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Tag:Phoenix Suns
Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:22 am
 

Report: Howard has asked Magic to get Steve Nash

Posted by Royce Young

Would acquiring Steve Nash make Dwight Howard a happy man in Orlando? (Getty Images)

The Suns may want to re-sign Steve Nash, but that doesn't mean the trade rumors are going to go away. And it also doesn't mean they're not going to answer the phone when someone calls about him.

There's already the rumor of Lamar Odom being talked about for Nash, but here's one with some larger implications: Nash to the Magic. Via HoopsWorld:
The Orlando Magic has made offers for Nash in the past and sources close to the situation say that they’ll attempt to acquire the 16-year veteran in the next two weeks. Dwight Howard has asked the front office to pursue Nash and sources close to Howard believe he won’t exercise his early termination option if the team is able to acquire Nash and re-sign him this summer.
That... would be interesting. And it makes a decent amount of sense. Something a lot of us aren't thinking about is that Howard's not technically a free agent this summer. He just had the option to terminate his contract early and become one. So if the Magic were doing good things or he felt like he wanted to give them more time, he could just stick around and make us all go through this again in 2013.

Bringing in Nash would certainly make him reconsider though. You're talking a Hall of Fame point guard to pair with the best big man in basketball. That's a pretty good combination. The Magic would almost certainly have to take on some money in this deal as the Suns aren't going to let Nash go for nothing. But GM Otis Smith has shown a willingness in the past to mix things up in an effort to win, so I'm sure every single player on the roster would be available, except Howard.

As we near closer to the March 15 deadline, I think you'll see one of two things happen with Orlando. A) They trade Howard or B) they keep him and make an aggressive trade to try and win this year, while also convincing him to stick around later.

Nash has refused to ask for a trade from the Suns, but this deal would be good for him as he tries to compete for a title in the twilight of his career. The Suns aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so pairing Nash with Howard would at least give the Magic a relative shot. Would they be able to beat the Heat or Bulls in a series? It would be tough. But it's not just about this year, but the bigger picture. And if Howard wants Nash and Smith delivers, that could go a long ways to keeping No. 12 in Orlando.
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:19 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 10:43 pm
 

Report: Mavs shopping Odom for Nash

Could the Mavericks trade Lamar Odom for Steve Nash? (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

Steve Nash has said a hundred times he doesn't want to be traded, and the Suns say they want to extend him. Lamar Odom isn't even with the Mavericks, as he's away on personal reasons (though Mark Cuban denies that he is considering missing the rest of the season). But there's a rumor being discussed which involves a swap for the two. From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The word on the streets is that the Mavs may trade Lamar Odom to Phoenix for Steve Nash. That will get Odom closer to his home in LA.
via Twitter / @DwainPrice: The word on the streets is ....

There are a lot of trade rumors which seem particularly stupid. This one transcends that and goes into its own world. This is the kind of trade rumor you hear on an absinthe binge. It is the "Fear and Loathing at the Trade Deadline" of trade rumors. I'm sure the talk on the street is legit, but there's just no way this trade gets constructed unless it's part of a much larger deal. 

First off, if the Suns are finally, after all this time, going to move their franchise player, former-two-time-MVP, all-world point guard and leader, are they going to do so for Odom's remaining salary when he's understandably struggled with personal issues and conditioning after being traded from L.A. which he clearly did not want to leave. There would have to be more involved, but the Mavericks aren't really in a position to add considerably more for Nash. There's Rodrigue Beaubois, and Dominique Jones, and sure, the Mavericks might give Marion back to clear space for a big 2012 free agent, but that's just it. If they're clearing space, they're going to want to clear space for both Deron Williams and Howard. 

This could be being talked about, but it's missing a bunch of much bigger components if so.
Posted on: February 29, 2012 3:16 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 3:16 pm
 

Report: Suns want to re-sign Nash, not trade him

Nash hasn't and won't request a trade from the Suns. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

By every account, whether it's NBA insiders, the Suns or Steve Nash himself, the ageless Phoenix point guard isn't getting traded.

Question is, why? He's 38 years old, the Suns aren't going anywhere in the near future and you'd think Nash would want a shot at chasing a title somewhere. Here's a surprising reason via ESPN.com -- because the Suns would actually like to re-sign Nash.
Because Suns owner Robert Sarver, according to sources close to the situation, continues to hold out hope that he can convince Nash to re-sign this summer for at least two seasons.

[...]

Sarver, though, is apparently determined to try to convince Nash to retire in the desert. The thinking there, sources say, is that the Suns believe they'd have a better core going forward with a re-upped Nash, center Marcin Gortat, cap space and a top pick in the well-regarded 2012 draft than with the sort of assets they could bring back now in a deadline deal for a 38-year-old point guard who, even as he continues to play at an All-Star level, is just a few months away from free agency.
The second question is, why would Nash re-sign with the Suns though? Loyalty is one thing, but unless something drastic changes within that organization, the Suns aren't going to be resurfacing as a Western contender soon. Nash would be an unrestricted free agent this summer and with teams like the Knicks and probably Mavericks ready to come calling, two teams with contending capabilities, it would make sense that Nash leave Phoenix.

But just because the Suns would like to re-sign Nash doesn't mean it won't eventually make sense to deal him. His value is certainly as high as it'll ever be right now and there would likely be a few teams ready to step up. One being the Portland Trail Blazers who according to the report "has been interested in Nash for a while."

The Suns reportedly aren't getting big-time offers for Nash though, presumably because of his advanced age. Still, you can't deny his production which has been at an incredibly efficient level. Nash is too much of a class act to demand a trade, but you know he doesn't want to spend the twilight of his career plodding along on a mediocre team. He wants to chase a title. It might just a matter of who that will be with.
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 18, 2012 12:52 am
Edited on: February 18, 2012 1:03 am
 

Shannon Brown putback dunk vs. Lakers video

Posted by Ben Golliver

A former member of the Los Angeles Lakers got in a late highlight against his old team in the closing minutes of a Friday night game at Staples Center.

Phoenix Suns guard Shannon Brown threw down a big putback dunk against the Lakers with a little more than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Brown crashed the boards untouched by Lakers big men Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, sneaking in to snare the ball with his left hand before clutching it with both hands to throw it down with two hands.

Brown, 26, is averaging a career-high 9.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game after signing with the Suns in December. Long known as a high flier, Brown competed in the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest. 

The Lakers went on to win, 111-99. Brown finished with 15 points and 1 rebound on 6-for-11 shooting in 20 minutes for Phoenix.

Heres' the video of Phoenix Suns guard Shannon Brown throwing down against his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Posted on: February 14, 2012 1:23 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 1:27 pm
 

How Stoudemire and Melo can fit with Lin

Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin can flourish if they trust in how their coach has succeeded in the past.
(Getty Images)


By Matt Moore 


When the Knicks take the floor in Toronto Tuesday night, there will be more media than Toronto will likely receive at any point this season. There will be multiple national writers in attendance, television crews, tabloid writers and bloggers flocking around a 23-year-old undrafted point guard out of Harvard named Jeremy Lin.

Perhaps you've heard of him.

Linsanity is still at its peak, where it will remain until Lin has a genuinely poor game and the Knicks lose. Both have to happen simultaneously. Lin's last performance against the Timberwolves was not great, but it was still productive if not efficient and more importantly the Knicks won. But whether it's tonight or later this week or later this month, eventually Lin will have a bad game and the Knicks will lose. The fever pitch will abate and the season will move on, as the media machine finds something else to freak out about.

But at that point, the Knicks will still have to try and make this thing work.

The biggest question on Tuesday night centers around not only will Lin keep up his phenomenal play, but will he be able to integrate Amar'e Stoudemire into the action. Stoudemire returns to the Knicks Tuesday for the first time since leaving last week following the death of his brother. Given Stoudemire's struggles not only from the floor this season, but in finding a role in the offense, there are high hopes (to put it mildly) that Lin's operation of the pick and roll will open up things for STAT.

And with good reason.

Lin's best work during this five-game winning streak that has seen his meteoric rise to instant stardom has been in the pick and roll, the area where Stoudemire does the most damage. Years of working with Steve Nash in Phoenix taught Amar'e the angle of attack on the roll and how to create space from the defender depending on his reaction to the screen. Stoudemire's not Blake Griffin, so don't expect Lob City, but Lin's ability to drop the bounce pass between defenders means Stoudemire should open up in the offense. For reference, Stoudemire in his last year in Phoenix had 17.7 percent of his touches in the pick and roll set. This year with the Knicks? Just 6.2 percent. Basically the Knicks have not put Stoudemire in one of his best offensive sets. That's largely because they have lacked a ball-handler to do so. Toney Douglas' decision making struggles in the open floor. He's more of an A-or-B binary option circuit. Pass standing or drive. Shoot or kick.

Lin, however, works much better in the pick and roll. His biggest strength is his patience and comfort off the screen, and his decision-making is key. He understand the timing of the set, or at least he has for the past five games. If the defense hedges on Lin and pulls back to defend the drive from Stoudemire, STAT can pick and pop, shred at the elbow unguarded. If this sounds familiar, that's because it is. This is the same dynamic that brought Stoudemire such success in Phoenix with Steve Nash. Jeremy Lin is not Steve Nash. But Mike D'Antoni is still Mike D'Antoni. And this can work.

Linsanity
So, what, then, of Melo? That's the million-dollar-question.

The debate rages about how to use Anthony effectively alongside Lin. Anthony, after-all, is a big fan of the Isolation set, the ball in his hands, able to navigate the floor and search out his own shot, at which he's an elite scorer. But that's not the most effective offense, as shown by the Knicks' early returns. Most of the talk from both pro and con sides have centered around vague generalities. "Melo will use Lin to create open shots" and "Melo can work on his own and with Lin." Melo himself said Monday all the things you want to hear as a Knicks fan, saying he would be giving Lin the ball and getting out of the way. But there's a specific role that D'Antoni's history leads us to with Melo. If Anthony wants to be the most successful he can be, he doesn't have to sacrifice shots or production. He just has to copy the Matrix.

In 2006-2007, Shawn Marion was playing alongside Amar'e Stoudemire in the final year of the team that came to be known as the Seven Seconds or Less Suns. The pace was what always brought up comments and the play of Steve Nash and Stoudemire brought the praise, but the real function behind the Suns was ball movement and careful shot selection. There's a reason Don Nelson's run-and-gun Warriors didn't touch the Suns' success, because the system relied upon deceptively quality shots. Marion was never really appreciated for his contribution alongside Nash and Stoudemire, and in fact needed years to shed a poor defensive reputation as a result of the system's reputation.

But Anthony is a much better offensive player and a much worse defensive player. So how does he fit?

In 2007, Marion took 13.4 shots per game. 27 percent of his possessions came from spot-up shots, according to Synergy Sports. 22 percent came in transition, and 17 percent came off the cut. In short, he filled in the gaps. Do you want Anthony, who spent 32 percent of his possessions in isolation plays before his injury, filling in the gaps? No, but the gap between Marion's 13.4 2007 field goal attempts and Marion's 18.8 2012 isn't huge. When Nash would split the defense and the third defender would rotate to challenge at the rim, there would be Marion, spot-up on the baseline or cutting to the rim.

Easy shots.

That baseline shot was particularly deadly, with Marion's quick flip release. He had his share of dunks off the attention drawn by the pick and roll as well. They weren't long, mid-range jumpers, they were replicable, makeable shots. 

When you put an elite scorer in a position to make easy shots, your efficiency goes up, which forces the defense to adjust to that, which opens up things for Lin and Stoudemire, which forces the defense... you get the idea.

Anthony can still work in isolation. A drive and kick from Lin means that the second and third defenders Melo has been seeing will be occupied. And Anthony one-on-one in the flow of an offense, in rhythm is deadly, nearly as deadly as him uncovered. There's a way to make Anthony not just good at what he does, but better. To put him in a position to attack the glass. To take the most shots on the team and still not stop the ball. It's complicated. It's tenuous. It relies on Lin being as good if not better than he's been in the offense.

Mike D'Antoni's system has a lot of flaws, draws a lot of criticism, but one thing it can do is create efficient scoring with a talented point guard. He hasn't had that in New York. For the last five games, he's found that in Jeremy Lin. It's an opportunity for Lin, for Melo, for Stoudemire to live up to the potential the Knicks were supposed to have. It may be their last chance to live up to the hype.

Oh, and Anthony should take a look at Marion's defense, too.
Posted on: February 13, 2012 3:29 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 3:30 pm
 

Steve Nash doesn't know if the Suns will deal him

Nash hasn't and won't request a trade from the Suns. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Steve Nash is 38 years old. He's on an expiring contract. And he's playing on a pretty average team.

Common sense might say that Nash would prefer to get out of Phoenix and head to a contender to play out his NBA twilight chasing a ring. Or that the Suns would like to move Nash for a couple of draft picks and young assets to start a rebuild. But so far, neither of those things have happened, nor does it sound like they will.

"I have no idea what the club will eventually do if a bunch of offers are thrown in their face," Nash told SI.com, "but I feel like I'm not nervous about [the trade deadline] and I'm not thinking about -- what's the word? -- I'm not anticipating anything to happen. I feel like I made a commitment and I feel like I owe it to my teammates -- the city, the fans, the club -- to play it out and to play as hard as I can."

Nash has already said he wouldn't request a trade from the Suns. He's loyal, he's committed and he wants to play somewhere he fits. That doesn't mean he might try and look elsewhere next season as a free agent.

But the thing with Nash is, despite being 38, he's having a ridiculous season. He's an All-Star, shooting 56.3 percent from the field and averaging 10.3 assists a game. He's defying age and reason by having maybe his most efficient season yet. And that's without Amar'e Stoudemire or other gifted offensive players. If there was any remaining debate about who made who better, Nash is the constant.

But would the Suns pull the trigger even if Nash is committed? Maybe. And they might actually be getting closer.
One executive whose team has had serious interest in Nash in the past told SI.com that the Suns are "as close as they've ever been" to realizing that they need to seriously consider pulling the trigger on a trade if a young star is offered in return. Still, it appears the greater likelihood is that he remains.

"Our position has been the same all along, which is I've told him that he has earned the right to stay with our franchise as long as he wants provided that he believes in what we're doing, and provided that he's all in and wants to do that," Babby told SI.com.

Nash said he wants to keep playing another couple of years and why wouldn't he? If he's this good at 38, think how good he'll be at 40. Nash is like fine wine -- just better the older it gets.
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 4, 2012 2:48 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 3:28 pm
 

Report: Miller gets year in jail for pistol whip

Posted by Ben Golliver
Oliver Miller is reportedly heading to jail on an assault charge. (Getty Images)

The Big O is headed to the big house. 

Former NBA player Oliver Miller has reportedly been sentenced to a year in jail after he was convicted of first-degree assault for arrested for pistol-whipping a man at a Maryland barbecue back in April. 

HometownAnnapolis.com has the details.
[Judge Paul A.] Hackner sentenced Miller to five years of prison, suspending all but one year. He recommended work release and ordered five years of probation upon release. Miller is to have no contact with the victim, Jason Ray Worley, 32, and must complete anger management. His attorney, Paul Mack, called the sentence reasonable.

Prosecutors say at least three people saw Miller, known as "The Big O" during his nine-season NBA career, attack his girlfriend's brother, Worley, in front of the victim's home on Birchcrest Court in Arnold on April 17.

Deputy State's Attorney Thomas Fleckenstein said Miller got out of his car and "blindsided" Worley while he talked to his sister - Miller's girlfriend - using a handgun to repeatedly strike Worley in the face and head.
Miller, 41, plead guilty to the first-degree assault charge in November. He was facing up to 25 years in prison but had no prior convictions. 

Miller, who has reportedly tipped the scales at more than 400 pounds, played nine seasons in the NBA, averaging 7.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The journeyman center played for the Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Hat tip: HoopsHype.com
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:51 pm
 

Robin Lopez suspended one game

By Matt Moore

The NBA suspended Phoenix center Robin Lopez one game Wednesday for illegal contact with an official during the Suns' Tuesday night loss to the Raptors. From the Arizona Republic
The suspension will keep Lopez out of the Suns' Friday night game at Portland.

Lopez's temper was stoked when he missed a post-up attempt against Toronto's Andrea Bargnani and felt he was fouled on the second-quarter play. Lopez raced back on defense and needlessly reach in to foul big man Linas Kleiza about 40 feet from the basket before turning his ire and glare toward Mott.

A time out whistle stopped play. As Lopez walked toward the Suns bench, he brushed Mott with his left shoulder as Mott backed away. Lopez did not appear to make an attempt to avoid Mott, who then ejected Lopez. The three game officials had a brief conference and the decision stood.
via azcentral.com blogs - Coro's Orange Slices - PaulCoro - Suns center Robin Lopez could be suspended.

NBA rules and regulations state that the player will automatically be suspended for at least one game for any illegal contact with an official. So not a huge deal. Lopez continues to ride a rollercoaster in Phoenix. He will not be extended by the Suns despite being a part of the class up for the big pay day. Marcin Gortat continues to take up most of the minutes at center.

So, yeah, not a great week for Robin Lopez.  
 
 
 
 
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