Oh Hakim, we hardly knew ye

Welcome to the fifth piece of the 2010-11 Phoenix Suns Player Evaluations. We here at Bright Side of the Sun have assembled somewhat of an All-Star cast of writers to put together alternative views on the players, front office, and coaches. Your favorite and least favorite Suns will no doubt get plenty of attention, and the compliments or criticism they deserve.

Kudos to Trevor for his vain attempt to convince you skinny, limited Hakim Warrick is worth keeping on this team. It must have been quite difficult.

Now I get the easy part of this pro/con game: Get rid of him as fast as possible!!!!!

Put him on a train, in a car, on a boat, in a plane, whatever it takes and make him disappear. We don't need him on this team! He doesn't even fit the mold, for chrissake. The Suns are building a non-athletic, overachieving, low-ceiling roster of hustlers and scrappers and Hak just doesn't fit in. He's the yang to Dudley's yin. All flash, no substance. Bring back Louuuuuuuuuu!

HIghlights, schmighlites! We don't need a flashy dunk or two each game for the highlight reel. We want hustle, diving, scrapping, scowling, flowing locks, missed putbacks, missed free throws, high foul rates and the occasional spectacular block. Oh wait, that last was a highlight valued at two points (saved, in this case). Scrap that. We don't even want no stinkin blocks! Just hard fouls!

(Dear Hakim, if you've read this far, please accept my apologies. I'm just following the spirit of the pro/con posting in this series of player evaluations. Your day to shine was yesterday. Now it's roasting time!)

Seriously though, let's discuss Hakim Warrick's shortcomings in more detail.

Unfortunately, I don't have access (and don't want to spend the money) on that SynergySports thingy for data-based backup. All I know is that Hakim Warrick is a turnstile on defense.

I mean seriously, the Suns are in big trouble when Hakim Warrick is on the floor. According to the free 82games.com, the Suns gave up 3 more points per 100 possessions when Hakim took off the warmups. But his incredible offense offset that right? WRONG! In those same minutes, the Suns scored 2 less points per 100 possessions. Ugh!

(point of reference: the Suns averaged about 96 possessions a game last season, so these numbers are roughly 'per game' numbers)

Every single on/off court comparison went negative with Hakim on the floor except free-throw shooting. But free throws don't help when you're not scoring more overall points with them in the mix.

Overall, the Suns were a winning team withOUT Hak on the floor (plus 1.3 pts/100 possessions), and a losing team with him (-4.4 pts/100 possessions).

That's a 5.7 point swing in the wrong direction, and that spells BAD. (at least Lou was only a net -1 the season before, when the Suns had a better supporting cast and won 54 games. Oh wait, scratch that supporting cast crap. It was ALL LOU!)

Get rid of this guy. Put him on the first bus out of town. 

But how? they ask. How can we get rid of him when he's making so much money? Sarver is such a douche he overpaid for the worst player in the NBA!

Maybe a little hyperbole there. Hakim is not actually overpaid for 10 and 4 on 20 minutes. The Suns are only committed to 8 million over the next 2 seasons (a third season is a team option). Lots of teams can use a guy who can annually provide 10 and 4 over 20 minutes.

Familiarity breeds contempt. We know Hakim is maddeningly inconsistent, but his career numbers indicate the opposite. Every single season, he's produced the same okay numbers on light minutes. 


Every season, he's done the same thing. Only his actual minutes have fluctuated between 1400 (career low this past season) and 2000.

Quite amazing for such an inconsistent player, you know?

So maybe someone will take Hakim. Certainly 3 other teams did so in the past (Milwaukee, Chicago and Phoenix), after Memphis kept him around for his rookie contract.

Make him disappear, Suns! And bring back the Louuuuuinator so the Suns can suck a little bit less!


There's only one game on the slate for tonight, but it's about as compelling as a first round game can get as the Memphis Grizzlies attempt to finish off the San Antonio Spurs for what would be a stunning upset of a #8 seed over a #1 seed. They might be preparing for the worst over at Straight Outta Vancouver, but we don't have to.

San Antonio at Memphis, 6PM PDT, ESPN. Grizzlies lead series 3-2.

Tonight, I am a Grizzlies fan.

Let's GO!



Welcome to the fifth piece of the 2010-11 Phoenix Suns Player Evaluations. We here at Bright Side of the Sun have assembled somewhat of an All-Star cast of writers to put together alternative views on the players, front office, and coaches. Your favorite and least favorite Suns will no doubt get plenty of attention, and the compliments or criticism they deserve.

In June 2010, the Phoenix Suns were fresh off a miraculous and unpredicted run to the Western Conference Finals. On the strength of Amar'e Stoudemire, the creativity of a healthy Steve Nash, and one of the best bench units I've witnessed in years, the Suns appeared to have it all. Except the right asking price for Amar'e Stoudemire.

In the wake of Stoudemire's departure, the Phoenix Suns desperately pieced together a myriad of players of varying styles of play and prayed for the best. Those players were Hedo Turkoglu, Josh Childress, and last but not least, Hakim Warrick.

There were many that thought Hakim could step into an Amar'e-lite role as Nash's roll man, myself included. His history as a dunker (and not much else) preceded him, so expectations weren't too high. No one expected Warrick to be Amar'e. A few expected him to be a bit better than he was, but as the season progressed, Warrick found himself settling into a nice spot on this Phoenix Suns team.

Some may clamor about his lack of defense and others may whine about his inconsistency. Yet, through all the ups and thunderous downs we've experienced, Hakim has been just what we've needed him to be. Well, almost.

Hakim Warrick has undoubtedly been one of the bigger question marks of the past season. In the first third of the season, Warrick saw consistent minutes as Robin Lopez (again) healed from injury. During a 4-game stretch in one of the closing weeks of November, Hakim averaged 17.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. He also made his way to the free throw line an average of 9.3 times per game, knocking down 83.8% percent of his free tosses. This stellar week of play earned him a spot in the starting lineup against the Denver Nuggets.

The result, however, was disastrous. Shooting just 25% from the field, Hakim managed just 8 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists. The game was just as ugly as Warrick's trip to the starting lineup, too. The Nuggets out-throttled the Suns in what was one of the worst defensive performances all season, with Denver winning 138-133.

Warrick then returned to the bench, where we all knew he belonged in the first place. This was partly to do with his failure as a starter, but more because playing on the bench caters to his strengths more than playing with the starting unit. Warrick, at his best, is an above average finisher with exceptional athletic ability. His rebounding mechanics are decent, but his mindset is almost never completely focused on chasing down loose balls.

While Warrick certainly has his limitations, he is just what the Suns need on their bench to get back to their volatile bench form of yesteryear. Hakim can come into games and, as we have witnessed on multiple occasions, get opposing bigs into foul trouble by getting to the free throw line. He tends to play better against weaker competition, as the larger, wider bodies of the starting units give him trouble. He also began developing his midrange jumper as the season progressed. While the shot is goofy and looks extremely unnatural, it began to find the bottom of the net with more frequency.

On top of the weaknesses of other teams that Warrick has become surprisingly good at exploiting, he is currently signed to a very reasonable contract. He will be making a modest $13.92 million over the next three seasons. Compared to other bigs in the league that received contracts last summer, Warrick is looking more and more like a steal. Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza, Darko Milicic and Tyrus Thomas, among others, are all players making more money than Warrick who produced similarly or worse than Warrick.

If Warrick can continue to develop his game with the bench unit, there's no telling what his value to the team can be. It was the inconsistency of the big men of this team that led Warrick to the predicament he's in now. Without a star power forward, the Suns were looking for the best player to step in and be the player they needed. Unfortunately, the Suns never found that player, which led to a irregular rotations and shifting lineups.

Once the Suns find the big man they can consistently stick in the starting lineup alongside Gortat, Warrick's play will improve. Until then, we Suns fans must have patience with Hakim Warrick. He may not be our dream player, but he has shown the willingness to work on his weaknesses. If he can continue working on his rebounding, defense, and overall game, he could become a very solid option off the bench.

Warrick showed flashes of the player he could be for this team in various stretches during the season, and the Suns would be foolish to give up on a player that could become a valuable asset down the line. Plus, who wants to lose this?




The Phoenix Suns managed to dump Hedo Turkoglu’s contract and steal away Marcin Gortat because the Orlando Magic figured they had to shake up their core for a shot to win now. If we’re...

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Half of the eight first round playoff series have already concluded, and three more have the chance to do so tonight, as the Hawks, Lakers and Mavericks take 3-2 leads into their game 6's.

Tonight's games:

Orlando at Atlanta, 4:30PM PDT, NBA TV. Hawks lead series 3-2.

LA Lakers at New Orleans, 5:00PM PDT, TNT. Lakers lead series 3-2.

Dallas at Portland, 7:30PM PDT, TNT. Mavs lead series 3-2.

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