The Cardinal Rule of communication is quite simplistic in it's most basic form; keep everything in house. On the surface that is easy, but in the world of professional sports with reporters shoving microphones and recorders in your face 24/7 it can be difficult to keep everything in house.

After the Phoenix Suns (23-54) dropped a tough game to divisional rival, the Golden State Warriors; embattled, polarizing, and at times misunderstood forward Michael Beasley offered his take on how he has improved his focus as of late.

"Everybody. I don't really read articles. But you know, just everybody. My friends, my family, teammates, coaches. Just everybody. Everybody telling me 'you need to do that' or 'do that' or this gets you open. I'm the one playing. I'm the one controlling my fate. It's just trusting my instincts, being aggressive and doing what I know best. -- Beasley

Those comments can be taken in different contexts depending on how you personally view the enigmatic player that has been a lightning rod for controversy for years. Remember, early in the season, he claimed there were "Gremlins" on the rim knocking his shots out of the hoop...

In a world where Twitter, YouTube, and social networks spread news and gossip faster than kerosene on a fire those comments simply cannot happen.

Beasley's retort came on the court a mere 48 hours later in the form of the worst shooting performance of his career, on any level, shooting 1-11 from the field.

To compound the situation, interim head coach Lindsey Hunter did not come in with a fire extinguisher, but rather a bucket of gasoline with his nonchalant, lackadaisical approach to the subject. What could have been brushed off as a simple, "we talked about it and it is a non-issue today" would have ended all of the talk, but instead Hunter came back with a shot of his own ignoring the basic principles of communication.

"Consider the source," Hunter said when asked about the comments, the source being Michael Beasley while adding clothes pins to the the laundry hanging out in the open at U.S. Airways Center

Hunter continued on saying, "it's Mike. I don't pay attention to Mike. If he isn't listening he better figure out what we are trying to do defensively or he won't play."

The continued safety net this season for Hunter has been the notion of if you don't play defense you will not play. Whether that is pointed at Beasley in this instance or the Morris brothers lack of intensity earlier or any other unsavory situation during his 36 game tenure.

Under the new regime the message has been that this is going to be a defensive team, but the play has not met the message halfway and this is simply a theory being tested out on the fly without the correct pieces.

In his 36 games as interim head coach the team has surrendered 100+ points 21 times and has won 10 games total. Through the first 41 games under Alvin Gentry the team had 20 games where they gave up 100+ to their opponents. Same results, different voice. The rotations have been poor, still, and the players simply do not fit the mold of Hunter's vision of the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons for the 2012-2013 Suns.

This could have all been said in jest, but the inclination was not conveyed in a clear and obvious manner taking this back to the underlying theme of the second half of the season; Lindsey Hunter is learning a lot on the fly. This week it is communication.

Pot shots like "consider the source" or playful poking with "I don't pay attention to Mike" is laughed off when a team is winning or when a clear culture has been established between the player and coach. Neither of those exist.

"For Mike to say he doesn't listen to anybody... we don't listen to Mike. He better figure out how to guard people in this scheme or he won't be playing. I don't care who he is listening to he better figure that part out."

Again, minor pot shot, lackadaisical on the whole, and the pretense of a threat that has no merit for a player that has not found a coach that can reach him since Frank Martin unleashed the abilities of Beasley on the Big 12 for his only season in college.

That was one of the primary reasons Hunter was chosen for this job: to reach Michael Beasley.

PHOENIX – For the third game in a row, the Phoenix Suns got smacked in the third quarter. And even against a lesser opponent this time, no fourth-quarter rally would make a difference on Sunday....

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The Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Hornets locked in a pitched battle on Sunday night for lotto balls.

None of the players or coaches or front offices on either team wanted this to happen. They each wanted their tilt on Sunday night to mean something more than who gets more lotto balls in the hopper next month. The Hornets had just picked first overall last summer and came into the season boasting what some believed to be a strong rotation. But injuries and ineffectiveness have plagued them, despite playing hard each night, and they along with the Suns will be anxiously awaiting what young player they might be able to draft in June.

The Suns began the game on fire, just like Friday night against Golden State. They built a 26-17 edge at the end of the first quarter, similar to their sizzling Friday lead of 37-23. They held a 4-point halftime lead, similar to the 8-point lead on Friday.

And just like Friday, the Suns folded in the third quarter. Tonight, they were outscored in the third by 16 points (35-19 in favor of NOLA), whereas on Friday it was a whopping 18 point deficit in the same stanza (32-14 in favor of GS).

On Friday, the Suns recovered, played hard, and brought the Golden State game within 2 points in the final seconds. The crowd was hooting and hollering, cheering the Suns toward victory and appreciating the brief respite from the doldrums of this season.

On Sunday, it took longer to get their mojo back, but behind Goran Dragic, Luis Scola, Jared Dudley, Markieff Morris and Kendall Marshall, the Suns cut a 16-point deficit to 3 with three minutes left.

While Dudley missed big shot after big shot, Goran Dragic and Kendall Marshall went to work. Marshall (9 pts, 5 a, 3 r) showed some talent, dropping a couple of quick (for him) 3s and drove left for a running layup against the teeth of the Hornets defense. Dragic carved up the defense from the wing, and both players dished to big men at the rim and 3-pt shooters.

But after the Suns cut it to 3 points, the Hornets scored on two possessions while the Suns missed a few bunnies. The lead was quickly back to 7.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention, tonight the Suns lost a SEASON HIGH and FRANCHISE RECORD 7th STRAIGHT HOME GAME.

Extra points:

  • Michael Beasley made only 1 of 11 shots during his stints on the floor, despite most of those being at the rim. The "other" Beasley came back with a vengeance to make up for those good recent games.
  • Marcus Morris did not hear the squeak of his own shoe on the court for the 4th time in the last 11 games.
  • Markieff Morris had 18 points and 5 rebounds in 35 minutes, a good game for him
  • Kendall Marshall had 9 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes, a good game for him as well
  • Diante Garrett was recalled back to Phoenix today. Not sure if he will be returned to Bakersfield by the playoffs or not. He did not play in the game after being recalled.
  • Jermaine O'Neal was out with a swollen and sore left shin

Lotto fun!

The Los Angeles Lakers LOST today (to the Clippers) while the Utah Jazz WON today (over the Warriors), forcing the Lakers to have to win TWO more games than the Jazz the rest of the season to make the playoffs, because the Jazz have the tiebreaker.

Lakers: 40-37

Jazz: 41-37

A very good lotto day for the Suns!!

PHOENIX — Lindsey Hunter heard the gist of Michael Beasley’s comments following the loss to the Warriors on Friday. Beasley said he stopped listening to everyone including his coaches,...

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Well, that makes sense. We've already spent way too much time talking about this.

Hunter said Garrett will return to Bakersfield for its entire postseason. The Jam plays Game 1 at Austin on Thursday. #SunsVsHornets

— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) April 8, 2013

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