Energy! (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The coach is angry. The players are frustrated. The fans are depressed. 

Just a week and a half from being in the playoff bracket, and on an upward trajectory with 20 games to go, the Suns find themselves mired in the muck of reality.

Do they spend the rest of the season fighting anyway? Or do they rest the oldies, play the kids and battle for better lottery positioning?

Most likely the former. There are no kids waiting on the bench for valuable playing time. They're either already playing, or they've been traded away. And the oldies are playing for trade value or another contract. No way the Suns give Steve Nash any fewer minutes the rest of the way. They want to keep up his trade stock in case they decide to start completely over.

According to Coro (azcentral.com): Frye is playing tonight.

You could definitely decide to bench Vince Carter and/or Grant Hill, but why? Hill is such a stabilizing influence on the team, and frankly Carter provides something no one else does lately: scoring. Say all you want about his too-friendly demeanor off the court and between plays, but the guy is playing pretty well when the game is going on.

And what of giving Aaron Brooks more time to prove himself? Here's a theory: the fewer minutes he plays, the less he can demand on that next contract.

This summer, the team may change dramatically. But for now it is basically a WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get.

 

Golden State Warriors

Let's talk about tonight's opponent. First, take a moment consider their last decade - any time you're depressed over how the Suns have done, it could be worse. And if the FO is not careful, that's the blueprint for the Suns' next 10 years. Just good enough to not be good enough.

As usual, G Monta Ellis is getting tons of minutes. He leads the league in minutes played, in fact. SF Dorrell Wright, F/C David Lee and G Stephen Curry are close behind. It's likely that the new GS owners will decide (like the rest of the nation) that Ellis and Curry are not a playoff combo at G. Curry could be so much better somewhere else.

Wild card: Will we see PF Lou Amundson tonight? I hope so. He's averaging his usual 4 and 4 as a 13-minute backup, though he's only played 33 games all year.

Another wild card: PF Ekpe Udoh. This rookie killed the Suns in the last two meetings (swept by the Suns on their upswing)

Luckily, both wild cards can't play at the same time and neither starts.

Look for this to be a hard-fought game, ultimately won by the Suns who NEED a win just to feel better about themselves after some tough losses to good teams.

Suns 105-97.

Warriors vs Suns coverage

Golden State Of Mind


Photo

When you've lost your last four games and find yourself right back at .500 when you are trying desperately to make it into the playoffs, the last thing you want to do is have a bad practice. But that's what happened today as the Suns took the floor and didn't give Coach Gentry what he wanted to see.

Perhaps it was all just for effect, but as soon as the doors to the Suns practice court were opened today, there was Alvin Gentry walking out instead of staying to talk to the media as is the norm. All he would say was that we could ask the player what was going on, and he left.

I've see Gentry unhappy with practice before, but never to the point that he wouldn't stay and discuss it.

Craig from KTAR edited together this video of Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Marcin Gortat talking about what went wrong.


Here's Grant Hill answering questions about his response to Jalen Rose. He didn't want to talk about it anymore.


Stay tuned, I'm going to put some more notes together from today as well including an update from Frye (who did practice today) and from Nash.


“The Fab Five,” ESPN’s much-anticipated documentary about the University of Michigan’s 1991-93 men’s basketball teams, debuted Sunday to much praise, but controversy...

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Credit the Hornet D. They Were Pretty Good. (AP Photo)

Tonight's contest was a sort of microcosm of the Phoenix Suns season. They started shaky-then looked fair-then looked awful-then looked pretty good-then they fell apart at the end.

Chris Paul went for 26 and 9 while Omeka Okafor added 16 and 11 for the Hornets. The Suns didn't have much of an answer for either Hornet.

The Suns shot 43% lost the rebounding battle by 7, turned the ball over 15 times, and gave up 46 Hornet points in the paint.

If that doesn't tell the story of the game, then how about these lines:

  • Robin Lopez:  12 minutes, 1 point, 3 rebounds, 2 turnovers, -5.  Way to come out and make a difference, Rob.
  • Hakim Warrick:  17 minutes, 0-4, 0 points, 1 rebound, -8. Way to rise to the occasion, Hak. To think I once called you WarMachine this season.
  • Aaron Brooks:  14 minutes, 2-7, 1 assist, 6 points, -4. Brooks reminds me of waking up Christmas morning and seeing a pink Schwinn with a bell instead of the kick ass Mongoose with chrome everything that you begged your parents for.
  • Mickael Pietrus:  11 minutes, 2-8 (6 of those 3 point attempts), 5 points, 3 assists, -3. Trade Throw in to balance the salaries.

There isn't much one can say positive about this game. Yes at leas they fought back, and yes Dudley's 25 were nice. Anything else?

Well then back to reality. Reality is:

  • 4 game losing streak
  • 11th place
  • 33-33
  • 16 games left

There's really no bright spot I guess. Perhaps a semblance of hope. Channing Frye could come back Friday. Maybe Nash will be healthy soon. Maybe Brooks will get it soon, maybe, maybe, maybe.

It's pretty dark right here near the sun. But there is some hope. 12-4 maybe? 13-3? Stranger things have happened. Remember this is the exciting time of year. Just one game. yes, one viciously ugly and psychologically crushing defeat. But there's another come Friday.

We ain't done yet.

(exits with inspirational accompaniment)

 

SB: Suns Drop 4th Straight...

Suns vs Hornets coverage

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By @keiththejourno

 

I'm no longer sure who I'm writing these pieces for.  It started out as for everyone else to enjoy what I did but I'm pretty sure that this final one is just for my benefit.

 

A (lengthy) bullet point list, if you will, of some of my highlights from the 4-5 days I got to spend with the NBA.

 

  • Getting that 'Media Pass' for the first time and having the lanyard round my neck.
  • Getting free media food.
  • Making Avery Johnson laugh.
  • Speaking to LB about his time in Phoenix and seeing his face light up.
  • Speaking to Jay Triano, Jerryd Bayless and Sundiata Gaines away from the glare of the media and without my recorder turned on and finding out how down to earth and normal they are.
  • Telling Jerryd Bayless that his good performances in the '09 playoffs against the Suns hurt me.
  • Making him laugh because of it.
  • Telling Robert Horry I hated him for what he did to the Suns and Steve Nash.
  • Finding out that I could hold my own in a media scrum.
  • Being able to say I was part of a 'media scrum'.
  • Getting free media drinks.
  • Going 'behind the curtains' with the NBA and seeing things that cameras don't.
  • Sitting in on a press conference, asking a question and not sounding like a nervous teenage boy.
  • Speaking to Jordan Farmar like I would a mate.
  • And him talking to me the same in return (We're not mates).
  • The feeling of satisfaction at having prepared questions and ask them. Preparation for the win.
  • Hearing LB whinge about how quick strength and conditioning coach, Francesco Cuzzolin, was running through the warm up.
  • Listening to P.J Carlesimo drop a ton of F-Bombs during practice and have Bayless remind him that the media were present.
  • Making Brook Lopez laugh. The man, from the outside, is scarier than the Blair Witch Project and the Ring put together (cue backlash stating those films weren't scary...)
  • Having that media pass at home as a constant reminder of what I accomplished.
  • Finding out first hand that Demar Derozan has no fear about becoming the next franchise player for the Raptors despite the potential to be booed mercilessly if he ever left ala Chris Bosh and Vince Carter.
  • Watching in person as the Nets players shoot half court shots to end a practice. I'd heard so many stories about teams doing it and although it isn't a shocking thing by any stretch, I was still happy to see it.
  • Sitting in on an afternoon Raptors practice session despite being told we could only stay for 30 minutes.
  • Visiting the Lithuanian Embassy for a presentation, rocking up too late for said presentation but still being able to indulge in the sandwiches, the beer and a talk with a rather unwilling Arydas Sabonis.
  • Drinking that morning starbucks coffee from the o2 arena everyday to start the day and feeling like 'this is what the media do...so this makes me a media member'.
  • Evaluating the Nets dancers with Hoopsfix.com creator, Sam Neter, being overly critical of them but knowing that they were all WELL out of our league.
  • Cringing at the kiss cam as it focused on uncomfortable couples but ultimately thinking it was funny and likeable when the couples looked more being on it.
  • Seeing the mexican wave take place in the arena, hating it and then turning to Twitter to see that I wasn't alone in my dislike of it.
  • Hearing players give standard or off topic responses to well thought out questions.
  • Sitting in the press section during the second game, looking up at the very back row and being so grateful to have the chance to be a fan in a privileged position.
  • Hearing players asked the same questions over and over again and then smiling when they give cold sounding answers knowing that fans hearing the interviews will think the players are rude but knowing why they give those responses.
  • Having Popeye Jones call me 'Sir' and then asking me for directions like a tourist.
  • Having Kris Humphries non-news worthy response to my question quoted on the website of a UK national paper website and also a Toronto paper online.
  • The other journalists during my few days at the O2. Genuinely decent folk who were more than happy to give me some advice without making me feel stupid or incompetent.
  • Doing the media work for free. There's something about doing work for free that gives me an extra buzz, like I'm doing myself a favour or something.
  • Receiving an email from NBA Europe saying 'You're in'.

 

Thanks NBA. You really are 'Where amazing happens'.


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