Aaaarrrr!!!!!  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Aaaarrrr!!!!! (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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See, a regular season-type game (at least as far as the rotations go). Suns played well on both ends but continue to struggle making shots. I still think that will come and refuse to be worried. Instead I be happy.

The good news is they defended well and in the first half anyway did a good job on the glass. The second unit had some strong moments bringing energy and hustle but also looked out of sync at times. Work in progress.

All in all, good decent game.

Game notes follow. Alex will have the recap later tonight.

1st Qtr

  • Nice help D by Grant on a dive from Beidrins
  • Sick reverse on a Nash lob...not so much power but touch looking away from the hoop
  • Beidrins sky'd over Lopez to grab an OReb. Robin's got to get a body on his man and not let the happen
  • I Hate Ellis' body language on the court. Too much pouting.
  • Suns trapping and double teaming and the Warriors are taking advantage with good ball movement. Coach Smart said the reason they have so many turnovers so far is they are being too unselfish
  • Got to admire Curry scrapping the paint with Robin for a loose ball. Not very bright, but still...
  • Another Biedrins OReb streaking in past Robin. Got to stay closer to him. Look for him.
  • Keith Smart talked about being a better defensive and rebounding team but still wanting to push tempo. Said he couldn't slow down Ellis and Curry even if he wanted to. The Lee/Beins combo is pretty effective on the glass.
  • Fyre and Warrick subs in for Robin and Hedo. 2:17 to go. Dudley in for Hill at next stop
  • Suns got Frye two quick shots to try and get him going. Didn't work.
  • I think Gentry just told Nash to "be a damned man" and take a charge. I couldn't have heard that right (but I did)...yikes
  • 21-19 Suns
2nd Qtr
  • Wow, no idea how Goran threaded that bounce pass between the legs of a running defender to hit an open Dudley for a shot. That had to just have been luck.
  • Like the way this second unit is sharing and moving the ball
  • Monta Ellis just gave up a fast break look at the basket to pass to Dorell Wright. That's new
  • Trying to work Josh in the post...not feeling that 
  • Goran is feeling the hell out of his mid-range pull-up J
  • Warrick trying to post up as well...not so good
  • Now, Robin sealing his man who was fronting him and then getting plenty of room to catch the lob -- that's muy beuno
  • Starters all back in with 5:45 to go in the half. Just like regular season
  • Spacing is all off running that break. Both Robin and Hedo both running the middle to the rim. That's not going to work. Steve still made it work by finding Jason open in the corner
  • Still getting open looks. Still missing them.
  • JRich posting up Steph Curry -- that's money
  • Robin with a nice post up as well. Simple stuff. Backed his man down, up-fake and then a little 5 foot hook. 
  • Nice hustle by Hedo to try and save the ball after a JRich block.
  • Better job by Robin going up with two hands and keeping Beins on his back
  • Beindrins, Wright and Lee on the floor together...interesting
  • When Robin gets an OReb in the paint he always goes up strong with it. Often draws a foul
  • Nice steal by JRich. He continues to play well
  • 46-38 Suns
  • Suns continue to shoot light off, 37.5% from 2 and 18.2% from 3.
3rd Qtr
  • Curry picks up 4th foul on charge drawn by Hill
  • Watching Hedo closely now...he's a very economical player. Not a lot of excess motion
  • Robin picks up only his 2nd foul and he got his money's worth leveling Ellis in the lane
  • Nash, by the way, looks great. 13 points on 6-12 
  • Monta Ellis is damn quick...up close he's even quicker
  • Aaron Miles is a damn pesky little player. I have no idea who he is though
  • Not an impressive stint by the second unit to close the quarter. Gave up too many rebounds and couldn't get any kind of offensive flow
  • Love watching Goran's speed dribble. He's fast and strong with the ball. LB was quick and smooth but Dragic is fast and in control. Did a great job pushing all the way into the lane and kicking to an open Frye...who missed at the buzzer
4th Qtr
  • Much better job to start the 4th. Feeding off the energy from the crowd which was feed artificially by the music, etc
  • Suns start with 11-2 run - all 2nd unit energy getting it done. Nice
  • Channing playing solid D in the paint here
  • Both sides equally frustrated with officials. That's a good sign, right?
  • Nice Dragic / Warrick pick and roll. Hakim picked up the charge but still well played. 
  • Josh looks like he hurt or perhaps re-injured a taped finger on a dunk attempt. He was fouled and made one of the FTs
  • Warrick going 1 on 3 in the post = not going to work. Ever.
  • Nash back in for the final 6 minutes, just like a real game. Dragic played well on both ends
  • Hedo and Warrick on the floor together with Nash and Dudley and Frye
  • Hedo's picked up some cheap in some calls that could have been called non-fouls. It's not as if they are calling it close but he's getting the ticky-tacky ones
  • Calls certainly inconsistent but Nash got away with not getting called for a T. "What the F#$K!" he screamed at the ref
  • Nice to see Frye hit a big three
  • Suns up 87-85 with 1:06. Good end of game, crunch time practice (even though it shouldn't be this close)
  • Good defense by the Warriors to collapse on Nash and force Frye to take the crunch shot. He missed. On the other end, GSW ended up with a contested Curry three that missed. Warriors get rebound but miss again. Frye gets it and is fouled.  89-85 with 22 seconds
  • Good job by Frye to hit four FTs to close out the game

Let's watch the real men play! (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

Paul Connors - AP

Let's watch the real men play! (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

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It's on!

Let's get this party started, folks. Gentry says he will play a regular rotation this time.

Game time: 7pm

Location: UA Airways Arena, Phoenix AZ

Opponent: Golden State Warriors

Phoenix Suns Vow To Get Serious About Preseason, Face Golden State Warriors At Home, 7 P.M. AZT - SB Nation AZ 

The Phoenix Suns will go with a normal 10-man rotation in their final two preseason games. Tonight's match with the Warriors will be our first real look at the team under more typical circumstances.

Game Preview: Preseason (preseason!) Game 7, Warriors At Suns - BSotS

When oh when will the bleeding stop? The Suns are hemorraging badly.

Badly, Alex? Did you really need the word 'badly'? Is there any other kind of hemorraging?

Why yes there is! Thank you for asking. Preseason hemorraging is akin to a paper cut. It's annoying and painful in the short term, but gone within a day or two with not even a scar in its wake.

Find the hoop, Goran!  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Find the hoop, Goran! (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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When oh when will the bleeding stop? The Suns are hemorraging badly.

Badly, Alex? Did you really need the word 'badly'? Is there any other kind of hemorraging?

Why yes there is! Thank you for asking. Preseason hemorraging is akin to a paper cut. It's annoying and painful in the short term, but gone within a day or two with not even a scar in its wake. 

But guess what, my results-starved brethen?

If there were a single preseason game that promised to most resemble the regular season, tonight's game at home against Golden State would be the one.

Officially, there's only 2 more dress-rehersals before the Suns open the season on the road, at Portland on Oct 26 and then at Utah on October 28. Those games are followed immediately by hosting the Lakers on October 29.

Wait a minute here... playing the Lakers on the back end of a back-to-back while they've been resting for 2 days? When has that happened before? Hmm... oh yeah, like every other time we play them. #$&#$&#(&)&!

But I digress. Back to the game preview.

As I was saying, if the Suns were to show us their true colors at any point this preseason, it's going to happen tonight.

  1. The opponent is not a playoff rival.
  2. The game is at home.
  3. The first and second units need some burn, and Gentry said he's going to play the starters about 30 minutes apiece.
  4. Only 2 dress-rehersals left - no more time to evaluate younguns!
  5. The Suns are shooting 25% on 3-ptrs. That lid has to come off the rim at some point. Once it does, no one's gonna want to leave the floor.

FWIW: I'll be at the game tonight, cheering on the Suns in person. When I get home, I'll bang out a first-hand recap to rival Seth's on SB Nation AZ.


Other links:

Oh Lou... so sad

Unfortunately, we won't see our beloved Lou suit up tonight. He need finger surgery and will be out a while. Yet another Warrior who turned to paper as soon as he moved to the Bay Area.

Suns season preview, by lifelong Suns-lover (snigger) Charley Rosen

The Suns won’t miss Amar’e Stoudemire’s selfish pouting, low basketball IQ and reluctance to either rebound or defend.

...(click the link for a lot more on individuals)...

Overall, the Suns lack rebounding and defense, yet will still light up the scoreboard as long as Nash has his finger on the trigger of the offense.

The roster is divided between guys who are too old and guys who are too young. At this point, the future belongs to Lopez, Dragic, Warrick, Dudley and whichever rookies prove they can play. Everybody else (including Nash) is a stopgap.

Which sleeper will shine this season in fantasy land?

Which sleeper would you rather have: Nicolas Batum, Leandro Barbosa, Josh Childress or Dorell Wright?

The panel's picks were all over the place, only 1 of them choosing Childress:

Steve Alexander, RotoWorld: I am really feeling Josh Childress here.

He's having a great preseason, fitting in very well with his new teammates and the Suns, and he's one of those guys that won't crush any category, but does enough of everything to be a nice glue guy at the end of a fantasy draft. He can score, hit threes, steal, rebound, shoot it (even though the shot is ugly) and is a great teammate. A hustle guy who won't hurt you anywhere, and is as excited as anyone to be running alongside Steve Nash. I really don't see a downside to him and had he been playing in the NBA for the last couple years he'd probably be going in Round 5 instead of 12. I'm also intrigued with Nicolas Batum, Leandro Barbosa and Dorell Wright, but Childress is the guy I'd rank at the top of that list right now. My guess is I'll be in the minority, with Batum leading the way from the panel, but I don't care.

PHOENIX — With one of the NBA’s best pick and roll duos now extinct and an abundance of small forwards on the roster, it’s hard to tell what type of team the 2010-11 Phoenix Suns...

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PHOENIX - OCTOBER 12:  Andrei Kirilenko #47 of the Utah Jazz drives the ball past Earl Clark #55 of the Phoenix Suns during the preseason NBA game at US Airways Center on October 12, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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PHOENIX - OCTOBER 12: Andrei Kirilenko #47 of the Utah Jazz drives the ball past Earl Clark #55 of the Phoenix Suns during the preseason NBA game at US Airways Center on October 12, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Less than two weeks to go and I know you are all glued to your computer monitors like moths playing Halo in their mothers' basements ... oh, the waiting!! ... just to find out if the new Suns front office dynamic duo of Lon and Lance will pick up the team option for the third year of Earl Clark's rookie contract.

It's a real mind blower, this one is.

I won't even bother rehashing all the pro-Earl and anti-Earl arguments. But it is fun to hear from Clark himself, who just yesterday told me that he wasn't aware of the contract decision:

Earl Clark Not Sure Suns Will Pick Up Team Option On His Rookie Contract - SB Nation Arizona
"I didn't even know that," Earl said when I asked about his contract uncertainty after Monday's practice. He's busy taking a more Zen approach to his life.

"I can't worry about things I can't control. It's up to them if they pick it up. If not, I'm still going to be me (and) work hard just to be a better player. That's the bottom line."

Personally, I am still on the fence with Earl. I was hoping after six preseason games to have a stronger opinion one way or another about him, but he's just not done enough to move the needle in either direction.

He has plenty of bust potential and plenty of actual basketball potential. That Kerr guy told us when Earl was drafted that he was a high risk / high reward guy and a "project." 

If they don't pick up the option, it will be hard to keep him productive and useful this season. He will essentially become a lame duck who never learned to fly. Sure, he will probably keep working hard in practice, but the Suns will have no incentive to play him and other teams would not place a high value on a guy the Suns gave up on.

All in all, I don't see the harm in picking up the option and keeping Earl around. Give it another year -- you never know. It's a long season and if an injury happens and Earl gets consistent minutes he just might figure it out.

He's a tease that way.

Here's some fun Earl facts:

  • He's only 22-years-old (and was born in the same year I graduated high school, which makes me ancient).
  • He's played a total of 92 minutes this preseason and has 16 rebounds. Nash has 16 rebounds, also (in 118 minutes). 
  • Robin Lopez leads the team with 25 rebounds in 113 minutes. Not Clark-related, but Clark-adjacent info.
  • Lottery players who haven't had their options picked up on their rookie contracts include Joe Alexander (2008, eighth), Patrick O'Bryant (2006, ninth), and Yarloslav Korelev (2005, eleventh).
  • Earl will make $1.9m this season (which is about $1.85 more than most of us).
  • Earl would make $2m next season if the Suns pick up the option and $3m the following season.
Should the Suns pick up the option for Clark's 3rd year?

  620 votes | Results

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