or Scott Howardesque. It is simply the truth. "Every win we've had has been difficult." Indeed. Whether the Nets or Lakers or Clippers or Celtics are the opponent, the Suns have to put up the very best game they can muster to win. Knowing you have to bring that kind of effort night in and night out should in theory keep a team focused and motivated. It doesn't always bring positive results, of course. Talent and luck comes in to play as well, but the statement is telling....

Here's a real preview:

SB Nation: Suns Host Tired Golden State Warriors (SP):

With the tired Warriors coming to town and riding the high of a good win, they are much less likely to be hungry to add a win to their standings in a season where it won't matter. Basically, everything lines up perfectly for a Suns win which would put them back at .500 and one step closer to re-entering a playoff race that is much more competitive at this point then expected.

 Warriors vs Suns coverage

Warriors vs Suns preview

Golden State Of Mind

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Jerry Sloan Ousted

This is utterly shocking news to me, even more so since it seems that Deron Williams forced him out.

Follow along at Jazz blog, SLC Dunk or the SB Nation Story Stream.


Phoenix Suns 112, Golden State Warriors 88 PHOENIX — It’s been quite a while since the Phoenix Suns could call themselves a winning team and all recent chances they have had to relinquish...

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PHOENIX — It’s no stretch to call the 2010-11 Phoenix Suns an enigma. From beating the NBA’s contenders to getting abused by the league’s worst, the Suns have seen it all this...

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Two of the league's best young point guards battle in head-to-head action.

More photos » Ben Margot - AP

Two of the league's best young point guards battle in head-to-head action.

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The Phoenix Suns got back after it on the practice court today after taking a day off on Tuesday and ahead of tomorrow's rematch with the Warriors (who play at home tonight against the Jazz  Nuggets, proving that the NBA schedule makers hate them more than they hate the Suns). 

The big talk today was about the chance to get back to .500 with a win over Golden State on Thursday. Does it matter? Personally, I think it does. 

Sure, it's just an artificial number but it's a pretty important dividing line between "really bad" and "better than average" in the minds of fans, media and yes, the players and coaches themselves.

Here's what the fellas had to say about that.

"What does that mean? If we were 2-2 would you guys be talking about being .500?" Gentry said before adding, "Obviously, we've got a mountain to climb to get into the playoffs." 

Nash went big picture when asked about it and then brought it right back to the here and now. He's a whimsical thinker like that.

"I just think we haven't been a very good team this year for the most part. We're under .500 and every win we've had has been difficult. I feel like we're hopefully getting to a point now that we can gain some confidence and momentum and start to win at a clip that's over .500 and get ourselves in a good position here.

"I think that's a great first goal. Try to get to .500 and then try to stay there and then just try and keep improving. The process is to keep improving and hopefully the wins will come."

Channing Frye doesn't care about .500 all that much.

"It's just the next step. We're not throwing a party or anything. We should have been at .500 a long time ago."

And Grant Hill has never met a question that he can't answer in under three minutes.

"I don't know. It's been an interesting, difficult season at times. It seems that we've improved and are starting to play a lot better. We'll see, but I don't think it's a mental block or anything of that nature...We're not going to do fireworks (in the locker room) if we win tomorrow night."

Note the "..." that indicates numerous sentences I left out of Grant's response in the name of brevity.

Also note the fireworks in the locker room comment was a reference to New Year's Eve when Robert Sarver's kids lit off fireworks in the locker room after the Suns beat Detroit.

Fireworks? Did somebody say fireworks?


Other Fun Stuff They Said And So I Transcribed For Your Information And General Enjoyment And Pleasure

Gentry

  • "I don't think it's a matter of energy (causing fourth quarter struggles). I think sometimes we become a little bit too conservative. We've got to keep the flow and the pace of the game up."
  • "There will be time and clock situations where we've got to slow down but in the eight minute area all the way up to the three minute area we've got to keep the pace of the game up. I think we become a little bit too conservative sometimes in those situations, especially when we have a lead."
  • Asked about playing Robin Lopez and hoping he gets back to last year's form: "We hope so, that's why we continue to play him. We know that it's in there. He gave it to us last year. So, we just have to keep working with him. Hopefully, at some stag we'll get that play out of him that we got last year."
  • On Goran Dragic's status: "No, I don't think he'll play tomorrow. I think it's getting there, but I wouldn't count on him tomorrow. I still say he's probably a couple of games away. He's got to be able to move laterally and put some weight on that (toe). It was a little ginger today I think." 
  • He did some stuff, ran around but didn't do five on five. 
  • Asked about comparisons between Curry and Nash: "We've got to give him (Curry) a chance to develop a little more. Everybody sees the finished product with Steve but we've got to go back and look at Steve in the second year in the NBA. I think the potential is there."
  • "He (Curry) has got to get a little bit stronger. The one thing that Steve did was he kind of reinvented himself and changed his whole body and I think that Curry would have to do some work in that department right there. I think he's a bright kid that knows the game, shoots the ball extremely well, very unselfish and has really good court demeanor."
  • "Your zone offense is that you either make or you miss shots because you're going to get shots. When you make them, everyone thinks your zone offense is great and when you miss them, they say, 'boy, the zone really bogged you guys down.'"
  • "I don't think any coach enjoys playing zone to be honest with you but sometimes it's a necessity."
  • Gentry said he is following the Melo trade rumors. "I would rather see anybody in New York rather than LA. I'd rather see Kobe go along with him and there's no reason why they shouldn't have Kevin Durant too. Anybody that wants to go East, I'm all for it."
  • "There's teams that are playing well. Memphis and Portland being two of them that we're trying to catch are playing real well. We've got to find a way to continue to win games and play our best and then we'll take the results."

Nash

  • "They went zone in the fourth quarter mostly. It took us out of post ups and gave us different looks."
  • "We got stagnant (against the zone) but we also got good looks. We worked on it in practice a little bit so I think we can clear it up."
  • We are getting better and hopefully we can win at a higher rate.
  • "I really don't hear about (trade rumors) until I come down here and you guys ask me about it. I think it's all speculation from people who need something to write. At this stage in my career, it really doesn't bother me at all. It's not really part of my day-to-day."
  • Dudley tweeted that he got Nash a bottle of wine for his birthday, any other gifts from teammates?
  • "No, that was it. The rest of the cheap bastards didn't get me anything."

Hill

  • Asked about watching the upcoming Duke-North Carolina game with Vince Carter (UNC grad) "I never watch the game with the enemy."
  • Grant then said (again), "I don't really watch Duke until the Final Four. I'll probably watch a little curling on CTV."
  • "I offered to give (Vince) 10 points, but I haven't heard back from him."
  • On fourth quarter let-downs:
  • "I've been here now four years and have been on some good teams that have won a lot of games. It doesn't happen a whole lot where we just blow teams out....I'll take being up big and learning to have to manage the lead then being out of the game altogether."
  • "The four years I've been here, a 20 point lead either way doesn't mean much. That was the mindset when we got down, but even when we're up. You don't want to accept it, you want to try and improve on it, but it's a good problem, I guess, to have."
  • Asked about locking up Monta Ellis: "It's never the defense. Guys in this league are too good. You can play great defense and if a guy's going, he's going. There's not a whole lot you can do about it."
  • Grant said he feels the same regardless of his minutes but also said that with Pietrus taking some of the work load that, "when I'm out there, I think my minutes are fresher and I'm able to probably be more productive."
  • "Grant enjoyed playing against Monta Ellis in the post. It's important to make him work on defense." Also said, "It's cool. It was fun. I felt like Carmelo."


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