The Government has today issued an urgent message to all residents in the state of Arizona warning them of a potentially debilitating disease which is spreading throughout the region at an alarming rate.


'Gortatitis', as it is being called, is believed to have affected a growing number of people in the Phoenix area as well as as some cases being reported as far afield as Poland. The virus has been in Phoenix since mid-December 2010 although there is research to suggest that it may have struck earlier than that, especially amongst the vulnerable. Phoenix Suns fans are being advised to be more vigilante than ever over the coming months as it has been discovered that upward of 90% of all Gortatitis sufferers are Suns fans.



In some extreme cases, the victims have been heard to talk in tongues, frequently mentioning 'About time the Suns had a good centre...'. This phrase is just one of the identifiable symptoms to look out for when trying to establish those in need of treatment.



Other symptoms of Gortatitis:



  • Victims of Gortatitis are likely to experience a heightened sense of pleasure and delusion in the ability of Marcin Gortat. And in some rare, isolated cases, there have been reports of lust for the Polish big man.
  • The Government is stressing that they are hopeful that the outbreak is only seasonal and that during the months from May to October, the virus won't take hold of many more people.
  • Scientists have also confirmed that they believe the virus is under control for now and that the disease may be kept at bay longer than the projected October 2011 date if the event known as the 'Lockout' takes place.

In the meantime, the Government has issued a list of treatments that may assist with those living with Gortatitis:


  • Talk to the victims. Remember, they ARE victims.

  • When talking to those suffering, make sure you address the following key points; the Polish Hammer's offence has revolved almost exclusively around the pick and roll – something any semi-competent big man in the league can utilise especially with arguably the best passer in the game feeding him the ball – and outside of it, he hasn't shown much else. He's been playing in an open offensive system which history shows us, players excel in and yet all he does is score from 6 feet – is this all we can expect? Have the affected Suns fans expectations become skewed on what is a 'good centre' due to the lack of one in recent history? And what about the fact that the team remained hovering around the .500 mark even after he joined? If he is as good as some say, surely he would have had a bigger impact? These facts may be met with rage and anger by the sufferers but it is all a part of the healing process - To resolve a problem, first you have to accept the problem.

  • Sufferers require a hard slap across the face. These people need to be snapped out of it.

  • Limit the victim's opportunities to view Marcin Gortat: It's been discovered that there is a potential positive correlation between the Phoenix Suns not participating in the 2010/11 play-offs and the number of cases of Gortatitis declining. If this trend continues, scientists are hopeful that the virus may die out.

  • In connection to the possible decline of Gortatitis, it has also been argued that the memory of those already affected by the disease may become more distorted the longer they continue without some form of exposure to the big Pole. It may even be possible that their delusions may mutate and grow out of control. If this appears to be happening, please contact your doctor immediately.

In addition to the above 'Self-help' guide, the Government have released the following comparison videos which sufferers are to be encouraged to watch. It is hoped that by repeated viewing of these videos, those most affected by the virus will have a greater chance of returning to normal and that residents within the Phoenix area could avoid a repeat of the 2009/10 outbreak of Lopezorrhea*.




Steve Nash executes a bounce pass to Marcin Gortat for the lay-in (via kakalama12345678)


Steve Nash circles and assist Robin Lopez a shuffle pass for the reverse layup Phoenix Suns Preseson (via m0l0k0vell0cet)


Marcin Gortat Running the Break versus Golden State Warriors (via yt2010upload)


Robin Lopez steal and monster dunk! (via rightbryce)



*Symptoms of Lopezorrhea and Gortatitis are almost identical. Bizarrely, numbers of Lopezorrhea sufferers declined the more exposure sufferers had to Robin Lopez.



Stay safe, stay smart and stay away from thinking Gortat is a saviour.

We've already seen the defending NBA Champion Lakers fall, as well as the West's #1 seed Spurs. Will the defending Eastern Conference champs be next? The Celtics will try to stave off elimination down 3-1 on the road against the Heat, and with a one-armed point guard. Later, the Thunder-Grizzlies series goes back to Oklahoma City for a pivotal game 5 after an epic triple overtime Thunder win on Monday night.


Tonight's Games:

Celtics at Heat, 4PM PDT, TNT. Heat lead series 3-1.

Grizzlies at Thunder, 6:30PM PDT, TNT. Series tied 2-2.

Minnesota Timberwolves' Michael Beasley, left, attempts to bat the ball away from Phoenix Suns' Marcin Gortat, of Poland, during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, in Minneapolis.(AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid)

Is Marcin Gortat the Center of the future? Depends on how you look at it.

By Suns standards, he's a marvel. In the past 43 seasons, a Phoenix Suns C has put up 13 points and 9 rebounds per game for at least 50 games in only 7 of them. Thank you Alvan Adams, Neal Walk and Jim Fox. You made the 60s and 70s the golden age of Suns pivot men. Since 1980? Only Marcin Gortat.

Yet by league standards, he's no more than a one-year wonder at this point. The league as a whole has produced 345 seasons of at least 13 and 9 in 50+ games from a team's Center, including such luminaries as Zelmo Beaty, Ray Felix, Sven Nater and Gheorghe Muresan.

Regardless of whether he's a marvel or a one-year wonder though, you've gotta enjoy the Polish Hammer's attitude. He loves basketball, loves being in the spotlight and consistently delivers great sound bites when a microphone is placed in front of him. 

"December 18 was definitely the best day of my life so far," said Gortat about his trade to Phoenix, to in April. "It's bigger than my birthday right now. It was a day where a new chapter in my book opened up. It's a different story finishing the season away from my old team. You pack up, and then you're getting 35 minutes a game. It's just a great feeling. It was huge step for me."

Yet it wasn't all roses when Gortat arrived on the scene, and he wasn't afraid to let anyone know it.

"I came from a team where everybody was competing and trying to do what the coach told you," Gortat said after a horrible loss to Philly in December. "We just totally changed our rotations and what we said before the game. We were not playing hard enough and we have a lot of work in front of us."

That wasn't the worst/best of what he said that night, either.

"It is just frustrating; it is frustrating as hell. I'm not going to lie, it is a reality check for me going from a team who is winning to a team who is losing and we are the worst defensive team in the league."

But of course Marcin always sees the bright side, ending on a high note that foretold a Suns turnaround with him at the helm.

"We're not playing hard enough and I've just got to tell you, there's a lot, a lot of work in front of us. The positive thing is? It can't be worse."

Things did get better, eventually. The Suns had their best month of the season in February, going 9-3 while giving up only 98 points per game. And Gortat was at the center, literally, of their resurgence. He got his first extended burn in the pivot that month, amassing 13.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in 30 minutes per game. Gortat improved even more over the last 6 weeks of the season, upping those numbers to 15 points and 10.7 rebounds per game on 33 minutes in March and April.

Statistically speaking, Marcin Gortat is the Suns' second-best rebounder - by rebound-rate - of all time (a prize for whoever guessed the winner was Earl Williams in 1974-75).

Offensively, the Suns have had more talented offensive players manning the pivot (Shaquille O'Neal, Alvan Adams and Neal Walk), and they've also had better defensive players according to advanced stats (including Adams and Walk again, plus guys like Andrew Lang, Rich Kelley, Mark West and James Edwards).

But since 1980, Gortat is statistically the best Center to take the court for the Suns, and he is relatively young, durable and committed to a reasonable contract (3 more seasons).

But where did he rank in comparison to the rest of the league's Centers in 2010-2011?

How about 7th in a stat called 'win shares', despite playing the second-fewest minutes of any center in the top 10. He's also 3rd overall in 2010-2011 in defensive rebound rate, 6th in PER, 9th in points per game, and 9th in overall rebound rate.

And don't forget that quote machine.

"I just got to play with two great leaders in this league here, Grant and Steve," Gortat said in the interview. "And everything starts with Steve. I'm ready to get out my checkbook (laughs). He can have my car. He can use my apartment. I'll bring him donuts everyday he won't eat. I'll bring him salads onto the plane. He can do whatever he wants to do. I will take care of him. He's a great player and a great leader. I really learned a lot this year, and I'm really grateful.

"The organization has been great to me. It's fun playing basketball here."

But is Marcin Gortat the future of the Suns' center position? Can the Suns count on him as a key player, a team leader, in upcoming seasons?

The Suns have no young stars. Their best players are 38 and 39 next season, and the rotation is polluted with role players no better than a 5th-8th best player on a contender.

Marcin Gortat is the only guy with the potential grow beyond "solid starter" into a top-4-on-a-contender type of player. He's already better than Kendrick Perkins, for example, but not quite as good as Marc Gasol. To get to that next level, he needs a more versatile offensive repertoire beyond pick-and-roll layups and set shots. And he needs to be a leader on the defensive end of the court.

"I got a lot of respect from my new teammates and Head Coach Alvin Gentry," said the center, who set a new franchise mark for double-doubles off the bench in 2010-11. "He gave me a lot of freedom and the green light to do a lot of things on the floor. I'm really grateful for everything I did and everything I have. Obviously there are a lot of things I still have to improve on. I'm going to work hard this summer, and I'd like to come back twice as better next year."


"I definitely showed that I improved," Gortat said. "I also said that I could do a couple of these things a long time ago but I just wasn't able to show it. I didn't have a green light to show it. But who cares now? I just have to keep improving.

"In the summer, I'm going to work my butt off to be one of the leaders of this team."

Read more:

and speaking of summer...

"I'm definitely going to forget about basketball for the first month," Gortat said. "I'm going to try to relax and recover. I'm playing 30-plus minutes and it's having a big impact body. I really feel tired right now. I have to change my whole routine. Every morning when I stand up, I feel the 30 minutes from the night before. It's going to be a long, long summer."

Once his break is over, Gortat has a summer plan to work out in Orlando and visit Phoenix and Poland while trying improve his post-up game, jump shot and lower-body and core strength.

"I definitely look forward to come back strong, be one of this team's leaders and be a guy who is the future of this team for a couple years," Gortat said.

Read more:


Considering he delivered on every promise this season, who's to say he won't continue to deliver?

'Lesser Twin' To Suns In Mock Draft

You knew it was only a matter of time before Markieff Morris showed up next to the Sun's name on a mock draft board.

As always, please DON'T FREAK over mock draft results...especially this far out from the draft. Just soak it all in and learn some names floating around the top 20 or so.

There's only one game on the schedule for tonight, and while it should be compelling as the Bulls and Hawks square off in Chicago in their pivotal game 5 tied 2-2, this series has left some (including myself) less than enthused due to the amount of isolation play and generally sloppy offense we've seen. We're spoiled by watching Steve Nash run an offense, aren't we?


There was lots of talk in the game thread last night about Russell Westbrook taking too many shots, as he took 33 FGAs and dished only 5 assists to score 40 points. Well check out what league MVP Derrick Rose has done in his 9 playoff games so far:

  • 25.8 PPG, 7.7 APG
  • 88-218 FGs, 40.4% (9.7-24.2 FGs per game)
  • 16-62 3PT shots, 25.8% (1.8-6.8 3s per game)

7.7 assists per game is respectable for a PG, but 24 FGAs per game, only making 40% of them? And nearly 7 3-ptrs per game when he's only hitting 26%? For comparison's sake, in the postseasons after Nash won each of his 2 MVPs, he attempted only 17.9 FGs per game in 04-05 to go with 11.3 APG, and 14.55 FGAs per game in 05-06 to go with 10.2 APG. Nash's FG%s were 52%/39% in 04-05 and 50%/37% in 05-06. No surprise here. Nash set up his teammates better, shot less and was much more efficient when he chose to shoot. After all, he's Steve Nash.

Speaking of shot selection, Josh Smith was under fire for his lack of judgment in this area before he seemed to see the light and take it to the basket in the second half of game 4. Will "good Josh Smith" show up tonight, or will it be "bombs away!" from outside again?

Tonight's game: Hawks at Bulls, 5PM, TNT. Series tied 2-2.

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