Yet all those developments will likely have zero impact on the regular season rotation. That's the nature of the first preseason game.
But there ARE storylines. There's always a couple good storylines.
Since we can't watch the game, we'll have rely on the boxscore and second-hand reports from local reporters.
Storyline #1 -
Earl Clark will likely get some serious run tonight, for a few reasons. (1) He's talented player who needs time on the court to sort out his niche, (2) he's the most prototypical PF on the roster, with decent potential in all areas, and (3) in the worst case scenario, the Suns need to showcase him for potential inclusion in a trade later this season.
I've heard what Phoenix reporters think of Earl. What interests me is the postgame review on sactownroyalty.com, to see if Earl made an impression. If he plays 30 minutes but gets no mention outside Phoenix, that will be telling. Conversely, if he gets kudos, that's a plus.
Storyline #2 -
Dwayne Jones vs. Garret Siler. I'm curious who will get more minutes. I think Jones will pull down more rebounds, while Siler will score more points. But in my mind, which player gets more minutes could be telling.
If Siler gets significantly more run, in my mind it's not really a slight on Jones as much as an extended evaluation of Siler. Siler must not have convinced them enough in training camp to have made a decision yet.
If Jones get significantly more run, then that's a death nell for Siler. Jones is the "known" quantity. So if he's getting a lot more minutes than Siler, Gentry has moved past the eval phase and onto the "who can Jones play with, if given regular season minutes?"
Storyline #3 -
I'm not feeling the 3 possible backup-to-the-backup PGs on the roster. How can all of them get minutes in a real game?
I'm thinking Gentry will give each of them (Janning, Atkins, Dowdell) one game each of good run with the second or third unit, just to see what happens.
The question is who gets first dibs on the "real" minutes, those played with actual rotation players. My guess is Matt Janning.
So, those are my storylines from tonight. What do YOU want to see?
Well, it is actually October 5 here in the Philippines and it is Grant "Gravity" Hill’s 38th birthday. He looks 28 but yes, he is 38. So guys, what adjective will describe those 38 years? Amazing? No, injuries are not amazing. Classy? Maybe. Hmmmm, how about I use the word Historic? I guess that adjective says it all. 38 years of Grant’s Historic Basketball career..! When talking about a player's Historic Basketball career, things like championships, MVP awards, All-NBA selections, Multiple All-star appearances and such are the first things that come to mind, but those aspects are only a small part of what makes up a legacy. Some intangibles are somewhat important, being respected by the players, helping the community to get better, being a model to young players, the ability to rebound from frustrations and failures etc.
This article will feature Grant’s brilliant career from Duke University to Motor City to Disneyland and to the desert. From 1990 to 2010, two decades of unforgettable moments, two decades of highlights, two decades of roller coaster ride to greatness and two decades of searching his way home. By the way, I will try my best not to include those information that an ordinary fan already knows. But let me allow to add some for making this article longer. Haha, Just kidding, I will add some so that newbies will get an idea how great he really is. Hopefully I get it right. I will include some stats, quotations, numbers and analyzed them to make this post a little juicy. I may not be a genius like Alex in analyzing and interpreting numbers or computing advanced Basketball ratios but I will be Christian_33, a dedicated fan who will try his best in interpreting some numbers. I am warning you, if you are a math geek, don’t expect too much in this article. Hehe. So let’s start?
After Grant "Gravity" Hill became a High School Superstar in South Lakes High School and was selected for the 1990 McDonald's All-American Team. He attended Duke University instead of University of North Carolina and Georgetown University. Duke won a rare back to back National titles in 1991 and 1992 season. Grant's junior season in 1993 when Duke University was upset in the NCAA Tournament by the University of California - Berkeley by the star point guard and future draft mate Jason Kidd. It was the only time during his four year career at Duke that he failed to make it to the national championship game. Duke's Final Four appearances with Hill were not over. In the spring of 1994 he once again led the Blue Devils into the NCAA championship game--this time without the presence of Hurley or Laettner. Hill had come to be acknowledged as the team leader, under Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. Grant Hill was one of the best blue devil to ever play for Duke(Along with Christian Laettner, Johnny Dawkins, Elton Brand, Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer etc.) What is the greatest play of Hill in college? When Hill heaved the in-bounds pass 75 feet across the court into the hands of Christian Laettner who dribbled once and spun before pulling up to make the game-winning jumper from just outside the free-throw line as time expired. That game against Kentucky is considered one of the greatest college basketball game of all time. Hill became the first player in ACC history to collect more than 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals, and 100 blocked shots. At Duke, Hill averaged 14.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 50% FG, and 70% from the free throw line.
Grant Hill was on the path to greatness long before being drafted by the Detroit Pistons, wearing Fila, and drinking Sprite. Hill was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the number three pick in 1994 and heralded as the "Next Michael Jordan," like countless others before and after. He proved the hype coming out of college was well warranted as he earned the Co-Rookie of the Year Award along with future Hall of famer Jason Kidd after averaging 20 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and 5 apg. Even with Hill's award-winning performance, the Pistons managed only a frustrating 28-54 season in 1994-95.
If you will allow me to assume that balloting for the annual National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game is any indication of the popularity of a player, well, Hill was the most popular player in basketball in both 1995 and 1996 when he received the most All-Star votes of any active player, even beating the great Michael Jordan in 1996. But that was rebuttable if you won’t agree. Former Pistons coach Don Chaney told Time magazine: "Grant is headed for stardom. You can't talk it, and you can't teach it. The fans are getting hungry--hungry--and are getting tired of immature athletes. They want something better."
"Off the court, I can be the nicest person in the world, But when I get on the court, whether you're my mother, father, or friend, I want to beat you. I want to beat you bad. I'm not going to cheat. I'm not going to play dirty. I'll do anything within the rules to win."
- Hill explained in USA Today Weekend.
In the summer of 1996 Hill brought his talents on the Olympics. Perhaps the best known member of Dream Team III, he helped to keep America on the zenith as the world’s best men's basketball team. In the summer of 1999 Hill married Canadian-born jazz singer Tamia. They formed one of the most powerful couple in sport and music industry. Hill's final season in Detroit showed that he could be one of NBA's truly dominant scorers. He averaged 25.8 points while shooting 49% from the field, it was the season's third highest scoring average, behind Shaquille O'Neal who ultimately become the MVP and Allen Iverson. Hill finished his career in Detroit with six All-Star appearances. Hill gathered 9,393 points, 3,417 rebounds and 2,720 assists, and becoming one of only four players ever to accomplish this breakthrough in their first six seasons, joining some guys you may have heard of: Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, and LeBron James.
A landslide victory for Lebron, Definitely the queen is the better player statistically. I guess one of the reason is that Hill is with Jerry Stackhouse which is also a 20 point guy and LBJ is undeniably a stat conscious guy. Oh, I’m not bitter. Haha
As a fan, I want to limit this part as possible. Certainly the lowest point of his career, but probably one of the major reason that shaped Grant’s future, sharpen his mental toughness, molded his attitude and showed how good this guy is. Soon after singing a $93 million contract with the Detroit Pistons, Hill was traded to the Orlando Magic. The magic team that failed to sign Tim Duncan but inked the young and talented Tracy McGrady. Hill’s glass ankle caused him to sit out much of his first season in Orlando, and missed the 2000 Summer Olympics as well .Hill played his first four season in Orlando with 4, 14, 29, and 0 games, equivalent to 14.33% of total possible games.
2004-05 season for Hill is different, Hill started and played 67 games for the Magic, 20 more games than his previous four season as a magic. Hill averaged 19.7 points per game on a .509 field goal percentage. His fans voted him and became an all-star again. Before the year ended, he received his first of his three NBA Sportsmanship Award. But the following season he hit the rock bottom again when he only played 21 frustrating games. His final season in Orlando is pretty decent. Hill return to the playoffs for the first time since 2000 when he faced his old team, the Detroit Pistons that eventually swept the Magic in four. After suffering a painful defeat, Hill knew that he must decide his future. Hill is weighing his option on whether to return for the 2007–08 season with the Magic, sign with another team, or just retire.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
After assessing his options, Hill signed to the Phoenix Suns. He consider it his final push for the title. Hill haters condemned his decision not to resigned with the Magic. But I guess that decision works better for Hill and the Magic. Suns Ring of Honor member Alvan Adams gave Hill permission to wear his familiar No. 33 with the Suns. He played an incredible 70 games on his first season and unbelievable 82 games the following year. One thing that I can’t forget on his first season is when 5 Suns players are averaging at least 15 points a game, that was before Marion got traded for Shaq and before his stats decline as the season progresses. Last season, the Phoenix Suns advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals, marking Hill's first playoff series victory. That victory make him the first NBA player in history to win his first playoff series after 15 years in the league. Yaaaykk..! I hate that record, but I guess it was ok for Hill. Suns swept the old Spurs in four, then moved to the Western Conference Finals to face the lucky, very lucky Los Angeles Lakers, but unfortunately Suns lost the series and ruined the potential first NBA Finals appearance of Grant Hill.
"He's like the favorite guy I've ever coached. He's a different player now, not quite as athletic, but he's still pretty damn good. He's got a lot of games left in him. I don't see why he can't play until he's 40.''
As he changed his uniform from team to team. His stats obviously declined. Injury just makes his game different. He is superstar no more, limelight started to shift to other players. Endorsement are fewer. As years goes by, he find a way on how to improved his game. His defense became solid, he added a decent 3pt shooting, and offer those intangible traits to the team, he is now more vocal to his teammate. He is now more conscious to his health. Yes, he is not that impressive now but he allow himself to be distinguished among other players. He became the epitome of a real sportsman and by winning it three times is no joke. Definitely earned the respect of players and fans worldwide.
This season will be different. Expert are insisting that No Amare. No playoffs. But I’ll tell you suns fan "Never fear. Grant Hill is here.".
By the way, I’m just curious on what anti-aging cream is Hill using? Is it Olay? Or Ponds? Haha. Another question that is irritating my mind is the real age of Grant’s body. I remember when he dunked on Noah and the announcer stated this, ‘Is that guy 26 or 36? I love it. Haha. Based on my calculus, trigo and and present value of money, just kidding. My simple computation is saying he is 34 years old.
Total posible games played(7 times 72.5) ( 72.5 games is the average of Hill's game in detroit)
It wasn't so much a practice as a light shoot around followed by a little four on four half court action.
This all took place leading right up to -- literally ending about 10 minutes before -- the bus left for the airport to take the Suns on their first roadie of the season.
The four on four was particularly interesting because of one special participant. Dan Majerle.
Thunder Dan can still bring it and by that I mean: talk trash; grab and hold; push and shove; and hit three's. Dan's a pretty nice guy as I am sure you are all aware, but put that man on a basketball court and keep score and the monster is unleashed. It was quite fun to watch, there's not many like him.
Team Goran won the series according to Paul Coro's score keeping.
The boys were quite obviously dragging ass after a long hard week of training camp and so the early games were kind of bleh but Majerle was able to get things amped up and once the juiced started flowing...good stuff.
As for training camp and working hard, I talked to Dragic and Warrick about that.
No surprise, both said the workouts were much harder this year, but Hakim gave us the best description as to why that is:
Click that link to read the rest and see what Goran had to say about Matt Janning (that's what they call a teaser in the business).
The way I am reading all this talk about running hard and what not isn't so much a return to the 7SOL Suns but more of a constant pressure, full attack type mindset that will try and outwork teams on both ends of the floor.
When you have this kind of depth, the way to take advantage is to have more guys working at a higher rate than the other team.
Along the way, it also helps solves the rotation / minutes problem. If everyone buys into playing at full speed for fewer minutes they will accept being on the court less. No player anywhere who gets 35 plus minutes is going at full speed the entire game. Guys that play 20 minutes can do that though. I think/hope that's what we have going on here.
Out work teams (more so than out run teams) and keep everyone happy by keeping the intensity level high. We'll see how that plays out as the season gets going but if it works, it should be fun.
People LOVE watching intense basketball and that includes me. I'm a person too you know, despite what Scott Howard says.
Tomorrow's game against the Kings isn't on TV but it will be on the radio here in Phoenix. Our Kings site, Sactown Royalty, will also have their guy on-site and so I've requested they give us a little extra on the Suns when they cover the game.
Earl Report (because Earl needs his own section)
Earl Clark does look better but I still don't get the sense that he's playing with a ton of confidence or instinct but he's playing with more of both than he was this summer in Vegas.
Can't wait to see him Saturday in Indian Wells. Anyone else going to that game?