Second half, here we come!


Play big, Channing! (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Rick Bowmer - AP

Play big, Channing! (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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It's time to get this party started.

The Suns lost the season's first game in a tightly-contested blowout 106-92.

Tightly contested because the Suns actually had the lead halfway through the fourth quarter.

Blowout because the Blazers finished the game on a 10,000-1 run.

Time to return the favor, boys.

At the Rose Garden.

Amidst 20,000 always-supportive-yet-perpetually-relaxed-unless-they're-blogging-about-the-Blazers fans. 

Can you believe that game meltdown on Oct 26 was only a few short weeks ago? Seems like a lifetime.

Let's get some payback, baby. Fight to the finish! Take no prisoners!



 

Suns vs Trail Blazers coverage

Suns vs Trail Blazers preview

Check out the hubub about this game on the sometimes-well-attended sister blog, Blazersedge

Great stuff (slices?) from Coro pregame, including comments on Nash's assists streak, JRich's scoring streak, the Suns' winning streak and Portland winning streak (at home, in the regular season only) against the Suns.

Channing Frye feels right at home in Portland - SBNation AZ feature

 

SB Nation AZ Preview: Phoenix Suns Face Knee Injury-Plagued Portland Trail Blazers 8 P.M. AZT

The Suns look to avenge their opening day loss to the Blazers in Portland where they got killed on the glass. This time Phoenix has a new weapon -- Earl Barron.


Portland Trail Blazers 106, Phoenix Suns 99 It’s funny how things can change in only 20 games. The last time these two teams squared off in their respective 2010-11 season openers the Phoenix...

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Alvin Gentry said Monday that he anticipated playing Earl Clark in the Wizards game (before it got to garbage time) but he wasn't able to get in based on how the game went. It's just another sign of how much fluctuation we might see from the Suns rotations this season.

Gentry had said he wanted to get to the point where the rotations and roles were well established like in previous years but he now seems to be resigned to the fact that who plays will be vary based on who has the hot hand and which match-ups are most favorable against that game's opponents.

"Guys know that when they are going good, they are going to stay in the game...If a guy's going good and he's making shots, I don't know why we would take him out unless he's tired," Gentry said about the expectation he's set with his players. They know know that if they come out of the game it means they aren't playing well or they are tired.

This "best guy, that game" approach makes sense given the Suns depth and versatility and it keeps players on their toes and hungry for minutes.

It also has a potential downside in that players feel more pressure to perform when they are on the court, especially early in their stint, which can lead to more selfish play. The uncertainly also makes it hard for guys to prepare mentally and physically and can prevent players from working their way out of slump or staying in rhythm. 

There's a reason why Gentry's instinct was to find a more consistent and established set of roles and rotations but he simply has no choice right now other than to let his guys fight it out on the court for the limited minutes he has to dole out at the wing positions.

Links

Steve Nash Shows John Wall Who The 'It' Guard Still Is - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Nash finished the game with a perfect 8-for-8 shooting (20 points) to go along with 17 assists and just two turnovers, neither of which were caused by Wall. Steve recorded an outstanding 1.82 points per possession which puts to shame John Wall's own .60 ppp on his 12 points on 4-12 shooting. 

NBA Scores And More: Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks Push Win Streak To Five - SBNation.com
As discussed in Monday's NBA Scores And More, the Knicks are finally on track with Mike D'Antoni's famous seven seconds or less program. It's taken a few years and, well, the free agent acquisition of Amar'e. But the promised land is here.

The Knicks are pretty good and danged fun to watch. But where is Stoudemire on the Amar'e Spectrum at this point? Is this officially Vintage Amar'e? Or a new post-Nash "I'm Ridin' Solo" Stoudemire? To the spectrum!

SB Nation New York Player of the Week: Amar'e Stoudemire - SB Nation New York
He's electrifying the Garden, terrifying his opponents and mystifying the defenders. OK, that about does it for my Walt Frazier impression. The Knicks' new star led his team to a 3-0 record this week, with Sunday's win over Toronto their seventh consecutive road victory. They're now a non-Knick-like 12-9. They're fun to watch, and with Isiah Thomas and his roster mistakes far away form MSG, they're safe to root for once again. Stoudemire poured in over 30 points in each of the three games, with 35 on Tuesday, 34 on Friday and 31 on Sunday. He's rebounding, he's astounding and he's confounding.

60/30: No. 17, US Airways Center | Blog Archive | The Basketball Jones | Blogs | TheScore.com
I was so overjoyed just to be able to walk around the stadium comfortably in short-sleeves, it might have handicapped the digs a little bit in my eyes. Still, I thought the arena’s externals were very pretty, and I liked that they had basketball hoops set up at each of the entrances for fans to play around on, as well as a DJ rocking out the good-time tunes out in front. Hey, you have this beautiful weather to work with, might as well make the most of it.

 


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