Rejoice, Suns fans! John Hollinger is predicting that the Suns will finish 54-28 with the third seed in the west by way of the seeding rules (otherwise, he would have us a distant fourth to Dallas). Evidently, he didn't get the memo that Amare's knee is fine, because he's predicting the exact same record for the 2007-08 Suns as the 2005-06 Amare-less edition. I'm going to take this as a good sign. It made me a little nervous last year when Hollinger started predicting good things for the Suns. Something just wasn't right in the world. Now that he's predicting doom and gloom again (by our standards), I feel much better. Thanks, John!
- Paul Coro's latest blog entry says Amare may be back in time for the preseason. It also sounds like Shawn Marion may be doing better behind the three-point line lately. That's good news, but I'm thinking some of our male readers might enjoy this more.
- Speaking of blogs and Shawn Marion, Steve Kerr has chimed in on the official Suns.com blog with a State of the Suns post. I hadn't really thought about it before, but I guess it makes sense he would contribute to the blogs given his media experience. Here's what he has to say about Shawn:
There were plenty of things to be excited about, but to me what stood out most was the attitude and play of Shawn Marion. You're all aware of his trade demands a couple of weeks ago, and the concern coming into camp was how Shawn would respond to his teammates and visa versa. Having been a player in this league for 15 years, I understand that there's a business side to the game and a basketball side. The frustration Shawn felt was based on the business side, and now that the season is beginning, he knows it's time to play basketball. He's extremely important to our team - a guy who makes everyone around him better - and I was happy to see him playing like his usual self (He had 30 points and 10 boards in Saturday night's intrasquad scrimmage). Most importantly, he displayed high energy, great enthusiasm and simply enjoyed being around his teammates. I don't think there will be any lasting effects from the summer issues, because Shawn is a pro who takes great pride in his daily performance for the team. He's going to be fine, and I'd be surprised if he didn't have another All-Star year for us.
- Last but not least, I neglected to mention last week that SBNation has a new Orlando Magic blog called Third Quarter Collapse. For anyone curious about the name it's explained here. So if you want to read up on the team Hollinger that thinks will finish first in the Southeast (or if you just want to rub some salt in the Grant Hill wound), hop on over and check it out.