ESPN reports that Clippers center, Kaman has signed a 5 year extension with his team. He has accepted the $52.5 mil offer the Clippers made. Kaman was previously offered 5/50 around ten days back but he wrote in his blog a few days back that he thought he deserved more.
True - he is part of a dying breed (not cavemen, idiot! centers) and he does infuriate me with his O rebounding while playing the Suns, but is he worth that much money? Apparently, I'm alone in thinking so. The ESPN report says that Kaman was likely to be offered a max contract next summer by many teams!
Bottom line - there is no escape for Suns fans from the 'Caveman's curse' -- we're gonna have to watch him play our team at least 4 times a year.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
ESPN reports that Clippers center, Kaman has signed a 5 year extension with his team. He has accepted the $52.5 mil offer the Clippers made. Kaman was previously offered 5/50 around ten days back but he wrote in his blog a few days back that he thought he deserved more.
Friday, October 27, 2006
The St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that the Timberwolves will try to trade Kevin Garnett by February because "his skills have reached a plateau at age 30." [link] Now that news is at once interesting and scary.
'Marion for KG' is topic that has been discussed to death but that is a scenario very unlikely, especially if the TWolves are looking to trade KG by February. Even if the Wolves like Marion, why would the Suns risk their team chemistry that deep into the season? What has me excited is the possibility of an 'Amare for KG trade' (I know I'm going to be skewered by Amare fans for this). But then, who knows how healthy/unhealthy Amare is going to be then?
The scary part : If KG agrees to a trade, that would be only to join a championship caliber team. The thought of KG joining any such team scares me shitless! Its hard enough for the Suns to try to win just the Western Conf with the new playoff seedings. Any team not called Minny is going to be scary good with KG on its roster . So....
Thursday, October 26, 2006
6. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns, 32, 6-3, 195: 18.8 pts., 10.5 ast., .921 free throw percentage
To win the MVP two years in a row speaks volumes for a guy who led two different groups to the conference finals in two seasons. He is the best point guard in the game and by definition is unparalleled at making his teammates better. Next is actually reaching the NBA Finals.19. Shawn Marion, Phoenix Suns, 28, 6-7, 230: 21.8 pts., 11.0 reb., 1.98 stl.
For some strange reason, Marion has become the game's most talented player that people hate to love. Maybe it's his unorthodox shot, or his occasional stinkers in the playoffs. But the fact of the matter is he played out of position last season at power forward, and his numbers should be even better this year.
21. Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns, 24, 6-10, 250: 26.0 pts., 8.9 reb., 1.63 blk.
Those statistics are from two years ago because microfracture knee surgery on one knee, then arthroscopic surgery on the other, limited him to four games last season. If he comes all the way back, he's easily a top-10, or even a top-five, player. But the Suns are taking it slow and so is he. It may not be until next season that we'll know how close he'll be to his old self.
Hawks' Marvin breaks hand [AJC]
"Second-year Hawks forward Marvin Williams broke the third metacarpal on his left hand in practice Thursday and will be out of for six to eight weeks."
Did someone just yell "Hooray 2007 draft !"?
LeBron high-fives Roethlisberger during game [cleveland.com]
"Among those rooting for the MVP-to-be was Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who sat in the front row at midcourt. Roethlisberger watched his good friend sail in for one driving dunk in the first quarter. And when James slipped along the baseline for a second slam 27 seconds later, Big Ben couldn't help but grin and hold out a hand for James to slap as he raced down the court."
Stern wants players to leave guns at home [ESPN]
"It's a pretty, I think, widely accepted statistic that if you carry a gun, your chances of being shot by one increase dramatically"
Phil Jackson almost ready for opener, Bryant likely to miss [FOX Sports]
LA becoming Clippers town [FOX Sports]
"It was great if we could get a win for us and our fans," Brand recalled. How about now? "We expect to get a win against anybody in the league," he said.
NBA news, 24/7 on Sirius [nba.com]
"The NBA and SIRIUS Satellite Radio, announced today a new exclusive programming lineup on NBA Radio on SIRIUS, channel 127, the first 24/7, year-round radio channel devoted to the NBA."
Friend of Jamaal Tinsley faces charges in strip-club fight [USA Today]
"A court commissioner entered a not-guilty plea to misdemeanor charges of battery, disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana on behalf of Raymel Mattocks, 29, of Brooklyn, N.Y., a friend of point guard Jamaal Tinsley, who was also at Club Rio early on October 6."
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
After the usual rhapsodies on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the biggest questions in the NBA were addressed in an article by Sports Illustrated (full story)
Highlights:Will Amare's return help the Suns reach the Finals?
On paper, the return from injury of a 20-point, nine-rebound 23-year-old talent should be enough to bridge the gap from two-time conference finalist to NBA finalist.
"Amaré hasn't quite figured out defense yet; he gives up a lot on the [defensive] end. Until he -- and the Suns -- stop being so generous defensively, Phoenix will remain a Western bridesmaid."
"He's at every game, he's on the bench, he's screaming about every call. It's a tremendous distraction and it's got to affect the players. You don't worry about things you can't control; you're wasting your energy and misplacing your focus."On Isiah Thomas' coaching prowess -
"I scouted Isiah a lot when he was coaching Indiana and, in all honesty, I didn't see him bring a lot to the table," says a former Central Division scout. "I never really had much of an understanding of what he was trying to do and I often had a feeling that he didn't have an understanding of it either."
Tskitishvilli a.k.a Skita has been waived by the Knicks. He was picked 5th overall in the 2002 draft by the Denver Nuggets. Skita played for Suns Coach D'Antoni when the latter coached Benetton Treviso to a championship in the Italian league. D'Antoni was a member of the Nuggets front office when Skita was recruited. Coincidence? Sorry Denver..... To think you guys could've picked Amare/Caron Butler/Prince.
Damn! I just looked through the 2002 draft for stars and all I saw were a bunch of scrubs, save for the above three. Is that one of the worst drafts ever?
btw, check out the picture of some random dude, that nba.com has on file for Skita - here
- USA Today salutes Marion's versatility with its statistical analysis of each of the positions in the 2005-06 season. (full story)
- GMs' predictions for the 2006-07 season (link)
Champions : San Antonio Spurs
Eastern Conf Champs : Miami Heat
Pacific Division : Phoenix Suns
MVP : LeBron James
ROY : Brandon Roy
Best Coach : Pat Riley
Best Perimeter Defender in the NBA : Raja Bell came in 4th with 10.7% votes
Click here for rest of the predictions.
- I took a look at the 2005-06 GM survey and found a few good/stupid predictions (thanks to hindsight),
- Which team will be most improved in 2005-06? Golden State Warriors
- Who will win the 2005-06 MVP? (1)Tim Duncan, (2) Shaquille O'Neal ; Duncan had the worst ppg, rpg of his career last year
- Who is the best head coach in the NBA? Larry Brown
- Which head coach makes the best in-game adjustments? Larry Brown(lol. I don't know about in-game adjustments, but he sure made a few in-between game adjustments - he set a record with 42 different starting lineups)
- If you had one game to win, which current coach would you want coaching that game? Larry Brown
What was the most underrated player acquisition? Raja Bell, Phoenix Suns
(remember how fans revolted when Raja was offered the MLE)
Other interesting predictions :
Which active player will make the best head coach someday? Steve Nash (1st both in 05-06 and 06-07)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
- Steve Kerr predicts that the Suns will win the Pacific Division. But the most talented roster according to him - LA Clippers. In Kerr's words "Still, from top to bottom, no one in the Pacific has a more talented roster than the Clippers."
- Can Toronto really become PHX North ?
Coach Sam Mitchell's mantra to players : "Just hurry up and shoot"
His aim : 100 shots a game! (full story)
OK, reality check : The Suns shot only 87.4 times a game last season
- Magic's giveaways this season, to lure the fans to games - Arroyo Bobbleheads, Darko fly swatters (full story)
- Second highest player on the Lakers' current payroll : Brian Grant! Yeah.. he is still paid $15 mil a year by the Lakers. (full story)
- Kirk Hinrich not likely to be extended before next summer (full story).
ESPN is running a poll on a variety of questions ranging from the predicted number of wins to the key role player for each of the 30 NBA teams. Make sure to drop by the page and vote. (link)
I voted thus:
|1) Where will the Suns finish in the Pacific Division (with Golden State, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers and Sacramento)?|
|2) Oddsmakers set the over/under on Suns wins at 55.5. How many games will they win?|
|56 or more|
3) Which Suns star is most significant to their success this season?
4) Which Suns role player is most significant to their success this season?
5) What do you expect from Amare Stoudemire?
|He strugggles for a while but eventually returns to form|
KT - lean, mean fighting machine
Kurt Thomas has been one of the brightest spots on an otherwise ordinary preseason for the Suns. Last night he turned in 20 points, 9 rebounds in just 24 minutes on the floor. He was pretty out of shape and clearly couldn't keep up with the frantic pace of the Suns during his comeback attempt in the playoffs last season. This time, however, he's in excellent shape to lead the Suns back to being one the premier defenses in the league.
In Coach D'Antoni's words, "He's way ahead (of last year)". I wonder if Jenny Craig had a role in whipping KT into shape...
What was that...bad joke? Hell no! Did you know that Jenny Craig is part owner of the Suns team?? So every time you buy Suns' tickets you're putting a few pennies in Kirstie Alley's pocket.
Amare Stoudemire played close to 20 minutes in last night's preseason loss to Seattle. He finished with 13/5 -- not bad considering how far along D'Antoni thinks he is in his comeback - halfway. When asked about Amare, this is what he had to say
"Basketball wise, he's still about halfway there. He's got a lot of rust."IMO, its gonna be at least 2-3 months before we can expect to see the Amare of old. For now, the Suns will look to work him into the lineup with 10-15 mins a game at the start of the season. And yes, he's not going to start for a while now. Before you guys begin to freak out, you need to realize that the Suns are solid enough to put together an impressive regular season record. Amare's presence is of paramount importance only in the playoffs, when teams have time to plan for the Suns and start pounding us at the post. Till such time, Amare purely needs to work on meshing well with the team and ridding himself off the rust he's accumulated.
The Suns will work out just fine this season.
For now, the positives about Amare:
- He's being aggressive at the post. (yes, there are going to be off days like last night when he was tentative).
- He's trying to play good defense from time to time.
Suns' fans also need to stop taking preseason games so seriously. The coach and the team experiment a lot in these games and one shouldn't put much stock into the game results.
Case in point: A rather intriguing defensive match up we used in the previous game against the Lakers -- Marion on Bynum, KT on Odom
-Banks' inability so far, to man the point effectively. I feel he will get better as the season wears on...but what scares me is
-D'Antoni's impatience with reserve players and his proclivity to run Nash into the ground because his backups aren't half as effective as him. This, IMO is D'Antoni's biggest weakness as a coach. He needs to show more faith in his bench and be more committed to resting Nash. Damn! Nash is 32 and our window of opportunity for a championship lasts only as long as Nash is on the team. Preserve the MVP!
-the team's shooting. We've been abysmal from downtown and need to improve our shooting. Part of the reason could be the new ball (blast!). The vets like Bell, Nash etc. will get used to it. James Jones was 3-5 from the three point line last night, so he's OK.
Banks and Jumaine Jones are the ones who really need to get their act together.
- Barbosa sat out last night's preseason game against Seattle with a right big toe sprain
- Piatkowski made a comeback after missing five preseason games with an ankle sprain
- Sean Marks is out with a left elbow sprain
Monday, October 23, 2006
I found the following videos from Nash's Charity Classic. The first video has him showing off his soccer wizardry with another soccer guy (also named Steve). This guy Nash never ceases to amaze me! If you feel emasculated at the end of the video, don't tell me you weren't warned.
Same juggling from another angle followed by Nash trying to head the ball into the hoop. Watch it. Its fun!
To make you feel better about yourself after this flurry of videos, watch the next one. Many of you must remember this from the spurs forum from late last season. Its the one with Nash's godawful expression.
An awesome montage of the past 2 Suns seasons. Watch it if you like being reminded of the vintage Amare - the freakish dunks and that rejection of Timmy 'Duh'ncan. Look out at the 2:10 mark - Marion darts across the court in a millisecond to throw down a jam; that's immediately followed by Amare's block.
The Suns website has an article summarizing Hoop magazine's article on Nash's life off the court. Be sure to check it out. (full story)
What I gleaned from it-
Nash's favorite Will Ferrell character : Mugatu from Zoolander
His recent non-basketball activities: batting practice with SF Giants, working out with the New York Red Bulls (MLS), deep-sea fishing (bass fishing is a sport on ESPN, right?) in the Bahamas with Suns teammates.
“It’s about giving yourself a chance and trying to just stay with it, and keep that desire to win as big as ever, But I really feel like we’re going to win one.”
- Marbury wants to start his own talk show (!!). NYPOST reports that Starbury has already done a bunch of demo shows, interviewing B-b-b-b-billups, Steve Franchise, Kobe 'The Elbow' Bryant (1 hr long) and has Cuban lined up for later this month. (full story)
- Paul Shirley has been released by the Timberwolves. Wonder if this means a return to blogging on ESPN for Shirley?
- High praise for Joe Johnson. (full story)
- Shaq attacks wrong target in botched raid on internet sexual predators. (true story)
- why : Incorrect tracing of IP address (damn the geek squad!)
- where : Bedford County, Virginia
- Barbosa hates the ball too
"It's that ball, man, Even when you think it feels good, it doesn't go."We hear ya Blurbosa.
Henry Abbott at True Hoop brings some news that is sure to interest every purple & orange blooded Phoenix Suns fan. Apparently, a concerted effort is being made by a French website to provide weekly English language coverage of the Euroleague. Remember the days when we had to scour the internet for obscure videos of Thabo Sefolosha or Sergio Rodriguez because of the Suns' purported interest in drafting them? Julien Debove of BasketSession.com promises weekly reports and player profiles that will obviate the need to watch "those old-fashioned video clips".
I read the preseason ranking of euro teams and found some of the comparisons to NBA teams pretty humorous. (text in bold italics is especially funny, text in red italics is to be smirked at)
1. CSKA Moscow (Russia)
The reigning champs are back (Papaloukas, Langdon, Coach Ettore Messina…).
NBA team look-alike : San Antonio Spurs ’05-06
2. Panathinaikos Athens (Greece)
Best frontcourt in the League (future NBA players Scola and Splitter)…and the backcourt ain’t bad either…
NBA team look-alike : Detroit Pistons ’04-05
3. Tau Vitoria (Spain)
The Spanish champs might be even better without last year studs Garbajosa & Herrmann.
NBA team look-alike : Dallas Mavericks ’04-06 (better without an MVP)
6. Olympiakos (Greece)
Big fat contracts and a big fat center (Baby Shaq).
NBA team look-alike : New York Knicks post-Ewing era (replace Baby Shaq by Jerome James)
10. Efes Pilsen (Turkey)
4 experienced Americans and a good European supporting cast.
NBA team look-alike : more Americans than the ’06-07 Toronto Raptors roster
13. Joventut Badalona (Spain)
A young and fearless squad led by 21-year old star Rudy Fernandez and S.I.X.T.E.E.N. year-old phenomenon Ricky Rubio. Imagine LeBron James playing in the NBA while a sophomore in high school. You got the picture…
NBA team look-alike : Cleveland Cavaliers ’05-07
17. Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania)
Has been on the downside since they won the Euroleague in 1999. Bad omen when your best player might be the owner of the team (former Blazer Arvydas Sabonis)…
NBA team look-alike : Washington Wizards ’00-01 and Charlotte Bobcats ’06-07 ???
18. Le Mans (France)
A very exciting team which likes to play up-tempo. Would be ranked much higher without an awful start in the French league…
NBA team look-alike : A Taiwanese imitation of the ’05-06 Phoenix Suns
23. Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia)
The Slovenian team has as much money available as a Donald Sterling tip.
NBA team look-alike : The vintage Los Angeles Clippers (before Sterling started acting like Isiah Thomas)
Sunday, October 22, 2006
A quick, but HUGE thanks to all of you have been reading this blog. Its good to know that some of you've liked it enough to subscribe to the RSS feeds.
Shameless request : If you guys could show your support by dropping a line in the 'comments' section, that would be Suntastic. You don't have to say you love the blog or anything, something like "damn! you stink dude" would work too (because I'll know you at least took a sniff :)
Posted by sunsonfire at 5:54 PM
Charley Rosen of FOX Sports rated the top NBA head coaches and I had to scroll all the way down the page to find D'Antoni! Maybe its my purple sunglasses but I expected D'Antoni to be atleast in the top 5. He was after all, voted Coach of the Year in 2004-05 - his first full year as NBA head coach. But well Rosen disagrees and he has his reasons, which I will get to shortly.
A quick rundown of his list:
Phi Beta Kappa - Phil Jackson, Greg Poppovich, Pat Riley
Dean's List - Jerry SloanHonor Roll - Rick Carlisle, Bernie Bickerstaff, Avery Johnson
Among the Elite - Lawrence Frank, Eddie Jordan, Eric Musselman, Flip Saunders, Byron Scott, Scott Skiles
A Cut Above - Mike Fratello, George Karl, Nate McMillan
Strictly Average - Mike Brown, Mike Casey, Mike D'Antoni, Mike Dunleavy, Brian Hill, Bob, Hill, Sam Mitchell, Don Nelson, Doc Rivers, Terry Stotts, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Woodson
On Probation - Isiah Thomas
On the Verge of Flunking - Maurice Cheeks
His reason for D'Antoni's low rating -
"Is only interested in half of the game. The wrong half."Well, can't really argue with his first sentence, but the second one? So long as the 'half' that Coach is interested in is good enough to take the Suns to back to back WCF, I will have to STRONGLY DISAGREE.
I guess its damn good to be 'wrong' in Rosen's books ;)
Back to the Suns style, Coach D'Antoni has pledged to not joke about defense this season. He has also promised to play a faster offense and better defense. Interesting combination there, though they're often pretty much mutually exclusive.
What do you say to this guys : Let's give him 10 games to get his D in place.
We don't see defense, we drop the D from his name. Hell! at least it makes typing his name easier ;)
You listening, Coach Antoni?
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Is Gilbert still going to drop 50 on the Suns? This is part of what he had to say after he was cut from Team USA:
"I'm going to be the silent assassin this year," he said. "I can't wait to play the Suns and Portland. Against Portland, Nate McMillan, I'm going to try to score 100 in two games and against D'Antoni, I'm going to score 100 in two games. I'm going to try."D'Antoni responded in typical fashion with his tongue in cheek style
"I saw that. I can see why he's a little upset that he didn't make the team. He shouldn't be. It's an honor to be among the top 25. But also, I'm an assistant coach. He has to understand that. But the only guy he can take it out on is me and (Portland coach) Nate McMillan. And you know what? With our defense, he has a chance to get 100. God love him. I hope he can do it. But all I can say is 100 might not be enough."In his blog on nba.com, this is what Arenas had to say yesterday
Its hard when you’re out there doing everything that coach says and you’re one of the premier players in the NBA but you can’t get three minutes on a team that doesn’t have Kobe, Kevin Garnett, Chauncey, Jason Kidd … and you’re looking out there and you’re second guessing yourself and like, “Am I good enough? What’s going on?”So what exactly is going to happen? Honestly, I do hope Arenas plays with a chip on his shoulder - that would make thinks really interesting. Because he will probably be guarded with the guy on our team who has a perennial chip on his shoulder - Raja Bell. That would be one hell of a match up! Don't you think?
I think that’s why I got frustrated. I was frustrated I’m not playing, but it was still a team thing. So that’s when I lashed out. I sat back and I was like, “Damn.” To an extent I shouldn’t have done that, because it wasn’t their fault.
Other points on the Arenas list:
- "We have to beat Miami. We’re 0-16 against them. Since I’ve been here, we have not won yet. I’m not counting … but yeah, we’re 0-16. " Apparently, Wade rubbed it in during the Las Vegas camp.
- I want politicians coming to me and asking me for advice … I know nothing about politics, but, hey. So if I can control the people in D.C., then they have to come talk to me.
- I want to set up restaurants and get into Starbucks.
- I ordered a Maybach, you know, the 57. It’s a one-of-one. They made it for the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha.” They made it for that movie.
Friday, October 20, 2006
What does the number 42 represent to you? If you're a fan of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (H2G2), 42 is "The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything".
H2G2 fan or not, I'm sure the number 42 is indeed the answer to life and everything to Rasheed Wallace and he's sure as hell going to achieve it this year. Wondering what the no. means? 'Sheed holds the league record for only one thing, and that's the number of technical fouls he committed in the 2000-2001 season - 41.
Now Steve Nash has been in the league for 10 years now and I don't think he's got many technical fouls. (If anyone has an idea of how many exactly he has, please do leave a comment on that). OK..back to the point - Nash, one of the better behaved guys around has already been slapped with a technical foul this pre-season, apparently for using a cuss-word. With the new 'no-tolerance to cussing' policy, how hard could it be for 'Sheed to hit the jackpot?
What could possibly be more exciting for 'Sheed?
I believe this could be the season for him. Rasheed will find the answer to it all.
Good luck with that Mr. Sheed!
Boris Diaw's contract extension was finalized today in a press conference featuring Diaw, Coach D'Antoni and Suns owner Robert Sarver.
The video is available in the Suns media section.
The following is a transcript of the interview, I typed out when I watched the video. Pardon the sloppy formatting in places...its tiring to iron out all the kinks :)
Sarver (Opening statement) : If i were to make a list of the characteristics as an individual I need in a player to be part of this org, it would mimic Boris Diaw
D'Antoni : That is off the court. We know how he is on the court. We saw that last year. We really needed to tie him up. I'm very happy we could
Diaw : I've been here for 1 yr. I was welcomed on my first day by the team, coaching staff everyone. Thanks for all opportunities I was given in the season, so i could extend contract and be with the Suns. I'm very happy to be with the Suns for many more years. I think we'll have fun the next few seasons.
(inaudible question from media)
Sarver : Thanks to fans mainly. Our payroll has increased by $20 mil over the past 2 yrs. Thanks to the fans for their support. We're well set for the future.
Diaw on how confident he was of the negotiations working out with the Suns:
Pretty confident..I knew the suns wanted me to stay , and I wanted to stay as well. There was no way we couldn't have worked things out. I could've waited for a yr to see what's in the market but I like it so much here. this is a great place to be. fans are very nice.
(inaudible question from media)
Diaw : I never play for a contract. I never play for personal goals. I don't play to score lots of points so I can be an All Star. My only goal now : to win a championship,
Diaw on whether he'd spoken to his friend Tony Parker since the deal was decided on:
I called him early in the morning but I think he was sleeping. I couldn't talk to him.
Sarver on whether the talks went smoothly:
They went easier. part of it is I'm getting more adjusted to the business. A lot if it is Mike and Griffin, who have a good knowledge of what we want. I knew Boris was a "slam dunk" in terms of his fit with us. So there was no question of thinking if we wanted him long term with us.
When it came to negotiations, Boris was flexible, we were flexible, it worked out to be a good partnership.
D'Antoni : we're perfect for him. he's perfect for us.
Few guys really mean it when they say " i go out and play to win." that statement is a cliche, esp. in this business.. few mean it. i don't think he (Diaw) knows how many points he avgs. he and LB are 2 guys we signed this summer who really mean it , they just play to win
Diaw on whether he considered the option of going elsewhere: I thought "Where could i be in a position as good as the phoenix suns?" The answer was "nowhere". i don't think there's any other team i can fit in as well i am here
D'Antoni on what he thought of Diaw when he first came in :
He's from France.. we killed France! (laughs)
Diaw interjects : When did you kill France?? You didn't kill France! (laughs)
D'Antoni continues: I didn't know he could play. Griffin and Bryan saw something in him.
I had no idea he was this good. He wasn't a great shooter a great shot. I had no idea he could guard big guys. he surprised me a lot.
I wish I can take credit, but I cant. (laughs)
reporter x : do you think you got a deal?
D'Antoni : yes we got a deal. more importantly fans got a deal. They get to see him for the next 4-5 yrs.
Sarver, on the luxury tax and spending : We're in a solid state financially. Our emphasis is on spending money in the right place. I don't care about how much total money we spend. its where we spend it..we want flexibility, guys who can help us win a championship. we need players who fit in Mike's system. we're in solid shape..
We look at it year by yr and see how the team does. as long as we win and fans keep supporting us, we'll do the right things. I have no hard and fast rules. no preconceived notions on that.
Allllright! The Suns steamrollered the Kings 111-94 in their pre-season meeting a few minutes back.
- Steve Nash - he's not the 2 time MVP for nothing. He had 6 assists in the first 9 mins of the game.
- Nash finished with a brilliant scoreline on 100% FG shooting.
- 27 mins 6-6 2-2 3-3 13 asts 2 stls 17 pts
- Suns scored just 10 points in 2nd quarter
- Suns then came back to score 43 points in the 3rd qtr
- Shawn Marion - 20 points, 8 rebs
- James Jones rediscovered some of his shooting touch, scoring 15 pts on 5-11 shooting and making 3-7 from 3 pt land
- Clippers won 91-90
- Reggie Miller, Cheryl Miller, Steve Kerr - 3 of the 4 who tested the new ball (Mark Jackson was the 4th) were at the game. So they were confronted about the lousy job they'd done of testing the ball.
- - Reggie and Steve both sidestepped the question by saying they only dribbled the ball a little and mainly shot it around for a brief while
- - Steve Kerr had a good suggestion though : there is a problem only when you're sweating, so take it easy and try not to break a sweat
- Sam Cassell was pulled aside by a referee for excessive hollering and warned. It was during a timeout, so the conversation was quite audible.
- ref to Sam Cassell : If we're talking like this, its OK. We won't tolerate it when you wave your hands or gyrate
- Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller gave the ref a tough time, joking about his use of the word 'gyration' in this context
- Cheryl Miller later spoke to Sam and asked him what he though of the word 'gyration', to which Sam replied
"I've never heard of that word. I've lived in the East Coast and am in the West Coast now. I haven't heard that word, ever! Not in English..maybe its Russian or something"
- Seeing a jersey with the name Evans on the floor for the Lakers, Kaman probably deemed it safer to sit out preferring to save his family jewels. Poor chap is so traumatized by the Reggie Evans incident. It never gets old - watch it here. btw, the guy on the floor was Maurice Evans :)
- How desperate are the Golden State Warriors to do well this season? Don Nelson has been promised $1 mil if GSW make the playoffs , $1 mil if they get to the conference semifinals , $0.5 mil if they get to the conference Finals , $1 mil if they get to the NBA Finals
- Jason Kidd on the new ball:
- He complained that the new ball sticks to the rim.
- He even offered a conspiracy theory:
The NBA is probably trying to legalize knocking the ball off the rim, like in international basketball. The ball sticking to the rim will make that easier
- Bulls beat the Spurs 99-67!
- The Spurs scored just 8 points in the 3rd quarter
Thursday, October 19, 2006
This has not yet been confirmed by official sources but I heard of this news from guys at ASFN.
Apparently, the news was on the radio (KTAR). To quote ASFN member PetryJr, this is what the radio guy said :
"The Suns seem to be close to signing Diaw to an extension. How close? A press conference is scheduled to tomorrow's afternoon, and Diaw should sign the extension by Friday."
Here's to hoping that the news is true!
EDIT: Suns, Diaw reach deal. This has been reported by Paul Coro at azcentral
This is great news for the Suns. They now have their future stars - Barbosa and Diaw locked in.
Suns forward Boris Diaw has agreed to a five-year contract extension worth approximately $45 million, a source close to the team confirmed.
The deal will be announced Friday and kick in for the 2007-08 season.
Looking at the kind of money young stars have been commanding this summer - Kaman (5/50), Nene (6/60), Howard (4/40); Diaw at an average of $9 mil/yr seems like a steal.
Suns owner Robert Sarver would have been flogged to death by Suns fans if they had let Diaw walk.
- This is the first time the Kings play the Suns since coach Rick Adelman was shown the door by the Maloofs. For the record, Adelman had a sterling coaching career leading the Trailblazers to NBA Finals twice and the Kings to 8 successive playoff berths. But the Maloofs wanted to see a change at the helm and brought in the more defensive-minded Eric Musselman.
- The Kings have been an offense oriented team as long as they were coached by Adelman. Its going to be interesting to watch how Musselman makes the best use of Artest to make the Kings into a tighter defensive unit
- Mike Bibby supposedly worked his ass off this off-season to knock a few pounds off his frame. Experts are predicting he's going to have a career year. This being his contract year, I'm sure he's going to step his game up a notch as well. He does have a player option for the next 2 years but if he will be 29 at the end of this season. Now might be the time for him to raise his stock and get a good long term deal. Watch out for the new Bibby. I really like Bibby and hope he makes his first All Star appearance this year.
There's quite a tussle among the Kings for playing time.
- With Bonzi Wells gone, Kevin Martin is likely to see quite some PT at the SG/swingman spot. His clutch play during last year's playoffs against the Spurs won't hurt his chances as well.
- Shareef Abdur Rahim (who, last year, was in the playoffs for the first time in his 10 year career) and Kenny Thomas are slugging it out for the PF slot. Can you believe they actually threw punches at each other during training camp recently?
- So one thing is sure. Both these guys will really go at it today, as the fight for PT continues.
The Suns will try to put behind their loss to the Clippers a few days back with a strong showing today.
- The last time these 2 teams met each other - which was last season - the Suns shot an unbelievable 71.1% in the second half and 80% in the 4th quarter to stave off a comeback attempt by the Kings, to win 123-110.
- Also, watch out for Marcus Banks tonight. All eyes are on him, because the chances of having a rested Steve Nash during the playoffs rest squarely on his shoulder. Hopefully he shows signs of being able to play significant minutes for the Suns without being a liability at the point.
- Of course, for most Suns fans Amare will be the focal point of today's game - he had a strong showing in the game against the Lakers with 15 pts, 9rb, 5 st but looked pretty out of place in the loss against the Clippers .
My prediction - A close win for the Suns.
Posted by sunsonfire at 8:08 PM
ESPN.com reports that Josh Howard has signed a 4 year contract extension with the Mavs for a sum of over $40 mil. Just 5 days back, Dallas Morning News reported that Howard was miffed with the Mavs for low-balling him.
Cuban had offered him a contract in the near abouts of 5/28 or so and Howard was rightfully insulted by the offer. He is after all, the no.2 option in a team that reached the NBA finals last season. Considering that Cuban had been asshole enough to let Nash go (God bless him for that!), a lot of us Suns fans thought that he was going to make the same mistake with Howard. I guess it was just wishful thinking on our part :)
With Josh now signed to an extension, Diaw and Hinrich remain the most prominent contributors from the 2003 draft class not to have been extended by their respective teams. I'm sure most would agree that Diaw is a far better player than Diaw...well they are very different players, but its no secret that Diaw is far more versatile and talented. duh! 3D can play all 5 positions. Can you think of anyone else who can do that in today's league?
To quote the ESPN article,
It's believed the Mavericks, sensing the issue might linger with Howard all season, increased their offer in recent days to make it clear to the swingman how much they value him.
Now thats a smart organization. Come on D'Antoni! Do something and sign Diaw before Oct 31.
I know what you're thinking -
He's French! So he must be rude. I don't want anymore technicals!
But you do know that your theory was proved wrong 2 days back when the genial Canadian on the team cursed.
SIGN DIAW PRONTO!
Apparently, Sebastian Telfair of the Boston Celtics was robbed at an NYC club recently. Dude was robbed of his $50, 000 bling just outside the club. He spent the second half of the preseason game against the Nets looking at lineups to identify a suspect.
Most of you must've heard/read about the technical foul Steve Nash got slapped with in the preseason game against the Clippers yesterday. The fact that Nash (of all people!) was accused of cussing has been the point of endless speculation in the blogosphere. Some have discussed the possibility of Nash having a potty mouth...others have defended him, saying he was retorting to Alien Cassell's taunts from the sideline.
After all, Nash is, in coach D'Antoni's words "Canadian". Many fans have been flummoxed by the remark and its intended meaning. From what little I know about Canadians, they are a polite lot and D'Antoni probably was alluding to that to plead Nash's innocence. Nevertheless, this adds to D'Antoni's endless list of wisecracks.
Being a huge, huge fan of Nash, I had to do my bit to uncover the truth. Obviously, I was looking for evidence to prove Nash's innocence. But guess what I've ended up with after rummaging through all the web has to offer!? Nash is a multilingual cusser!
This article in Slam Online has the following quote from D'Antoni
"We were scrimmaging today. He even cussed in Italian."
That doesn't quite help his case, eh?
The article also speaks of Nash's love for soccer. On the influence of soccer on his basketball, he said
"For me, I'm heavily influenced in soccer," Nash said
"You see it a lot in international players the influence soccer has had."
"It allowed them to gain an advantage somewhere along the line. Whether it be agility or footwork, or passing angles and finding creative ways to get the ball either to the basket or to pass it to someone. I think there is something to be transferred from each sport."
Yes Sir! You da 2 time MVP, you know best.
Lastly, some good news for the Nash family:
His brother Martin is a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps which won the United Soccer Leagues First Division championship Saturday.
Posted by sunsonfire at 12:16 AM
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Even as the Suns management and Boris Diaw's agent Doug Neustadt grapple over the terms of his contract extension, the Clippers -- run by Mr. Scrooge Sterling -- have offered Chris Kaman a 5 year $50 mil extension.
Chris Kaman was the #6 pick of the powerful 2003 draft which produced the likes of LeBron, Melo, D-Wade, Bosh, Hinrich, Barbosa, Diaw and Josh Howard. Did someone say Darko? umm..please talk to the guys at FreeDarko for all things Darko(did you know freedarko is an adjective now?) .
The stars - Bron, Melo and Wade have already signed multi-year extensions with their respective teams. So have Bosh and Barbosa. I'm not sure what Kirk Hinrich's contract situation is. I doubt if the Bulls would low-ball him, considering what a stud he's maturing into. We've already discussed Diaw, so that leaves Kaman and Josh Howard as the ones not to have inked a deal.
Granted, quality centers are sparse in the league today, but 5/50 is the best Kaman can expect. To be frank, I feel 5/40 is good enough for him but thanks to a gent name Nene Hilario, the asking rate for big men has skyrocketed and even Scrooge couldn't skimp on signing Ka(ve)man!
Our paparazzi came up with a few pictures of Kaman during contract discussions and later when he was mulling his contract, which we share below.
The above picture was taken just as he was getting ready for his first meeting to negotiate the contract extension.
But ever since he received the 5/50 offer, every Tom, Dick and Harry has been egging him on to go for the deal. The sensitive guy that Kaman is, he's pretty pissed with the whole situation. The next picture is indicative of such a situation.
I have a feeling he will settle for "some roast duck and the mango salsa".
Posted by sunsonfire at 9:34 PM
OK y'all! Thanks for stopping by.
I've decided to start this blog off by addressing Boris Diaw's contract negotiations. At the moment that remains one of the biggest questions surrounding the Suns, that the management has direct control over. The elephant in the room is clearly Amare, with his sine wave like fitness curve over the past few weeks...but with the amount of uncertainty over his knee, the easiest thing for a Suns fan to do is to look at what IS in our (management's) control.
There was semi-good news this morning on the Boris Diaw situation. Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune reported that the Suns like their chances of re-signing Diaw .
In a nutshell, Diaw has till Oct 31, 2006 to sign a deal with the Suns, otherwise he becomes a restricted free agent next summer. Diaw has been a complete gentleman about this whole negotiation process and considering his demeanor on court, it doesn't come as a surprise. He's a real humble, laid-back dude both on and off the court. Its funny that one can say that 2006's Most Improved Player is laid-back on court, but that's the truth. He never looks flustered on court, never seems to be rushing things but he gets the job done!
The Suns management have been saying the stock phrases they've always used to feed the media during contract negotiations:
David Griffin, the Suns’ vice president of basketball operations
"I would think there’s a good chance to get something done"
"Re-signing Boris is a priority"Boris, on the other hand didn't sound as optimistic. Asked about his chances of signing in the next two weeks, he said
"It’s 50-50"Alright now Griffin, will you sign him already? Apparently, the two sides are $10 mil apart on a 5 year contract. The Suns want him for 5/40, and the bargaining goes on..
This off-season has been one of weird/outrageous signings.....I'm sorry, it was just this one signing -- that of Nene by the Denver Nuggets for $60 mil over 6 years that has sent the whole salary scale out of whack. Thanks a lot Denver!
But as Suns fans, we're just holding out hope that someone in the management grows a brain and signs Boris before its too late.