This time of year allows all of us to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for. As my wife reminds me, I need to be thankful for what I get, not for what I would like to get. No, I am not talking about that you deviants; I am talking about the Suns.
So in the spirit of the holidays, here are the top ten things I am thankful for about the Suns.
10. ROSTER TURNOVER
With all of the changes made to this roster, I can most definitely state that this season has been far more interesting than last year. Watching the same old, and I mean old, personnel clinging on to the glory of the good old days, was unwatchable. Good or bad, this team is interesting to watch. I can’t wait for it to be fun.
9. LAKERS STRUGGLES
I am usually not one to wish ill upon my rivals [oh who am I kidding, I can’t wait for Dook to go down in flames], I have to admit watching the “Super” team falling flat on their sacks is making me giddy. Don’t know how long that will last, but fun nevertheless. Oh, and apparently I was two days early on my prediction of when Kobe would start bashing his teammates.
8. MY DAUGHTER
As we were watching part of the game, my five year old daughter asked who the guy with the funny hair was [Beasley]. I asked why and I swear on my mother’s grave, she said “he doesn’t try very hard”. You can always count on little kids to tell it like it is. And mom, if you read this, ignore the part about the grave. Love you.
7. DARYL MOREY
Sure, you can make the case that he screwed us out of drafting Jeremy Lamb and other various undermining moves, but let me ask you something. Who would you rather have, Lin, Lamb and Patterson, or Dragic and Scola? Frankly, Dragic and anyone gets my vote. Lin will always be a poor man’s Dragic, Patterson will always be a tweener bench player and I have no idea what Lamb will be if anything. Thanks to Daryl Morey, for pushing Goran to sign here.
6. DOMINANT PLAY
Keep in mind, this is about being thankful for what we are given, not a time to gripe about what we are not. In several quarters this season, the Suns have put together dominant defensive performances to climb out of double digit deficits. If you had only watched those stretches, and not known we were behind, you would be talking championship. So I am thankful that we have been given glimpses of brilliant play.
5. KENDALL MARSHALL
I love a guy who has two L’s at the end of each of his names. I am thankful that the Suns drafted Marshall, who has clearly lifted the Suns through his lighting of a fire under Sebastian Telfair. Telfair clearly got the message that he better bring defensive intensity and run this club and stop thinking about his own play. While his numbers haven’t been any better, his impact has clearly been felt in a positive way. Plus, Marshall is getting schooled in how to be a professional, what he needs to bring to the table, and being given time to get there. I still believe that Marshall will matter to this franchise, and I just hope that isn’t the Tar Heel in me.
4. ALVIN GENTRY
I love the fact that Gentry is willing to play the guys that bring it. You can criticize a number of things about Gentry’s coaching, but the fact he is willing to sit guys without fear of retribution is something to behold. And he seems to be doing so without too much grief from the players, despite a losing record. Thanks Coach, more please.
3. PJ TUCKER
I think had the Suns passed up on Tucker and signed Diogu, we probably would be sitting here with a 2-11 record. Seriously! I cannot even imagine Diogu impacting the game, while I think Tucker has single-handedly won us several games. Maybe not through any particular play, but he certainly has shown that hustle, determination and having no fear produces results. Most of this team has picked up on that and the results have been spurts of inspired play.
2. GORAN DRAGIC
Equal to Tucker’s impact, Dragic has been everything we could have ever dreamed for thus far. An all-defense point guard, Dragic disrupts the opponent almost as much as Tucker, is in constant motion and never quits on that end, despite also being our go-to guy offensively. At the other end, if not for teammates failing to make shots, he may be second in the league in assists. Everyone keeps saying he is no “you know who”, but I don’t care anymore, because Dragic is getting it done and the other guy is nowhere to be found. Thanks Goran. You make this season worth watching.
Finally, I am thankful that I don’t live in DC, Sacramento, Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans, Orlando, Indiana or Minnesota. I am sitting here in my shorts and t-shirt, enjoying my backyard, and we are only one game below 500. Phoenix is pretty nice.
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