Looking back on preseason and midseason predictions can be a sobering thing, unless you’re Mike Schmitz, who predicted the Suns to finish 40-42 and 10th in the West at the beginning of the...

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"So go look all around... you can try your luck, brother... see what you found, but I guarantee you that it ain't your day" - Jones/Strummer

Channing Frye, has it really been only two years that you've worn the purp? For all the radical topsy-turvyness you've produced (he's soft... no wait, he's clutch!! He's improving... dammit he disappeared again!!), these two years have felt much longer. 

So Channing, people are wondering if you made it. You snuck in as a starting PF when all the other candidates proved incompetent, and surprisingly, you didn't do half bad. We even saw some mettle from you, some stones, some minerals. Quite a show put on at times, and a lot of people had to eat their words. 

You converted me into a fan of yours, old boy. However, I'm about to explain why you should not be starting for the Suns next season.

Improvement?

Did you really improve? I remember seeing a couple midrange moves from you this year that I didn't see before, and you looked almost aggressive in the post a couple times when you had a PG switched off on you, which was an improvement from last year. As for your defense, which has been often stated to be improved... well, maybe it did a little. I can't say I really noticed to be honest. 

Nextly, I'll have to resort to the stats. Per 36 minutes, your production fell off almost across the entire board. The only significant uptick was defensive boards, which went from 5.9 to 6.3. Other than that, the only number that increased was minutes.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/f/fryech01.html

So basically, what looks like improvement was really just more exposure. 

Tough Guy?

As for your new found tough guy rep, we'll have to take an objective look at this as well. You started out punking on little dudes, and then the little dudes seemed to form a united front and were determined to punk you back. This is getting kind of weird.

Then came Lord Asshat of the Celtics, Kevin Garnett. You were praised for getting up in his grill after this one, but let me tell you a cold, hard fact of life: When a man takes a potshot at your jingledy-jangledy, you only have one option and that is to get in that ass (kiddies be careful with that link). What you did there wasn't special, although it was great for viewing, if for no other reason it forced Mark Jackson to reveal what a moron he is on national television. 

Starter?

Sure, if you like picking 13th in the draft. Truth told Channing, I like you. You netted your biggest payday ever this season, raking in $5.2 mil, and instead of letting your derrière expand, you were one of the few good stories of a forgettable six months. Sad thing is, if you're in the starting lineup next time the Suns play ball, I have to assume that you'll be on a fringe playoff team again. On the other hand, if you can be a 6th or 7th man next season that fills in at the 4 or the 5, kind of like the good ole' days in 2009/10, then I think you'll be in the playoffs again. 

Think about Uncle Steve

If Uncle Steve comes back next year, he's gonna need a true frontcourt scorer that doesn't wait for Steve to do 90% of the work. Between you, who can do very little besides a pick-and-pop or just a spot-up at the angle, and the Hammer, whose moves in the post look like a drunken ballet, someone else is going to have to start up front if there's still going to be life in these Suns. 

That's about all I got for you, Channing. I'll be rooting hard for you, but I'll be rooting a little bit harder if you're coming off the bench with 5 minutes left in the first. If there's any fight to be had next year, I'm pretty sure you can be counted on to step up when needed. It's not your fault that the team just needs something... better. 

Also, thank you very, very much for the gleefully horrible Fry's commercials. If I'm suffering through a Suns blowout, those commercials always remind me that life, and certainly basketball, isn't meant to be taken too seriously.


There's a strong chance we'll have our first team eliminated from the playoffs today, as the Bulls play for the sweep in Indiana. Will the Pacers go down swinging, or whimpering? Later, the Blazers try to even up their series with the Mavs at 2 in what will be a loud, raucous Rose Garden in Portland, the Grizzlies and Spurs square off in a pivotal game 3 tied at 1, and the Nuggets try to get up off the mat at home against the Thunder, down 2-0.

Notes:

Those of you who covet Arron Afflalo for the Suns should get a chance to see him in action today, as the Denver Post reports that he's likely to return from his hamstring injury.

Manu Ginobili doesn't enjoy the brace on his right elbow, but he's fortunate it was his non-shooting arm that was injured since he almost certainly wouldn't be able to play had it been his left elbow.

Brandon Roy came alive for 16 points in game 3 for the Blazers, after his lack of playing time and production nearly brought him to tears following game 2.

Today's games:

Chicago at Indiana, 11:30AM PDT, TNT. Bulls lead series 3-0

Dallas at Portland, 2:00PM PDT, TNT. Mavericks lead series 2-1

San Antonio at Memphis, 4:30PM, ESPN. Series tied 1-1

Oklahoma City at Denver, 7:00PM, ESPN. Thunder lead series 2-0

GO!


There's a strong chance we'll have our first team eliminated from the playoffs today, as the Bulls play for the sweep in Indiana. Will the Pacers go down swinging, or whimpering? Later, the Blazers try to even up their series with the Mavs at 2 in what will be a loud, raucous Rose Garden in Portland, the Grizzlies and Spurs square off in a pivotal game 3 tied at 1, and the Nuggets try to get up off the mat at home against the Thunder, down 2-0.

Notes:

Those of you who covet Arron Afflalo for the Suns should get a chance to see him in action today, as the Denver Post reports that he's likely to return from his hamstring injury.

Manu Ginobili doesn't enjoy the brace on his right elbow, but he's fortunate it was his non-shooting arm that was injured since he almost certainly wouldn't be able to play had it been his left elbow.

Brandon Roy came alive for 16 points in game 3 for the Blazers, after his lack of playing time and production nearly brought him to tears following game 2.

Today's games:

Chicago at Indiana, 11:30AM PDT, TNT. Bulls lead series 3-0

Dallas at Portland, 2:00PM PDT, TNT. Mavericks lead series 2-1

San Antonio at Memphis, 4:30PM, ESPN. Series tied 1-1

Oklahoma City at Denver, 7:00PM, ESPN. Thunder lead series 2-0

GO!



The Hawks and Hornets have golden opportunities to take 2-1 leads in their series vs. the Magic and Lakers if they can take care of home court tonight, while the Knicks hope the presence of the Beastie Boys and Spike Lee at MSG will propel them to a much-needed win over the defending Eastern Conference champion Celtics.

Amare Stoudemire is expected to play for the Knicks, but Chauncey Billups remains questionable. One wonders what a Knicks team at full strength would be able to do in this series. As it is, they're giving the Celtics all they can handle, but the Celtics have proven their mettle to close out games so far while the Knicks have not.

The only thing of which I'm sure about the Magic-Hawks game is that Dwight Howard will fill up the box score. In the first two games, he's averaged 39 points and 19 rebounds per game on 71% FGs. If his supporting cast does their part, Orlando shouldn't have much problem taking this series.

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have combined to shoot only 36% from the field so far for the Lakers, and Gasol has posted a meager 8 points in each of the first two games of the series. Hard to imagine that continuing, and even if it does the Hornets will need to score more than the anemic 78 they managed in game 2 to take advantage.

Tonight's lineup:

Boston at New York, 4PM PDT, ESPN. Celtics lead series 2-0.

Orlando at Atlanta, 5PM PDT, ESPN2. Series tied at 1-1.

Lakers at Hornets, 6:30PM PDT, ESPN. Series tied at 1-1.

GO!


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