There's only one game on the schedule for tonight, and while it should be compelling as the Bulls and Hawks square off in Chicago in their pivotal game 5 tied 2-2, this series has left some (including myself) less than enthused due to the amount of isolation play and generally sloppy offense we've seen. We're spoiled by watching Steve Nash run an offense, aren't we?
There was lots of talk in the game thread last night about Russell Westbrook taking too many shots, as he took 33 FGAs and dished only 5 assists to score 40 points. Well check out what league MVP Derrick Rose has done in his 9 playoff games so far:
25.8 PPG, 7.7 APG
88-218 FGs, 40.4% (9.7-24.2 FGs per game)
16-62 3PT shots, 25.8% (1.8-6.8 3s per game)
7.7 assists per game is respectable for a PG, but 24 FGAs per game, only making 40% of them? And nearly 7 3-ptrs per game when he's only hitting 26%? For comparison's sake, in the postseasons after Nash won each of his 2 MVPs, he attempted only 17.9 FGs per game in 04-05 to go with 11.3 APG, and 14.55 FGAs per game in 05-06 to go with 10.2 APG. Nash's FG%s were 52%/39% in 04-05 and 50%/37% in 05-06. No surprise here. Nash set up his teammates better, shot less and was much more efficient when he chose to shoot. After all, he's Steve Nash.
Speaking of shot selection, Josh Smith was under fire for his lack of judgment in this area before he seemed to see the light and take it to the basket in the second half of game 4. Will "good Josh Smith" show up tonight, or will it be "bombs away!" from outside again?
Tonight's game: Hawks at Bulls, 5PM, TNT. Series tied 2-2.
It's no secret that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook aren't exactly the best bros in the world right now. Russell Westbrook continues to force his own game while Kevin Durant stands around wondering, "Why the f#$% isn't he passing me the ball?!"
The Grizzlies vs.Thunder series has been an exciting one to watch, but the storyline that has been getting the most attention has been the Durant vs. Westbrook saga. I took the liberty of putting what the players were probably thinking as they were captured on camera.
Stay tuned see just what the players were thinking!
Photo 1: Ego? What ego?
Photo 2: You know how parents develop a special talent to tune out children's whining? Kevin Durant has reached a similar point.
Photo 3: Kevin Durant and James Harden are really good at having mental conversations. Like, scary good.
Photo 4: Don't be fooled by the sheepish face. He's not even close to ashamed.
Photo 5: Well, glad they're at least on the same page.
Photo 6: Kevin Durant: Master of passive aggressive comments
Welcome to the Tenth masterpiece of the 2010-11 Phoenix SunsPlayer Evaluations. We here at Bright Side of the Sun have assembled somewhat of an All-Star cast of writers to put together alternative views on the players, front office, and coaches... but we're getting tired of dragging out crappy players and boring ya'll with repetitive commentary. Your favorite and least favorite Suns will no doubt get plenty of attention blablabla and if you're still reading this you are probably the only person in the world who has read this entire paragraph.
SPOILER ALERT/DISCLAIMER! The Following is not a real interview with Aaron Brooks conducted by Eutychus. It's kind of like a Unicorn - It's made up of real parts but the concept in it's entirety is a fairy tale... and it can fly and walk on rainbows... and shoot laser beams from it's eyes.
So I recently had the chance to sit down and talk with Aaron Brooks. Here's how it went down.
Eutychus: Hey AB! How's your off-season Goin'?
Aaron Brooks: It's aight. (Nod's his head and looks down)
E: Nice, so you think you could introduce yourself to the bajillions of Suns fans over at Bright Side of the Sun - and be completely honest and open because I'm an Eagle Scout and that's a virtue I live by and command from others. Consider this more like therapy than an informal interview.
AB: Um.. ok? Hi. My name is Aaron Jamal Brooks. I was born in Seattle WA, I like long walks on the beach, video games, bowling, I'm married and I have a daughter named MiKah. Let's see... what's playing in my ipod right now... --
E: Alright Alright Alright, hold on. BORING. Let's get one thing straight AB, real talk - you'll never be as likable as Goran Dragic so stop trying, just ask Seth.
AB: Borat who?
E: [Shakes head, deliberate face-palm] Nevermind.. just tell the peeps at home listening how you became a member of the Phoenix Suns.
AB: Uh, Ok? I was traded to the Suns because supposedly my lighting quick speed and video game-like shooting range is a perfect fit for the Suns, or you could go with Rick Adelman hated me and I was sour about losing my starting gig to some chunky dude named Kyle, so they off-ed me. BUT I had an injury at the beginning of last season that really just had me in a funk all year long and then the refs hated me becau-
[Interrupted - again]
E: [Grinning] Whoa! whoa! Slow down there cowboy, I mean - I've got the waaambulance on speed dial if you want me to call in some back-up here for this pity party?
See what happens next, at your own risk, after you jump it fools!
AB: [He laughs and points in my direction] Good one Euty, I know what it sounds like - it sounds like a lot of excuses, especially since I played like absolute garbage this year...
E: Yeah but you know SBNation gave you an award right?
AB: Really? I don't read crappy blogs like yours so I wouldn't know.
E: I tease, I tease. But seriously dude, I'm not gonna lie - I had big hopes for you when came to Phoenix, but from our perspective here at the Bright Side, it really just looked like you weren't trying very hard. Do you have a problem coming off the bench? Is it an Ego issue you're dealing with? Talk to me.
AB: I have no problem coming off the bench behind a 2-time MVP - now Kyle Lowry? Yeah. But look, you think I would play like trash on purpose, in a contract year no less? What you might call excuses, to me have a real emotional effect on how I play and how much confidence I have in my own game. You know what they say right? Basketball is 10% physical and 90% mental...
E: No that's Golf Brooks. They say that about golf.
AB: Whatever ... look, all I'm saying is look at my stats for the first two years of my career versus what happened last year and keep in mind these two or three or four things.
I had the worst injury of my career at the start of the season.
I had some chemistry issues with some of the people I was working with
I lost the starting job that I felt I had earned and deserved to keep even after an injury
I was traded for the first time in my career - mid-season no less - and plunked into a system built around pass first point guards like Steve Nash and Borat Tragic and told to be the 'score-first' point guard that I am... how does that make sense?
E: Eh, alright lets take a look.
E: Yeah man... that's pretty terrible. 0.375 from the field? Yeesh.
AB: Okay - but look at my previous years, I've never shot below 40%
E: And 0.297 from 3pt range!? What the...
AB: Yeah Yeah but again - look, the last two years I've been closer to 40%. My injury plus the wacky playing time and role, it just kind of threw everything in kind of a funk. I'm better than this.
E: Well I've heard from a lot fans that they think you were a one-hit wonder. I mean you won the MIP award in 09-10 and absolutely lit it up from downtown and ripped up defenses like we're watching JJ Barea do in the playoffs this year... But now they think you're going to fall off the map because you're bitter and sour about your relationships with the Rockets and with some NBA officials - you did throw the ball at one and cup your nuts at another.
AB: Look, you and your blog-buddies don't have to take believe anything I say, especially since this whole conversation is a figment of your imagination, but I'm better than what you saw. Give me chance - with a training camp under my belt, some more knowledge of the amazing Suns offense, a fresh season start with no injury and I guarantee I won't disappoint next year. I've already proven I can do what you and the Suns want me to do, why would it be so hard to do what I know I can and have done before?
E: [Shakes head] Ah AB. Well I hope you're right. And since you're now an RFA I'm guessing you'll sign the Suns qualifying offer for sure and stay with the team right?
AB: That's what I want to do - I mean Steve will be back... but he's an old fart and he'll be gone soon, what better opportunity than here with the Suns could I possibly find where I can inherit my own team and be the guy!? Wait, can you delete that part? I don't want people to think that I'm selfish or anything.
E: Uh, yeah - I'll cross that part out.
AB: So are we done yet?
E: Pretty much, you gave me all the excuses I thought you would. And then you told me you would try hard and that you don't have a problem playing off the bench - just like I thought you would... oh yeah, one more question. If you had to give yourself a letter grade for your performance this year what would it be?
AB: Psh. If you're a nice teacher you would give me an 'I' for incomplete because of all the mitigating factors... but if you were anything like my social studies teacher back in high school you'd probably give me an 'F' because I sucked balls and made a lot of excuses. So take your pick.
E: I like that answer.
AB: You would like that answer.
E: Thanks for your time AB - oh and pray that the Suns don't draft that Jimmer Fredette. Because if they do that will most definitely be the sound of the Suns giving up on you like they gave up on Dragic because you know Nash will be here for another 2 to 3 years.