Tag:Channing Frye
Posted on: July 14, 2011 1:51 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 2:05 pm

Suns say their D will improve. No, really.

Posted by Matt Moore

The Suns defense is mocked. It's considered a joke, and whenever any 30-second analysis of the Suns is brought up, inevitably someone throws out how they "don't play defense" and how they'll never win because of it. It's easy. It's digestible for the common fan, which if fine. But it's ridiculously short-sighted.  

The Suns' success, which has been considerable over the past ten years, has been predicated by their fast-pace system. That system requires a number of things that go contrary to traditional defensive values. Instead of crashing the defensive glass, they leak out in transition for offensive buckets. Instead of committing to players who can attack defensively at the rim, they employ players who can hit threes from the low positions (like Channing Frye). And their maestro, Steve Nash, has a back condition that physically limits him from being able to adequately defend. So while the Suns do suffer defensively and much of their basic execution of principles is lacking, it's not really as simple as "the Suns need to try harder on defense."

Nonetheless, the Suns have shown a legit commitment to improving on that side of the ball. They've hired Elston Turner to turn things around. The Arizona Republic spoke with Turner about his goals: 
Turner agreed to a two-year contract to be the Suns "defensive coordinator," an assistant-coaching position being added to a full staff to improve last season's defense, which was ranked 26th in the NBA last year, and league-worst rebounding.

With full empowerment to lay out a strategy, Turner has some film to study. But it is clear the annual goal to improve the defense has teeth this time, with a commitment to 40-minute defensive sessions to be run by Turner during each practice.
via Phoenix Suns Elston Turner confident about defense.

Turner noted that Nash isn't an excessive problem any more so than most point guards in the league, and that Marcin Gortat can be the enforcer at the rim they need.

But at what point is Turner's work going to be in contrast to what the Suns do offensively? The Suns are in need of a rebuilding effort in their personnel, and maybe that would be the best time to invest more in defense. But as long as they're trying to continue the offensive success they've had in this era, they'll be limited in what they can do defensively. Turner's battle isn't just a strategic one, it's a philosophical one.
Posted on: March 23, 2011 2:27 am

Lakers need three OTs to put away the pesky Suns

Posted by Royce Young

You want March Madness, have you some March Madness.

The Lakers and Suns played an instant classic Tuesday night with the game going to three extra frames before Los Angeles finally prevailed, 139-137. Here's how wild this one was: Eventually it took a Ron Artest takeover in the third overtime for this thing to go to bed.

It was the type of game where it appeared to be over multiple times, but because of the Suns' ability to knock down 3s and the Lakers having Kobe Bryant, neither team would lay down. Finally the Suns ran out of gas after Artest hit a tough jumper in the lane to put the Lakers up five with a minute to go. Channing Frye drained a 3 to get it back to two, but Kobe hit a runner with 14 seconds left to put L.A. back up four. The Suns wasted too much time before Vince Carter finally hit a layup with 1.2 seconds left and all the Lakers had to do was get the ball in.

But that's just how it ended. How we got there is the interesting part.

In regulation, Grant Hill hit a corner 3 to tie the game at 112-112. Kobe missed a decent look to win and Phoenix snared the rebound. With a chance to win at the buzzer and save us all an extra hour, Carter missed wide on a 3 at the horn. On to overtime.

The Lakers looked to have it locked up leading by three and after a missed trey, Steve Nash tracked down the rebound and kicked back to Frye who was fouled on a desperation 3 by Lamar Odom. Naturally Frye drained all three free throws and we were off to another five minutes.

Phoenix had its chance in the second OT. Nash made an absolutely unreal play passing the ball behind his back as he was falling of out bounds to Marcin Gortat who steamrolled down the lane, eventually kicking to a wide open Frye who drained a 3 to put the Suns up 130-128 with 50 seconds left. The Suns got a stop, but Nash was unable to convert. The Lakers ended up with Pau Gasol knocking down a pair of free throws to knot the game at 130-130 and send us to a third overtime.

The Suns scored first and the Lakers started the third OT frame 0-6 from the field before Kobe eventually drained a deep ball. But maybe the biggest play came right before it as Grant Hill, who had defended Kobe brilliantly, picked up back-to-back which happened to be his fifth and sixth. Kobe immediately dropped the 3 to put L.A. up 133-132. Artest came up with a steal and a surprising lefty dunk, then hit the jumper that basically sealed it.

It was, quite the game.

A lot was on the line for Phoenix who are battling for eighth in the West while the Lakers are still trying to lock up the No. 2 seed. The Suns obviously need every game they're in and this one was no exception. They're three games back of the Grizzlies right now and with time running low on this season, each game is at the highest importance. Shame is, this triple-overtime game may cost them two, as they play Wednesday night at home versus the Raptors. Obviously still winnable, but it'll be interesting to see how the old bodies of Nash and Hill respond to play for three-plus hours.

Some games just don't die. Especially when you have a team as resiliant and hungry as the Suns against a team as talented and smart as the Lakers. What's funny, is that the only reason we got to three overtimes is because the Lakers blew a 15-point lead in the second half. The Suns got hot from 3, the Laker offense went cold (specifically the second unit) and Phoenix executed and hung in there. It's a bummer for the Suns to put that much in only to lose, but it was quite the effort and truly a terrific game.

Some stats from this one:
  • Channing Frye played a game-high 57 minutes. He scored 32 points and had 14 rebounds.
  • Coming off the bench, Marcin Gortat played 53 minutes and had 24 points and 16 rebounds.
  • The Lakers took 120 shots. Phoenix attempted 106.
  • The upset of the night? Kobe played 48 minutes and three overtimes yet somehow still only took 31 shots. He scored 42 points though and had 12 rebounds and nine assists to go with it.
  • Steve Nash finished with 20 assists and 19 points.
  • Impressive stat:The Lakers and Suns combined for just 22 turnovers in a triple-overtime game. That's crazy.
  • Opposite of impressive: In a game that went to three OTs and was that close, Vince Carter was still somehow a -20.
  • Derek Fisher finished with just two points on 0-7 shooting in 46 minutes.
  • Robin Lopez, who started the game at center for Phoenix, played only 10 minutes.
  • This was only second-ever triple-OT game at home in Los Angeles Lakers history. Other one came in February 1969.
Posted on: March 7, 2011 3:51 pm

Frye out 2-3 weeks from dislocated shoulder

Posted by Royce Young

The streaking Suns were dealt a pretty big blow Sunday against the Thunder as power forward Channing Frye was forced to leave with about six minutes remaining from a dislocated shoulder.

He returned to the bench soon after having it popped back into place, but didn't return to the game.

The team announced Monday that Frye had an MRI that revealed it was indeed a dislocated right shoulder and that he's now expected to miss two-to-three weeks.

Frye has been playing extremely well as of late, pulling in a career-high 15 rebounds against the Thunder before exiting Sunday. Phoenix has won 20 of its last 28, largely due to players like Frye stepping up as well as the new pieces settling in.

Without Frye, the Suns will likely start Hakim Warrick at power forward, but will likely use Marcin Gortat more alongside Robin Lopez. Maybe to replace Frye's outside touch Phoenix will even choose to go small with Jared Dudley at the 4.

Currently, the Suns are just 1.5 games out of eighth in the West but without Frye, maintaining over the next couple weeks will be a challenge.
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 7, 2011 3:03 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 3:14 pm

Phil Jackson takes shot at Kevin Garnett

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson takes a shot at Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett. Posted by Ben Golliver. phil-jackson

Earlier today, we noted that the NBA has taken to looking past the transgressions of Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, allowing a laundry list of unsportsmanlike plays to stand without any meaningful repercussions.

One person who isn't content to let it all go without saying something: Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, of course, who took a solid swipe at Garnett while praising his center Pau Gasol, as quoted by DailyBreeze.com.
"Pau knows who he is," Jackson said. "He's tenacious. I like him to be aggressive offensively. He's always a willing passer. The one thing I'm on him about is getting that first rebound. Don't let them knock it out of your hands. Don't let them knock it away.
"Otherwise, all this talk about how aggressive he is or how aggressive he isn't falls on deaf ears. He totally gets it. He is who he is. We're not going to make him into (Boston's Kevin) Garnett. He's not going to go around and punch guys in the (groin). He's too nice of a guy.

"This is an intelligent person who understands what this game is about. We've been to the Finals three years in a row, so that's part of it."
Jackson, of course, is making reference to a recent low blow Garnett leveled on Phoenix Suns big man Channing Frye, a play that eventually led to his ejection due to arguing and for which he refused to apologize and was not suspended.

We've previously lamented that there is no one at this point of his career that can get through to Garnett, no one that can encourage him to better understand the decency line and work a bit harder to stay on the correct side of it. The only person who can do that, save a super-duper heavy-handed commissioner Stern, is Garnett himself, and he clearly doesn't care.

Given that situation, and the league's inactivity to this point, it's nice -- for once, a rare situation indeed -- to hear Jackson offer his two cents.  Even if only a glancing blow, Jackson's statement serves as an acknowledgement that those around the league -- colleagues and competitors -- are not totally blind to his shenanigans. 

To describe Garnett as a player that goes around punching guys in the groin certainly sells Garnett short, but that's exactly the point: Garnett's greatness as an individual defender, team defender, leader, consistent rebounder and there-when-you-need-it scorer are overshadowed by his antics. To set up Garnett as the foil to Gasol's nice, intelligent, winning persona is to attack Garnett's professionalism and to indirectly question whether his priorities are in order. Those are big words, and not many around the league have the audicity or confidence to deliver them.

It pains me to say this, but in this situation we need more Phil Jacksons. 
Posted on: February 4, 2011 7:14 pm

Kevin Garnett: no apology for dirty play on Frye

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett writes that he will not apologize for his dirty play against the Phoenix Suns. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Last week, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett was ejected from a game against the Phoenix Suns following an argument that began when Garnett slide under Suns big man Channing Frye and contacted him in the genitals during a jump shot attempt. Garnett was not suspended for the incident, and the NBA explained the ejection resulted from multiple technical fouls assessed for arguing and yelling after the play, rather than the dirty play itself.

WEEI.com notes a recent blog post written by Garnett, on the website of his Chinese shoe manufacturer. Garnett writes that he "never apologizes" for his action and explained the incident by saying "I play with passion." 
We ”played a back-to-back in Phoenix. This game was physical as well and super ugly. I never apologize for my actions, as I play with passion. I actually got ejected for (the ref said) ‘talking too much.’  Can you believe that? It was unfortunate, and I hate to leave my team out there without being around to support them. Doc [Rivers] got ejected and then fined $15,000 for not leaving the court in a timely manner. A TIMELY MANNER. WOW. The game ended, and we got worked over. It could’ve been the back-to-back and travel, but they played well.”
We probably shouldn't expect any more or less of Garnett, who has a well established track record of pushing the envelope on the court in the name of obtaining a competitive advantage and then sticking to his guns after the fact. 

Here, given the flagrant violation of NBA etiquette, Garnett is simply thumbing his nose at his critics and daring those who are indifferent to think less of him. A Frank Sinatra-esque "My Way" philosophy is almost always admirable, but not here, where both Garnett's actions and his indifference to his violations of generally regarded conduct norms are regrettable. 

Garnett, a surefire Hall of Famer and an NBA All-Star this year, should be better than this pettiness and stubbornness.
Posted on: January 29, 2011 5:15 pm

Kevin Garnett won't be suspended for low-blow

Posted by Royce Young

Via a tweet from Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Kevin Garnett isn't expected to be given a suspension for his low-blow on Suns forward Channing Frye.

Here, let's watch the tape again and decided if he should.

There's just no defending what Garnett did. He absolutely smacked Frye in the goods. There's no way around that. He wasn't given a flagrant for the play, but was called for a foul. Garnett was ejected not because of the cheap shot, but because of his reaction to Frye and for carrying on with the officials after the play.

What's shocking to me, even though it shouldn't be shocking at all because it's Kevin Garnett, is why he'd do it. The game is being televised nationally on ESPN. You really think we're all going to miss you smacking someone in the groin? It's why I almost have to believe that Garnett didn't do it intentionally, even though the video clearly shows that he did.

But Garnett won't be suspended because of it and really, the league is just following through with its normal standard of rules. By rule, Garnett just fouled Frye. He happened to foul him by going to the crown jewels, but it's a foul. And the league I guess figured it couldn't draw the line between intent and and accident.

To me though, this is certainly a suspendable offense. Some are obviously looking at Sunday's showdown between the Lakers and Celtics wondering if the high-profile nature of that game and Garnett's superstar name have anything to do with it. And I'm sure it does in some sense, but really, a flagrant two foul is "unnecessary and excessive contact." I would think a crotch-shot falls under that description. Unnecessary, definitely Excessive? Well, just ask Channing Frye.
Posted on: January 29, 2011 1:11 am
Edited on: January 29, 2011 1:27 am

Kevin Garnett ejected after dirty play on Frye

Video of Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett getting ejected after a dirty play on Phoenix Suns big man Channing Frye. Posted by Ben Golliver.

The Phoenix Suns were leading the Boston Celtics, 80-69, with roughly four minutes to go in the fourth quarter down in the desert, when all heck broke loose. It all started when Phoenix Suns big man Channing Frye attempted a three-pointer, and Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett closed out to defend. As part of the close out, Garnett extended his right hand and contacted Frye fairly lightly in the genital region, and he also slid his right foot underneath Frye, causing Frye's left foot to come down on Garnett's right foot, which led to an awkward landing.

Frye came to the ground without twisting his ankle too badly and initially doubled over in pain, clutching his groin. Soon after, though, Frye got up and got directly into Garnett's face, as Garnett pretended like he didn't know what had happened and why he had been whistled for a foul. Frye clearly took issue with Garnett's action and yelled at him directly, and the two players touched foreheads as they jostled. Suns big man Marcin Gortat and official Steve Javie tried to act as intermediaries to break up the scuffle, but the scrum quickly grew in numbers as members of both teams got in on the pushing and shoving action.

Here's video that shows the post-foul scrum and then multiple replays from different angles of Garnett's foul on Frye.

After everyone settled down, the officials engaged in a lengthy review. The result: Garnett was whistled for a foul on the play, a double technical was called on Garnett and Frye, and then Garnett was issued a second technical foul and was ejected. Celtics center Kendrick Perkins and Celtics guard Nate Robinson were also assessed technical fouls for their roles in the scrum.

The official explanation for Garnett's ejection: he was assessed the first technical for his initial actions in scuffling with Frye and the second technical was for continuing to jaw after the fact.

The Suns held on to close out the home win over the Celtics, 88-71.
Posted on: September 27, 2010 2:33 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 2:37 pm

Preseason Primer: Phoenix Suns

Posted by Matt Moore

It's a season of change, and the Suns are dealing with some pretty big ones. They lost a huge part of their bench mob in Louis Amundson. They lost a pivotal speed player who's been there for years in Leandro Barbosa. And oh, yeah, they lost some Amar'e guy. So there's a lot for them to process as camp starts with new additions. Here's what's going on as the Suns try and adjust to Year 1, Post-STAT.

Training camp site:   San Diego, CA

Training camp starts:   Sept. 28 

Key additions: Josh Childress (free agency), Hedo Turkoglu (trade), Hakim Warrick (free agency), Gani Lawal (draft)

Key subtractions: Leandro Barbosa (trade), Amar'e Stoudemire (free agency)

Likely starting lineup: Steve Nash (PG), Jason Richardson (SG), Hedo Turkoglu (SF), Hakim Warrick (PF), Robin Lopez

Player to watch:   Hakim Warrick. Warrick has never really impressed anyone with his play. He's been good, he can dunk, but he's never blown anyone away. He's also never had Steve Nash working with him in the pick and roll. That's a huge step. He needs to work on his defense and finishing like Amar'e did with his athleticism if he wants to get a starting spot, because Turkoglu will likely get a lot of time there, as weird as that is. Warrick also needs to work on his mid-range game to be more of a threat all over the floor.

Chemistry check: This team likes one another, but there are a lot of new faces in the locker room, and some come with egos. With the loss of Louis Amundson and several players looking for extensions, you have to wonder if distractions will be a problem from the get-go.

Camp battles: The entire frontcourt. Robin Lopez probably has the biggest lock on the starting gig at center, but Channing Frye may push him as he did last year. Josh Childress, Grant Hill, Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick, Jared Dudley, and Earl Clark will battle it out for the 3 and 4 slots (with Childress likely to spend a lot of time at backup shooting guard). They've got a lot of weapons, a lot of versatilty, and no clear-cut leaders at those positions. Should be a fun competition.

Biggest strength: They're still the Suns. Even with the Amar'e bullet out of the chamber, they've got athletic guys who can run, shoot, and score. They work hard and are lead by one of the best point guards in NBA history. The formula has proven to work. The pieces aren't huge downgrades outside of the loss of Stoudemire, and they're used to overcoming adversity. They'll also still be entertaining as all get-out.

Glaring weakness: Super-punch. They lack a superstar outside of Nash. That's going to be hard to compete with in the Western Conference. Someone has to make a huge step if they want to make the playoffs again.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com