Taking a look at the Suns recent bad luck in losing on buzzer-beating shots this season.

After losing on a buzzer-beater  - defined as losing on the last shot taken in the game as the clock runs out - on Friday night against the Houston Rockets at home, the Phoenix Suns now have three such losses in just the last 47 days (23 games) alone.

Let's relive them for a moment.

First, the Beardt:

Then, the Blake:

And then the Middleton:

ALL IN THE LAST 23 GAMES!

Let's put this into perspective, thanks to the research skills of our own Jim Coughenour. In the entire NBA season, there have only been 13 such buzzer beating winners. That's out of 651 total losses (ie. games) this NBA season. Or a 1 in 50 chance, across the board.

If you take the Suns' three out of the mix, the average NBA team has only a 1 in 65 chance to lose on a buzzer beater this season. Since no one's even come close to playing 65 games yet, there's a really good chance your favorite team not named the Suns has NOT had to lose on a buzzer beater.

The Suns, by comparison, have 3 buzzer-beater losses in the last 23 games alone. Or, a 1 in 8 chance.

Is the Suns franchise snake-bit? It certainly seems like the Suns have a penchant for losing on buzzer beaters.

I distinctly remember Roger freaking Mason making a buzzer beater on Christmas Day in 2008, when Jason Richardson over-helped on a Tony Parker drive.

More recently, there's the Ron Ar---

No. I refuse to show that one.

Moving on.

Careful analysis by our resident data-miner Scott Howard, and verified by Jim Coughenour, reveals that prior to December 8 the Suns had only lost on a buzzer beater three times in the past four+ NBA seasons. That's a 3 in 349 chance, or 1 in 116 chance.

So no. Losing on a buzzer beater does not happen to the Suns very often.

Joe Johnson, last season (2013-14):

And then there was James Harden in 2012-13, but this time on a Jermaine O'Neal "assist".

Yep, Jermaine. O'Neal.

And then there was J.R. Smith, also that fateful, hated 2012-13 season.

That's it. None in 2011-12. None in 2010-11.

That's three in four+ seasons between the 2010 playoffs and December 8, 2014.

And then all of the sudden, the Suns have managed to lose on buzzer-beaters three times in the last 23 games alone.

How? How have the basketball gods decided to have so much fun with twisting and gashing the Suns' hearts?

Part of it is that the Suns have managed to put the other team into a buzzer-beating situation an incredible amount of times this past month or two.

  • Remember Kevin Durant missing a couple of potential game-winners in the last OKC game that the Suns ended up losing in Double-OT?
  • Or, the squeaked-out win over "no heart" KCP and the Pistons, when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed a buzzer beater at the end of the Suns 88-86 win in Detroit?
  • Or, the squeaked-out win over Minnesota just two weeks ago at the start of the homestand, in which rookie Andrew Wiggins missed a wide-open three at the buzzer of that 113-111 win?

Come on, Suns.

Stop testing the basketball gods!

The Suns went 2-1 this past week, and Eric Bledsoe was phenomenal. Bledsoe averaged 25 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2 steals per game on 51% shooting from the field. He scored a career-high 33 points against the Blazers, and at this point has established himself as a nightly triple-double threat.

Isaiah Thomas may have just had his most productive week as a Sun to date. Thomas poured in 24, 22 and 27 points against the Lakers, Blazers and Rockets respectively, all while shooting an extraordinarily efficient 56 percent from the field, 52 percent from three-point range and 89 percent from the free-throw line.

However, Thomas is not the subject of this article, which should give you a clue about the insane type of week that Eric Bledsoe had.

Bledsoe averaged 25 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game, with his best performance coming against the Portland Trailblazers. Not only did Bledsoe score a career-high 33 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 6 assists, but he also held star point guard Damian Lillard to just 6-22 shooting.

Just how great of a week was it for "Mini LeBron"? So great that he produced at the same level as the real LeBron, who averaged 25.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists against the Bulls, Jazz and Hornets.

Bledsoe's three-point shot still appears to be a weakness, as his 31% clip for the season is below the league average and well below what fellow guards Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic are shooting. But every day Bledsoe continues to prove that he doesn't need his shot to be effective. He consistently crashes the boards and plays above-average perimeter defense.

A more efficient long-range shot would be nice, but for now Bledsoe's slashing ability is something to be admired. According to NBA.com/stats, there are 12 starting NBA guards who have attempted at least 200 shots in the restricted area. Of those 12, Dragic ranks first in efficiency, shooting 71.2%. Bledsoe is tied with Jimmy Butler for 2nd, shooting 61.3%.

They don't call them the slash brothers for nothing.

It should also be pointed out that even Bledsoe's passing and decision making seems to be getting a bit better. By averaging slightly more assists per game this season and slightly fewer turnovers, Bledsoe has improved his assist-turnover ratio from 1.67 (in '13-14) to 2.0 (this season).

That still isn't great. In fact, it only ranks 34th out of 47 qualified point guards. But it's certainly better than last season, when he ranked 46th out of 47 point guards in that area.

Here are his highlights from the past month. Make sure to vote for your own player of the week!

Here are stats for the key players of the week:

Bledsoe averaged 25 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.0 turnovers per game on 51/31/72 shooting.

Thomas averaged 24.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 3.3 turnovers on 56/52/89 shooting.

Dragic put up 14 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game on 54/25/40 shooting. He attempted only 5 free throws and also played only 29 minutes per night.

Markieff only played 27 minutes per night, and in that time put up an average of 14 points and 4 rebounds on 50/33/60 shooting.

Gerald Green played only 19.3 minutes per game, yet averaged 13.3 points and 3.3 rebounds on 42/40 shooting (no free throws). That equates to 24.8 points per 36 minutes.

Poll
Who is your player of the week?

  144 votes | Results

The Suns went 2-1 this past week, and Eric Bledsoe was phenomenal. Bledsoe averaged 25 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2 steals per game on 51% shooting from the field. He scored a career-high 33 points against the Blazers, and at this point has established himself as a nightly triple-double threat.

Isaiah Thomas may have just had his most productive week as a Sun to date. Thomas poured in 24, 22 and 27 points against the Lakers, Blazers and Rockets respectively, all while shooting an extraordinarily efficient 56 percent from the field, 52 percent from three-point range and 89 percent from the free-throw line.

However, Thomas is not the subject of this article, which should give you a clue about the insane type of week that Eric Bledsoe had.

Bledsoe averaged 25 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game, with his best performance coming against the Portland Trailblazers. Not only did Bledsoe score a career-high 33 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 6 assists, but he also held star point guard Damian Lillard to just 6-22 shooting.

Just how great of a week was it for "Mini LeBron"? So great that he produced at the same level as the real LeBron, who averaged 25.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists against the Bulls, Jazz and Hornets.

Bledsoe's three-point shot still appears to be a weakness, as his 31% clip for the season is below the league average and well below what fellow guards Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic are shooting. But every day Bledsoe continues to prove that he doesn't need his shot to be effective. He consistently crashes the boards and plays above-average perimeter defense.

A more efficient long-range shot would be nice, but for now Bledsoe's slashing ability is something to be admired. According to NBA.com/stats, there are 12 starting NBA guards who have attempted at least 200 shots in the restricted area. Of those 12, Dragic ranks first in efficiency, shooting 71.2%. Bledsoe is tied with Jimmy Butler for 2nd, shooting 61.3%.

They don't call them the slash brothers for nothing.

It should also be pointed out that even Bledsoe's passing and decision making seems to be getting a bit better. By averaging slightly more assists per game this season and slightly fewer turnovers, Bledsoe has improved his assist-turnover ratio from 1.67 (in '13-14) to 2.0 (this season).

That still isn't great. In fact, it only ranks 34th out of 47 qualified point guards. But it's certainly better than last season, when he ranked 46th out of 47 point guards in that area.

Here are his highlights from the past month. Make sure to vote for your own player of the week!

Here are stats for the key players of the week:

Bledsoe averaged 25 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.0 turnovers per game on 51/31/72 shooting.

Thomas averaged 24.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 3.3 turnovers on 56/52/89 shooting.

Dragic put up 14 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game on 54/25/40 shooting. He attempted only 5 free throws and also played only 29 minutes per night.

Markieff only played 27 minutes per night, and in that time put up an average of 14 points and 4 rebounds on 50/33/60 shooting.

Gerald Green played only 19.3 minutes per game, yet averaged 13.3 points and 3.3 rebounds on 42/40 shooting (no free throws). That equates to 24.8 points per 36 minutes.

Poll
Who is your player of the week?

  55 votes | Results

The Phoenix Suns came out flat for three and a half quarters, but came all the way back from a 16-point deficit with six minutes remaining to tie the contest at 111-111, only to experience James Harden sink his first career buzzer beater to win a game.

But the players didn't want to talk about the magic and excitement of the comeback attempt. All they cared about was how they shouldn't have gotten to that point in the first place.

"We gave up so many fast-break points, layups and dunks," Tucker said. "We fought back and were resilient in the end but there were so many before that."

"That's what happens when we play a game like that," Isaiah Thomas said afterward. "You could kind of see it against Portland the other night when they...

Strat-O-Matic!

1989 Suns Summer Camp Roster

Very cool item here. Throw it in a cheap frame, and it will be a nice addition to the man cave. The 1989 Suns summer camp roster, one page, is at 99 cents right now. Four days left, two bucks to ship.

Steve Nash Wheaties Box

More great man cave swag here. Box is unopened and the price is right at $5, another $10 to ship. Too steep? Seller will hear offers.

Suns "Scorching" T-Shirt

PHOENIX-SUNS-GET-READY-FOR-A-SCORCHING-THAT-WILL-REQUIRE-SPF-45-T-SHIRT-L

I'm a big fan of goofy t-shirts with cheesy slogans. If you are too, then this "scorching" t-shirt is for you. $24 after shipping and it's yours, but the seller will hear offers.

Charles Barkley MVP Pennant

Not nearly as vintage as some of the other pennants we have featured on Suns Swag, but it's still a cool piece commemorating a great time in Suns history. Pick it up for $13 if not less.

1993 Suns Tie

From the same great era. Impress at your next business meeting with this tie recognizing the 1993 Western Conference champs. Bidding is at $19 at the time of this post, shipping runs $2.32.

Suns Belt Buckle

1989-Limited-Edition-NBA-Phoenix-Suns-Bell-Buckle-182-Of-10000

#182 of 10,000. They made 10,000 of these things. Grab it for $30 or less.

Dan Majerle Master of the Elements T-Shirt

Another hideously fantastic shirt up for bid. Buy it and become a master of the elements. It can be had for 23 bucks after shipping.

Jeff Hornacek Strat-O-Matic Game Card

Seller has a ton of these, so if Hornacek isn't who you are looking for, click anyway. Bidding is at $2, shipping is at $2, four days left.

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