Another year over. A new one just begun.
Before we move fully into 2015, let's look back on 2014 for a moment.
You (most assuredly) already read the Year in Review post, so this has been covered for the most part. The Suns now boast the league's 6th best offense - higher than at ANY point last season - and the 21st ranked defense (ranging from 15-21, about the same as last year).
Alex Len has emerged as a true rotation player, one of only three 21-or-younger starting centers in the NBA and one of only two starting for a playoff contender (Steven Adams, OKC). The other is Andre Drummond. Nerlens Noel and Anthony Davis are in the same mold, but are power forwards rather than centers.
Goran Dragic has approached his All-NBA numbers in December, down only slightly in shooting percentages and assists. Eric Bledsoe's shooting is a bit down as well, but he's a nightly triple-double waiting to happen. Bledsoe is one of only four NBA players this season putting up 15+ points, 5+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 1.5+ steals per game (Curry, Westbrook and Harden are the others) and also one of only four NBA players (Bryant, Rondo, Carter-Williams) with multiple triple doubles this year.
Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green have played as advertised, both good and bad. Markieff Morris is an underrated star of advanced stats, including ranking as the 20th highest "RPM" in the league according to ESPN. Marcus Morris is shooting a career-high on threes, as is P.J. Tucker.
The FO did not panic this summer when they lost out on the big fish, preferring to sign players to great deals and setting themselves up for future trades. The worst signing wasn't really that bad - Anthony Tolliver for $3 million - and he was easily shipped to Detroit when he lost his rotation spot.
You could ding the FO for not acquiring that superstar, or not finding better players in the draft who could join Len in the rotation. You could also ding them for even trying for superstars this summer while letting Channing Frye go to Orlando.
Everyone's an armchair coach, so it's no surprise that Hornacek rates well after wins and poorly after losses. Overall, the rookie coach (first full calendar year in 2014) went 47-39 in 2014 with the second youngest (OKC) above-.500 team over that stretch.
I think the blog had a pretty good year too. Here's some numbers:
- Readers from 230 different countries across the globe (from the US to the South Sudan)
- 2.8 million visits (up 120%)
- 1.5 million unique readers by IP address (up 40%)
- Our Slovenian readership has more than tripled!
- Our most-viewed article of the year was just posted last week - the trade possibilities article by Kellan: 146,033 reads!
- The writing staff expanded to 17 great writers (though some could be called 'staff emeritus')
- We rank in the top 10 among all SB Nation NBA team blogs
- We have more readers than any other local Suns blog
Rate em all!
For the first time, you can rate the front office too! I threw in the Suns Dancers and the Gorilla for some fun.
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