The Phoenix Suns released their complete 2010-11 schedule Tuesday and the team will once again face a tough start to the season. The Suns open the year on the road for the fifth consecutive season,...

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Let's look at the schedule in parts.

Key factors that I took into consideration:

  1. It's unlikely the Suns will win a lot of games in a row, even if they are all winnable
  2. It's unlikely the Suns will lose a lot of games in a row, even if they are all against tough opponents
  3. Home-and-aways, within a week or so of each other, are almost always split. It's a matter of pride not to lose twice to the same team in a short time span, no matter how good or bad the opponent
  4. Lots of consecutive road games against quality opponents are usually a .500 run
  5. Lots of consecutive home games against easy opponents are almost never total winning streaks, though you can expect to win most of them
  6. There are some tough stretches, and some easy stretches. Careful not to over/under-estimate the team during any one stretch

Update: Suns get 25 national TV games (including NBA-TV) - 12 home games, 13 on the road

Update #2: Suns only play 16 back-to-backs, down from 20 last season. A boon for Steve and Grant.

Okay, away we go, after the jump!

Here is my analysis:

Schedule Analysis

Click on the link for details.

Also, here it is (hope it formats ok). I broke the schedule down by runs of tough/easy games, and road/away-heavy portions as well.

Streak Overall
Tue 26
 @ Portland    7:00pm    
 Thu 28  @ Utah    7:30pm    
 Fri 29  vs LA Lakers    7:30pm    
November Opponent Time    
 Wed 03  vs San Antonio    7:00pm    
 Fri 05  vs Memphis    7:00pm 3-2 3-2
 Sun 07  @ Atlanta    3:00pm    
 Mon 08  @ Memphis    6:00pm    
 Fri 12  vs Sacramento    7:00pm    
 Sun 14  @ LA Lakers    7:30pm    
 Mon 15  vs Denver    7:00pm    
 Wed 17  @ Miami    5:00pm    
 Thu 18  @ Orlando    6:00pm    
 Sat 20  @ Charlotte    5:00pm    
 Mon 22  @ Houston    6:30pm 5-4 8-6
 Wed 24  vs Chicago    7:00pm    
 Fri 26  vs LA Clippers    7:00pm    
 Sun 28  @ Denver    6:00pm    
December Opponent Time    
 Thu 02  @ Golden State    8:30pm    
 Fri 03  vs Indiana    7:00pm    
 Sun 05  vs Washington    6:00pm    
 Tue 07  @ Portland    8:00pm    
 Wed 08  vs Memphis    7:00pm    
 Fri 10  vs Portland    7:00pm    
 Wed 15  vs Minnesota    7:00pm 8-2 16-8
 Fri 17  @ Dallas    7:30pm    
 Sun 19  @ Oklahoma City    5:00pm    
 Mon 20  @ San Antonio    6:30pm    
 Thu 23  vs Miami    8:30pm    
 Sun 26  @ LA Clippers    1:00pm    
 Wed 29  vs Philadelphia    7:00pm    
 Fri 31  vs Detroit    7:00pm    
January Opponent Time    
 Sun 02  @ Sacramento    7:00pm 5-3 21-11
 Wed 05  vs LA Lakers    8:30pm    
 Fri 07  vs New York    8:30pm    
 Sun 09  vs Cleveland    6:00pm    
 Tue 11  @ Denver    7:00pm    
 Wed 12  vs New Jersey    7:00pm    
 Fri 14  vs Portland    8:30pm 4-2 25-13
 Mon 17  @ New York    11:00am    
 Wed 19  @ Cleveland    5:00pm    
 Fri 21  @ Washington    6:00pm    
 Sat 22  @ Detroit    5:30pm    
 Mon 24  @ Philadelphia    5:00pm    
 Wed 26  vs Charlotte    7:00pm    
 Fri 28  vs Boston    8:30pm    
 Sun 30  vs New Orleans    6:00pm    
February Opponent Time    
 Wed 02  vs Milwaukee    7:00pm    
 Fri 04  vs Oklahoma City    7:00pm 8-2 33-15
 Mon 07  @ Golden State    8:30pm    
 Thu 10  vs Golden State    7:00pm    
 Fri 11  @ Utah    8:30pm    
 Sun 13  vs Sacramento    6:00pm    
 Tue 15  vs Utah    7:00pm    
 Thu 17  vs Dallas    8:30pm    
 Wed 23  vs Atlanta    7:00pm 5-2 38-17
 Fri 25  @ Toronto    5:00pm    
 Sun 27  @ Indiana    10:00am    
 Mon 28  @ New Jersey    5:00pm    
March Opponent Time    
 Wed 02  @ Boston    5:30pm    
 Fri 04  @ Milwaukee    6:30pm    
 Sun 06  @ Oklahoma City    5:00pm 3-3 41-20
 Tue 08  vs Houston    7:00pm    
 Thu 10  vs Denver    8:30pm    
 Sun 13  vs Orlando    12:30pm 2-1 43-21
 Mon 14  @ Houston    5:30pm    
 Wed 16  @ New Orleans    5:00pm    
 Fri 18  vs Golden State    7:00pm    
 Sun 20  @ LA Clippers    12:30pm    
 Tue 22  @ LA Lakers    7:30pm 3-2 46-23
 Wed 23  vs Toronto    7:00pm    
 Fri 25  vs New Orleans    7:00pm    
 Sun 27  vs Dallas    7:30pm    
 Tue 29  @ Sacramento    7:00pm    
 Wed 30  vs Oklahoma City    7:00pm    
April Opponent Time    
 Fri 01  vs LA Clippers    7:00pm 4-2 50-25
 Sun 03  @ San Antonio    10:00am    
 Tue 05  @ Chicago    5:00pm    
 Wed 06  @ Minnesota    5:00pm    
 Fri 08  @ New Orleans    5:00pm    
 Sun 10  @ Dallas    4:30pm    
 Mon 11  vs Minnesota    7:00pm    
 Wed 13  vs San Antonio    7:30pm 5-2 55-27

Discuss!


Can Hedo Defend the 4?

An Excellent breakdown and analysis (including fun pictures) by Michael and the boys at ValleyoftheSuns.com


Wuzzzup.  Here's a random meandering for you purple and orange summer site stalkers.

Let's play a little game if you're as bored as I am at work or as desperate as I am for Suns Basketball diggs - it's called Ex-Suns: Where are they Now?

Yhu_medium

Pick your favorite Ex-Sun and do some research.  In the comment section below let us all know Where they are now and why you chose the player you did.

I'll start it off.

I stumbled across this article about an hour ago that announced that former Phoenix Sun Casey Jacobsen is re-signing with his German team Brose Basket Bamburg in their BBL.

23jacobsen6x9_medium

Eutychus... who cares?  

I know right?  Well I do.  Casey may not be a well remembered fan favorite for all - but he was definitely one of my favorites when the Suns drafted him back in 02'. I'm not saying he's my all-time favorite or anything crazy like that... He was in the news and it brought back some fond memories.  I have a tendency to root for the underdog - and that was Casey. His stats (as seen below) weren't/aren't eye popping, but his character is off the charts and he was a likable guy to root for - a Goran-like guy who you wanted to play well.

Yga_medium

So things didn't pan out very well for him in the NBA so Casey has been back forth between here and Europe but he still plays. Besides being the underdog dude - another reason I was a fan is because when he played for the Suns he lived in my neighborhood and we actually went to church together, so I got to talk to him every once in a while and that is always fun.   I'll never forget one Sunday when he was having one of his babies blessed in church -  I rolled into the parking lot and saw Mercedes after BMW after Cadillac on huge custom rims and sleek paint jobs, and when I walked into the building I saw nearly the entire Suns team on the back row there to support Casey on a big day for his family.  It was really cool.

Besides all that - Casey is probably one of the better basketball player bloggers I can think of - check out his work at SLAM online.  

Here's an excerpt from a blog about gaurding MJ and LeBron - He's got good imagery and whatnot - but he did go to Stanford...

Yhi_medium

If you're still bored -  Here are some of his more memorable moments in the NBA

And just to see a little more what his personality is like check out this little feature he did with the Memphis Grizzlies.

  Alright, enough man-love for a mediocre Ex-NBA player - it's your turn.   Light it up in the comment section.

Poll
Did you even remember Casey Jacobsen played for the Suns?

  462 votes | Results


Pheonix Suns' Goran Dragic (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

More photos » John Bazemore - AP

Pheonix Suns' Goran Dragic (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Browse more photos »

Let's take a look at some summer stories on our current/former Phoenix Suns. Yesterday, Seth linked to a link about Grant and Steve's exploits this summer.

Today, I give you nuggets on the NBA schedule, some Suns predictions and stories on Louis Amundson and Goran Dragic.

Get yer Suns news here!

NBA Schedule coming out today

The NBA will release the full 2010-2011 schedule later today (2pm eastern, on NBA.com).  We already know the opening week is killer for the Suns, with 2 national games in the first 4 days and all 3 opening games against very tough opponents (Blazers, Jazz and Lakers)

I'll post the schedule here, with some analysis. Just gimme a little time to digest it and make some win/loss guesses. It's always fun to pre-analyze how the season will go, based on home/away/B2B and the like.

In the meantime, feast your thoughts on these links...

Update on the as-yet-unsigned Lou

Lou gives you 15-20 difference-making minutes a night (4-5 pts, 4-5 rebounds, 10-12 raucous cheers). He is, in my opinion, head and shoulders above the other remaining free agents on the market. And for his troubles, he deserves some cheese. Some lettuce. Some walking-around money.

But not once this summer have I heard how much cheese Lou really wants.

This nugget came out today, with regard to the New Jersey Nets' opening at PF:

Power forward update: There is no update.

Basically, there is no other guy they can induce with a make-good, as they did with Sean May. Louis Amundson wants a $3 million guarantee, which is fair. Joe Smith wants a full guarantee. Even Malik Allen wants a half-guarantee.

The other guys who might be decent stopgaps are coming off surgeries – specifically Brian Scalabrine (shoulder) and Ike Diogu (ACL), so you’re not going to invest there, either. Josh Boone? Definitely in the been-there-done-that-forget-it category.

So for now, it’s status quo: There’s no one left in the free agent pool they’re going to give any guaranteed money to, we’re told by a few agents with homeless clients. Which means the Nets are going to have to trade a commodity for a commodity to plug the hole at the four-spot.

Lou wants 3 million a year. Sounds fair. I just wonder whether his price varies based on the quality of the team. I'd love to see him get some run on the Miami Heat, as a backup energy guy to Bosh. I know, I know. The Heat are the Evil Empire. But still, Lou deserves quality minutes on a winning team where he can make a difference.

Anyone but the Lakers, that is. And the Spurs. And the Nuggets. And the Thunder. Okay, he can sign with anyone in the East. That works for me.

Now, let's move on to our very own Goran Dragic.

I found and google-translated a little story on him in a Spanish newspaper, previewing the Spain/Slovenia game coming up in Goran's hometown:

 The baton of the team has two owners: the base of Barcelona, Jaka Lakovic, and his young and outstanding disciple, the electric Goran Dragic.  While the former the level at which he usually does, the latter is gaining little by little in the starting lineup.

...Dragic decided two years ago to cross the pond to test the NBA adventure with the Phoenix Suns, where he not only adapted fast but is integrated seamlessly between the major players in the rotation of the franchise.

It's nice to see a story from half the world away talk about Goran with the same respect he gets from Phoenix and Slovenia fans.

Now maybe I'm just being petty, but I can't wait to see what Hollinger from ESPN writes about Goran this fall in his annual indepth preview of every player in the NBA. That guy has spent two years writing about how bad Goran is, and how stupid the Suns were to give up a second rounder and 500K to draft him, then 2 million a year to sign him. Goran is a steal now.

Here's a snippet of what Hollinger wrote about Goran a year ago, on ESPN insider:

Remind me again why they jumped through so many hoops to get this guy? Dragic was tragic as a rookie, shooting 39.3 percent from the field and leaving serious questions as to whether he'll ever be a competent pro point guard.

Dragic heads into the season still in possession of the backup point guard job, more by default than by any strong desire to see him fire the ball all over the gym again. The Suns will revert back to Leandro Barbosa, however, if Dragic struggles as much as he did a season ago. While rookies with high turnover rates often make huge gains in their second season, Dragic would need to make a fairly impressive leap just to be competent.

 

An overall Suns season prediction, from a Laker fan/reporter

Check this one out (click). It's actually one of the Suns-fan-friendliest predictions yet. Pincus writes respectfully about many of the acquisitions this summer, though he ultimately questions how far the Suns will go.

That's okay with me. The Suns have a lot more fun when they're counted out.

 

Here's a discussion of the Suns/Jazz game during opening week

Phoenix at Utah (Oct. 28, TNT) — As interested as I am in seeing Deron Williams vs. Steve Nash, I’m more interested in seeing how the Suns are going to deal with Utah’s revamped front line. I envision Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap devouring Hakim Warrick like two lions picking over the carcass of an impala, while Mehmet Okur serves Robin Lopez an eyeful of jumpers.

Really? Does it not occur to this gentleman that he has the matchups totally wrong? Lopez/Frye would guard Jefferson, Warrick/Turk would guard Millsap, and Turkoglu/Frye would guard Okur.

By they way, I also can't wait to see Lopez attack Jefferson, and Turkoglu shoot over and drive past the shorter Millsap and Okur. Ditto for Warrick. It goes both ways, buddy. utah's defense will be atrocious. Plus, the Suns will likely be playing some zone, allowing Lopez to guard anyone close to the basket, while Warrick/Turk would take one side of the baseline.

 

Got any other Suns-related links?


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