With the Dubs out of the playoffs (again x15 of the Chris Cohan era) I like many of you golden folks were rooting for our friends over in Phoenix. I'm obviously not talking about those Arizona Republikkkans and their anti-constitutional nonsense. I'm talking about the Phoenix Suns.
JUMP for some sunny side UP!
First things first...
Okay, now that we've got that out of the way we can proceed with our regularly scheduled programming.
I hate to say it folks, but this summer was the beginning of the end for the Phoenix Suns. A declining Hedo Turkoglu and Hakim Warrick do not even begin to address the gaping hole that Robert Sarver's team created by not resigning Amare Stoudemire. Sure Amare wanted big bucks and probably a little (relative to NBA standards) too much for what he brought to the table, but guys who put up 26.6 ppg at an unstoppable 56.0% FG with 9 trips to the charity stripe at 77.5% FT (what Amare put up Post All-Star last season) are not easily replaceable. Actually forget the notion that they're even replaceable; they're virtually irreplaceable. The Suns went have from having one of the best 4 in the league to arguably the worst power forward in the Pacific Division.
In short, it was fun while it lasted, but it's over.
But... I am
I am the person who thought the Suns had ZERO, ZILCH, NADA chance against the San Antonio Spurs last season in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Suns (thankfully) swept the Spurs.
I am the person who thought the Suns had ZERO, ZILCH, NADA chance against the LA Lakers last season in the Western Conference Finals.
The Suns fought hard and made it a very entertaining 6 game series. There's absolutely no shame in that and they won 2 more games than I expected them to.
The point being I could be wrong. I mean it has happened once before in my life. (Isn't it ridiculous how I say that right after I JUST pointed out how I was wrong TWICE?)
Sunny Side Up
I don't expect the Suns to make the 2010 NBA Playoffs (and I wouldn't mind being wrong about this since they've got a bunch of guys you just root for if you love hoops), but here's what the Suns have going for them:
- Steve Nash: (Just call me Captain Obvious!) Sure he's one of the worst defenders this league has ever seen since Larry Bird, but what he does with the rock is just magical. I don't need to tell you about the dimes he drops, but I feel like I have to tell you how amazing of a shooter he is. Nash is one of the greatest shooters in league history, yet it doesn't seem like he gets his due props for this. This Santa Clara alumni can shoot.
- Goran Dragic: I liked what I saw from him in the playoffs last season. That drama with Sasha Vujacic was pretty entertaining too. Is it a stretch to say he's one of the best backup point men in the entire association? (Just go with me on this one. We've got some friendly Suns fans reading this piece at home.)
- Jason Richardson: Okay he's not as good as Brandan Wright or a $10 million dollar trade exception (I kid, please don't say mean things about me in the comments. I'm begging you, PLEASE!), but J-Rich is a tough one. I'll take his winning attitude, hot shooting from downtown (JR doesn't get enough props for this. Longtime Warriors fans will tell you he couldn't shoot AT ALL once he first came into the league, but he worked hard at it and now he's a top shooting threat. Pay attention Andris Biedrins- it could happen to you too!), and stellar rebounding.
- Grant Hill: Just because he drinks Sprite. (If you got that reference, it's time to admit that you're old. Hey I'm not criticizing you, I'm in the same boat as you.)
- Josh Childress: The return!
- Robin Lopez: He's going to turn some heads this year.
- Hakim Warrick: I remember back in the 2005 NBA Draft (yes, we've been blogging WAY TOO long), I was praying the Warriors would take Warrick. Instead they took Ike Diogu. Thank you Chris Mullin. Warrick never amounted to more than an average NBA player at best, but that's a lot better than Ike did.
For everything you could ever want to know about the Phoenix Sunny Delight and more don't forget to check out Bright Side of the Sun:
THE Phoenix Suns blog.
More 2010-2011 GSoM Around the Association Fun