Sad Hedo(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

More photos » Rick Scuteri - AP

Sad Hedo(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

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A little warmup for tonight's Suns Vs. Nuggets matchup:


Gani Lawal Not Setting the D Leagues on FireFrom Ridiculous Upside

Gani Lawal has been on assignment from the Phoenix Suns to the Iowa Energy since the D-League season began and, while he's never looked particularly impressive in my eyes during his Development League stint, he may have had the worst game any NBA-assigned player has ever had in Friday night's game against the Tulsa 66ers.

Dragic Not Blaming Coach Gentry but Certainly Sounds Frustrated:  Paul Coro

"I didn't find the rhythm, didn't lead the team, and I was on the bench," Dragic said of Wednesday's game. "That was a coaching decision. It was the right decision, because I didn't lead the team. I just to have to focus on my game and try to do my stuff.

Suns Could Move Warrick to Starting Lineup Vs. Nuggets:  Paul Coro

The case to supplant Turkoglu has been bolstered by the play of his backup, Warrick, who logged starter's minutes (36 and 37) in the past two games and recorded his first consecutive 20-point outings since March 2008. Warrick scored 21 points in a recent win against the Denver Nuggets, who the Suns play Sunday.

Heat Hold Players Only Meeting:  Yahoo News

Having apparently tired of their mediocrity, the Heat held a lengthy players-only meeting following a disheartening 106-98 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat are now 9-8, far below their expectations for a season that began with LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes) and Chris Bosh(notes) vowing to chase history.

Bedge Media Row Report:

It was a pathetic non-effort, 12 minutes of occasional excitement followed by 36 excruciating minutes of some of the worst basketball this team has played at home over the last three seasons. A sluggish 15 point second quarter, followed by a stalled 17 point third quarter, followed by a hopeless 13 point fourth quarter.

Making Another Point The Case to Sit Chauncey Billups:

As much as it pains me to write this, the time may be at hand to bench Chauncey Billups. Or at the very least drastically cut his minutes. Over the course of this season, Chauncey's shooting percentage is 34.4%, including a very bad 31.6% at the three point arc and a paltry 4.7 assists a game.

Terence Williams was Demoted to the D-Leagues bu Avery Johnson: Ball Don't Lie

...A few months later, he was upsetting the new-New Jersey coaching staff during the summer leagues by gunning during exhibition play. And in the month of November, repeated tardy violations earned Williams a two game suspension. Further violations, following the suspension, upset Nets coach Avery Johnson so much that he sent the second-year forward to the D-League as punishment.


Phoenix Suns' Hakim Warrick (21) grabs a rebound from Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony, back, as Nuggets' Ty Lawson (3), Arron Afflalo (6) and Gary Forbes (0) and Suns' Jared Dudley (3), Hedo Turkoglu (19), of Turkey, and Josh Childress, right, all look on during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, in Phoenix.  The Suns defeated the Nuggets 100-94. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

More photos » Ross D. Franklin - AP

19 days ago: Phoenix Suns' Hakim Warrick (21) grabs a rebound from Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony, back, as Nuggets' Ty Lawson (3), Arron Afflalo (6) and Gary Forbes (0) and Suns' Jared Dudley (3), Hedo Turkoglu (19), of Turkey, and Josh Childress, right, all look on during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, in Phoenix. The Suns defeated the Nuggets 100-94. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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As the season turns, so do the days of our lives.

When will last year's Jared Dudley show up? When will "all the new guys" who aren't so new anymore start to play cohesively? When will Alvin Gentry use his crystal ball and see the perfect rotation that so many of us see already (nevermind that each of us sees a different perfect rotation)?

We don't know the answer to those questions, and won't find them all out in the next episode of the Suns season tonight against Denver. In fact, we may come out of tonight's game with even more new questions than answers.

Luckily, Denver has been one of those teams with a mental block against playing the Suns. One way or another, the Suns have come out with the long end of the stick in most cases (including the last 4 in a row).

The "start Hakim Warrick" chant strikes me as a particularly funny one. The only difference between Warrick starting and coming off the bench in the past few games is the opening tip. A few minutes in the first quarter. Yet, if you look at it a little closer, you'll see that's the best quarter on most nights.

Warrick has been getting starters minutes and will continue to do so. If he starts tonight, go ahead and rejoice. Just don't expect all the stars to align as a result. This team is still a work in progress.

Gentry is finding out that he's got one guy who feels comfortable at the 4 spot (Warrick), though he's not particularly interested in defending that spot or rebounding other teams' misses against bigger players. If Hedo Turkoglu can outrebound you, there's a problem.

Gentry is also finding out that he's got one guy in the top 10 player who has resigned himself to playing the 5 spot as well as he can (Frye). Again, not a good rebounder. But he plays spirited defense and is becoming more vocal. We have a winner!

Gentry already knows he has 2 pretty good PGs as well (Nash and Dragic), and a streaky but too good to bench SG. So that's 5 guys he can put a stamp on their minutes every night because they fill a particular need.

What doesn't he know then? Plenty. Like among Hill, Dudley, Childress and Turkoglu, who gets the most and fewest remaining minutes? All well-paid and individually productive in different ways. All natural 2/3 players, yet forced to cover a little at the 4 and 5 as well. Sure you could include Siler, Clark and Barron in that rotation but then there's even fewer available minutes for the other more-talented players.

Gentry can't afford to play rosterbation. He has to play the guys he's got, and find a way to represent for 48 minutes a night. So let's give him a break in that area and just watch and see what unfolds. And don't expect any answers to important questions until later in the season.

But there IS one area that should be better. Defense. How can you be 3 months (training camp, preseason and 17 games into the regular season) and still be making stupid mistakes ALL THE TIME on defense?!?!?

49% opponent shooting percentage. 110 points per game. 60+ points in the paint (bolstered by second-chance points on record-setting opponent offensive rebound percentage).

Open jump shots. Open drives to the lane. Little post-up resistance.

I call them the McSuns. Whatever the other team wants, our team delivers at a fast-food pace.

We need to stop blaming it on the newness of 3 of the rotation players, and start holding them all accountable to be smarter. Geez, this is ridiculous.

Man up, Suns! Talk to each other on defense, and hold each other accountable!


Tonight's opponent: Denver Nuggets

Denver is 9-6 overall, and has won 3 straight and 4 of 5 overall since their meltdown against the Suns (over NY, GS and Chicago at home; GS on the road).

Billups has been nursing a sore wrist and may miss the game, but Chris "Birdman" Andersen is back which is bad news for the Suns. Yet another tall guy to pair with Nene to help the Nuggets dominate the boards.

Of course, the more I think about it... maybe this way Shelden Williams and Melvin Ely won't get any minutes which pretty much cancels out any gains Andersen provides. Those guys killed the Suns too.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Carmelo Anthony 15 37.2 8.9 19.5 45.7 0.8 2.2 36.4 6.5 7.5 86.7 2.1 6.8 8.9 3.6 2.8 1.4 0.7 2.9 25.2
Chauncey Billups 13 32.1 3.5 10.1 34.4 1.4 4.4 31.6 5.5 6.0 91.0 0.2 1.8 1.9 4.7 2.8 1.2 0.2 2.1 13.8
Al Harrington 15 28.2 5.0 11.9 41.9 2.0 5.1 39.5 1.5 2.0 76.7 1.1 4.4 5.5 1.9 1.6 0.7 0.3 3.6 13.5
Nene Hilario 12 29.8 4.8 7.9 60.0 0.1 0.1 100.0 3.7 4.7 78.6 1.5 4.9 6.4 2.0 1.5 0.4 0.9 2.9 13.3
Arron Afflalo 15 34.9 4.4 8.7 50.8 1.5 3.3 44.0 2.1 2.4 86.1 0.7 3.8 4.5 2.6 1.5 0.6 0.5 2.3 12.3
Ty Lawson 15 24.3 3.8 8.3 46.0 0.8 2.3 35.3 1.2 2.3 52.9 0.7 1.4 2.1 3.9 1.5 0.5 0.1 1.7 9.6
J.R. Smith 13 20.6 2.8 7.8 36.6 0.9 2.5 36.4 1.8 2.5 75.0 0.5 2.9 3.5 2.0 0.7 1.0 0.0 2.0 8.5
Chris Andersen 2 19.0 2.5 3.5 71.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5 3.0 50.0 2.0 1.5 3.5 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.0 2.5 6.5
Gary Forbes 12 13.9 2.7 5.5 48.5 0.7 1.3 50.0 0.5 0.9 54.5 0.9 1.4 2.3 0.7 0.8 0.5 0.2 1.2 6.5
Shelden Williams 15 20.9 2.4 4.9 48.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7 1.0 73.3 1.9 4.3 6.2 0.5 1.0 0.3 0.5 2.7 5.5
Melvin Ely 8 14.9 1.3 2.1 58.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 1.1 44.4 1.1 2.8 3.9 0.6 0.3 0.3 0.6 1.9 3.0
Anthony Carter 2 14.5 0.0 2.5 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 1.0 1.0 100.0 0.0 1.5 1.5 2.5 1.5 2.5 0.0 4.0 1.0
Renaldo Balkman 2 7.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.0 1.0 0.0 2.5 0.0


Suns vs Nuggets coverage

Denver Stiffs

Phoenix Suns could switch to Hakim Warrick at starting power forward

Phoenix Suns could switch to Hakim Warrick at starting power forward, If the Suns were ever going to make a move to start Hakim Warrick at power forward instead of Hedo Turkoglu, it might be Sunday at Denver.

NBA Development League: Gani Lawal Playerfile

Definition of "up and down". Last 2 games: 2 points/1 rebound, 23 points/6 rebounds

PHOENIX — Last season the Phoenix Suns won 54 regular season games and head coach Alvin Gentry estimated superb bench play was directly related to winning 20 of them. But at the moment Gentry...

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PHOENIX — After the Suns blew a 23-point advantage in Wednesday’s loss to the Bulls, they worried about becoming a team that earns a reputation for coughing up such leads. They may have taken...

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Anyone feel good about that win? Probably not.

Quick recap here:


Phoenix Suns Not Impressive In Win Over Los Angeles Clippers, 116-108 - SB Nation Arizona
Fortunately, the Clippers were not nearly as good as the Chicago Bulls and couldn't take advantage of the Suns lapse and in the end Phoenix won the game 116-108. It was still a disappointing loss for the Suns who should have been able to put a tired three-win team away but couldn't.


More to come.


Game Notes

1st Qtr

  • Clippers first attack they go at Frye in the pain with Jordan. It worked
  • Suns getting wide open looks in the paint by moving without the ball. Clips defense horrible
  • JRich all 9 Suns points. Timeout Clips
  • Not really sure why the Clips aren't running plays for Blake (yet)
  • Clips try and post up Blake on Frye. Hill blitzes and forces the turnover. They are not going to give Blake space
  • Blake posts up Hedo and turns baseline before help can come
  • 2nd foul on Hedo. Tough call. Warrick in
  • JRich w/ another three
  • Another fast break layup for Suns off turnover off double team on Blake. 24-8
  • Clips 5 turnovers. Suns 0
  • Thinking I might have my first half time ice cream tonight
  • Ducks up 20-19 on UofA. No way the Wildcats win this game
  • Another three for JRich. 29-10
  • JRich missed an open three in transition. That's news. He's now 3-4 from three
  • Clippers have their heads down. Suns bench needs to blow this game open...33-13 with 3:00 to go in the 1st so I guess it's already blown open. Still, they need to blow it more. Dragic about to check in
  • Brian Cook is in the game...I guess Jarron Collins is worse option?
  • 42-19. Earl Clark time yet?

2nd Qtr

  • Would it be a jinx if I start writing my recap now?
  • Earl Time!! Barron that is
  • Oregon Ducks up 27-19. Only a matter of time
  • There you go, Earl. Nice hustle play from the big guy to retain possession
  • Suns taking advantage of Clips switching. Run a quick screen to create the mismatch and then attack the post. That time was Josh Childress on a smaller guard
  • Good decision by Dudley to not force anything on the drive and then let Goran drive and kick back to him for the open corner three
  • 49-29, 8:22
  • Not thrilled w/ defensive intensity by Suns bench. Gomes getting wide open looks and nailing them. Cook as well
  • Earl Barron is not a very physical player. Would like to see him bump guys coming through the lane much harder. He's just giving them love taps
  • 34-22, Oregon
  • Blake back in, scores right over Warrick
  • Suns going w/ small line up. Hedo, Warrick, Josh, Dudley, Dragic
  • 53-36, 5:59
  • Warrick doing his thing in the post. I have to say that he's been far better than I expected. More consistent and more of an inside player than advertised. He plays hard and tougher than his size indicates
  • Gentry leaving Dragic on the court w/ the starters as he said he would
  • Nash coming back in now w/ 3:20. 59-45. Suns offense has been fine, defense has let up
  • 4 pts, 8 reb for Blake. Clips 4-9 from three and shooting 55% from the field. Suns 6-11 from three and 53.8% from the field. DEFENSE
  • JRich torched Gomes on that back cut to the rim
  • Blake w/ the face up bank shot ala Tim Duncan. Went to the bank a second time but was denied
  • Dragic -8 in his 10:34 stint. Wanted to see that unit do more, especially on D
  • Sick, Blake. Sick
  • Clips move the ball around and end up with a Gomes 17 foot turn around fadeaway
  • Suns starters playing better D than the bench. I think we have to start talking more about Channing Frye's defense
  • 67-51, half. Ice cream time. brb

3rd Qtr

  • 52.% shooting for the Clips. That's not acceptable. They were 8-19 in the 1st qtr and 13-21 in the 2nd.
  • Good news, the Clips only had 1 OReb and 24 points in the paint
  • 67-57. Way to blow the lead. Ugh
  • Nice. Dude just won $7,777 by hitting a three-point shot!
  • You can see the Clippers confidence increasing...damn it
  • Second time out for Gentry in the quarter. 73-66. He's pissed. Me too
  • Kiss Cam
  • Frye turned down an open three which lead to a 24 sec violation. Clips hit a three in response. Lead down to 4
  • Who is Willie Warren and why does he have 5 points in this game?
  • Clips not attacking the offensive glass at all. They just shoot and retreat
  • Nice job by Warrick attacking Gordon in the post and getting past the help defense as well
  • Frye's three puts Suns back up 14
  • Nash's three puts Suns back up 17. That was fast
  • Damn, Cook is on fire tonight. That one at least was contested
  • JRich misses at least one easy layup per game. I think it's in his contract
  • Suns back up 18, 98-80. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal - blowing a big lead and then getting it back - but the way the Suns have been playing they really needed to stomp on the Clips throats early when they had then on the ropes
  • I am not sure there's any one person to blame, but in general the bench is lacking that energetic spark. More minutes? Tired from this stretch of schedule - 8th game in 14 days? Whatever it is, it's not pretty.
  • 98-81

4th Qtr

  • Cook now has 16 points. That really shouldn't happen
  • Earl Barron in and misses an open 17fter. That's his shot though, has to take it. He's got the Blake Griffin assignment
  • 98-84, 10:42
  • Good job by Goran to get the ball to Channing in the post on the switch
  • Nice cut by Goran and nice pass from Warrick
  • Better job by the bench this time. Not great, but better
  • Goran looks tired, but still attacking aggressively and getting hammered. Missed another two FTs though
  • Can't leave Frye on an island against Griffin in the post
  • Crowd gives Suns a hand for two OReb in a row
  • Warrick tries to dunk on Griffin but he would have none of that. Met him at the rim with an rejection
  • Time out Suns, 106-96. 4:52. Nash, Hill and JRich surely coming back in now. Clips have had their big guns on the floor all quarter. They are young but they have to be getting tired
  • Childress really isn't giving the team much right now. 15 min, 0 points, 2 reb. Dudley better but not much - 9 pts, 1 reb, 22 min. Dragic 18 min, 9 pts, 4 ast, 5 reb. Suns - 15 with him on the floor
  • Nash air balled a three w/ Blake backed off him giving space but Suns make two hustle plays to get extra possessions...scratch that, 24 sec violation but effort was nice
  • Brian Cook fouled out! Never thought I would be happy to say that.
  • Nice D by Frye on Griffin that time. Suns up 110-99, 2:23
  • Warrick takes a beating in the paint. Literally, people just beat on him like a drum
  • Well, that's one way to stop Blake. Bear hug on the catch. Effective, but not sustainable
  • Gordon rams into Hill, send him flying and draws the foul. That kid is strong
  • 24 sec violation as Nash dancing around in the paint too long. Poor clock awareness, Scott Howard says in my head
  • 112-103, 1:20
  • Fake noise FTW!
  • Gordon hits a wide open three
  • Frye hits a two. Game over

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