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Filling the Glass: Weekly Suns Checkup for 11/16/2007

Welcome to Week 2 of Bright Side of the Sun's weekly armchair-based checkup of the Suns' progress in this still very young season. When we left off in Week 1, the Suns were 3-2 with an especially ugly loss to the Lakers still fresh in the minds of fans. While some people objected to the notion that the Suns were something less than perfectly fine, others were less than impressed with the Suns' performance, especially against the Hawks and the Lakers. As for me, I fell into the "glass half full" side of things, but also noted that the Suns would need to be better than "half full" come May and June.

One week later (technically one week and a day later, but who's counting?), the Suns have stretched their winning streak out to four games. They now sit 7-2, and are tied with the Hornets, Spurs, and Jazz for the West's top record. But even in a perfect week record-wise, there is still much to prove with it being so early in the season. And so, we will once again look at the glass half empty and glass half full perspectives.

Glass Half Empty View:

  • The Suns have won their past four games, but their wins have come mostly against discombobulated teams with losing records.
  • Mike D'Antoni is back to being a miser with the minutes for all but his top seven guys.
  • Amare Stoudemire still can't seem to stay out of foul trouble.
  • Why was Eric Piatkowski playing in the New York game instead of one of the rookies?
  • For that matter, why were the starters even still in that game once the Suns got up by 21?
  • Uh oh, Steve Nash's shoulder is aching again.
Glass Half Full View:
  • It's not the Suns' fault that the schedule-makers have them playing teams like the Knicks while the Mavericks get to play the Spurs and Rockets.
  • That win in Orlando was very impressive, given that they did it without Raja Bell, and it was the fourth game in five nights.
  • Leandro Barbosa is on fire, Grant Hill is really starting to fit in (he's even making threes now), and Steve Nash can still dominate a game with playmaking, even when his shot's not falling. Oh yeah, that Amare guy is back from injury too.
  • Steve is down to 33.6 minutes per game, and while the offense doesn't hum along perfectly when he's on the bench, with Grant Hill around, it doesn't usually fall completely apart anymore either.
  • Anyone who wants to complain about Eric Piatkowski receiving minutes over the rooks might want to remember the 2003 Spurs and one Steve Kerr who came off the bench in a Piatkowski-type role to three-point the Spurs past the Mavericks.
It's kind of hard to argue with a perfect week. The Suns took care of business. Maybe they didn't beat the Knicks by 30, and maybe they let the Bulls hang around a little longer than expected, but ultimately, all wins count the same just like all losses count the same. The Suns will take on the Rockets tomorrow, which should offer more of a challenge whether or not Tracy McGrady plays. But for those who won't consider the Suns legit until they prove they can beat Dallas and San Antonio, the wait will be an excruciatingly long one--the Suns don't play either of those teams until mid-December. In the meantime, things are definitely looking up compared to where they were a week ago. Most everyone is well on the way to recovery from the various injuries that marred the start of the season, and we're starting to get a glimpse of what this team might look like once everything comes together. With the caveat that the season is still fairly new and I want to leave plenty of room for improvement, I will pronounce the glass 60% full. We'll do this again in a week.

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