Phoenix Suns 135, Minnesota Timberwolves 127 OT With both the Suns and Timberwolves now fighting more for ping pong balls than wins, Monday’s matchup between the two teams might come down to...

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Well, three more days and two more games until the Suns will be packing their bags, cleaning out their lockers and goin' fishin'. Yup, the end is near,  just three more days of misery and it will all be over.

I'll be honest with all ya, it's been real hard to watch these past few games. The team has mentally checked out and when that happens the games become less entertaining or rather boring to watch actually. Yet, we still watch them anyway, (sort of) because we love the team and want to support them. That doesn't mean we'll be mentally checked into them, but hey thus is life when your team sucks.

There are reasons to be cheerful though. Yes, things are bad in Planet Orange, but there's always a bright light at the end of the tunnel and I can assure you that that bright light is not a train.

The Reasons

1. Steve Nash wants to stay. "I want to stay..."- Nash. See? Yea, you've heard it before, but it's good to hear it again and again and again...

2. The Suns finally have a Center! I'm calling it right now, Marcin Gortat is the best center the Suns have had for a long, long time and he will only get better. He will make an all-star team. Of course, he's not perfect and has his share of weaknesses,  but read this-

Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat embraces improvement
"In the summer, I'm going to work my butt off to be one of the leaders of this team."- Gortat

"He's a hard worker," coach Alvin Gentry said. "The guy loves playing. That's what I like about him. There's been a few times he's run out of gas, but only when he's playing 18 straight minutes. For the most part, he's been pretty damn good."

3. The Suns have some good role players and leaders in Grant Hill, Channing Frye and Jared Dudley. They're keepers. Add Nash and Gortat to that group and you've got a strong five. The FO just needs to surround them with other role players just like them. That means they must be, consistent, hard-working, awesome, and have a passion to win.

And really, that's the best the FO could do this coming summer unless they can pull off a "Gasol like" deal which I doubt they could. It will be a while before this team will find another franchise player and I've accepted that. Still, that isn't bad. The Denver Nuggets are proving right now that you can have a good, strong team made up of only role players as long as they all give it 100% all the time and that the team is well balanced, meaning no glut or logjam of wings, big-men.... I believe it is very possible the Phoenix Suns can be like that next season.

4. No more Vince Carter! YEAAAAA!

5. New uni's maybe?

You see, the future in Planet Orange isn't "that" bad.

Now just in case that light is a train than here's some advice, courtesy of John Doe from Canis Hoopus.

It’s really good to delude yourself into thinking that your most recent lottery pick will be the one to save you. When your GM drafts the wrong guy year after year, you’ll find yourself hopefully able to have some shred of hope (Wes) or you can go the other direction and just laugh at how terrible a player is (Jonny). Either way, you’re invested.

Being this terrible is the only thing capable of making me follow a sport as unwatchable as college basketball. You can pretty much scout prospects from November to March, and move straight on to mock drafts and rooting for the Wizards and Cavs to pick up meaningless late-season wins from there.

Our new GM’s reclamation project kick has been a real joy. The odds were never good that Darko, Beasley, or Randolph would turn it around, but they aren’t zero either. My team’s on a 10 game losing streak, but AR had a 20/10 game and Beasley threw up a 20/11/7. I’m going to focus on the latter fact.

-John Doe

 

Minnesota Timberwolves

It can be easy to get sidetracked and forget that there's a game tonight. The Suns and T-Wolves tipoff at 7PM AZ Time or 10PM EDT in Phoenix. 

The Wolves have lost 13 in a row including a loss that saw Ty Lawson from the Nuggets make 10 three-pointers. Also, Kevin Love will not play and neither will Darko Milicic.

The Suns won the last meeting just a few days ago, 108-98 in Minny. Love did not play that game either and both Nash and Gortat played only the 1st and 3rd quarters. Both teams have pretty much checked out, so the Suns should be able to win this one on cruise control. Other than that there really isn't much more to say about this game. Suns just need to go out there and take care of business. Playoffs are out of reach, but a win is a win and it goes in the record books nonetheless.

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The Suns’ season ended exactly two weeks ago at home against Dallas. Or at least that’s when the team mailed in the rest of its schedule. 14 days later, it seems only fitting Phoenix...

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Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki (41), of Germany, defends on a shot by Phoenix Suns' Marcin Gortat (4), of Poland, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 10, 2011, in Dallas. (AP Photo/ Richard W. Rodriguez)

Ugh.

As I wrote in the game preview, the Mavericks had to make a decision: do they want to play with fire in the playoffs (tough first round, but easier second round), or take the less-stressful, long summer road (one easier round, followed by certain death against the Lakers)?

We may never know, because the Phoenix Suns didn't give the Mavericks a chance to decide. Neither Planet Orange nor Planet Purple bothered to show up for the game in Dallas tonight, and the Mavericks scrimmaged their way to a win. Now the Mavs have the inside track on the 3 seed and at best a second-round playoff exit.

And the Suns? Off for a long vacation in 3 days.

The Suns had 3 games left as of today - a prime opportunity to play their young guys a lot of minutes to see what they could give the team in the future. The Suns did this 2 seasons ago with Lopez and Dragic, and it paid dividends in 2009-2010 as both players helped the team go deep in the playoffs.

This year? Not so much. Dragic and Clark were traded this season for "win now" talent (Gortat/Pietrus/Carter, Brooks) and last summer's draft pick Gani Lawal is out for the season with injury.

Only Robin Lopez and Garret Siler are younger than 25. They teamed up for a grand total of 16 minutes, 6 points and 1 rebound (all points and rebounds by Siler).

Again: ugh.

So what's the Bright Side? How about this: when the Suns make several more roster moves this summer, none of us will be whining about "too much change". This team HAS to change drastically to be any good again. There's no future in winning 38-40 games a season. All it gets you is a bad lottery pick.


Nash returns tonight. Can he stick it to Dallas one more time?  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)





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