With all the press the Los Angeles Lakers have gotten recently, you'd think they were destined for the Finals.

The Lakers drive to the playoffs are the talk of SportsCenter. The comeback against the Hornets dominated the internets and even garnered a late night talk show interview for the one and only Kobe Bryant.

"It's about time we started playing defense," Kobe Bryant said of the "season changing" comeback over the almost-worst-in-West Hornets on Wednesday night. The Lakers rallied from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to win.

OMG! Really? Only a playoff-caliber team could do that!

Except that the Suns rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Hornets earlier this season. Let's not forget the Hornets are terrible this year.

Well, maybe the playoff-caliber statement is beating playoff-bound Atlanta at home last Sunday? The Lakers led most of the game and closed out a 1-point win at home.

OMG! Really? Atlanta is 10 games over .500! Only a playoff-caliber team could do that!

Except that the Suns had just put a pasting on the Hawks two nights earlier in Phoenix.

Let's step back and take a wider view.

It is ridiculous to compare the vaunted Los Angeles Lakers to the horrific Phoenix Suns who, for much of this season, trotted out a starting lineup of former BACKUPS to three guys in the Lakers' lineup (Dragic/Nash, Gortat/Howard, Brown/Bryant).

Surely the Lakers, boasting multiple league MVPs and future Hall of Famers, have been vastly more successful than the 21-40 Phoenix Suns.

Let's see here.

Games decided by 3 points or less:

  • Lakers 4-4
  • Suns 5-5

Games vs. West playoff teams (West top 8)

  • Lakers 6-17
  • Suns 6-15

Games vs. West top 5 (Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Grizzlies, Nuggets)

  • Lakers 2-13
  • Suns 5-9

And the Lakers are vastly better than the Suns how?

In fact, the Phoenix Suns just beat the Lakers a couple weeks ago in the nationally-covered "return of Nash" game, where the Suns executed what's apparently now called a "Laker-esque" 13-point fourth quarter rally.

The Phoenix Suns are 21-40 and fighting for the best draft position they can get.

The Los Angeles Lakers are 31-31 and fighting for the 7th or 8th seed in the West with an aging team destined to face a team they have no chance to beat. (Sounds like recent Suns seasons, right?)

Sucks to be both teams, no matter what Laker fans might want to believe. The Lakers are going nowhere, and those two unprotected first-round picks (2013 and 2015) are looking better and better.

If the Lakers miss out on the playoffs this season, the Suns get their lottery pick (likely #14 overall). If the Lakers squeak into the playoffs long enough to get swept, the Suns get Miami's first-round pick which is likely about #28 overall. Not a huge difference in a bland draft, but that's 14 more players off the board before the Suns get to pick from the barrel.

But the Suns never planned on getting a lottery pick this season from the Lakers. Their best hope was always a really good pick in 2015.

Still, it's fun to watch the Lakers squirm.

Though it's getting old watching them preen after getting "signature" wins that don't even measure up to what the lowly Suns have accomplished so far.

The Suns’ youth movement was coming. For some, it came too slow. For Shannon Brown, it came fast and hard, sending him from his starting role and a career year all the way to the end of the...

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The Phoenix Suns announced that an MRI on center Marcin Gortat’s foot revealed a sprained Lisfranc, or midfoot, meaning he will miss at least 3-4 weeks of time. Paul Coro reports that a cast...

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The long season gets even longer as the Phoenix Suns will be without center Marcin Gortat for up to three to four weeks dealing with a Lisfranc Sprain (midfoot) on his right foot.

After the loss to the Toronto Raptors, he mentioned hearing something pop, but had the confidence that he would be able to play without missing any time. According to a release from the team today, he has been ruled out for roughly a month as he lets his foot heal. The MRI results came back with the foot sprain that will sideline him for nearly a month. The medical staff can perform miracles with older, seasoned players, but an injury is an injury.

That time frame could easily result in Gortat missing the remainder of the season.

Right now there are 41 days left in the season; Gortat will miss somewhere between 21-28 of those days. He could come back if he heals for the final eight games but with a team that is currently 19 games under .500, it may be best for the long-term health of Gortat to sit out the rest of what has been a disappointing season.

Jermaine O'Neal is also out indefinitely while taking care of a family matter with his daughter, leaving the Suns without a true center outside of the recently acquired Hamed Haddadi.

The center position has been one of the few bright spots for the team this season with the combination of O'Neal and Gortat. Now they are without both for the foreseeable future.

This season Gortat has dipped in overall productivity averaging 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.


Despite playing a mere seven minutes for the Toronto Raptors coming into the game since he was traded to them, Sebastian Telfair went from scout team quarterback to leading his new team to a victory over his former team.

Like his native New York brethren has said before: He came. He saw. He conquered.

And it was very personal.


The Phoenix Suns traded Telfair at the deadline to make room for the younger point guards they are trying to groom into NBA players. That is a part of the business. Though going from a bottom five team in the west to a bottom five team in the east is not the ideal situation for a veteran who evolved into one of the better back-up point guards in the league over the past two seasons.

Over the course of his career, Bassy has been traded a total of six times, but in none of those situations did he feel like he had a home within the franchise. He had that here.

"I loved the city and the fans. I learned a lot here and grew as a person," Bassy said after the game.

Portland, Boston, Minnesota, Los Angeles (Clippers), and Cleveland have all traded the veteran point guard throughout his career as a part of a package. Then, Phoenix traded him to make it six times in an eight year career as he has become a victim of circumstance everywhere he has landed.

He came out with an energy and played 26 minutes, the equivalent of his final three games with the Suns before he had to update his passport and head to Canada.


During his final three games with the Suns, he logged a total of 26 minutes and didn't get a lot of time on the court as the team was focused on the development of Kendall Marshall and Diante Garrett. Nobody was supplanting Goran Dragic as the starter so the backup minutes were split three ways and there had to be an odd man out. For one night, Bassy was no longer the odd man out in this arena.

Bassy 26:38 13 7 2 4 5/12
Suns Trio 54:13 13 11 5 5 4/13

The intention may not have been to come in and outplay the collective roster at the point guard position, but that is exactly what he did by himself. His intensity on the defensive end frazzled and disjointed the Suns offense, stepping up and guarding the likes of Dragic, Marshall, Garrett, Michael Beasley, and anyone who caught the ball and was in his crosshairs.

"Knowing your personnel and knowing what guys want to do, knowing their plays definitely had an advantage tonight."

After two years in this system and with most of these players, Bassy was able to call out the plays to his team as his former team began to set them, leading to a U.S. Airways Center record 29 turnovers by the Suns. That passion that Bassy played with out there was on full display as he had something to play for tonight beyond just a win.

One game is not definitive proof anyone made a mistake, but Bassy left a lasting memory for those who made the "mistake" of trading him.

"I was thinking about going out there and competing. I was here and I was somewhere where I was comfortable and happy, but someone took that away from me. I wouldn’t say I was bitter, but I would be ashamed of myself if I wasn’t a little bitter or take this a little personal."

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