It's really difficult to put together a top ten list when the team is spiraling downward and has rattled off six straight losses. For the week, the Suns went 0-4...and while they did show some fight, especially against the Knicks and the Grizzlies, the fact remains, they lost.

So here it is...the best of the worst!

1. Shannon Brown

Weekly Average: 17 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in 31 minutes of play; -6

Most of the starters had at least one good game this week...followed by bad ones. Brown was the only Suns starter to score double digits in each of the four games. Brown consistently plays with energy and effort, and although his defense is certainly lacking, he's at least trying. That's good for Brown....and good enough to earn the top spot for the week. But if Brown is the model of consistency for your team, uh-oh.

2. Luis Scola

Weekly Average: 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 assists in 27 minutes of play; +1

Scola had another really good week coming off the bench, with the exception of yesterday's game against the Clippers. Scola is still very one dimensional, but that dimension is at least something that he does very well. Morris was moved to the starting job in part due to what he can provide on the defensive end...color me unimpressed thus far. Scola has been playing like the better power forward for the second straight week.

3. Goran Dragic

Weekly Average: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals in 27 minutes of play; -10

Dragic should be at the top spot every week. He's without a doubt the best player of the team, but he's been struggling a bit lately. The team as a whole has certainly been struggling as well, so it's hard to know what's causing it. Dragic would certainly have more assists if he had some reliable shooters around him to knock down shots.

4. Jared Dudley

Weekly Average: 12 points, 2 assists, and 1 rebounds in 26 minutes of play; +2

Dudley continued to do much better in his role off the bench, but Beasley was playing abhorrently as a starter, so Gentry moved J.D. back into the starting lineup. Although it was only one game, Beasley actually played great in his first benching, and while Dudley also played fairly well, you get the feeling that he's just a better player on the second unit. He had another solid week overall, and is one of only a couple players to register a + for the week.

5. Jermaine O'Neal

Weekly Average: 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 Blocks in 16 minutes of play; -4

O'Neal only played in three games this week and was hobbled by a strained quad for the others. He didn't have a great week by the numbers, but we now have a pretty good idea of what to expect from him. The problem is he is not meant to play big minutes...He's better in a limited role. Gortat is simply not getting it done right now though, and it's causing the Suns to rely on O'Neal more than they should.

6. Markieff Morris

Weekly Average: 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, in 23 minutes of play; -9

Morris had a better week, at least offensively. He had one really great game on the boards against the Mavericks, but the others have been just...meh. The biggest issue I'm seeing with Morris is his defense. The supposed hard-nosed Philly kid has been playing like anything but on the court. I'm not sure if it's technique or effort, but Markieff certainly has the tools to do much better.

7. Sebastian Telfair

Weekly Average: 6 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds in 22 minutes of play; +1

Bassy on played in three games this week while dealing with a death in the family. In the other three games, Telfair had an up and down performance. His worst game was yesterday's game against the Clippers in which he went 0-4 from the field and netted only 1 assist in 22 minutes of play (Why didn't Garrett get a shot?). I think Bassy will bounce back this week though...He plays with heart which is more than I can say for some of the others.

8. Marcin Gortat

Weekly Average: 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 blocks in 31 minutes of play; - 6

Oh Gortat...why? The Polish machine started out the week with two really good games against the Knicks and the Grizzlies, but then fell apart completely against the Mavs and the Clippers. I don't know if it's a mental thing or a conditioning thing...or maybe an attitude thing? Whatever it is, the Suns have no chance if Gortat isn't playing well.

9.Michael Beasley

Weekly Average: 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in 25 minutes of play; -9

Beasley was a complete disaster this week before being moved to the second unit...Then he suddenly springs back to life as the best player in a Suns uni registering 25 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds off the bench against the Clippers. Don't get too excited though. Beasley hasn't shown he can play with any consistency whatsoever this season...His other three games this week were enough to bury him at the 9th spot this week.

10. P.J. Tucker

Weekly Average: 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assists in 21 minutes of play; -4

I'm not sure what happened with Tucker. He has had two very average to below average weeks in a row. Just when the fans thought we had struck gold with a guy that would come in and change the game with his hustle and energy, he has failed to make an impact...with the exception of a nice comeback effort against the Knicks. The Suns don't need Tucker to be a scorer...but he needs to find a way to get his hands on those offensive boards and shut down his man on defense...which is what made him the instant fan favorite he became. I think Tucker is trying though, so hopefully this will be the last week PJ is listed at the bottom of the rankings.

So there you have it. Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!


When Alvin Gentry walked into the postgame press conference following the loss to Dallas Thursday night, I anticipated the worst. Between the low muttering and the frog in his throat, I thought I was at a funeral.

Then, he surprised me by starting with "we're not dead in the water yet, guys." Okay, that was a nice start. But I was sure some heated words for his guys were sure to follow. None ever came.....and they should have.

Gentry is a holdover from the Mike D'Antoni days...when the plan was to just push the ball downcourt no matter how good or bad things were going. Increased pace and energy would surely solve any problem. Alvin shares a lot of the same coaching style of his predecessor, which includes self-deprecating jokes and refusing to criticize his players in the media.

Being around the coach the other night, and also in training camp, he carries himself as a very serious and demanding person away from the mic. I don't know what's said behind closed doors, but it appears that there's little confrontation going on.

I think a lot of the current Phoenix Suns could use some 'tough love' right about now.

First up? Michael Beasley. When Beez subbed out 4 minutes into the 2nd half Thursday night, I expected some fierce words from Gentry. At the least, maybe a cold shoulder. No, Alvin actually gave him a tap on the hip as he strolled by. I guess just breaking a sweat is good enough in coach's book these days. Somebody tell him that I can still hit a 'J'.

Back to Michael, he didn't return that game and his starting spot at SF is all but gone (not that he cares). After the game, Gentry was asked if Beasley's play was hurting the team. His response was "I wouldn't say that." Translation: 'it IS but I don't want to go there.' Beasley isn't the only one.

There are a few other guys who need a fire to be lit under them. Markieff Morris may just be the most physically-gifted Suns. But his lack of aggression (and a go-to offensive move) have him relegated to 'rim-protector guy' when Scola is out there. Elton Brand guarded Morris down the stretch Thursday, a size and athleticism mismatch. Markieff on just half the energy should've had his way inside and off of the dribble. Instead, Elton was so bored with Morris that he asked Brandan Wright to switch so that he could guard a real player, Luis.

Watching the Suns in the tunnel pregame, I saw a lot of frivolity from some guys who should quite frankly be dead serious. Wesley Johnson appears to think that his benching is a coaching decision and not a reflection of his abilities. Beasley, meanwhile, spent the bulk of his energy pregame racing an usher to the locker room.

It wasn't all jokes and pranks.....Marcin Gortat was focused and stretching while Luis Scola was organizing the guys into a huddle. P.J. Tucker, too, appeared to approach the game as an opportunity rather than an obligation. Jermaine O'neal was also intense before the tip. He carried that focus all the way into a near ejection after chasing Zack Zarba downcourt after a bad call.

Now that I think about it, Coach Igor (Kokoskov) was so stoic in warm-ups that I had a hard timing just getting him to crack a smile. I had to go deep in my bag of Serbian one-liners.

Alvin Gentry had this to say about the loss on national TV: "We compete and play hard like crazy but we have to be smarter." Well, unless the team plans on going back to college to boost their collective IQ, I think a swift kick in the 'asterisk' is what this group really needs short-term.

The harshest words from coach following the Mavs game was actually his criticism of the gatorade flavor chosen by his PR people. That kind of humor should be reserved for victories, only, Alvin.

{Follow me on Twitter: @ NBAKnez}


Kendall started off with an encouraging opening game during his D-league stint with the Jam but after four games we're getting a better picture of where he is and frankly, it's both not surprising and not encouraging.

Of course, I've not watched a single one of these games so if you have and think these numbers aren't telling the story, speak up.

MPG - 32.8

PPG - 10.8

FGA - 12.75

FG% - 32.8%

3P% - 16.7% (!)

APG - 6.8

TO - 3.75

So basically, these numbers paint the picture of a guy who's trying to get up shots but has a long way to go before breaking out of being a pass-only one dimensionally player.

If you are so inclined, here's a photo gallery of Marshall in his Jam kit (kit is English for clothes).

The Phoenix Suns played three solid quarters, but still finished with the same result as their previous six games in their 117-99 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. After never trailing by more than...

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In atypical fashion, the Suns bolted out to a quick 9-2 lead. The Clippers regained their composure and took the lead back from the Suns, pushing it to as much as five (24-19) behind several hoops in succession from Blake Griffin (who scored a game high 12 in the quarter). A bookend 12-4 run by the Suns to close the first quarter gave the Suns a 31-28 lead at the end of one. The new starting lineup including Jared Dudley in the place of Michael Beasley got out of the gate much better and seemed more fluid on the court.

The Suns and Clippers played a very competitive second quarter. A rare perfervid performance by Michael Beasley in his new role off the bench was the most coruscating component of the quarter. He finished the first half with 18 points (on 6-8 shooting), 4 rebounds and 3 assists. It was easily his best half of basketball as a Sun. The Clippers went into halftime with the lead, though, at 63-57 behind the play of Griffin (18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) and Chris Paul (12 points, 8 assists).

The Suns besieged defense found little in the way of relief as they capitulated to the tune of 63 points on 49% shooting for the Clippers. The Suns own offensive explosion kept them in the game, but turnovers (12) and offensive rebounds (12 for the Clippers) undermined one of the best offensive performances for a half by the Suns this season.

Morris came out strong in the third period with 11 points and helped keep the Suns close. Brown also continued a strong performance, but the Suns still trailed for all but a couple seconds of the period and went into the fourth quarter trailing 85-83. The Suns impressive three point shooting continued to be a factor as they closed the third period at 9-16 on the game.

The Clippers turned the beginning of the fourth quarter into a boot parade with a 17-4 run. Luis Scola attempted to stop the hemorrhaging, but to no avail. I am once again left baffled by the incomprehensibility of a team that can play so competitively for 36 minutes and then get ruthlessly blasted for 12. Clippers take the quarter 32-16. These are "your" Phoenix Suns. Guaranteed to satisfy. Clippers win 117-99.


Player of the Game:

I was actually fooled into thinking this was going to be Beasley at halftime, but then came the reversion to the norm. The Clippers probably had three guys (Paul, Griffin and Crawford) that played at least as well as any Sun, but....

Player of the game goes to Luis Scola. He looked engaged the entire time he was on the court, and was the only one who looked like he hadn't quit when the fourth quarter turned into a huge embarrassing failure. Scola recorded a double-double with 18 points (8-11 fg) and 10 rebounds. Good game Luis.


Comments of the Game:

I find it annoying that

Gentry still continues to go to a 10-man rotation, when this would be a good time to go to 9.


This version of Beas is actually super cool.


Dragic and Beasley

I think it's evident they both work better without each other. It's no surprise given both are more effective with the ball in their hands.


Why man? I'm not asking for a superstar performance

Just want some hustle

Scola is trying

Morris is trying

JO is trying

Gorts is just out there...breathing


The only player on this team that I have no quarrels with

Is definitely Morris. The Stupid things he does are just being young. He'll shake dumb fouls and whatnot as he grows. But everyone else is just... I don't know... not winners.


Barnes with the lefty dunk?? Our D is "so aggressive."


I can't watch it.

Gonna go do something else. Banging my head against the wall sounds fun now.


The Good:

Michael Beasley in the first half. This was the Beasley we were all hoping to see in at least somewhat regular intervals. Then "good" Beasley popped smoke like a damn ninja, never to be seen for the rest of the game. Maybe that's not fair, I did notice him making some mind numbing decisions down the stretch.

The Suns offense really showed up. At halftime the Suns were shooting 48.8%, 55.6% and 92.3% from the field, three and the line. At the end of three it was nearly 50%, 60% and 90%. Then the fourth quarter happened...

Shannon Brown and Markieff Morris played well in stretches. Glimpses of improvement from Morris have actually been one of few redeeming qualities for the first quarter of the season.


The Bad:

63 first half points for the Clippers. 63. The Suns come out with a refreshing, renascent look on offense, but still stumble along to a completely unacceptable performance on the defensive end.

Marcin Gortat kinda sucks right now, and by kinda I mean really. His rebounding donut hole in the first half came in conjunction with an inability to provide any modicum of defensive presence while the Suns were getting victimized inside by the Clippers bigs. He finished with six points and three rebounds and for all intents and purposes was barely a warm body.

Points in the paint. The Clippers score them. The Suns, not so much. A 32-14 disparity in the Clippers favor at halftime blossomed into a full blown 64-32 massacre by the end of the game. On the bright side, many of them were impressive, high flying dunks, so I'm sure that Clippers fans had a really good time.

Dragic was stultified by Paul early and often en route to a paltry eight points, five assists and four turnovers. I don't know if crap play is actually literally infectious, but recently Goran has been playing like a hack.

The Suns defense. I'm sick of talking about it.


The Ugly:

That fourth quarter was sickeningly pathetic. My dog looked at the tv and started to vomit. These guys (absent Scola) should be ashamed to show their faces in public. O'Neal was lucky to get himself ejected so he didn't have to be a part of that. If they wanted to punish him they should have made him watch the rest of the game in the locker room. Talk about some Charlie Brown pulling the football away bs. Thanks for the great effort to close out the game. I'm sure everybody appreciates it.

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