More photos » Jonathan Hayward - AP
8 days ago: Phoenix Suns' Josh Childress, center, keeps his eye on the ball as he crashes to the floor after making a shot against the Toronto Raptors during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Teammates Jared Dudley, left, and Gani Lawal, right, watch along with Raptors' Leandro Barbosa, David Anderson and Amir Johnson, look on. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
In case you weren't sure, the review ain't pretty (the Suns DID lose by 51 points).
In fact, the worst part is that the special insider comments they provided were... softer than I expected. Which is code for 'he felt sorry for us, and didn't want to piss too hard on our already-spilt milk'.
I love this feedback though - unfiltered, from the eyes of an objective observer who hasn't been drooling over this team for the past few years. And 90+% of those comments were spot on. Really clearly spot on.
Comments via email from guys at Raptors HQ (only edited for format). You can also see their own game review at the same link.
Thoughts on last night re: The Suns:Well, hard to say much for certain since it was pre-season, and Phoenix didn't play guys like Warrick, Frye, or J Rich really, but woah...this Suns team looks like it might be in for a tough season. Not much size and rebounding, lots of dependency on jump shooters. So when those shots aren't dropping like last night (38% from the field, 18% from 3!) ...yikes. That being said these teams play again in about a week and hopefully we'll see a Suns team at full strength.Player wise:
- Nash was Nash. He didn't really get to take control of the game so tough to judge. And Hill was tossed so those were two key evaluations that were hard to do.
- Hedo though...ugh. He was at least more aggressive last night than he was most of last season for the Raptors (8 boards is about 80 times as many as he had per game last year) but he still loves those off-balance pull-ups and 1 on 5 forays. Just not sure playing him at power forward is going to work though and I worry that like with the Raps, having a great pass-first PG playing with him (and Nash is 10 times better than Calderon in this respect) will again diminish his effectiveness.
- Childress - pretty invisible
- Lopez - what's with this dude's temper? Too bad he got tossed because he could have had more of an impact.
- Dudley - usual steady self in a reserve role.
- Clark - this guy is Julian Wright part II - looks the part, but can't put it all together.
- Lawal - the one player outside of the Suns regular rotation that I thought played well last night. Have spoken to him numerous times and he just gets it. I expect he'll carve out a niche for himself as that "blue collar" guy.
- Janning - joking...
One final point. I like what Gentry tried to do offensively at times, particularly running the 1-5 pick and roll against porous defenders like Calderon and Bargnani, but it just seemed like he didn't have the horses to make it work last night.We'll see on October 14th.
The only part I didn't agree with was the Childress comment, but maybe I'm biased.
Otherwise, him saying we're in for a tough season is an obvious observation from a guy who watched the Suns lose by 51 to a team without an identity of its own. So, in that context, yeah I see what he means even though I don't think it's ultimately true.
More photos » Jonathan Hayward - AP
Relax Goran, You're the DRAGON! (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
When Linus Kleiza puts up 20 against you, you know you have trouble. Depending on how you view things right now as a Suns fan, you've either gone to bed and forgotten tonight's debacle, or you are like me, awake, and wondering if more trouble lies ahead.
On a night where the Suns probably would have lost to the Phoenix Mercury, the smartest players on the squad appeared to be both Grant Hill and Robin Lopez, who were both tossed from the game with two technicals each. The rest of the Suns appeared tired after playing last night, or completely out of sync, or both.
Never one to push the panic button too soon, I'll go out on a limb and say it was a little of everything. The Raptors are not a great team and the Suns are much better than a squad that loses by 51 points to a team like the Toronto Raptors. I will make a few observations before I leave the rest of tonight's putridness to the masses for comment.
* Editor's note: This writer fell asleep during the second quarter and woke up some time during the fourth, at which time he decided to forgoe the conlcusion of the contest in order to purchase alcohol, and in doing so locked himeslf out of his home and spent 30 minutes attempting to break in with the help of a screwdriver. All ended well with little to no property damage to said home.
Remember, people, we all knew there would be an adjustment period, a time where the new would need to learn to mesh with the vets and vice versa. Well, you're seeing it, and it's the preseason. I trust no one is swigging rubbing alcohol or planning on picking up a Kobe Bryant jersey anytime soon. There's plenty of time to figure this out before the games count for real in the standings
Oh, and word around the campfire is Erick Dampier is or was in town. What do you all think about that?
In other news, this may happen
Next up, Indian Wells, in the annual pointless outdoor SoCal spectacle. Anyone going?