Discounting his solid performance against the Lakers [in a loss I might add], Robin Lopez has been non-existent this young season. A lot was expected of him based on his solid improvement last year. This was a that looked like he was destined to play with Taylor Griffin in Venezuela, but turned himself into someone that actually has a chance at being a starting center in this league.
While I am not lost on the fact that we are only seven games into the season, I am still concerned with his lack of play. Sure, he could use his back as an excuse. Or he could claim that he isn't in great shape right now. However, I don't believe that those are acceptable responses to his pitiful play. He has had plenty of time to recover from his injuries and get back into shape.
I am sure I will hear how back injuries are difficult [one ended my career BTW, so I am very familiar]. Yet I am more concerned that if his injuries are plaguing him, the Suns have a real problem on their hands. Like it or not, the Suns need Lopez to produce more than they need anyone else. He NEEDS to rebound and defend the post. He needs to be able to pick and roll without turning it over. He needs to be effective. But he is not.
For now, it is my opinion that he needs to be on the bench as a message to him. I am fairly certain that he is the type of player that a good benching will ignite a fire within his belly. For now, Frye or Warrick needs to start and Lopez should have to earn his way back.
Is it reasonable for NBA observers to ponder what the Phoenix Suns might or might not do with Steve Nash before the trade deadline? Of course. That's normal. It happens all the time with folk throwing "stuff" against the wall. It's a fun pastime in NBA writing and pundit circles and certainly something we've been known to partake in here, as well.
And yet, doesn't it just chap your hide (hey, East Coast fellers, that's how we talk 'round yonder here parts) when you read stuff like this:
Dealing Nash unthinkable? Suns shouldn't close any doors | NBA.com
For a franchise that doesn't seem willing (or able?) to spend money on big-ticket free agents, the only way to rebuild is through the Draft or with promising young players. The only way to do that is to trade an asset. Do the Suns keep Nash around for sentimental reasons and to win 45-50 games (which takes them out of the Draft lottery) and play a round or two in the playoffs? Or do they trade him and get something in return before it's too late?
It does me. Consider my hide thoroughly chapped.
And yes, I am open to hearing from loyal readers interested in coming over to rub cream on my chapped hide.
The problem here isn't the general idea that the Suns might be interested in trading Nash. Again, that's just normal speculation and we'll be hearing plenty of it between now and the NBA Trade Deadline (February 24, 3 p.m. EST).
The problem here is twofold.
First, the source. I know that the NBA has subcontracted with Turner Sports to run all their digital media properties, but a post like this on NBA.com that speculates and tosses around random ideas (and, in the process, insults the team and its fans) has a lot more weight to it than if it were on some blog.
Is this the kind of writing the league's official website is going to now get into simply because it attracts more eyeballs and generates more money? I hope not.
Second -- and this one is just a general response to all trade rumors -- can't we wait just a few more than seven games into the season before declaring which teams are dead? Do we really know for sure that the Lakers aren't going to suffer any key injuries? Is everyone absolutely certain that the Mavericks and Blazers and Spurs are going to be so much better than last season when they were all bounced from the playoffs?
So far, no one has published anything close to an actual trade rumor involving the Suns or Nash. No one claims to have heard about specific discussions. No one has cited sources. This is all just people talking about what they think the Suns should do based on seven games.
ESPN hyped up Ric Bucher's podcast chat in which he basically said the Suns suck so he thinks they should trade Nash. Totally his right to say that, but to hype it as a "Trade Rumor"? That's just nonsense.
But that's the media world we live in, where independent-minded blogs have become the voice of sanity and reason while the the "big media" and the league itself is left to gin up random ideas because talking about the game itself isn't enough.
And by the way, Mr. Powell, if Nash going to a contending team is justification for the Suns trading him, why on Earth would you list the Knicks? Do you really think New York has enough assets to both trade for Nash and Melo?
Of course, Dragic is playing his ass off right now which may or may not impact Nash trade
rumors chatter (see what I did there with the speculation?)
Video: Phoenix Suns Goran Dragic Spins His Way To NBA Play Of The Day - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Goran had yesterday's NBA Play of the Day against the Grizzlies, and oh what a play it was.