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This picture is awesome. More of this please.

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There was a time when I got really upset if the Suns lost a game. I couldn't sleep, repeating the game in my head like a screwed up DVR, over and over again. I figured it was not healthy to let a basketball team affect my mood that much and that at some point I had to put everything in perspective and realize it was just a game.

I've been able to do it. I don't punch walls or kick dogs anymore. I still rant on twitter and facebook but I no longer lose sleep. Not even after losing to the Lakers last year when the Suns were two games away from going to the Finals. But the truth is that no matter how many disappointing games previous Suns teams had, I never stopped believing in those teams. Not one night. And that's what has been different this year.

It's been a tough season to watch. I don't get to see a lot of games in HD. I mostly rely on several websites to watch the Suns play. It feels like the Suns have lost every game I've seen on TV. I don't remember turning the damn thing off (on previous years) while the Suns were playing in the 3rd Quarter. I've done it four times this year.

I was ready to give up on the season, supporting Nash trade proposals and getting ready to rebuild but The Suns are alive and kicking now, riding a 4 game winning streak with a great opportunity to make it a 5 game winning streak when they meet the Wizards in DC.

The Suns were losing to good and bad teams so to me, the winning streak is legit. Does that mean that all of our prayers have been answered and that this team has finally turned the corner? Too early to say that. Is the winning streak fools gold? Too early to say that too. It's certainly a step in the right direction which has allowed the team to relax and just play and have fun.

There are areas of concern of course. The team has reverted to the "Oh shit, Steve Nash needs to rest" days. Teams are licking their chops when they see him sit. Goran Dragic's play has not been consistent. I'm not a fan of this stat but he has the team's worst plus-minus rating. Sure, blame doesn't go to him only, it's a team effort and the Suns have yet to find the right combination of players who can step up and play hard when Nash sits.

The Wizards, on the other hand, have their on share of problems. Flip Saunders is getting a lot of criticism from the media and fans, questioning his in-game decisions and adjustments. Confusing substitutions patterns and managing minutes are a cause of concern.

The Suns look to continue their dominance over the Wizards. They have won the last 8 matchups by an average of 17.6 points while shooting 53% from the field.

The Wizards are standing at 0-20 on the road. Yup, that's not a typo. But they are tough at home. They are 10-2 against teams with a losing record (us) and give up 96.4 points at home. They have held 7 of their last 9 opponents to less than 100 points. They have won 4 straight games at the Verizon Center.

How can a team be so tough at home and so bad on the road? It's simple. This happens to young teams. It's really up to their coaching staff to turn this around and encourage players to play confident in hostile environments. It's a mental thing.

For instance, Nick Young averages 26.1 points at home and 14.3 on the road. That's a HUGE differential.

The Suns have a chance to put away the Wizards and go home tonight with W. It will not be easy, especially playing at the Verizon Center. For those of you expecting the win without much sweat...not gonna happen. There aren't any easy teams for the Suns anymore. They will have to come focused and play hard.

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Have the Suns turned the corner?

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Robin Lopez vs Marcin Gortat: Who's Better? - SB Nation AZ

Seth Pollack breaks down the numbers between Robin Lopez and Marcin Gortat answer the question: which center is more valuable to the Suns.

Alvin Gentry said that the starting job is up for grabs between Gortat and Lopez and he would love to have one of those guys step up and claim the job. Fortunately, we have 13 games of data to use since the trade to make some assumptions and help him decide which way to go.


Update by Seth Pollack, 01/22/11 1:50 PM MST ]

We have a location! Coach and Willies on 3rd street just south of Jackson's. Here's the location details.

We have an upstairs area reserved and will have food and drink specials for our group.

Be sure to RSVP via Facebook.

For ticket info, click on this here link to get more ticket deal info.

54 seats left for tonight's PHX-BOS meetup in the BsotS Zone. Prices start at $65, all seats are less than $100. http://tiqiq.us/05Z

We've been tossing this idea around for awhile but thanks to the lack of organization skills of yours truly, it hasn't happened...until now! 

It is a pregame meet up!!!

It will be before the Suns game versus the Boston Celtics on January 28th which is a Friday and an 8:30pm tip time so that all works very nicely. 

This will be a chill (informal) event so don't feel the need to break out your tux. Just show up, have a brew, chat it out, and head over to the game. If you don't have tickets to the game, you can just hang out at the bar and drink some more before finding a SAFE way to go home.

As a bonus, we will be welcoming one of our long-time UK regulars, Chis Baker (aka Toon Army Sun) who is flying all the way over just to have a beer with us...and see a few Suns games.

To RSVP (and you better, so we can plan this thing), head over to the Event listing on our Facebook page.

The location is still a bit up in the air but it will be at a bar in downtown Phoenix within easy walking distance of the arena. We'll get to meeting around 6pm.

I am also working on a few special surprises for the event. Stay tuned!

Here's some info on getting tickets to the game. SB Nation has a partnership (that will be rolling out soon on this site) with TiqIQ that does some really cool ticket deal aggregation stuff and sh&t. 

Unfortunately, this Boston game is in high demand so prices are high.. Bsots_meetup__1__medium
.Click on this here link to get more ticket deal info.


Suns Player Thermometer - Who's Hot, Who's Not


Phoenix Suns' Marcin Gortat, from Poland, (4) shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers' Antawn Jamison (4) and J.J. Hickson (21) in the second quarter in an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

More photos » Tony Dejak - AP

7 days ago: Phoenix Suns' Marcin Gortat, from Poland, (4) shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers' Antawn Jamison (4) and J.J. Hickson (21) in the second quarter in an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

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This Suns victory was as ugly as J.J. Hicks' yellow shoes. Ugly.

For three plus quarters it looked as though the Suns would gain some permanent separation, thus allowing the starters some rest and a chance to gain a nice momentum building uncontested victory. Yet our boys in ORNG  peaked with a 17 point lead with four minutes left in the third before the Cavaliers began pecking away into the 4th quarter.

The Cavaliers went on a 13-3 run while Steve Nash rested and the other Suns missed 8 straight field goals and found themselves within 5 points before Vince Carter hit his first and only field goal of the game, a long 3-pointer to extend the lead to 8. A few ugly possessions later and the clock gave way:

Final: Suns 106 Cavaliers 98.

Said Hakim Warrick via Twitter:  We'll take it...

Thoughts From the Bright Side:

  • The Suns won their fourth straight and are 2-0 thus far on the road trip.
  • Marcin Gortat led the bench with a line of 16 and 12 to go with 3 blocks and a sterling +24
  • Grant Hill went for 27 and  12 in 41 (forty one) minutes of action. The guy flat brings it every night. He's scored in double figures in 26 of the 37 games he's played. What he continues to do at his age is pretty dang incredible. Extend the man. Now.
  • Steve Nash went for 15 and 15. Yeah, old hat, Nash with a double double. Nash has notched double doubles in 8 of his past 12 games. In 37 games he's had 23 games of 10 assists or more. 
  • Vince Carter had 8 rebounds.  Rebounds are good.

Thoughts From the Dark Side:

  • Robin Lopez's line:  11 minutes/9 points/4 personal fouls/0 (zero) rebounds. If he's on the floor, he can do good things. But that's kind of the problem, keeping the Fro on the floor. As far as the rebounding goes, admittedly I am at a loss. Is he still playing volleyball, does he not know how to position himself, does he have a 29 inch waist? I don't get it.
  • Vince Carter: two nights removed from his best night as a Sun scores 3 points on 1-6 shooting. Gassed? Not shooting for 20,000 points? Not trying to impress fellow Tar Heel Antawn Jamison? I don't know much about Vince other then the Suns need his best every night. I am not convinced he is bringing it. I get it, playing at MSG is much different than Quicken Arena. The thing about Vince though is that you want him to be good, you want to believe what he says, but something's missing about the guy. He always says the right thing just like that guy trying to sell you the used KIA. 
  • Goran Dragic: not a bad line. But is Goran going to be All-Star caliber? He's had All-Star caliber games, but he's mental. And I'm not buying the line that he isn't getting enough consistent playing time. He needs to earn it. Goran, you are Frosty right now. Earn your Dragon moniker.
  • Suns Defense: Should have locked it down in the 3rd and 4th. How many times do we hear about how the D drives the offense? Up by 16 in the 3rd, the Suns had a golden opportunity to blow the game wide open. Instead, the Suns miss some field goals, get some others blocked, commit some turnovers, and let Gibson and Harris hit 3's. In the 4th, more of the same, after some squandered possessions, Moon and Jamison hit 3's...With their hands squeezing the throats of the miserable Cavs, the Suns just...lose interest. 

 

An uninspiring win, but a win nonetheless. The Wiz up next 1/21/11

Suns Fail to Drop the Hammer...SB Nation

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Fear The Sword


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