Here's a few links to chew on...

Follow Eurobasket2013.org for live updates of Gortat (Poland), Dragic (Slovenia) and Kravtsov (Ukraine).

USA Today ranks Suns 30th in Watchability this season

JUST TRY TO IGNORE ...

Ugly basketball: Dragic, Gortat and Bledsoe all would be role players on good teams. Here, they will be asked to be the stars. The Suns may have the worst-constructed roster in basketball, and watching Dragic and Bledsoe take shots that no one else is more qualified to take won't be pretty.

SI.com's Ben Golliver (of BEdge fame) gives the Suns a nice offseason score

Grade: B+. This was a textbook overhaul: replacing bad vibes, desperate management and nonessential veterans while injecting a clearer vision, eager front-office personnel and young talent. If they had a time machine, the Suns would likely rewind to 2010 and do things differently, but that doesn't change the fact that this summer goes down as a badly needed "better way late than never" course correction.

And finally, informal workouts have picked up.

Picture_31_medium

Here's a few links to chew on...

Follow Eurobasket2013.org for live updates of Gortat (Poland), Dragic (Slovenia) and Kravtsov (Ukraine).

USA Today ranks Suns 30th in Watchability this season

JUST TRY TO IGNORE ...

Ugly basketball: Dragic, Gortat and Bledsoe all would be role players on good teams. Here, they will be asked to be the stars. The Suns may have the worst-constructed roster in basketball, and watching Dragic and Bledsoe take shots that no one else is more qualified to take won't be pretty.

SI.com's Ben Golliver (of BEdge fame) gives the Suns a nice offseason score

Grade: B+. This was a textbook overhaul: replacing bad vibes, desperate management and nonessential veterans while injecting a clearer vision, eager front-office personnel and young talent. If they had a time machine, the Suns would likely rewind to 2010 and do things differently, but that doesn't change the fact that this summer goes down as a badly needed "better way late than never" course correction.

And finally, informal workouts have picked up.

Picture_31_medium

Eric Bledsoe has been classified as a point guard throughout his career. At just under 6-foot-2, that is understandable. However, in college he played alongside John Wall and in Los Angeles last season (his break-out year) next to Chris Paul. Bledsoe has no problems playing off the ball alongside other point guards.

In Part I of this breakdown, we saw what Bledsoe was able to do with the ball in his hands as the initiator of the offense; the "point guard." In Part II, you'll get a better idea of how Bledsoe plays in transition and off the ball. Short answer: not as well as you'd expect in the open court but pretty darn good off the ball.

Transition

Jeff Hornacek wants his team to run, run, run this year, and Eric Bledsoe seems perfectly suited to do so. Once again, he is incredibly explosive in the open court and can get down the floor in a hurry. Transition was Bledsoe's second most common play type last year at just shy of 21 percent of his plays. He loves to get out and run.

Sac_dunk_1_medium

In this play, Chris Paul pokes the ball loose from behind and it is picked up by another Clipper. Notice where Bledsoe starts the play.

Sac_dunk_2_medium

The Clipper big passes off to Bledsoe, and he pushes it down court to Paul. Notice how quickly Bledsoe was able to run down the floor, beating the Sacramento players back and creating a two-on-one.

Sac_dunk_3_medium

Well, more of a two-on-none as the Sacramento player doesn't even really make an effort to stop Paul who drives in and puts the ball up in the air for Bledsoe to go get.

Sac_dunk_4_medium

And get it he does. Take notice of the 6-foot-2 Bledsoe's knees at head height. My goodness this guy is athletic.

That's the good. But a Bledsoe fast break is a double-edged sword. He only finished with 0.93 points per possession on the break, which ranks him 280th overall on Synergy. He shot 53.6 percent from the field - good under normal circumstances but pedestrian in the open court - and turned the ball over on 22 percent of his possessions. In comparison, Dragic scored 1.11 points per possession (still only ranked 175th) on 60.1 percent shooting and only turned it over 15.2 percent of the time.

Bledsoe can get tunnel vision when he's on the break and often charges the basket regardless of how many defenders are back or how many teammates he has running with him. He can get going too fast and lose control, either turning the ball over or getting himself stuck and having to force up bad shots.

Noh_to_1_medium

On this play Bledsoe is bringing the ball down the court. Notice the three defenders that are already back across halfcourt and ahead of Bledsoe.

Noh_to_2_medium

As Bledsoe crosses the midcourt line you can see four Hornets back on defense, while Bledsoe only has two teammates with him. In this scenario, with no numbers, the smart play is to pull the ball out and set up your halfcourt offense.

Noh_to_3_medium

Bledsoe instead chooses to go one-on-four and loses the ball.

As with all players, with the good comes the bad from Eric Bledsoe. The difference is his highs are higher and his lows are lower than most of the players we saw suit up for the Suns last year. That being said, Dragic and Bledsoe should be able to work together to pressure opposing guards, force turnovers and get out on the break. That's probably going to be the Suns' best chance at success this season, and it could be a lot of fun to watch.

Spot-up

Bledsoe is not known for his jumpshot, but he actually can be an effective spot-up player. He played a lot alongside ball-dominant guards in Paul and Jamal Crawford and ball-handling bigs like Lamar Odom and Blake Griffin; therefore, he spent a decent amount of his court time spotting up on the perimeter. This is the area of the game where most of his 3-pointers came from (22 of his 31 made threes) and he shot 44 percent on those attempts.

Min_3fg_1_medium

Bledsoe brings the ball down and passes off to Odom on the wing. Minnesota is packing the paint defensively.

Min_3fg_2_medium

Odom passes back to Bledsoe at the top of the key, and he fakes a pass.

Min_3fg_3_medium

Nobody closes out on Bledsoe so he knocks the shot down. Again, notice how he barely leaves the floor.

In this spot-up role he can knock shots down at a much higher rate than shooting off the dribble.

He can also occasionally take advantage of a hard close-out to attack the basket. Unfortunately, this rarely ends well as he shot just 9-36 on spot-up 2-pointers all season.

Nobody is going to confuse Eric Bledsoe with Ray Allen as a shooter, but he can shoot it well enough to take advantage of kick-outs from Dragic.

Cut

This is the area where Bledsoe is most effective. He's a terrific slasher for a point guard who plays with a high level of energy. Bledsoe only recorded 50 cut plays on the season (seven percent overall) but in those 50 plays he was very effective scoring 1.29 points per possession (ranked 50th overall) on a 65.2 percent clip.

Mem_dunk_1_medium

On this play Chris Paul drives into the lane and collapses the defense before kicking out to the open Lamar Odom on the perimeter.

Mem_dunk_2_medium

Mike Conley starts to rotate over and close out on Odom and, seeing an opening, Bledsoe back cuts. Odom sees him and makes the pass.

Mem_dunk_3_medium

Bledsoe makes the catch, elevates and slams it home. This is a pretty typical play for Bledsoe. He's quick to make a cut if his man loses track of him or turns his head and has the explosiveness to to take advantage of those defensive mistakes.

Oh, did I mention he's athletic?

Por_oop_1_medium

On this play, Bledsoe brings the ball down and hands off to Jamal Crawford on the wing.

Por_oop_2_medium

Bledsoe then run off a Griffin screen and cuts to the basket. Griffin's man doesn't hedge and Bledsoe's man can't get around the screen in time.

Por_oop_3_medium

Crawford throws the alley and Bledsoe slams the oop. Again, this is a set play for an alley-oop to a 6-foot- 2 point guard.

Need more evidence?

Gsw_oop_1_medium

This is actually the same play, only he cuts backdoor instead of on the ball side. Bledsoe passes off to the wing then cuts away.

Gsw_oop_2_medium

Turiaf sets the screen, catching Bledsoe's man off guard, and Bledsoe cuts hard. You know what's coming next.

Gsw_oop_3_medium

BOOM!

Bledsoe is equally effective on the offensive glass at 1.28 points per possession. He has a Shawn Marion-esque quick second jump after missing at the basket, and has a knack for crashing the glass when someone else takes a shot.

This is the area of the game where Bledsoe can be special. This is the best way for him to put his athleticism and energy to use. If the Suns can get Bledsoe to buy into playing as an off-the-ball wrecking ball primarily, the Goran Dragic-Bledsoe backcourt has a chance to blossom into something special.

Can they play together?

Last week former Sun Jared Dudley held an impromptu Twitter Q&A. I took the opportunity to ask him about the Suns' shiny new backcourt.

RT @JacobPadilla_: What do you think about the Dragic-Bledsoe backcourt for PHX? ( I love both players! But hard to start both)

— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) August 27, 2013

In case you missed the last 2500 words I wrote, I don't necessarily agree with Dudley.

James Park of Sheridan Hoops (ICYMI, Dave wrote a Suns-centric season preview for them) picked up Jared's answer to my question and ran with it as their Tweet of the Night. Park offered his own analysis and dropped a few interesting nuggets on the situation, but ultimately concluded that they won't start together despite the team saying so.

The Suns are going to start both guards to begin the season. From what I've seen doing this breakdown, I really do think it will work offensively. The biggest obstacle is the pair's lack of size on the defensive end, although I believe the team can do some things systemically to address that. The second biggest obstacle will be spacing, and I think that could be more difficult to fix depending on how much Channing Frye will be able to offer this season. Finally, both guys are going to have to buy in, and I don't think that will be a problem for these too.

Everybody strap in. The ride could be bumpy, but it should be plenty of fun as well.

More from Bright Side Of The Sun:

Eric Bledsoe has been classified as a point guard throughout his career. At just under 6-foot-2, that is understandable. However, in college he played alongside John Wall and in Los Angeles last season (his break-out year) next to Chris Paul. Bledsoe has no problems playing off the ball alongside other point guards.

In Part I of this breakdown, we saw what Bledsoe was able to do with the ball in his hands as the initiator of the offense; the "point guard." In Part II, you'll get a better idea of how Bledsoe plays in transition and off the ball. Short answer: not as well as you'd expect in the open court but pretty darn good off the ball.

Transition

Jeff Hornacek wants his team to run, run, run this year, and Eric Bledsoe seems perfectly suited to do so. Once again, he is incredibly explosive in the open court and can get down the floor in a hurry. Transition was Bledsoe's second most common play type last year at just shy of 21 percent of his plays. He loves to get out and run.

Sac_dunk_1_medium

In this play, Chris Paul pokes the ball loose from behind and it is picked up by another Clipper. Notice where Bledsoe starts the play.

Sac_dunk_2_medium

The Clipper big passes off to Bledsoe, and he pushes it down court to Paul. Notice how quickly Bledsoe was able to run down the floor, beating the Sacramento players back and creating a two-on-one.

Sac_dunk_3_medium

Well, more of a two-on-none as the Sacramento player doesn't even really make an effort to stop Paul who drives in and puts the ball up in the air for Bledsoe to go get.

Sac_dunk_4_medium

And get it he does. Take notice of the 6-foot-2 Bledsoe's knees at head height. My goodness this guy is athletic.

That's the good. But a Bledsoe fast break is a double-edged sword. He only finished with 0.93 points per possession on the break, which ranks him 280th overall on Synergy. He shot 53.6 percent from the field - good under normal circumstances but pedestrian in the open court - and turned the ball over on 22 percent of his possessions. In comparison, Dragic scored 1.11 points per possession (still only ranked 175th) on 60.1 percent shooting and only turned it over 15.2 percent of the time.

Bledsoe can get tunnel vision when he's on the break and often charges the basket regardless of how many defenders are back or how many teammates he has running with him. He can get going too fast and lose control, either turning the ball over or getting himself stuck and having to force up bad shots.

Noh_to_1_medium

On this play Bledsoe is bringing the ball down the court. Notice the three defenders that are already back across halfcourt and ahead of Bledsoe.

Noh_to_2_medium

As Bledsoe crosses the midcourt line you can see four Hornets back on defense, while Bledsoe only has two teammates with him. In this scenario, with no numbers, the smart play is to pull the ball out and set up your halfcourt offense.

Noh_to_3_medium

Bledsoe instead chooses to go one-on-four and loses the ball.

As with all players, with the good comes the bad from Eric Bledsoe. The difference is his highs are higher and his lows are lower than most of the players we saw suit up for the Suns last year. That being said, Dragic and Bledsoe should be able to work together to pressure opposing guards, force turnovers and get out on the break. That's probably going to be the Suns' best chance at success this season, and it could be a lot of fun to watch.

Spot-up

Bledsoe is not known for his jumpshot, but he actually can be an effective spot-up player. He played a lot alongside ball-dominant guards in Paul and Jamal Crawford and ball-handling bigs like Lamar Odom and Blake Griffin; therefore, he spent a decent amount of his court time spotting up on the perimeter. This is the area of the game where most of his 3-pointers came from (22 of his 31 made threes) and he shot 44 percent on those attempts.

Min_3fg_1_medium

Bledsoe brings the ball down and passes off to Odom on the wing. Minnesota is packing the paint defensively.

Min_3fg_2_medium

Odom passes back to Bledsoe at the top of the key, and he fakes a pass.

Min_3fg_3_medium

Nobody closes out on Bledsoe so he knocks the shot down. Again, notice how he barely leaves the floor.

In this spot-up role he can knock shots down at a much higher rate than shooting off the dribble.

He can also occasionally take advantage of a hard close-out to attack the basket. Unfortunately, this rarely ends well as he shot just 9-36 on spot-up 2-pointers all season.

Nobody is going to confuse Eric Bledsoe with Ray Allen as a shooter, but he can shoot it well enough to take advantage of kick-outs from Dragic.

Cut

This is the area where Bledsoe is most effective. He's a terrific slasher for a point guard who plays with a high level of energy. Bledsoe only recorded 50 cut plays on the season (seven percent overall) but in those 50 plays he was very effective scoring 1.29 points per possession (ranked 50th overall) on a 65.2 percent clip.

Mem_dunk_1_medium

On this play Chris Paul drives into the lane and collapses the defense before kicking out to the open Lamar Odom on the perimeter.

Mem_dunk_2_medium

Mike Conley starts to rotate over and close out on Odom and, seeing an opening, Bledsoe back cuts. Odom sees him and makes the pass.

Mem_dunk_3_medium

Bledsoe makes the catch, elevates and slams it home. This is a pretty typical play for Bledsoe. He's quick to make a cut if his man loses track of him or turns his head and has the explosiveness to to take advantage of those defensive mistakes.

Oh, did I mention he's athletic?

Por_oop_1_medium

On this play, Bledsoe brings the ball down and hands off to Jamal Crawford on the wing.

Por_oop_2_medium

Bledsoe then run off a Griffin screen and cuts to the basket. Griffin's man doesn't hedge and Bledsoe's man can't get around the screen in time.

Por_oop_3_medium

Crawford throws the alley and Bledsoe slams the oop. Again, this is a set play for an alley-oop to a 6-foot- 2 point guard.

Need more evidence?

Gsw_oop_1_medium

This is actually the same play, only he cuts backdoor instead of on the ball side. Bledsoe passes off to the wing then cuts away.

Gsw_oop_2_medium

Turiaf sets the screen, catching Bledsoe's man off guard, and Bledsoe cuts hard. You know what's coming next.

Gsw_oop_3_medium

BOOM!

Bledsoe is equally effective on the offensive glass at 1.28 points per possession. He has a Shawn Marion-esque quick second jump after missing at the basket, and has a knack for crashing the glass when someone else takes a shot.

This is the area of the game where Bledsoe can be special. This is the best way for him to put his athleticism and energy to use. If the Suns can get Bledsoe to buy into playing as an off-the-ball wrecking ball primarily, the Goran Dragic-Bledsoe backcourt has a chance to blossom into something special.

Can they play together?

Last week former Sun Jared Dudley held an impromptu Twitter Q&A. I took the opportunity to ask him about the Suns' shiny new backcourt.

RT @JacobPadilla_: What do you think about the Dragic-Bledsoe backcourt for PHX? ( I love both players! But hard to start both)

— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) August 27, 2013

In case you missed the last 2500 words I wrote, I don't necessarily agree with Dudley.

James Park of Sheridan Hoops (ICYMI, Dave wrote a Suns-centric season preview for them) picked up Jared's answer to my question and ran with it as their Tweet of the Night. Park offered his own analysis and dropped a few interesting nuggets on the situation, but ultimately concluded that they won't start together despite the team saying so.

The Suns are going to start both guards to begin the season. From what I've seen doing this breakdown, I really do think it will work offensively. The biggest obstacle is the pair's lack of size on the defensive end, although I believe the team can do some things systemically to address that. The second biggest obstacle will be spacing, and I think that could be more difficult to fix depending on how much Channing Frye will be able to offer this season. Finally, both guys are going to have to buy in, and I don't think that will be a problem for these too.

Everybody strap in. The ride could be bumpy, but it should be plenty of fun as well.

For the first time since 2004 the Phoenix Suns are going up north a week to get ready for the 2013-2014 season at Northern Arizona University. The team had spent 20 years there before getting ready for seasons past, but had taken the team to Tucson, then far away to San Diego and Italy in recent years.

The team is heading slightly north of their home at U.S. Airways Arena to Flagstaff from September 30th through October 5th before the pre-season opener against Maccabi Bazan Haifa on October 7.

Current head coach Jeff Hornacek as well as assistants Mark West and Kenny Gattison have been a part of previous Flagstaff Training Camps as players. This is their first as a part of a coaching staff in yet another call-back to yesteryear for the new Suns regime.

Over the past few months the team has made an effort to bring back some of the old school to the new school. Hornacek, West, and Gattison are all former members of the Suns, the new jerseys are a wink at the classic 1990's uniforms, the Fashion Show brought back many retired players, and now heading back to Flagstaff keeps the team close to their fans.

Training Camp is an important process for the team as they are incorporating eight new players (nine if you count a returning Channing Frye) and a brand new coaching staff.

Everything is new for this team as they take the next step towards the future and the fans will get a chance to see the progression with an open scrimmage on the final day of Training Camp for the public to come in and see.

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