Phoenix Suns Week in Review 1/22-1/29: Place Head in Palms of Hands

Your Phoenix Suns finalized a week of putrid basketball that most likely led to Mr. Orng taking a shower and tossing his Orange spray paint into a bonfire. Yet the week ended with the only victory in 7 days, a victory over a strong Grizzlies squad, 86-84. It was a rare victory in part to the Suns shooting 36% from the field, which is no big surprise this season, yet marked the first time the Suns had shot so poorly yet still managed a W since 2009.

This week we pondered the future, rosterbated with the best of them, and watched our tweets for the inevitable Lopez trade, and perhaps less inevitable, Alvin Gentry getting sacked

  • Record for the week (January 22-29): 1-3
  • Overall record for the season: 7-12
  • Western Conference Position: 12th
  • Offensive Rating: 99.3 (23rd of 30); Points per game: 91.2 (23rd of 30)
  • Defensive Rating: 103.5 (21st of 30); Points allowed per game: 95.1 (15th of 30)

and here, my friends, is why:

Monday, 1/23, @ Dallas L, 87-93: No Dirk Nowitzki, no problem ya? No. Shawn Marion haunted his former team with 29 points, including 4 3-pointers while the Suns shot 37% from the field en route to a loss in Dallas, where they have lost 9 straight. Gortat went for 19 and 17, while Hill chipped in 19, and Nash dished out 12 assists. Said basketball sage and the tallest man know, 7-Footer:

Although The Suns' plan to shut down Terry and Odom worked pretty well, they weren't prepared for Shawn "3-point" Marion to light them up from beyond the arc. Marion was just 5-15 from three since the start of the season, and never attempted more then two per game. That all changed tonight as the former Sun shot an impressive 4-6 from three and 11-21 overall for 29 points on the night, his highest scoring game of the season.

Quote of the night: "Shawn was Dirk tonight," said Phoenix's Jared Dudley of Marion, a former Suns star.

Tuesday, 1/24 at home Vs. Toronto L, 96-99: For the second straight night, a former Sun played a large role in killing his former employer. Leandro Barbosa looked healthy-he was fast and accurate, hitting 7-14 of his shots while coupling with Andrea Bargnani to down the Suns 99-96. The big man finished with 36 points, 27 of them in the second half and the Raptors snapped an 14 game losing streak to the Suns and an 8 game losing streak overall. Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Steve Nash had 17 points and 14 assists, while Hakim Warrick scored 17 points. The Suns shot 47% from the field yet allowed the Raptors to go 8-15 from beyond the arc. Said Alex "The Truth" Laugan:

The Suns suddenly decided they were tired. Tired from a 5-game road trip that ended less than 24 hours earlier. Tired from playing against tough teams in the Eastern Conference on their turf. Tired from ending the trip against a tough Dallas team with Shawn Marion hitting big 3s.

Oh and yes, how can we forget the most exciting moment of the game, courtesy of Robin Lopez?

NBA CIRCLE - Toronto Raptors Vs Phoenix Suns Highlights Jan 24, 2012 Game Recap (via NBACIRCLE)

Quote of the night obviously: Alvin Gentry on the ejection: "I don't know. I don't really give a shit to tell the truth. You have to talk to him about that."

Friday, 1/27 @ Portland L, 71-109: I suppose we all remember this one vividly. Why get into the details, the world is depressing enough sometimes. The Suns were outscored, outhustled, and outclassed by the Blazers. The 38-point loss marked the third worst margin of defeat in Suns history. Said 7-Footer as he dusted off his Air Jordans in preparation of the Suns' probable statewide search for talent:

Since there simply isn't any one thing to put a finger on as the reason for the complete and utter collapse tonight, perhaps it's best to sum up the game in a word...Pathetic.

Quote of the Night: "We are going to make a change," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said of the lineup and rotation for Saturday's home game against Memphis. "We're going to do something because obviously this is not working with what we're doing now."

Saturday, 1/28 Vs. Memphis W, 86-84: Change evidently means a return to hopefulness as the Alvin Gentry restored the lineup that started the season against the Grizzlies at home, and it paid off. Well, for Jared Dudley it did, Channing Frye not so much. The Suns led by as many as 16 before losing their stranglehold on the Grizz. Jared Dudley hit 4 free throws in crunch time to seal the victory. The Suns shot 36% from the field but grabbed 18 offensive rebounds to aid in the win. Nash, Gortat, and Dudley did their thing, will rookie Markieff Morris had a nice game while coming off the bench. Said the always hygienically-concerned Eutychus:

I was very happy to see the team respond in such a positive manner with energy, hustle and focus after being embarrassed last night. Hopefully they can smell the sweetness of victory and seek to continue bathing in it.

Quote of the Night: "I've got cat feet, so usually I land on my feet," Dudley said. "If I don't land on my feet, you know it's a foul. I was trying to do a pull-up and couldn't get to it because I fell."

Weekly Awards & Criticism

Heroe(s): Alvin Gentry for returning Dudz to the starting lineup while benching Shannon Brown.

Who Sharted Their Pants: Easy. The Phoenix Suns.

I sharted.. - Along came Polly (via jaimebasurto)


Outlook:

Crappy. I'm not going to sugar coat this thing. There are a lot of empty purple seats at U.S. Airways Arena these days. And rightfully so. Remember those days when if the Suns didn't score 100 points, we all called it a "defensive battle," or an "off night?" Well scoring 100 points for this team would be a special treat. Like whipped cream inside a twinkie or a free beer at your local pub.

Jared Dudley has earned a starting role. Screw chemistry. If I were Mr. Gentry, I'd find away to keep him on the floor for 40 minutes a night. Why not? He's one of the few Suns that brings it every night. His shot may not be falling, but we all know it will come around eventually. He hustles, he dishes, he claws, and scratches and fights. He's like a feral cat with Nike's on his paws. And he can score. Yep, defend, rebound, and score. The trifecta my friends.

In conclusion...In most years 7-12 wouldn't look so awful. But the way the Suns have lost this season is awful. A 66-game season is awful, and in a year where the Suns can no longer be certain to claim 2nd place in the Pacific, there is little hope in turning things around for the long haul. Of course a trade could be in the works, but a deal this season would most likely set the team back instead of improve it to the point of contention.

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