Goran Dragic was having what can kindly be described as a forgettable game in Memphis on Tuesday. Through 3 quarters, Dragic had scored just two points. However, after a 17-point first half by Marcin Gortat, the Suns were still hanging around at the end of the third quarter, trailing 71-65.

The Suns started out well in the fourth quarter and cut the deficit in half at 77-74 with just under seven-and-a-half minutes remaining. At that point, the Dragon emerged, and much havoc did he wreak. The Suns' point guard scored or assisted on the next 20 points before a pair of Gortat free throws sealed a 96-90 victory. Let's take a look at how he pulled the run off.

7:15 Mark, 77-74 MEM

Dragic actually got himself going on the defensive end, stealing the ball and taking it all the way to the basket for the first of his three and-one plays.


Above you can see Dragic reading the pass and breaking on the ball. He gets a hand in there, knocks the ball away, tracks it down and takes it down the court.


Dragic gets all the way to the basket, goes up for the layup, gets hit by Jerryd Bayless and still manages to finish the play. He sinks the free throw, and it's a whole new ball game.

6:40 Mark, 77-77

This play didn't result in a bucket for the Suns, but it should have been an assist as Dragic created a wide-open look for Markieff Morris.

Kendall Marshall brings the ball down and passes it off to Morris near the top of the key. Morris gives it up to Dragic on the left wing, and he takes it to the rim, completely collapsing the defense. Dragic kicks it out to Morris for the wide-open 3-pointer, which unfortunately rims out.

Good play by Dragic, but the shot just didn't go down.

6:00 Mark, 79-77 MEM

Memphis scored to retake the lead, but Dragic answered with his second three-point play on another tough layup.

Marshall again brings the ball down the court as Dragic sets up on the baseline. Dragic runs off a down screen and flashes to the top of the key, receiving the ball from Marshall.


As soon as Dragic gets the ball, he looks to attack and runs off a screen by Morris.


Memphis hedges the screen, but Dragic gets around it, past two more defenders and all the way into the paint.


Dragic elevates and finishes through the contact, completing the 3-point play at the charity stripe and giving the Sun the lead.

5:20 Mark, 82-80 MEM

Dragic created another open 3-pointer on this play, only this time Marshall was able to connect.

Marshall brings the ball down before giving it up to Dragic. Dragic runs a pick-and-roll with Gortat, and Memphis looks to trap him hard with both Conley and Zach Randolph jumping at him.


Gortat rolls right down the middle of the lane, forcing the weak side wing, Bayless, to leave Marshall and rotate over to Gortat.


Dragic hits the wide-open Marshall on the wing, and he fires away before Bayless can recover and properly contest the shot. The ball goes down smooth as butter, and the Suns retake the lead.

4:50 Mark, 83-82 PHX

Following a stop, the Suns are able to add onto their lead with Dragic's third and final and-one of the quarter.

Marshall brings the ball down and hands it off to Dragic on the right wing, where Gortat comes up to set a screen.


Dragic attacks off the solid Gortat screen, forcing the switch.


Dragic takes it strong into the paint, and draws the reach-in by Tayshaun Prince and the bump by Darrell Arthur (foul charged to Prince).


Dragic bounces off the contact but is strong enough to maintain his balance and get a shot off, which he made. The continuation was awarded and he finished the play at the free-throw line.

4:25 Mark, 86-86 PHX

This play was a near miss, as Dragic beat his man but Marshall missed him.


Marshall runs a high pick-and-roll with Dragic in the strong side corner. Dragic steps toward the ball, then cuts backdoor, fooling his man and getting a step on him. Unfortunately, Randolph jumped at Marshall and he got a little excited, passing too soon and way off target for a turnover.

3:30 Mark, 86-86

Dragic loves the spin move, and he used it on this play masterfully to get Jermaine O'Neal an easy dunk.

Dragic pushed the ball up the court in transition as he is wont to do, and although he didn't have numbers he apparently didn't feel like he needed them and kept attacking the basket.


Arthur appears to cut off his path to the basket, but it takes more than that to stop a Dragon. He spins back to his left, splitting Arthur and Bayless.


Surrounded by three Grizzlies, Dragic makes the smart play and dumps it off for O'Neal, who is rolling down the lane.


And boom goes the the dynamite. A dazzling dime by Dragic.

2:25 Mark, 88-86 PHX

This was really the only time the Grizzlies stopped Dragic all quarter. He sets up a pick-and-roll, but this time Memphis is successful with the hedge. However, Dragic attacks anyway, looking for the foul, and puts up a terrible shot attempt. No call.

1:35 Mark, 88-88

This was the ridiculous play where Dragic used a series of pivots and fakes until Memphis stopped defending him.


Dragic takes the hand-off from Gortat at the high post and curls off him, using the big man to set a screen.


Dragic tries to drive, but Arthur steps in front of him and forces him to pick up his dribble. At this point, it looks like the play is dead and he has nowhere to go.


Instead of trying to pass it back out, Goran uses a pump fake to get Conley in the air. However, Arthur is still between him and the basket.


Conley recovers and Arthur is still there, so Goran fakes a pass out to the perimeter, tricking the Grizzlies into relaxing a bit.


Goran turns back towards the basket after the fake and finds himself wide open, as Conley is still above him and Arthur inexplicably decided Gortat in the corner was a bigger threat than Dragic was eight feet from the basket.


So with the big man no longer blocking his path, Dragic elevates and finishes for two.

This was an incredible display of balance and patience by Dragic. I think I may have even missed a fake or two (tough to screen cap every one). And he did in fact keep his pivot foot down the whole time, so no travel.

1:00 Mark, 90-88 PHX

On this trip down the court, Dragic used a couple screen and got knocked down as the big man tried to get out and hedge. The Suns were in the bonus, and Dragic knocked them both down.

0:45 Mark, 92-88 PHX

Dragic ended his run with a killer cross-over and pull-up jumper.


Dragic dribbles some time off the clock before getting into his move. He starts heading to his left hand, hesitates for a second, then...


He blows by Conley with a sick crossover.


Even better, after the crossover Dragic ran Conley off an O'Neal screen, completely freeing him to pull up for the open elbow jumper. Buckets.


That last jumper concluded a 15-point, 2 assist quarter for Dragic that I'm sure induced several flashbacks to the 2010 playoff series against San Antonio. It was a masterful performance by Dragic, one in which he did almost everything right. Marshall may have brought the ball down the court the majority of the time, but Dragic was the one running the point on offense and making things happen. Dragic was unstoppable on and off the ball, and he carried the Suns to victory.

It's unlikely that we're going to see anything like this again in the near future, but let's hope Dragic can carry some momentum over into this weekend (again, let's ignore that game against the Pelicans). We're going to need him to channel his inner Dragon all game long to have any shot in this home and home against Oklahoma City.


While we have a kick-ass writing staff here at BSotS, we have come to a point in the season that folks' real-life schedules are really getting in the way of covering mid week road games for the Suns.

Kris Habbas and I have the home games covered, but the roadies are up in the air. I know lots of you watch every minute of every game, even the road games on a weeknight, and it bothers me when we don't have good coverage on the site to give you a good place to go.

Ever wanted to see your name in big, bold italic font on the front page of BSotS?

Ever wanted your words to be read by hundreds, even thousands of Suns fans?

Well, your dream is about to come true!

We need help covering road games the rest of the season, especially those played on a weeknight.

Seth lives on the East Coast, so roadies are late for him. Jim Coughenour goes to night school, doesn't get home till 10pm during the week. Jacob is in college. Sean and Jason have full time jobs and family obligations. Kris has 15 other part-time jobs outside BSotS that take up nights the Suns aren't at home.

And me, I am too old to stay up so late every night unless I'm at the game itself. Plus, I've got a wife who gives me a dirty look if I'm buried in my computer while making her watch a Suns game too many nights in a row.

So who's with me?

We need you!

Who wants to sign up to write a preview, manage the gamethread and write a recap for a road game or two?


It's bad enough that not one Phoenix Suns player was invited to participate in All-Star weekend festivities. In fact, only one player on the current Suns roster has EVER been named to an All-Star team: 17th year backup center Jermaine O'Neal.

In two of the past three seasons, the Suns have not sent a single player to represent the team in any activity, this after 10 straight seasons of at least one invitation in some form.

The Suns current roster does boast 4 different 'Rising Stars' participants (Wesley Johnson, Markieff Morris, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola) in the last 5 years, selected for being one of the top first- or second-year players in the game that year.

Yet is it worse that none of the Suns' former players are All-Stars either? None of Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson or Shawn Marion were picked for the big game or any peripheral event either.

Here is the history of Phoenix Suns players participating in All-Star weekend (current Suns' past attendance in parentheses).




All-Star: Steve Nash

Rookie/Soph Star: Markieff Morris



*Rookie/Soph Star: Wesley Johnson (Minnesota)


All-Star: Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire

Skills Challenge: Steve Nash

3-Point Shootout: Channing Frye

*Rookie/Soph Star: Michael Beasley (Miami)


All-Star: Shaquille O'Neal, Amare Stoudemire

*Rookie/Soph Star: Michael Beasley (Miami), Luis Scola (Houston)


All-Star: Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire

3-Point Shootout: Steve Nash

*Rookie/Soph Star: Luis Scola (Houston)


All-Star: Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


All-Star: Steve Nash, Shawn Marion

*Rookie/Soph Star: Channing Frye (Knicks)

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


All-Star: Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion

Shooting Star: Shawn Marion

Skills Challenge: Steve Nash

Slam Dunk: Amare Stoudemire

Rookie/Soph Star: Amare Stoudemire

3-Point Shootout: Quentin Richardson, Joe Johnson

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


Rookie/Soph Star: Amare Stoudemire

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


All-Star: Stephon Marbury, Shawn Marion

Slam Dunk: Amare Stoudemire

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


Rookie/Soph Star: Joe Johnson

*All-Star: Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana)


All-Star Game: Jason Kidd

Rookie/Soph Star: Shawn Marion


All-Star Game: Jason Kidd

Rookie/Soph Star: Shawn Marion


Suns fans who hate to see their former players in other uniforms just might not have to see Grant Hill in a Clipper uniform for much longer.

Hill signed a two-year deal with the Clippers last summer after not getting offered a contract by the Suns. But only the first year is guaranteed, and Hill has played only 14 games this season while fighting off two knee injuries.

When the Clippers played Orlando recently, Hill was asked by the Magic beat writer about his future.

Hill gave every indication to me [Brian Schmitz] that he'll retire after the season, his first with the Los Angeles Clippers and 18th in the NBA.

"I'm 40 - come on," he said.

Fittingly, cruelly, in his final season, Grant has had to overcome two knee surgeries, having played just 14 games for the Clippers.

He doesn't buy the notion that his body was preserved sitting out most of his seven seasons wearing Magic colors.

"Doesn't matter. Forty is still 40," he said.

After being labeled the "next Jordan" while Jordan was still Jordan (but regressing ever so slightly), Grant Hill became one of the best free agents in the history of free agency. He signed a huge deal with Orlando (with Lon Babby as his agent), but only played a small fraction of that time due to myriad injuries. He went recovered his game in Phoenix for 6 seasons (still with Babby as his agent), becoming part of the fabric of the franchise during his tenure in the Valley.

But Hill missed a lot of his final season with the Suns due to multiple knee issues and, at 39, projected to start missing even more time in subsequent seasons. The Suns allowed him to move on while they turned away from their pair of almost-40 stars to jumpstart their future.

If Hill doesn't go directly into politics after his retirement, I hope he stays in the NBA as a front-office executive.

"Whenever Grant retires, he will have a world of opportunities to consider," Lon Babby said of Hill. "If he wants to work with an NBA team, he would be an outstanding addition to any organization."

I will start the campaign right here, right now to get him signed to join the Phoenix Suns front office next season!

He can be a special assistant to Lon Babby, his agent for more than a dozen years in the NBA until Babby took over the Suns basketball operations in 2010. I'm sure it was tough for Babby to let Hill go this past summer.

Maybe this is their chance to work together again?

Start beating the drum!!

Grant for Vice President of Basketball Operations!


NBA teams, and the Phoenix Suns in particular, do a lot of charity work. The players spent time at Phoenix Childrens Hospital last fall, including donating money during a radio-thon hosted by KTAR/92.3/ArizonaSports, right before training camp.

The Suns organization is also active in the community, including adopting a local high school - a program called SunsCentral - to allow an inner-city school (Central High) to add teachers and support staff and cut the teacher-student ratio down significantly. The Suns are providing $500,000 over two years as just the start of the program.

Players do a lot of charity work too, including on their off-day in Memphis this week.

"For a lot of the players and coaches this was their first trip to St. Jude," wrote Marcus Watson, PR Coordinator at St. Jude, in an email, "And their first interaction with our patients and their families."



"The kids enjoyed getting to meet the Suns," Watson continued. "At St. Jude we try to make life for our patients as normal as possible and when the players come to the hospital it serves as a chance for our patients who might not get to leave the hospital due to their treatment a chance to experience moments that other children should get."


If Suns fans would like to help the kids of St. Jude, you should visit www.stjude.org/hoops.

The team will also be doing more during Hoops for St. Jude week which will be Feb. 24 - March 4.

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