Well, today's the day...the NCAA tournament is officially here and the games have begun! To coincide with the start of the tournament, I have completed the third and final video of my college players to watch series with this video focused on the power forwards and centers that could help the Suns in the coming draft.

Like my last video on wings, the center and especially the power forward position is ripe with talent this year. So I only focused on the top-level talent that would likely be picked in the early to mid first round where the Suns are likely to be drafting.

Some of you may be wondering why would the Suns draft another big man with their first pick in the draft when they already drafted Markieff Morris last year and they already have either good or at least capable starters and backups. Well, the Suns may not be set at these positions after all. Remember, Robin Lopez will be a free agent after this season and it doesn't seem that the Suns are planning on re-signing him. They could choose to either draft another back-up center, or what I think is more likely, move Channing Frye to the back up center spot and draft another power forward. So this is still potentially a position of need right along with the wing and point guard positions going forward.

Read on after the jump to view the video...

Also, as I explain in the video, Anthony Davis is not featured in this analysis because he is certain to be the first overall pick, and the Suns' chances of landing the first pick overall in the draft is next to none. So instead, I wanted to focus on the other four players I believe are more realistic options behind Anthony Davis.

This video wraps up my series for now, but hopefully I will have some more videos like these after the season as we get closer to the draft. I hope all these videos have been helpful to all of you and that you've enjoyed them!

So take a look and let me know what you think!

¬†Phoenix Suns 91, Los Angeles Clippers 87 PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns have enjoyed the friendly confines of US Airways Center since the All-Star break. Fresh off a 120-11 home win against the...

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Jared Dudley's playing like a manly man lately. Maybe he's auditioning for a spot in an Old Spice body wash commercial? Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE.

As the Suns embark upon the second game of their second back to back to back of the season, the college basketball world celebrates the first full day of the NCAA Tournament and the rest of the NBA digests the comings and goings (and *yawn* nothings from certain teams) of the trade deadline.

On the Suns last B2B2B, a disappointing loss in Oakland to the Golden State Warriors was followed by a St. Valentine's Day massacre at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, a game in which the Suns rested Steve Nash and Grant Hill. The Suns then went all in for the final game of the set, but lost at home to the Atlanta Hawks 101-99.

That stretch in mid-February was the Suns last losing streak. Starting with their February 19th stomping of the Lakers (oooh, that felt so good), the Suns have won 8 of 11, with the three losses being tight, winnable games.

Are the Suns finally turning the corner? Tonight's game against the Clippers in LA will provide another good barometer of how much progress this team has made. That's assuming the Suns don't wave the white flag by sitting Nash and Hill as they did in the second game of last month's B2B2B, which is definitely possible.

Update 6:35 AZ time: Nash and Hill won't play tonight, according to AZ Central's Paul Coro.

Paul Coro @paulcoro

Gentry confirms the #Suns will hold out Nash & Hill tonight in 2nd of back-to-back-to-back. Still debating starters.

The Clippers have not come out of the All-Star break as hot as the Suns, winning only 4 of 10 with one of the losses coming in a strange, ugly 81-78 loss in Phoenix, a game the Suns won despite shooting only 35% from the field. Channing Frye played one of the more bizarrely effective games I've ever seen, shooting 2-18 from the field but grabbing 14 rebounds and playing generally un-Frye-like stout defense on Blake Griffin, holding the rising star to 6-19 shooting.

It's hard to imagine the Suns following that blueprint to victory again but given their recent offensive explosiveness, they might not have to. In somewhat of a landmark achievement for this season's sputtering Suns, they now have all five starters averaging double figure scoring, are up to 8th in the league in pace and are in the top half of the league at 14th in PPG with 96.2.

Jared Dudley and Frye have been the keys to Suns success and the one-time bench studs, now starting, have picked up their games lately, especially Dudley. Check out JYD's basic stats per game in March:

  • 21 pts, 4 rebs vs. Utah
  • 28 pts, 9 rebs vs. Minnesota
  • 19 pts, 7 rebs vs. Memphis
  • 18 pts, 8 rebs vs. Dallas
  • 17 pts, 11 rebs vs. OKC
  • 14 pts, 6 rebs vs. Sacramento
  • 22 pts, 7 rebs vs. Clippers
  • 12 pts, 7 rebs, vs Minnesota

Total for the month so far: 18.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG on 54% overall FG shooting and 42% 3-point shooting.

That's a difference-maker right there. Dudley's looking more confident and comfortable as a starting NBA shooting guard in his first season in the role. There was never much doubt the man can shoot; his career 41% 3-point shooting rivals that of Nash. But Dudley relentlessly continues to improve his game, showing better ball handling and ability to create his own shot. It's been impressive to see and if Dudley can keep it up, that will be a huge boost to the Suns playoff chances.

Though both teams figure to struggle with energy tonight, since both played last night, it's unlikely the game follows the course of the last match up between these two teams. Griffin wasn't the only Clipper to have a poor game then. Chris Paul went for only 16 points and 5 assists while being hounded by Grant Hill, and the Clippers scored 31 points in the second and third quarters combined. Sure, there was good defense in that game, but also some terrible shooting. Don't expect to see the same tonight.

The primary deciding factor in tonight's game, though, will be what kind of production the Suns get out of their team captains and oldest players Nash and Hill. Can they go 20-30 minutes? Will Gentry bench them completely to save them for tomorrow night's game versus the Pistons? No word as of yet, but stay to tuned to Bright Side of the Sun for an update when the news breaks.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Blake Griffin 41 36.6 8.5 16.1 53.1 0.0 0.2 14.3 4.1 7.4 55.4 3.3 7.8 11.1 3.0 2.5 0.8 0.8 3.1 21.2
Chris Paul 36 36.3 7.3 14.7 49.2 1.4 3.4 41.1 4.0 4.7 85.8 0.7 2.9 3.5 8.3 2.2 2.3 0.1 2.3 19.9
Chauncey Billups 20 30.3 4.2 11.4 36.4 2.4 6.3 38.4 4.3 4.8 89.5 0.2 2.3 2.5 4.0 1.9 0.5 0.2 2.0 15.0
Mo Williams 38 29.3 5.4 12.3 43.7 1.9 4.7 39.7 1.6 1.8 88.4 0.5 1.6 2.1 3.3 1.7 1.1 0.2 2.0 14.3
Caron Butler 39 31.4 4.6 11.5 40.3 1.5 4.3 35.5 1.8 2.3 79.1 0.7 3.1 3.8 1.4 1.3 0.9 0.2 2.2 12.6
Randy Foye 41 23.7 3.3 8.5 38.9 1.5 4.1 36.1 1.0 1.2 82.4 0.3 1.6 1.9 2.2 1.2 0.7 0.4 2.0 9.1
DeAndre Jordan 41 27.1 3.1 4.9 63.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 2.2 47.8 3.2 5.5 8.7 0.3 1.0 0.5 2.3 3.1 7.3
Kenyon Martin 17 21.8 2.4 5.5 42.6 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.5 1.2 40.0 0.8 3.2 4.0 0.5 0.9 0.8 0.7 2.7 5.2
Bobby Simmons 10 20.8 1.4 4.5 31.1 1.2 3.0 40.0 0.1 0.1 100.0 0.8 2.3 3.1 0.4 0.5 0.7 0.1 2.7 4.1
Trey Thompkins 14 6.6 1.1 3.3 34.8 0.1 0.7 20.0 0.4 0.5 71.4 0.3 1.3 1.6 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.6 2.8
Ryan Gomes 30 13.9 1.0 3.1 33.3 0.1 0.9 14.3 0.3 0.4 72.7 0.5 1.5 2.0 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.0 1.1 2.5
Eric Bledsoe 16 7.8 0.8 2.1 38.2 0.2 0.4 42.9 0.6 0.8 69.2 0.4 0.6 1.0 1.0 0.6 0.7 0.3 1.5 2.4
Reggie Evans 36 16.0 0.7 1.4 48.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7 1.4 51.0 2.0 3.7 5.7 0.4 0.9 0.5 0.1 2.3 2.0
Brian Cook 16 7.6 0.7 3.1 22.4 0.3 1.7 18.5 0.3 0.3 100.0 0.3 1.2 1.4 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.3 1.6 1.9
Travis Leslie 8 4.8 0.6 1.6 38.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.6 40.0 0.6 0.4 1.0 0.5 0.3 0.1 0.3 0.4 1.5

More on the Game

Clips Nation Preview

Paul Coro's Orange Slices

Seth's Q&A with Clips Nation

As expected, the trade deadline came and went without any any deals consummated by the Phoenix Suns following a surprisingly quiet trade season in the Valley. Although the Suns have shouted to...

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Very few deadline trades actually spell the difference between winning and losing. You have to harken all the way back to 2004 to find a deal that resulted in a championship run (Rasheed Wallace to the Pistons).

But there is always plenty of fireworks. Unfortunately, they tend to flame out way too early. From the Suns' point of view: how about Dragic for Brooks last year? And from the national point of view, how'd that "Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks" trade work out?

From all accounts, it looks like the Suns will sit this deadline out.

"We're working the phones constantly just to make sure that we've left no stone un-turned. But if you asked me for a prediction, I'd say there's nothing even remotely close to doing right now so it would have to be something that kind of fell out of the sky in the final 12 or 24 hours."

And in summation he surmised, "I would anticipate that we would not do anything."

But then hedged his bets (just in case), "But I suppose it's possible something could come together quickly."

Will Lopez be traded for some kind of 2012-13 asset? Will the Suns acquire a bench scoring talent to help their playoff push?

No surprises here:

NBA Trade Rumors 2012: Steve Nash Will Not Be Dealt At Trade Deadline, According To Report - SB Nation Arizona
It's time to celebrate, Phoenix Suns fans, because veteran All-Star point guard Steve Nash will not be traded before the 3 p.m. ET trade deadline on Thursday, according to a source.

Updates on the action from around the NBA after the jump:

UPDATE 1: Barbosa to Pacers

Indy Cornrows - For Indiana Pacers Fans
According to a pair of tweets from respected NBA writers, the Indiana Pacers are making a trade for Toronto Raptors speedy point guard Leandro Barbosa.

UPDATE 2: Dwight staying in Orlando

Dwight Howard Waives Early Termination Option, Commits to Orlando Magic for Another Season - Orlando Pinstriped Post
Dwight Howard temporarily postponed speculation about his NBA future Thursday when he agreed to waive the Early Termination Option in his contract, ensuring he will remain with the Orlando Magic for at least one more season and keeping him from becoming a free agent until July 1st, 2013. Chris Broussard reported on ESPN's SportsCenter and via tweet that he received a text message from Howard saying he signed the waiver.

UPDATE 3: Deron Williams staying in New Jersey

Nets Signal Not Trading Williams, Moving Beyond Howard Deal - NetsDaily
the Nets are letting teams know that Deron Williams is NOT available, reports Marc Stein. Adrian Wojnarowski and Ric Bucher are saying the same thing, with both suggesting the Nets are going to be very active in trying to find players to build around Williams. One name suggested by Woj: Jamal Crawford

UPDATE 4: Gerald Wallace to Nets? (looks like the Blazers are keeping Batum)

NBA Trade Rumors: Portland Trail Blazers Reportedly 'Close' To Dealing Gerald Wallace To New Jersey Nets - SBNation.com
The Portland Trail Blazers' Gerald Wallace hasn't been the subject of very many NBA trade rumors, but according to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers and New Jersey Nets are "close" to a deal involving the 29-year-old, one-time All-Star forward:

Update 5: Sessions to the Lakers, Luke Walton to the Cavs

NBA Trade Deadline: Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga Traded To Lakers - Fear The Sword
According to a report by ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the Cleveland Cavaliers have traded backup point guard Ramon Sessions to the Los Angeles Lakers. In return, the Cavaliers will receive "a future draft pick." The total deal is that the Cavaliers will trade Sessions and Christian Eyenga to the Lakers for Luke Walton and the first round pick. Luke Walton makes $5.7 million this year and $6.1 million next year.

UPDATE 6: Blazers tanking

Reports: Blazers / Nets Reach Agreement On Gerald Wallace Trade? - Blazer's Edge
Multiple reports on Thursday indicate that the Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey Nets will execute a trade that sends Blazers forward Gerald Wallae to the Nets for center Mehmet Okur, forward Shawne Williams and a 2012 first round draft pick.

UPDATE 7: Camby to Rockets, tanking more

NBA Trade Deadline: Rockets Get Marcus Camby From Blazers For Thabeet And Flynn - The Dream Shake
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Jonny Flynn and Hasheem Thabeet are heading to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Marcus Camby.

UPDATE 8: R-Jeff for S-Jax, Spurs save money

NBA Trade Deadline: Warriors Moving Stephen Jackson For Richard Jefferson In Swap With Spurs - Golden State Of Mind
Stephen Jackson's return to the Bay Area may be cut short as NBA trade rumors have him going back to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson.

UPDATE 9: Houston gets another 1st round pick for Jordan Hill and the pleasure of Derek Fisher's company

Rockets Trade Jordan Hill To Lakers For Derek Fisher And Draft Pick - The Dream Shake
The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets completed a surprising deal as the NBA trade deadline ended, with the Lakers sending longtime point guard Derek Fisher and a 2012 first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for third-year big man Jordan Hill. The first-round pick is the one originally owned by the Dallas Mavericks.

UPDATE 10: Blazers fire Nate McMillan, Portland freed from The Oppressive Thumb

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Portland Trail Blazers have fired coach Nate McMillan.

UPDATE 11: Clips get SG Nick Young b/c they needed a SG and didn't need Brian Cook

Breaking News: Clippers Acquire Nick Young for Brian Cook, pick - Clips Nation
As part of a three team trade, the Los Angeles Clippers have acquired shooting guard Nick Young from the Washington Wizards for little-used forward Brian Cook and a draft pick.

UPDATE 12: Nuggets swap Nene for Javale McGee...ballsy move

Denver Nuggets trade Nene Hilario to Wizards for JaVale McGee - Denver Stiffs
In a move that is sure to frighten, terrify, mystify, perplex and downright confuse most Stiffs, the Denver Nuggets have traded Nene Hilario to the Washington Wizards for Javale McGee and Ronny Turiaf while the Wizards send Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers.

That would appear to be all the deals for the day...

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