After a first round that was more intriguing than could be expected with only one sweep and the #1 seed in the West going down, the NBA Playoffs roll into the second round today as the Grizzlies, fresh off their upset of the Spurs, face the Thunder in Oklahoma City.

In the Eastern Conference semifinals, the defending conference champion Celtics take on the Heat, a team that staged a ridiculous celebration as if they had already won a championship to announce two free agent signings last summer.

Notes:

The trade for Kendrick Perkins should help the Thunder immensely in this series, as Perkins' vaunted low-post defense and toughness are just what is needed to counter the Grizzlies powerful front line of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.

On the other end of that trade, the Celtics are counting on Jeff Green to help defend LeBron James. This should be an intense, competitive series, but when it comes to the Celtics and Heat, I'm sure a large percentage of Suns fans feel this way.

Today's games:

Memphis at Oklahoma City, 10AM PDT, ABC.

Boston at Miami, 12:30PM PDT, ABC.

GO!


In this end of season edition of the ValleyoftheSuns podcast, Michael Schwartz and Mike Schmitz discuss what went wrong (and right) during the Phoenix Suns’ 2010-11 season before analyzing some...

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Oh Hakim, we hardly knew ye

Welcome to the fifth piece of the 2010-11 Phoenix Suns Player 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. Your favorite and least favorite Suns will no doubt get plenty of attention, and the compliments or criticism they deserve.

Kudos to Trevor for his vain attempt to convince you skinny, limited Hakim Warrick is worth keeping on this team. It must have been quite difficult.

Now I get the easy part of this pro/con game: Get rid of him as fast as possible!!!!!

Put him on a train, in a car, on a boat, in a plane, whatever it takes and make him disappear. We don't need him on this team! He doesn't even fit the mold, for chrissake. The Suns are building a non-athletic, overachieving, low-ceiling roster of hustlers and scrappers and Hak just doesn't fit in. He's the yang to Dudley's yin. All flash, no substance. Bring back Louuuuuuuuuu!

HIghlights, schmighlites! We don't need a flashy dunk or two each game for the highlight reel. We want hustle, diving, scrapping, scowling, flowing locks, missed putbacks, missed free throws, high foul rates and the occasional spectacular block. Oh wait, that last was a highlight valued at two points (saved, in this case). Scrap that. We don't even want no stinkin blocks! Just hard fouls!

(Dear Hakim, if you've read this far, please accept my apologies. I'm just following the spirit of the pro/con posting in this series of player evaluations. Your day to shine was yesterday. Now it's roasting time!)

Seriously though, let's discuss Hakim Warrick's shortcomings in more detail.

Unfortunately, I don't have access (and don't want to spend the money) on that SynergySports thingy for data-based backup. All I know is that Hakim Warrick is a turnstile on defense.

I mean seriously, the Suns are in big trouble when Hakim Warrick is on the floor. According to the free 82games.com, the Suns gave up 3 more points per 100 possessions when Hakim took off the warmups. But his incredible offense offset that right? WRONG! In those same minutes, the Suns scored 2 less points per 100 possessions. Ugh!

(point of reference: the Suns averaged about 96 possessions a game last season, so these numbers are roughly 'per game' numbers)

Every single on/off court comparison went negative with Hakim on the floor except free-throw shooting. But free throws don't help when you're not scoring more overall points with them in the mix.

Overall, the Suns were a winning team withOUT Hak on the floor (plus 1.3 pts/100 possessions), and a losing team with him (-4.4 pts/100 possessions).

That's a 5.7 point swing in the wrong direction, and that spells BAD. (at least Lou was only a net -1 the season before, when the Suns had a better supporting cast and won 54 games. Oh wait, scratch that supporting cast crap. It was ALL LOU!)

Get rid of this guy. Put him on the first bus out of town. 

But how? they ask. How can we get rid of him when he's making so much money? Sarver is such a douche he overpaid for the worst player in the NBA!

Maybe a little hyperbole there. Hakim is not actually overpaid for 10 and 4 on 20 minutes. The Suns are only committed to 8 million over the next 2 seasons (a third season is a team option). Lots of teams can use a guy who can annually provide 10 and 4 over 20 minutes.

Familiarity breeds contempt. We know Hakim is maddeningly inconsistent, but his career numbers indicate the opposite. Every single season, he's produced the same okay numbers on light minutes. 

Hakim-per36_medium

Every season, he's done the same thing. Only his actual minutes have fluctuated between 1400 (career low this past season) and 2000.

Quite amazing for such an inconsistent player, you know?

So maybe someone will take Hakim. Certainly 3 other teams did so in the past (Milwaukee, Chicago and Phoenix), after Memphis kept him around for his rookie contract.

Make him disappear, Suns! And bring back the Louuuuuinator so the Suns can suck a little bit less!

 



Oh Hakim, we hardly knew ye

Welcome to the fifth piece of the 2010-11 Phoenix Suns Player 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. Your favorite and least favorite Suns will no doubt get plenty of attention, and the compliments or criticism they deserve.

Kudos to Trevor for his vain attempt to convince you skinny, limited Hakim Warrick is worth keeping on this team. It must have been quite difficult.

Now I get the easy part of this pro/con game: Get rid of him as fast as possible!!!!!

Put him on a train, in a car, on a boat, in a plane, whatever it takes and make him disappear. We don't need him on this team! He doesn't even fit the mold, for chrissake. The Suns are building a non-athletic, overachieving, low-ceiling roster of hustlers and scrappers and Hak just doesn't fit in. He's the yang to Dudley's yin. All flash, no substance. Bring back Louuuuuuuuuu!

HIghlights, schmighlites! We don't need a flashy dunk or two each game for the highlight reel. We want hustle, diving, scrapping, scowling, flowing locks, missed putbacks, missed free throws, high foul rates and the occasional spectacular block. Oh wait, that last was a highlight valued at two points (saved, in this case). Scrap that. We don't even want no stinkin blocks! Just hard fouls!

(Dear Hakim, if you've read this far, please accept my apologies. I'm just following the spirit of the pro/con posting in this series of player evaluations. Your day to shine was yesterday. Now it's roasting time!)

Seriously though, let's discuss Hakim Warrick's shortcomings in more detail.

Unfortunately, I don't have access (and don't want to spend the money) on that SynergySports thingy for data-based backup. All I know is that Hakim Warrick is a turnstile on defense.

I mean seriously, the Suns are in big trouble when Hakim Warrick is on the floor. According to the free 82games.com, the Suns gave up 3 more points per 100 possessions when Hakim took off the warmups. But his incredible offense offset that right? WRONG! In those same minutes, the Suns scored 2 less points per 100 possessions. Ugh!

(point of reference: the Suns averaged about 96 possessions a game last season, so these numbers are roughly 'per game' numbers)

Every single on/off court comparison went negative with Hakim on the floor except free-throw shooting. But free throws don't help when you're not scoring more overall points with them in the mix.

Overall, the Suns were a winning team withOUT Hak on the floor (plus 1.3 pts/100 possessions), and a losing team with him (-4.4 pts/100 possessions).

That's a 5.7 point swing in the wrong direction, and that spells BAD. (at least Lou was only a net -1 the season before, when the Suns had a better supporting cast and won 54 games. Oh wait, scratch that supporting cast crap. It was ALL LOU!)

Get rid of this guy. Put him on the first bus out of town. 

But how? they ask. How can we get rid of him when he's making so much money? Sarver is such a douche he overpaid for the worst player in the NBA!

Maybe a little hyperbole there. Hakim is not actually overpaid for 10 and 4 on 20 minutes. The Suns are only committed to 8 million over the next 2 seasons (a third season is a team option). Lots of teams can use a guy who can annually provide 10 and 4 over 20 minutes.

Familiarity breeds contempt. We know Hakim is maddeningly inconsistent, but his career numbers indicate the opposite. Every single season, he's produced the same okay numbers on light minutes. 

Hakim-per36_medium

Every season, he's done the same thing. Only his actual minutes have fluctuated between 1400 (career low this past season) and 2000.

Quite amazing for such an inconsistent player, you know?

So maybe someone will take Hakim. Certainly 3 other teams did so in the past (Milwaukee, Chicago and Phoenix), after Memphis kept him around for his rookie contract.

Make him disappear, Suns! And bring back the Louuuuuinator so the Suns can suck a little bit less!

 



There's only one game on the slate for tonight, but it's about as compelling as a first round game can get as the Memphis Grizzlies attempt to finish off the San Antonio Spurs for what would be a stunning upset of a #8 seed over a #1 seed. They might be preparing for the worst over at Straight Outta Vancouver, but we don't have to.

San Antonio at Memphis, 6PM PDT, ESPN. Grizzlies lead series 3-2.

Tonight, I am a Grizzlies fan.

Let's GO!

Bear_roar_medium


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