The first Blogger Power Rankings have been released and your Phoenix Suns aren't in the top 3. Or the top 10 for that matter.
No worries. This team did better as the underdog in 04-05 and 05-06 and I am just fine coming into this season with low expectations. No where to go but up (how's that for some serious Bright Side mister!).
In other Suns news...
- Amare is happy and healthy and ready to kick some serious ass. Yes, Amare is a patriot. No, Amare doesn't regret staying home and taking care of his body.
- Shaq is comparing himself to old Japanese fat guys. I am guessing that wasn't his point but I just can't help seeing everything he says through $40m antique lenses
- Bob Young tries (and fails) to get Nash to admit that he's bored of basketball. Why doesn't Bob ask Steve about, you know, basketball?
- The objective reporters go to great lengths to prove they don't have a hometown bias
- But the Real McCoy see's things a slightly better light
- And for even more fun check out five reasons to hate the Spurs. Only five?
- Terry Porter enjoys getting his hands dirty
For four-plus years, Mike D'Antoni usually watched practice from the same place he watched games - on the sidelines, arms folded, using the same words but different inflections to hand out praise and admonishment.
In contrast, Porter rarely leaves the court. Players run around him to complete drills, and sometimes it looks like the offense or defense is playing 6-on-5 depending on his emphasis at the moment.
- And Paul Shirley came back to town to pimp a book he wrote two years ago but didn't stop by and say hi to us. I guess we are still in the blogger equivalent of the Euro 2nd League. You would think Paul would be more sympathetic. I guess star power knows no bounds
- I am getting the sense that "Pony Boy" Amundson is going to get backup minutes at Center when Shaq is taking his nights off to recover his chi. That's good because I don't really want to see Boris or Amare playing center any more but it also means Monsieur Diaw will be seeing very limited minutes playing strictly behind Amare. Would you want to be the guy that only plays while Amare is resting? No. Me either
- Barbosa is feeling much better now that his mother has been taken off a ventilator as she continues to recover from a serious illness
- Suns fans you asked for a deeper rotation and a greater role for the bench and it certainly looks like you are going to get it
"Our second unit is going to be a second unit that comes in that's got to bring energy," Porter said. "Obviously, they've got to maintain our lead, or if we don't have a lead, get us a lead."
"I think we have a lot of versatility on that bench and, depending on the situation, we'll bring different guys off the bench," Porter said. "I think that bench should take pride in being able to come on the floor and really help us."
He wants a unit that can count on getting defensive stops, execute successful plays in the half-court and win games even when its shots aren't falling. He wants a rotation where second-unit players will fight for playing time and even a starting assignment, and enough depth that foul trouble won't dictate a back-down in ferocity.
"When you look at good teams, that second unit is always motivating or pushing the first guys, keeping them sharp in practice and not letting them slip. That's very important," Porter said. "On all the good teams I've been on, sometimes that's the key. Those veterans won't have a chance to slip. Every day, they've got to come ready, because they've got somebody young going at them and attacking them."
- You are also going to get lots and lots of fouls from a team that's going to be more concerned about not giving up layups then about getting into foul trouble (or mucking the game up)
- As the great Shogun once said "With depth comes brutality"