So, you think it's the year of the Dragon?
Think again. There is one guy that has even more to prove.
Marcin Gortat had a pretty good year. He was one of 3 centers to average a double double, he pushed his career averages way up and he cemented himself as a Robin to Nashes Batman.
But now, during a completely new era for the suns he is the backbone of a team searching for new identity. He is the guy that needs to produce each and every day for this team to have a chance of even flirting with a playoff spot. And all that without Steve - the greatest PnR player of all time.
So what did the Hammer do? The only thing he ever knew. He worked his ass off. He carried a mediocre Poland team through Fiba Europe qualifying averaging 21/11/2 in 8 games of the tournament. He battled double and triple teams for a 62 FG% and finished the key game against Finland with a 4/4 final quarter and a 27/21 double double.
He is hungry. He knows Euro Quali was nothing compared to the NBA regular season. But he seems ready. He seems determined to prove he is a Top 5 all-around center. That ESPN NBA Rank (that advanced him 18 spots BTW year-to-year) still is underestimating him putting so many other Centers in front of him... Nene, Cousins (43% shooting??? Seriously?), Al Jefferson (no D whatsoever), Andrew Bogut (PER 14?!?!?!?!? 12 Games played?), Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert, Tyson Chandler... This seems harsh. Then we have the regulars, that are still better than Marcin - Marc Gasol, Bynum, Howard.
But is Gortat really the 13th best Center in the league? Can Thor allow it? This is the season with no alibi, no Nash, no lockout, no "This is my first season as a starter" BS. This is the Elite center vs. Limited hardworker time.
The time, Suns fans, is now. And it is, it will be, HAMMERTIME!!!!