San Antonio Spurs 114, Phoenix Suns 97 PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns spoiled the San Antonio Spurs’ 2009-10 season, and they have a chance to do so once again this year with the teams set to...

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Here's some great news for the large contingent of Goran Dragic fans still in Phoenix -- the kid's playing really well for the Houston Rockets who are still very much in the hunt for the last playoff spot. Aaron Brooks, however, has increased his shooting percentage but failed to provide the consistent scoring punch off the bench the Suns were looking for when they trade Dragic AND a 1st round pick to get him.

Since the trade the Rockets (40-36) are 12-5 with Dragic. The Suns (37-38) are 9-11.

Here's what Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports says about both guys:

Catching up with the trade deadline 'dealt' in the West - Ball Don't Lie - NBA Blog - Yahoo! Sports

Goran Dragic, Houston Rockets The athletic guard has been a huge part of Houston's turnaround over the past month, as his offense has shot way up following the trade that sent him from Phoenix to Houston. Dragic is making a ridiculous 55 percent of his 3-pointers as a member of the Rockets, who have boasted the NBA's best statistical offense since the trade deadline. He's dropped his turnovers, too.

Aaron Brooks, Phoenix Suns Last year's Most Improved Player has turned his year around in Phoenix statistically, raising his 3-point percentage back up to 37 as a member of the Suns. But his decision-making and defense remain as dodgy as ever, and the Suns are reeling.

More fun facts after the jump...

Goran Dragic with the Rockets

  • Shooting .567 from three up from .277. Even his free throw shooting has improved from .608 to .724
  • Assists are down from 3.1 to 1.7 per game but I'm told that's because the Rockets don't run any pick and roll. His turnovers are down as well from 2 per game to 1.
  • Dragic is now scoring a career-high 19.7 points per 36 minutes. He was at 14.8 per 36 as a Suns this season.
  • With the Rockets, Dragic has a career-high PER of 18.2
  • Not only has Dragic played well, but SB Nation Houston says the moving Brooks has made Kyle Lowry better:

The Real Winner Of The Aaron Brooks Trade? Kyle Lowry - SB Nation Houston
Can you imagine if Lowry had been the guy at the beginning of the year? The Rockets might already be in the playoffs instead of wasting so many minutes on Brooks.


Brooks with the Suns
  • Brooks is also shooting better after the trade: 3P% up to .346 from .284 although for some reason his free throw shooting took a dive from .940 to .778.
  • While Goran Dragic saw his assist and turnover drop when he went from the Suns pick and roll system, Brooks hasn't seen any increase in either number.
  • Brooks' PER has gone from 11.8 with the Rockets to 17.4 with the Suns.
Bottom line, the Suns traded Brooks to take some pressure of Nash but that didn't work. During the crucial stretch when the Suns were in the playoff hunt, Nash wasn't able to play less minutes and when he missed a few games, Brooks didn't step up.

More recently during a painful four-game losing streak, both Lon Babby and Alvin Gentry stated on multiple occasions that they weren't happy with the bench scoring during the early part of the fourth quarters (aka Brooks' time).

Since coming to the Suns, Brooks has managed to get himself suspended once and ejected from two games. In my observations, his teammates aren't gelling with him on the floor at all and frankly seem much more happy playing with Zabian Dowdell.

In last night's game against the Clippers, Brooks and Dowdell each played 24 minutes. Zabian, a much better defender than Brooks, had 5 assists compared to 6 for Aaron and Dowdell out-scored Brooks 14 to 12. If you watch the Jared Dudley and Alvin Gentry postgame videos you will see both mention Zabian for praise and don't say a word about Brooks.

To make matters worse, the buzz is that Brooks isn't happy coming off the bench and has a very high opinion of himself. He certainly doesn't strike me as a guy that would be a good fit for the culture of this team moving forward.

I never liked this trade, but I didn't expect it to go this bad. I thought Brooks would be a good locker room guy and put up points on a regular basis. Neither turned out to be true.

Meanwhile, in a different system Dragic is thriving which is an indictment on the Suns with some shared responsibility on Goran as well.


Photo

Here's some great news for the large contingent of Goran Dragic fans still in Phoenix -- the kid's playing really well for the Houston Rockets who are still very much in the hunt for the last playoff spot. Aaron Brooks, however, has increased his shooting percentage but failed to provide the consistent scoring punch off the bench the Suns were looking for when they trade Dragic AND a 1st round pick to get him.

Since the trade the Rockets (40-36) are 12-5 with Dragic. The Suns (37-38) are 9-11.

Here's what Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports says about both guys:

Catching up with the trade deadline 'dealt' in the West - Ball Don't Lie - NBA Blog - Yahoo! Sports

Goran Dragic, Houston Rockets The athletic guard has been a huge part of Houston's turnaround over the past month, as his offense has shot way up following the trade that sent him from Phoenix to Houston. Dragic is making a ridiculous 55 percent of his 3-pointers as a member of the Rockets, who have boasted the NBA's best statistical offense since the trade deadline. He's dropped his turnovers, too.

Aaron Brooks, Phoenix Suns Last year's Most Improved Player has turned his year around in Phoenix statistically, raising his 3-point percentage back up to 37 as a member of the Suns. But his decision-making and defense remain as dodgy as ever, and the Suns are reeling.

More fun facts after the jump...

Goran Dragic with the Rockets

  • Shooting .567 from three up from .277. Even his free throw shooting has improved from .608 to .724
  • Assists are down from 3.1 to 1.7 per game but I'm told that's because the Rockets don't run any pick and roll. His turnovers are down as well from 2 per game to 1.
  • Dragic is now scoring a career-high 19.7 points per 36 minutes. He was at 14.8 per 36 as a Suns this season.
  • With the Rockets, Dragic has a career-high PER of 18.2
  • Not only has Dragic played well, but SB Nation Houston says the moving Brooks has made Kyle Lowry better:

The Real Winner Of The Aaron Brooks Trade? Kyle Lowry - SB Nation Houston
Can you imagine if Lowry had been the guy at the beginning of the year? The Rockets might already be in the playoffs instead of wasting so many minutes on Brooks.


Brooks with the Suns
  • Brooks is also shooting better after the trade: 3P% up to .346 from .284 although for some reason his free throw shooting took a dive from .940 to .778.
  • While Goran Dragic saw his assist and turnover drop when he went from the Suns pick and roll system, Brooks hasn't seen any increase in either number.
  • Brooks' PER has gone from 11.8 with the Rockets to 17.4 with the Suns.
Bottom line, the Suns traded Brooks to take some pressure of Nash but that didn't work. During the crucial stretch when the Suns were in the playoff hunt, Nash wasn't able to play less minutes and when he missed a few games, Brooks didn't step up.

More recently during a painful four-game losing streak, both Lon Babby and Alvin Gentry stated on multiple occasions that they weren't happy with the bench scoring during the early part of the fourth quarters (aka Brooks' time).

Since coming to the Suns, Brooks has managed to get himself suspended once and ejected from two games. In my observations, his teammates aren't gelling with him on the floor at all and frankly seem much more happy playing with Zabian Dowdell.

In last night's game against the Clippers, Brooks and Dowdell each played 24 minutes. Zabian, a much better defender than Brooks, had 5 assists compared to 6 for Aaron and Dowdell out-scored Brooks 14 to 12. If you watch the Jared Dudley and Alvin Gentry postgame videos you will see both mention Zabian for praise and don't say a word about Brooks.

To make matters worse, the buzz is that Brooks isn't happy coming off the bench and has a very high opinion of himself. He certainly doesn't strike me as a guy that would be a good fit for the culture of this team moving forward.

I never liked this trade, but I didn't expect it to go this bad. I thought Brooks would be a good locker room guy and put up points on a regular basis. Neither turned out to be true.

Meanwhile, in a different system Dragic is thriving which is an indictment on the Suns with some shared responsibility on Goran as well.


PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns won a game without Steve Nash in convincing fashion, and no, that’s not an April Fools joke. Sure, it was just the Los Angeles Clippers, a squad the Suns have now...

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I would like to lead us all in a moment of silent thanks to one Mr. Donald Sterling. Without Mr. Sterling, even a down and out, nowhere-going squad like the Phoenix Suns wouldn't be able to trounce a more troubled and nowhere going NBA squad.

 Hakim Warrick led the Suns onslaught with 17 points and 10 boards (yup Warrick), while Zabian Dowdell went for 14 and 5 to anchor a solid Suns' bench effort.  Steve Nash sat this one out with the flu, necessitating Aaron Brooks to start in his place. Brooks went for 12 and 6, but more importantly failed to pick up either an ejection or technical foul called on him.

Quick and to the OBVIOUS

  • Dowdell continues to impress. His poise is excellent and if he can bury that 15 footer consistently, he's a strong #2 PG. To quote the well respected Gary Bender: "Dowdell is gona be a solid player in this league!" Hell, what did the Suns give Marcus Banks? DOUBLE IT!
  • Grant Hill was strong with 19 points in 26 minutes.  I'd offer up a 2 year deal, 8- 10 mil total. Maybe incentive laden, minutes/games played.
  • Dudz went for 16/7/5. What if??? What if the Suns give Dudz the starting 2 job next season?
  • J-Chill played 22 minutes, registering a -2.  Still, 3-4, 4 steals. Maybe he spells BAMF next year?

GAME LINKS

Suns Roll Through Blakers (SB):

Nice game all around. Zabian Dowdell was impressive and Grant Hill provided a ton of energy and leadership to bust the game open. Frye battled hard against Griffin and held him to 6-15 shooting.

Clippers vs Suns coverage

Clips Nation

[Note by Seth Pollack, 04/01/11 10:25 PM MST ]

 

Video: Jared Dudley's Dunk Found Wanting By Panel Of His Peers - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
The general consensus at the time from media row was, no dunk. But after the game Mark McClune from Fox Sports Arizona assembled an esteemed panel of dunkers to pass final judgement. Vince Carter (a famous dunk contest winner), along with the high-flying Hakim Warrick and Josh Childress were given final say. 

 

 

 


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