Aside from Robin Lopez, the Phoenix Suns have no other true center on the roster. But the Suns may be able to fill that void if they can sway free agent center Erick Dampier to join Planet Orange...

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Relax Goran, You're the DRAGON! (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

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Relax Goran, You're the DRAGON! (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

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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.

 

  • Dragon needs to chill; he's all over the place, attempting to do too much. Yes, he only had one turnover tonight, which was an improvement from last night, but 1-6 is not going to cut it.
  • Hedo pulled down 8 boards, which is the good news. The bad news is he went 3-10 from the field, and is 3-15 in two games. I'm not down on our Turkish friend just yet; he's made some smart plays and will come around, I am certain. But for now, I'd say he is in an "adjustment" period.
  • Gani Lawal pulled down 7 boards. That was the good news. The bad news is he missed 7 free throws, 5 of his 6 field goal attempts, and fouled out. Yes, he is a rookie. Yes, this was his first NBA game. Still, the Suns could use him, and if he's going to be part of the rotation, he's going to have to pull it together pretty dang quick.
  • Earl Clark: 9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 turnovers. Sorry, I need more from a former first rounder now in his second season. Apologists, please speak up and convince me he's going to contribute this season, because I don't see it.
  • Jared Dudley: I don't think the box score looks all the impressive, but he said he worked on creating his own shot over the summer and I saw glimpses of that tonight, which is encouraging.
  • Josh Childress: I love him and my concern about him adapting to the NBA game after two years in Greece is gone. He's ready for prime time and my man-crush is on. Maybe he'll sign one of his 600 pairs of shoes and send them to me. I would certainly swoon with excitement.
  • Robin Lopez: Our angry afro'd center will be OK. I am thrilled he is healthy. I like him angry, although getting tossed isn't a good thing. Reign it in, Robin ... please.
  • Grant Hill and Steve Nash: no worries here. 
  • Jason Richardson: I haven't heard the shoulder injury was serious, so I'm again going to play the no worries card here.
  • Channing Frye: a vital cog in the Suns wheels who hasn't played due to the birth of his child. With his addition, the second unit is obviously stronger, and kids like Gani can take their time and learn in practice, pick up a few minutes here and there instead of being depended upon immediately.

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?


Yes, preseason games mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, but wow. No matter the stakes, any 51-point blowout makes you raise your eyebrows a little bit. In their second game...

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Canada's very own Steve Nash (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ronald Martinez - Getty Images

Canada's very own Steve Nash (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash plays kick ball during a time out in the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010. The Kings won109-95.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

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8 days ago: Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash plays kick ball during a time out in the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010. The Kings won109-95.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

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Hallelujah, the season is upon us.

No time to fret over the last game because the next one comes up so quickly. Tonight, the Suns face the Raptors in Vancouver. And once again, it's not on TV. Not a single person south of the Canadian border will see the game with their own eyes.

I don't know about you, but last night's game thread was weird. It was like a Twilight Zone episode.

A new-millenium real-time game chat bringing Suns fans from all over the world together in one virtual place... as they all gathered around their respective transistors to listen to a game on AM radio. I had a strange desire to pour myself a glass of lemonade and rock on the front porch.

Tonight's gonna be deja vu all over again.

Edit: Seth has a better game preview here, complete with lots of links to non-BSotS recaps and previews amongst the interwebs.

I'll get better at this, I promise. Jump to the rest of the story anyway, to make me happy. We're #3!!

Pluses for the Suns:

  • Nash will likely play more minutes, since the game is in Vancouver
  • Toronto has a hole at the PF spot, too
  • Toronto made virtually no moves to fill that hole
  • Suns players get to give LB a big hug, and then probably cheer him on while he scores 20
  • Hedo Turkoglu gets a chance to show Toronto he can still play
  • Gani Lawal might get some minutes!

Now flush last night's game from your minds, Suns fans. Wins and losses mean NOTHING in the preseason.

If a vet plays bad, it means nothing (Dragic, Warrick) unless they played really well, in which case it means everything (Lopez).

Let's just hope Earl Clark finds some positive consistency.

Unless, of course, Gani Lawal blows the doors off the game.

Go, Suns!


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