Links from all over the map today which is befitting what Paul Coro describes as an identity crisis.
Suns facing an identity crisis
The Suns hardly look like the team that began the season 14-3 but are they as inconsistent as the 10-12 record since then suggests?
Maybe "crisis" is too strong of a word but there's certainly enough going wrong to be very concerned. The Suns as Alvin Gentry points out, are only 3 games out of 2nd place in the West and only 3 games ahead of 12th place. The margin for error is getting more and more slim (or is it getting slimmer? idk).
The question raised by the "identity crisis" article and from Gentry and Kerr's recent remarks are more troubling and have the potential to derail the entire season.
The issue (maybe) is that Gentry and Kerr are stressing the need for the team to focus on defense which makes total sense. When you have a big lead you protect it on the defensive end. But Nash, as we saw last year, is resistant to the team taking too much of a turn towards that direction and thinks the Suns should keep doing what they were doing that built the lead in the first place. Play hard, stay in rhythm and score.
Gentry has said that he's using Clark because of his defensive abilities (and he wants him to be more selective with his shot) and thinks that he's probably gone away from Robin Lopez too much and maybe even Goran and Jared.
How is Nash going to feel playing with guys that can't score the ball in a system that is slower and more focused on getting stops? We know the answer to that question. We saw it last season.
Hopefully, this will all work itself out. The Suns will still "be the Suns" but obviously are also going to try and mix in more of a defensive lineup and style of play. That change might solve "The Situation" or it could lead to other, deeper riffs in the vaunted team chemistry.
Stay tuned (insert dramatic music here). Defense
Why are the Suns blowing leads?| Valley of the Suns
Who is to blame for the Phoenix Suns' lead-blowing ways? Head coach Alvin Gentry or the players?
KTAR.com - Gentry displeased with Suns pattern of losing leads
"If [a blown lead] happens one or two times then you can deal with it, it happens 12-15 times then obviously it's a pattern," Gentry said on Tuesday before the team took off for their four-game in six days road trip. "To me that's something we have to resolve and some solution has to come because I think we're going to struggle if we're good enough to build a lead but then at some stage have to play from behind."
NBA Playbook – A Look At The Playcalling In The NBA Through Videos, Pictures, & Words " Morning Shootaround: The Pacers Out-Sun The Suns
When you think the Suns, you think fastbreak points and three pointers. However, against the Pacers, the Suns were outrun (Pacers +4 in fastbreak points) and outshot (Pacers +15 from three).
Friday Morning Shootaround - Benson Taylor - The Baseline - Sporting News
In fact, Hawks coach Mike Woodson fears Nash so much that he's developed a "Nash rule" to try to defend him on the pick-and-role, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
NBA D-League: Eight Energy players hit double figures in Iowa's win at Sioux Falls | desmoinesregister.com | The Des Moines Register
The Energy win and Taylor Griffin isn't mentioned in the local paper....He's averaging Taylor Griffin: min/29.4 FG%/.463 3P%/ .214 FT%/.647 OReb/1.40 DReb/5.10 TReb/6.50 APG/2.2 SPG/1.50 BPG/.40 TO/2.40 and Points per game/10.1
Gilbert Arenas reaches plea agreement, is pissed at the Wizards - Bullets Forever
What a disaster...there's plenty of blame to go around in this one
Courthouse News Service
Shaquille O'Neal's company wants a businessman to stop selling items over the Internet that feature a cartoon character of the basketball star in the form of a cactus. The character plays on O'Neal's nickname as "The Big Shaqtus" after his move to the Phoenix Suns in 2008. Mine O'Mine, of which O'Neal is president, secretary and treasurer, owns several trademark registrations for the exclusive use of O'Neal's name and image, the federal complaint states.
- The Official Phoenix Suns Blog " Blog Archive " Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Running This Saturday
Behind the Box Score, where the Nugs destroyed the Magic - Ball Don't Lie - NBA Blog - Yahoo! Sports
but it just continues to shock the way this Indiana team always seems to fall behind by 25 within the first 15 minutes of a game. Never seen anything like it.
NBA trade season: Top 25 players most likely to be dealt - ESPN
According to Chad Ford, Suns "would like to get" Jeff Foster and won't likely deal Amare at the deadline.
SLAM ONLINE | " Links: Embedded With The Atlanta Hawks
Great read. Highly recommend this one
Recent Radio Interviews via Sports 620 KTAR
Alvin Gentry on Gambo and Ash
Jared Dudley on Gambo and Ash
Jerry Colangelo on Gambo and Ash (talks about Gilbert Arenas)
Tim Kempton on Doug and Wolf