A battle between two Ninja Turtles.

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A battle between two Ninja Turtles.

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Trade Nash? What are you, nuts? Are you out of your f$%king mind? ARE YOU COMPLETELY BAT SH*T CRAZY!!!

That's pretty much the tone with which Alvin Gentry responded when asked about the Steve Nash trade speculation. He really couldn't have been more clear right up to the point of saying if Nash goes, he's going with him.

Check it:

Phoenix Suns Insist Steve Nash Trade Chatter Is Bogus - SB Nation Arizona
"Have you looked at the way he's playing? He's playing at a real high level. Why would we trade him? I don't understand that. That's not anything that's been discussed here. You guys want to write about it, fine. But you're wasting your time, I think. It's not going to happen."

There's more there, of course, including Nash saying he's not heard anything about this and thinks it's just "chatter," along with Gentry calling out the national media. Fun.

On to the team you go to war with, not the team you wish you had.

"I think Robin's still trying to get back to his best, physically. He's not moving the same as he did last year. He's not covering the same amount of ground and it takes time," Nash (still here) said.

The bottom line is what we've all seen. Lopez is just not the same guy. Here's what Robin has to say about that.

"I think I'm not quite as explosive as I was last season. I need to get back to that, but I also kind of need to figure out how to play not being quite as explosive."

Robin says it's just part of the rehab process and that he expects it to come back, eventually. But his focus now is figuring out how to play with the body he has, not the body he wished he had. Clearly, that's a struggle for him that he admits even contributes to some of the fouls he's picking up, as he's a step slow on his rotations.

Other than that, Gentry's focus remains on turnovers and rebounding. The turnovers are a matter of getting used to each other and some guys trying to do things they aren't accustomed to doing and trying to win the game themselves. 

"The fact that we're in a game that we give up 31 points off turnover is amazing in itself. We've just got to make sure we're making good, solid decisions and the turnovers have got to be in the 12 to 14 range, not the 20 range," Gentry said.

The rebounding is a harder issue, of course, as we knew it would be. Gentry and Nash both talked about just doing a little better. Maybe one or two more per person. 

Asked if the personnel made it more difficult, Gentry wanted no part of that excuse.

"It can't be personnel because we've got who we got. We are who we are. We're going to play with who we have and so we have to get better in that area."

A few minutes later, he did say it wasn't fair to blame Hedo for not being able to rebound with the big power forwards he's assigned to. 

So, you know, they are who they are and who they are is going to get hurt on the glass some nights. Period.

Audio (hear for yourself):

One last tidbit. Robin was doing some extra work with Siler and Lawal. He missed an 8-foot hook shot and shouted, "Scheisse!"

First time I've heard him use a German curse word, which just goes to show you, he's constantly learning and developing his skill set.

Happy (early) Veterans Day everyone and thanks your service (if you served).


Time to bench Hedo and start Hakim?

Since we are on the topic of making wholesale changes to the team just 7 games in...ugh.

Also, if you've not yet read this about Grant Hill's post-hoops career, you are missing out.


Discounting his solid performance against the Lakers [in a loss I might add], Robin Lopez has been non-existent this young season. A lot was expected of him based on his solid improvement last year. This was a that looked like he was destined to play with Taylor Griffin in Venezuela, but turned himself into  someone that actually has a chance at being a starting center in this league. 

While I am not lost on the fact that we are only seven games into the season, I am still concerned with his lack of play. Sure, he could use his back as an excuse. Or he could claim that he isn't in great shape right now. However, I don't believe that those are acceptable responses to his pitiful play. He has had plenty of time to recover from his injuries and get back into shape.

I am sure I will hear how back injuries are difficult [one ended my career BTW, so I am very familiar]. Yet I am more concerned that if his injuries are plaguing him, the Suns have a real problem on their hands. Like it or not, the Suns need Lopez to produce more than they need anyone else. He NEEDS to rebound and defend the post. He needs to be able to pick and roll without turning it over. He needs to be effective. But he is not.

For now, it is my opinion that he needs to be on the bench as a message to him. I am fairly certain that he is the type of player that a good benching will ignite a fire within his belly. For now, Frye or Warrick needs to start and Lopez should have to earn his way back. 

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Is it reasonable for NBA observers to ponder what the Phoenix Suns might or might not do with Steve Nash before the trade deadline? Of course. That's normal. It happens all the time with folk throwing "stuff" against the wall. It's a fun pastime in NBA writing and pundit circles and certainly something we've been known to partake in here, as well.

And yet, doesn't it just chap your hide (hey, East Coast fellers, that's how we talk 'round yonder here parts) when you read stuff like this:

Dealing Nash unthinkable? Suns shouldn't close any doors | NBA.com
For a franchise that doesn't seem willing (or able?) to spend money on big-ticket free agents, the only way to rebuild is through the Draft or with promising young players. The only way to do that is to trade an asset. Do the Suns keep Nash around for sentimental reasons and to win 45-50 games (which takes them out of the Draft lottery) and play a round or two in the playoffs? Or do they trade him and get something in return before it's too late?

It does me. Consider my hide thoroughly chapped.

And yes, I am open to hearing from loyal readers interested in coming over to rub cream on my chapped hide.

The problem here isn't the general idea that the Suns might be interested in trading Nash. Again, that's just normal speculation and we'll be hearing plenty of it between now and the NBA Trade Deadline (February 24, 3 p.m. EST).

The problem here is twofold.

First, the source. I know that the NBA has subcontracted with Turner Sports to run all their digital media properties, but a post like this on NBA.com that speculates and tosses around random ideas (and, in the process, insults the team and its fans) has a lot more weight to it than if it were on some blog.

Is this the kind of writing the league's official website is going to now get into simply because it attracts more eyeballs and generates more money? I hope not.

Second -- and this one is just a general response to all trade rumors -- can't we wait just a few more than seven games into the season before declaring which teams are dead? Do we really know for sure that the Lakers aren't going to suffer any key injuries? Is everyone absolutely certain that the Mavericks and Blazers and Spurs are going to be so much better than last season when they were all bounced from the playoffs?

So far, no one has published anything close to an actual trade rumor involving the Suns or Nash. No one claims to have heard about specific discussions. No one has cited sources. This is all just people talking about what they think the Suns should do based on seven games. 

ESPN hyped up Ric Bucher's podcast chat in which he basically said the Suns suck so he thinks they should trade Nash. Totally his right to say that, but to hype it as a "Trade Rumor"? That's just nonsense.

But that's the media world we live in, where independent-minded blogs have become the voice of sanity and reason while the the "big media" and the league itself is left to gin up random ideas because talking about the game itself isn't enough.

And by the way, Mr. Powell, if Nash going to a contending team is justification for the Suns trading him, why on Earth would you list the Knicks? Do you really think New York has enough assets to both trade for Nash and Melo?

Of course, Dragic is playing his ass off right now which may or may not impact Nash trade rumors chatter (see what I did there with the speculation?)

 

Video: Phoenix Suns Goran Dragic Spins His Way To NBA Play Of The Day - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Goran had yesterday's NBA Play of the Day against the Grizzlies, and oh what a play it was.


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