Posts Tagged ‘Amare Stoudemire’

Where for art thou Phoenix?

November 10, 2008

Actually, it’s a super interesting process …

Whither the Suns: An Update

gradually becoming more and more active on-line, in a variety of different places.

Where they’ll go from here

October 27, 2008

The NBA’s pre-season is now complete.

These are the final standings:

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2008-2009 Conference Preseason Standings
Eastern Conference
Eastern W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
Orlando 6 1 0.857 0.0 4-1 4-1 3-1 3-0 6-1 W 6
Boston 6 2 0.750 0.5 5-2 3-2 3-1 3-1 6-2 W 2
Detroit 6 2 0.750 0.5 5-1 3-0 3-2 3-0 6-2 L 1
Atlanta 5 3 0.625 1.5 4-1 3-1 1-2 4-1 5-3 W 1
Philadelphia 4 3 0.571 2.0 4-3 4-1 1-2 3-1 4-3 W 1
Chicago 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-1 1-1 2-3 2-1 4-4 W 3
Indiana 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-0 1-0 3-1 1-3 4-4 W 1
Toronto 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-1 1-1 2-3 2-1 4-4 L 2
New Jersey 3 4 0.429 3.0 2-4 1-4 1-3 2-1 3-4 W 1
New York 3 4 0.429 3.0 3-4 3-4 0-3 3-1 3-4 L 2
Cleveland 3 5 0.375 3.5 3-3 0-1 2-3 1-2 3-5 W 1
Miami 2 5 0.286 4.0 0-3 0-1 1-3 1-2 2-5 W 1
Washington 2 5 0.286 4.0 0-2 0-0 0-2 2-3 2-5 L 1
Milwaukee 1 7 0.125 5.5 0-3 0-3 1-3 0-4 1-7 L 3
Charlotte 0 8 0.000 6.5 0-4 0-4 0-2 0-6 0-8 L 8
Western Conference
Western W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
New Orleans 7 0 1.000 0.0 2-0 1-0 4-0 3-0 7-0 W 7
Denver 5 1 0.833 1.5 3-1 2-1 3-0 2-1 5-1 W 2
L.A. Lakers 6 2 0.750 1.5 2-2 1-1 6-2 0-0 6-2 W 6
Minnesota 6 2 0.750 1.5 2-1 2-1 3-1 3-1 6-2 W 1
Houston 5 2 0.714 2.0 5-0 3-0 3-1 2-1 5-2 W 3
Phoenix 5 2 0.714 2.0 3-0 1-0 2-1 3-1 5-2 W 3
Golden State 4 2 0.667 2.5 2-1 0-0 3-0 1-2 4-2 W 2
Portland 4 3 0.571 3.0 3-3 0-2 2-2 2-1 4-3 L 1
Utah 4 3 0.571 3.0 3-2 2-1 1-1 3-2 4-3 W 2
Dallas 4 4 0.500 3.5 1-0 0-0 2-2 2-2 4-4 L 2
L.A. Clippers 4 4 0.500 3.5 2-3 2-1 0-4 4-0 4-4 L 3
San Antonio 3 4 0.429 4.0 0-2 0-2 1-3 2-1 3-4 L 2
Memphis 2 6 0.250 5.5 0-2 0-2 2-2 0-4 2-6 L 4
Oklahoma City 1 6 0.143 6.0 0-5 0-1 0-1 1-5 1-6 L 3
Sacramento 1 7 0.125 6.5 1-7 0-2 1-3 0-4 1-7 L 6
 x-Clinched Playoff Berth | e-Clinched Eastern Conference | a-Clinched Atlantic Division | c-Clinched Central Division |
 se-Clinched Southeast Division | w-Clinched Western Conference | sw-Clinched Southwest Division |
 nw-Clinched Northwest Division | p-Clinched Pacific Division | o-Eliminated from Playoffs contention

———————————–

Fans should take a close look at where their favourite team is at today … and, then, compare this reality to the final regular season standings which they’ll see in April, 2009, as the little bolded letters get placed beside the playoff-bound teams’ names in the far-left column.

Time to Let the games begin, in earnest …

———————————–

Mano a Mano

Mano a Mano

Certified

Certified

Bad Boyz II

Bad Boyz II

Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, Sunset

———————————–

2nd Coming

because this is going to be a terrific year, in the NBA!

Worthyfying Amare

October 21, 2008

If the question is …

Can Amare Stoudemire become a real life James Worthy [Lakers' HOFer] clone this season for the Phoenix Suns?

Courtesy of TrueHoop

Goggles alone can not make Tha Man.

Goggles alone cannot make Tha Man.

Then the likely answer is …

Only if Shaquille O’Neal can also transform himself into a working version of a venerable Kareem Abdul Jabbar [the Lakers' other bi-spectacled HOFer], circa 1987-1988, who regularly played 79-80 games for the LakeShow during the twilight stages of his historic NBA career, while still putting up solid numbers like these.

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Then, again … considering this is a League Where Amazing Happens, on the regular, and Anything Is Possible … who’s to say what lies ahead this season, in the NBA, when The Game Happens Here.

Taking on all comers

September 25, 2008

Reading this specific blog entry … precipitated the following thought:

If you could construct your ideal 12-man team of current NBA players, who would you select?

==================

Hmmmmmmm …

From that many possibilities, there would be some exceptionally difficult choices to make … and a lot of supremely talented and valuable players left out in the cold.

Regardless … according to these eyes,

these are the Dirtiest Dozen, in the NBA today:

[listed by position & role]

Starters
PG – Lebron James … far and away his best and most natural position
G/F – Dwyane Wade … the best, taking it to the rack, in the half-court
G/F – Kobe Bryant … Samarai Warrior
PF – Kevin Garnett … Rebounding & Energy are thy true names
C – Greg Oden [my, oh, my] … that’s right, before he’s played a game 

Key Bench Subs
PG – Deron Williams … well-balanced in every respect
G/F – Manu Ginobili … the best 6th Man in existence
PF/C – Tim Duncan … the best combo Big in existence

Reserves
PG – Steve Nash … still the best facilitaor in the business, bar none
G/F – Tracy McGrady … multi-purpose player
PF/C – Amare Stoudemire … multi-purpose player
PF/C – Rasheed Wallace … multi-purpose player

Coach – Philip Patrick Jackson Riley … ‘The Sacred Winner Hoops Within’

“Train them … Excite them … and, Turn them Loose … “

==================

There you go!

Now … Which 12 players would you choose for your team?

[PLEASE NOTE: Who you choose, in what positions & roles, and who you leave out, says a lot about your unique vision of the game.]

Filling in the gaps for the Suns

September 20, 2008

Further to: Whither the Suns in the Western Conference 

A report yesterday indicates that a new ‘Starting 5′ is on the way, in Phoenix, this season …

======================

Barnes expected to start; Hill to come off the bench
” … in a roundabout way, Matt Barnes adds depth to the team, as he will be starting and Grant Hill will move to the bench this season.

This last point just about floored everyone in attendance [at the Suns' Fantasy Camp], but it sounds like this is what Coach Porter and Hill want to do [according to Suns' President Rick Welts, who addressed the campers directly].”

======================

If accurate … it’s another step in the right direction for the Suns, by the Terry Porter/Steve Kerr tandem, as the following new line-up:

STARTERS:
1 – Nash
2 – Bell
3 – Barnes
4 – Stoudemire
5 – O’Neal

SUBS:
1 – Singeletary
1 – Dragic
1/2 – Leandro Barbosa
2/3 – Hill
3/2 – Tucker
4/3 – Diaw
4 – Amundson
5 – Lopez

is a better balanced set-up than Mike D’Antoni’s prior alternative versions.

UPDATE: Confirmation that Grant Hill would be on-board with this proposed shift in Phoenix. [Wed Sep 24 2008]

Whither the Suns in the Western Conference

September 16, 2008

At the beginning of last season, this corner forecast the precipatous decline of ‘Seven Seconds or Less … and then went on to proclaim early-on that, after 3 years at-or-near the top of the Western Conference, knocking on the door of the NBA Finals, Phoenix WOULD NOT EVEN MAKE IT OUT OF THE 1st ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS LAST SEASON …

* NBA Playoffs Preview [2007-2008]
* Legitimate Contenders in the NBA: Part IV
* Eclipse of The Suns: An Update
* Hubris, The Big Aristotle and the Phoenix Suns
* Eclipse of the Suns

which is precisely what happened.

==========================

Looking back on 2007-2008 …

Q1. What exactly did the Suns accomplish, since the start of last season?
A1. By …

* Replacing Mike D’Antoni with Steve Kerr [former PG with the Bulls & Spurs]
* Adding Grant Hill [6-8, 225]
* Replacing Shawn Marion [6-7, 230] with Shaquille O’Neal [7-1, 325]
* Replacing Mike D’Antoni with Terry Porter [former PG with the Blazers]
* Retaining & then elevating Alando Tucker [6-6, 205]
* Adding Robin Lopez [7-0, 255], Matt Barnes [6-7, 226], Goran Dragic [6-4, 180], Sean Singletary [6-0, 185] and Louis Amundson [6-9, 225]

they’ve changed the entire culture of the organization … AND dramatically improved their chances of returning to the upper echelon of the Western Conference next season and beyond.

That’s what they’ve done in Phoenix over the last 12 months.

Whereas, last year at this time, the Suns were an ALL OFFENSE, NO DEFENSE & POOR REBOUNDING team, using a bandjo-tight 8-man rotation … with almost no legit chance to ever win four [4] consecutive series in the NBA playoffs [what it takes to claim the title!] … as they head to training camp this year … this is NO LONGER the eternal and/or external make-up of this team.

THIS TEAM, this season … with the line-up it can now put on the floor, night-in and night-out:

STARTERS
1 – Nash [6-3, 178]
2 – Bell [6-5, 215]
3 – Hill
4 – Stoudemire [6-10, 249] 
5 – Shaq
————-
KEY BENCH SUBS
1 – Singletary [or Dragic]
2/1 – Barbosa [6-3, 202]
3/2 – Tucker [or Barnes]
4/3 – Diaw [6-8, 235] [or Amundson]
5 – Lopez
————-
RESERVES
1 – Dragic [or Singletary]
3 – Barnes [or Tucker]
4 – Amundson
————-
HEALTHY SCRATCHES
3 – Piatkowski [?]
4/5 – Marks [?]

is as deep and athletically talented as any other outfit in the Western Conference,

this side of the LA Lakers, and

has a solid chance to return to the Western Conference Playoffs … WITH a legit opportunity to win a round or two and, possibly, advancing to the WC Finals, once again … as an upper echelon team, in the NBA.

By returning the focus in Phoenix to what makes for a championship calibre product, in this League … i.e. a commitment to REBOUNDING, Team Defense and a Balanced [higly structured] Team Offense … Steve Kerr may have accomplished in just one season at the helm something which Jerry Colangelo, Bryan Colangelo & Mike D’Antoni [before him] were NOT able to do over the course of their careers in the ‘Valley of the Sun’ … i.e. transform this team into a LEGITIMATE CONTENDER for an NBA championship … i.e. please see, What it takes to win the NBA Championship.

Which is not an easy feat … working for an owner with the reputation of one Robert Sarver.

Q2. Could it be … ‘The Rising of a New Sun[s] in Phoenix‘ this season? 
A2. Yes, Sir, indeed … it just might be that exact thing.

Fight or flight response

May 6, 2008

Q1. When the Code by which you live is, “Run, Run, Run …“, how can you possibly hope to respond … during times of hardship … with steadfastness?

A1. In all likelihood … you can’t.

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After an oftentimes spectacular 4+ years at the helm of the Phoenix Suns, head coach, Mike D’Antoni seems as though he will soon be moving on to – what he hopes will be – greener pastures.

In a searing indictment of all that’s at the root of the Basketball Philosophy, ‘Seven Seconds or Less‘ (Jack McCallum), Adrian Wojnarowski (Yahoo! Sports) explains the how’s & why’s.

D’Antoni ready to leave his desert mirage behind

Mandatory reading for all.

THE problem with the current Raptors

April 24, 2008

Let me ask you these two questions:

If you flipped TJ Ford for Steve Nash (let’s say in a fantasy world) … do you think the Suns would stand a snowball’s chance in h*ll of getting past the Spurs this year?

How about the Raptors vs the Magic?

If your answers to those two queries are a resounding,

No Way, Jose!

and

Like, for sure, dude!

then you’re beginning to see that the major problem with this team is that … unlike what happened in Phoenix when Colangelo, Jr. COMPLETELY LUCKED OUT that Steve Nash WANTED to return to the Suns when Mark Cuban cut him loose BECAUSE NASH’S WIFE & KIDS ALREADY LIVED IN THE PHOENIX AREA (not because BC is a top notch GM who knows what he’s doing) … THERE IS ONLY ONE STEVE NASH AND HE ISN’T PLAYING FOR THE RAPTORS, JUST YET.

Steve Nash is/was the architect of Phoenix’s rise from the ashes … which Bryan Colangelo orchestrated with their once-proud team … no one else.

Because Steve Nash wanted to live in Phoenix, he signed with the Suns when Cuban said, “Thanks but no thanks, Stevie boy, I don’t think you’ve got what it will take to Win a Championship for me with the Mavs, at the price you’re asking.” FULL STOP.

Because Steve Nash is the best ‘Pick & Roll/Pop’ PG in the History of the NBA (so sayeth an authority like Mark Jackson, during the Suns/Spurs Game 2 match-up) … when Colangelo fired Frank Johnson (who he had previously picked to run the Suns) and appointed Mike D’Antoni … IT WAS D’ANTONI WHO INSTALLED THE SUNS’ 4 OUT/1 IN OFFENSIVE SYSTEM, tailored specifically for Steve & Amare (who is the perfect under-sized but super athletic Center to run that system) and deserves 2nd billing on the Suns credit roll for their resurgence as a first-tier franchise in the NBA.

If not for Colangelo’s decision NOT to re-sign Joe Johnson … Phoenix might well have its 1st NBA title already.

Then … “when the going actually got tough” in Phoenix and daddy was out as the principal owner … that’s when the ‘Golden Boy’ decided to ‘Bolt the Ship’ and head for greener pastures … in mid-season 2006 (think about THAT for a second or two) … for the comfy ‘international’ confines in The Great White North, with free reign to call the shots AND a Big Ticket contract.

Want to know THE reason this version of the Raptors isn’t quite ‘tough enough’ to get the job done in the post-season?

When a fight breaks out (like it did in Phoenix) … what does a really tough ‘hombre’ decide to do … FIGHT or RUN?

(what did Colangelo, Jr. do in the Valley of the Sun?)

7 Seconds or Less … is the Coward’s way to play NBA hoops … and will never ever be rewarded with the championship.

The old Boston Celtics … with my MAN, Bill Russell at the CORE … and the ShowTime LAKESHOW … with my MAN, Earvin at the CORE … both shot it plenty quick enough to rack up devastatingly Big scoring numbers but neither operation would EVER have been referred to as TOO SOFT to get it done in the playoffs … cause their success was built upon a BALANCE between

OFFENSE … DEFENSE … and, most important of all … REBOUNDING,

not an “offensive philosophy of 100 shots per game”.

MLSE does not know what it’s doing AND should not be in the business of running ‘pro sports teams’ in Toronto … cause they KEEP HIRING THE WRONG PEOPLE to head up their basketball & hockey operations (e.g. see the current debacle with Anaheim’s GM, Brian Burke).

As the old Chinese Warlord could tell you from his personal experience … the strategy that works best when training an army of men … is decapitating the heads of the two most favoured concubines appointed to lead the masses in the first place.

(know who the concubines are in this case?)

It ain’t rocket science, to be sure … but, dem Chinese Warlords sure did know what they were doing … when it came to BUILDING & MAINTAINING their Dynasty.

Food For Thought … as always.

———————————–

In Peace, Victory & Excellence.

Eclipse of The Suns

February 6, 2008


In his heart-of-hearts, 5-time NBA Champion, part owner & GM, Steve Kerr knows that Phoenix, as constituted … playing the “style” of basketball advocated by Head Coach, Mike D’Antoni, i.e. Offense first & foremost; Defense & Rebounding distant after-thoughts … has absolutely zero (“0”) chance of ever winning an NBA championship.

What it takes to win the NBA Championship 

But … should he actually decide to trade Shawn Marion & Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat for Shaquille O’Neal … what he’d be doing for this franchise would be mortgaging the Suns’ foreseeable future for a chance to win it all in the next 2 years. 

Suns will regret trading for Shaq

Shaquille O’Neal is a venerable and accomplished Center in the annuls of the NBA – a veritable legend – who was once THE Dominant Force in the League but who, unfortunately, can no longer play the game at that same level today: 

SEASON AVERAGES
Season Team G GS MPG FG% 3p% FT% OFF DEF RPG APG SPG BPG TO PF PPG
07-08 MIA 32 32 28.5 0.581 0.000 0.482 3.0 4.8 7.8 1.4 0.6 1.7 2.91 4.00 14.2
Career   1013 1004 36.4 0.580 0.050 0.524 3.8 7.7 11.5 2.7 0.6 2.4 2.86 3.50 25.6

That said, however, if inserted into the Suns’ revamped line-up, thus:

Starters

Steve Nash, PG

Raja Bell, OG

Grant Hill, SF

Amare Stoudamire, PF

Shaq, C

Key Bench Players

Leandro Barbosa, G

D.J. Strawberry, G
Alando Tucker, G
Eric Piatkowski, G-F

Boris Diaw, F

Sean Marks, F-C

Brian Skinner, C

and, permitted to play within a conventional “style” of NBA basketball, e.g. similar to what Steve Nash was required to play when he teamed with Dirk Nowitzki, in Dallas, which took their team to the Western Conference Finals …

How good would Shaquille O’Neal really have to be – and, For how many minutes a night? – in order to, instantaneously, re-make the Phoenix Suns into a PRIME FORCE in the NBA for the next two years (the length of his current contract)?

Hmmmmmmmm … 14.2 PPG; 7.8 RPG; 1.4 APG; 1.7 BPG … in combination with Nash (a 2-time MVP), Bell, Hill (a multi-time All-Star) & Stoudemire (a multi-time All-Star), supported by Barbosa, Strawberry, Tucker, Piatkowski, Diaw, Marks & Skinner.

The so-called ‘basketball experts’ who feel that Steve Kerr doesn’t know what he’s doing, should he decide to complete this trade … are doing nothing more than MOURNING the LOSS of what THEY BELIEVE to be the Avant Garde way The Game SHOULD be played (in their eyes) in the NBA today … i.e. delivering “fast-paced & highly entertaining” basketball to the masses … which is what the Suns have done since the 2004-2005 season.

But Steve Kerr, if you asked him … would be only glad to say, “Forget that … I Want To Win My 6th NBA Championship … Nothing More and Nothing Less; Avant Garde basketball be damned! … and, this move, right here, is the BEST WAY for me to make this happen with this team, under the current landscape (i.e. after the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol).”

Full Speed Ahead, Mr. Kerr! … it’s the only chance you’ve got to successfully fend off challenges from the other top teams in the Western Conference, i.e. the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Portland Trail Blazers, over the next decade.

Carpe Diem!


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