Let's look at the schedule in parts.
Key factors that I took into consideration:
Update: Suns get 25 national TV games (including NBA-TV) - 12 home games, 13 on the road
Update #2: Suns only play 16 back-to-backs, down from 20 last season. A boon for Steve and Grant.
Okay, away we go, after the jump!
Here is my analysis:
Click on the link for details.
Also, here it is (hope it formats ok). I broke the schedule down by runs of tough/easy games, and road/away-heavy portions as well.
|Thu 28||@ Utah||7:30pm|
|Fri 29||vs LA Lakers||7:30pm|
|Wed 03||vs San Antonio||7:00pm|
|Fri 05||vs Memphis||7:00pm||3-2||3-2|
|Sun 07||@ Atlanta||3:00pm|
|Mon 08||@ Memphis||6:00pm|
|Fri 12||vs Sacramento||7:00pm|
|Sun 14||@ LA Lakers||7:30pm|
|Mon 15||vs Denver||7:00pm|
|Wed 17||@ Miami||5:00pm|
|Thu 18||@ Orlando||6:00pm|
|Sat 20||@ Charlotte||5:00pm|
|Mon 22||@ Houston||6:30pm||5-4||8-6|
|Wed 24||vs Chicago||7:00pm|
|Fri 26||vs LA Clippers||7:00pm|
|Sun 28||@ Denver||6:00pm|
|Thu 02||@ Golden State||8:30pm|
|Fri 03||vs Indiana||7:00pm|
|Sun 05||vs Washington||6:00pm|
|Tue 07||@ Portland||8:00pm|
|Wed 08||vs Memphis||7:00pm|
|Fri 10||vs Portland||7:00pm|
|Wed 15||vs Minnesota||7:00pm||8-2||16-8|
|Fri 17||@ Dallas||7:30pm|
|Sun 19||@ Oklahoma City||5:00pm|
|Mon 20||@ San Antonio||6:30pm|
|Thu 23||vs Miami||8:30pm|
|Sun 26||@ LA Clippers||1:00pm|
|Wed 29||vs Philadelphia||7:00pm|
|Fri 31||vs Detroit||7:00pm|
|Sun 02||@ Sacramento||7:00pm||5-3||21-11|
|Wed 05||vs LA Lakers||8:30pm|
|Fri 07||vs New York||8:30pm|
|Sun 09||vs Cleveland||6:00pm|
|Tue 11||@ Denver||7:00pm|
|Wed 12||vs New Jersey||7:00pm|
|Fri 14||vs Portland||8:30pm||4-2||25-13|
|Mon 17||@ New York||11:00am|
|Wed 19||@ Cleveland||5:00pm|
|Fri 21||@ Washington||6:00pm|
|Sat 22||@ Detroit||5:30pm|
|Mon 24||@ Philadelphia||5:00pm|
|Wed 26||vs Charlotte||7:00pm|
|Fri 28||vs Boston||8:30pm|
|Sun 30||vs New Orleans||6:00pm|
|Wed 02||vs Milwaukee||7:00pm|
|Fri 04||vs Oklahoma City||7:00pm||8-2||33-15|
|Mon 07||@ Golden State||8:30pm|
|Thu 10||vs Golden State||7:00pm|
|Fri 11||@ Utah||8:30pm|
|Sun 13||vs Sacramento||6:00pm|
|Tue 15||vs Utah||7:00pm|
|Thu 17||vs Dallas||8:30pm|
|Wed 23||vs Atlanta||7:00pm||5-2||38-17|
|Fri 25||@ Toronto||5:00pm|
|Sun 27||@ Indiana||10:00am|
|Mon 28||@ New Jersey||5:00pm|
|Wed 02||@ Boston||5:30pm|
|Fri 04||@ Milwaukee||6:30pm|
|Sun 06||@ Oklahoma City||5:00pm||3-3||41-20|
|Tue 08||vs Houston||7:00pm|
|Thu 10||vs Denver||8:30pm|
|Sun 13||vs Orlando||12:30pm||2-1||43-21|
|Mon 14||@ Houston||5:30pm|
|Wed 16||@ New Orleans||5:00pm|
|Fri 18||vs Golden State||7:00pm|
|Sun 20||@ LA Clippers||12:30pm|
|Tue 22||@ LA Lakers||7:30pm||3-2||46-23|
|Wed 23||vs Toronto||7:00pm|
|Fri 25||vs New Orleans||7:00pm|
|Sun 27||vs Dallas||7:30pm|
|Tue 29||@ Sacramento||7:00pm|
|Wed 30||vs Oklahoma City||7:00pm|
|Fri 01||vs LA Clippers||7:00pm||4-2||50-25|
|Sun 03||@ San Antonio||10:00am|
|Tue 05||@ Chicago||5:00pm|
|Wed 06||@ Minnesota||5:00pm|
|Fri 08||@ New Orleans||5:00pm|
|Sun 10||@ Dallas||4:30pm|
|Mon 11||vs Minnesota||7:00pm|
|Wed 13||vs San Antonio||7:30pm||5-2||55-27|
Wuzzzup. Here's a random meandering for you purple and orange summer site stalkers.
Let's play a little game if you're as bored as I am at work or as desperate as I am for Suns Basketball diggs - it's called Ex-Suns: Where are they Now?
Pick your favorite Ex-Sun and do some research. In the comment section below let us all know Where they are now and why you chose the player you did.
I'll start it off.
Eutychus... who cares?
I know right? Well I do. Casey may not be a well remembered fan favorite for all - but he was definitely one of my favorites when the Suns drafted him back in 02'. I'm not saying he's my all-time favorite or anything crazy like that... He was in the news and it brought back some fond memories. I have a tendency to root for the underdog - and that was Casey. His stats (as seen below) weren't/aren't eye popping, but his character is off the charts and he was a likable guy to root for - a Goran-like guy who you wanted to play well.
So things didn't pan out very well for him in the NBA so Casey has been back forth between here and Europe but he still plays. Besides being the underdog dude - another reason I was a fan is because when he played for the Suns he lived in my neighborhood and we actually went to church together, so I got to talk to him every once in a while and that is always fun. I'll never forget one Sunday when he was having one of his babies blessed in church - I rolled into the parking lot and saw Mercedes after BMW after Cadillac on huge custom rims and sleek paint jobs, and when I walked into the building I saw nearly the entire Suns team on the back row there to support Casey on a big day for his family. It was really cool.
Besides all that - Casey is probably one of the better basketball player bloggers I can think of - check out his work at SLAM online.
Here's an excerpt from a blog about gaurding MJ and LeBron - He's got good imagery and whatnot - but he did go to Stanford...
If you're still bored - Here are some of his more memorable moments in the NBA
And just to see a little more what his personality is like check out this little feature he did with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Alright, enough man-love for a mediocre Ex-NBA player - it's your turn. Light it up in the comment section.
More photos » John Bazemore - AP
Pheonix Suns' Goran Dragic (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Let's take a look at some summer stories on our current/former Phoenix Suns. Yesterday, Seth linked to a link about Grant and Steve's exploits this summer.
Get yer Suns news here!
NBA Schedule coming out today
The NBA will release the full 2010-2011 schedule later today (2pm eastern, on NBA.com). We already know the opening week is killer for the Suns, with 2 national games in the first 4 days and all 3 opening games against very tough opponents (Blazers, Jazz and Lakers)
I'll post the schedule here, with some analysis. Just gimme a little time to digest it and make some win/loss guesses. It's always fun to pre-analyze how the season will go, based on home/away/B2B and the like.
In the meantime, feast your thoughts on these links...
Update on the as-yet-unsigned Lou
Lou gives you 15-20 difference-making minutes a night (4-5 pts, 4-5 rebounds, 10-12 raucous cheers). He is, in my opinion, head and shoulders above the other remaining free agents on the market. And for his troubles, he deserves some cheese. Some lettuce. Some walking-around money.
But not once this summer have I heard how much cheese Lou really wants.
This nugget came out today, with regard to the New Jersey Nets' opening at PF:
Power forward update: There is no update.
Basically, there is no other guy they can induce with a make-good, as they did with Sean May. Louis Amundson wants a $3 million guarantee, which is fair. Joe Smith wants a full guarantee. Even Malik Allen wants a half-guarantee.
The other guys who might be decent stopgaps are coming off surgeries – specifically Brian Scalabrine (shoulder) and Ike Diogu (ACL), so you’re not going to invest there, either. Josh Boone? Definitely in the been-there-done-that-forget-it category.
So for now, it’s status quo: There’s no one left in the free agent pool they’re going to give any guaranteed money to, we’re told by a few agents with homeless clients. Which means the Nets are going to have to trade a commodity for a commodity to plug the hole at the four-spot.
Lou wants 3 million a year. Sounds fair. I just wonder whether his price varies based on the quality of the team. I'd love to see him get some run on the Miami Heat, as a backup energy guy to Bosh. I know, I know. The Heat are the Evil Empire. But still, Lou deserves quality minutes on a winning team where he can make a difference.
Now, let's move on to our very own Goran Dragic.
I found and google-translated a little story on him in a Spanish newspaper, previewing the Spain/Slovenia game coming up in Goran's hometown:
The baton of the team has two owners: the base of Barcelona, Jaka Lakovic, and his young and outstanding disciple, the electric Goran Dragic. While the former the level at which he usually does, the latter is gaining little by little in the starting lineup.
...Dragic decided two years ago to cross the pond to test the NBA adventure with the Phoenix Suns, where he not only adapted fast but is integrated seamlessly between the major players in the rotation of the franchise.
It's nice to see a story from half the world away talk about Goran with the same respect he gets from Phoenix and Slovenia fans.
Now maybe I'm just being petty, but I can't wait to see what Hollinger from ESPN writes about Goran this fall in his annual indepth preview of every player in the NBA. That guy has spent two years writing about how bad Goran is, and how stupid the Suns were to give up a second rounder and 500K to draft him, then 2 million a year to sign him. Goran is a steal now.
Here's a snippet of what Hollinger wrote about Goran a year ago, on ESPN insider:
Remind me again why they jumped through so many hoops to get this guy? Dragic was tragic as a rookie, shooting 39.3 percent from the field and leaving serious questions as to whether he'll ever be a competent pro point guard.
Dragic heads into the season still in possession of the backup point guard job, more by default than by any strong desire to see him fire the ball all over the gym again. The Suns will revert back to Leandro Barbosa, however, if Dragic struggles as much as he did a season ago. While rookies with high turnover rates often make huge gains in their second season, Dragic would need to make a fairly impressive leap just to be competent.
An overall Suns season prediction, from a Laker fan/reporter
Check this one out (click). It's actually one of the Suns-fan-friendliest predictions yet. Pincus writes respectfully about many of the acquisitions this summer, though he ultimately questions how far the Suns will go.
That's okay with me. The Suns have a lot more fun when they're counted out.
Here's a discussion of the Suns/Jazz game during opening week
Phoenix at Utah (Oct. 28, TNT) — As interested as I am in seeing Deron Williams vs. Steve Nash, I’m more interested in seeing how the Suns are going to deal with Utah’s revamped front line. I envision Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap devouring Hakim Warrick like two lions picking over the carcass of an impala, while Mehmet Okur serves Robin Lopez an eyeful of jumpers.
Really? Does it not occur to this gentleman that he has the matchups totally wrong? Lopez/Frye would guard Jefferson, Warrick/Turk would guard Millsap, and Turkoglu/Frye would guard Okur.
By they way, I also can't wait to see Lopez attack Jefferson, and Turkoglu shoot over and drive past the shorter Millsap and Okur. Ditto for Warrick. It goes both ways, buddy. utah's defense will be atrocious. Plus, the Suns will likely be playing some zone, allowing Lopez to guard anyone close to the basket, while Warrick/Turk would take one side of the baseline.
Got any other Suns-related links?