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Center of the Sun: Phoenix Suns get hammered on the court this week and go 0-3

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Playoff dreams for the Suns are probably just that... dreams

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

Game Recaps

vs Minnesota Timberwolves L (112-111) Full Recap

@ Denver Nuggets L (127-120) Full Recap

vs Denver Nuggets L (123-112) Full Recap

The Suns are once again dead last in the Western Conference standings and only the Brooklyn Nets have a worse record in the NBA. With ten games to play and about two and a half weeks remaining before the All Star break and the subsequent trade deadline, it's time to pull the plug on any remaining playoff dreams that the Suns may have. I'm not jumping on the "tank" bandwagon and I still want the Suns to try and win every game they play but they just have to try to do that while giving more minutes to the rookies and younger players. LOTS of minutes. And I'm not advocating a fire sale to move any of the vets to free up those minutes. At some point McD and Watson need to sit down with the vets, tell them that the plan for the rest of the season is to turn the keys over to the younger guys and then try to arrange trades for any of them that want out. After that, let the chips fall where they may while the Suns get some valuable experience for their younger players.

It's not only important to let the players know in what direction the Suns are going for the rest of the season but it's important to let the fans know too. Don't keep us in suspense, Ryan. Playoff hopes for the Suns are mostly fantasy at this point.

Key Stat

15-32

At this point no other statistic is as important as the win-loss column. The Suns are 6.5 games out of the eighth seed that the Suns were chasing after going 0-3 in what may have been their easiest weekly series of games this season. Next week the Suns will face a much tougher group of opponents. If the Suns couldn't make up some lost ground this past week, it's very unlikely that they are going to be able to do so during the rest of this season.

Quotes of the Week

“I have very little input, but if it was up to me, I love Tyson Chandler. I think our front office loves Tyson Chandler. Tyson wants to be a part of this process. He doesn’t mind the work and building.” - Earl Watson

“I’m a loyalty guy. I’m really taking pride in helping the process of these young players. If things change and somebody comes to me with a conversation, then I’ll have to address it, but I don’t even let my mind go there.” - Tyson Chandler

Rookie Report

Marquese Chriss - 12.1 mpg, 4.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.0 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.7 bpg

Dragan Bender - DNP (ankle injury)

Tyler Ulis - 5.9 mpg, 3.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.0 apg, 0.0 spg (2 DNP-CDs)

Stats courtesy of NBA.com

News & Notes

Devin Booker Breaks Down His Fast Ascension Among the League’s Elite. NBPA

Suns trade notebook: GM says next stretch will dictate how Phoenix acts at deadline. Arizona Sports

Devin Booker Igniting. BBall Breakdown

Suns' Watson: Booker, Bledsoe to be All-Stars soon enough. Doug Haller/AZCentral Sports

P.J. Tucker Q&A: What Does The NBA’s Sneaker King Take On The Road? Sports Illustrated

Suns’ T.J. Warren starting to get his legs back under him. Arizona Sports

Suns’ Earl Watson: Belief in Alex Len is not wavering. Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns' P.J. Tucker blocks out trade speculation. Doug Haller/AZCentral Sports

Eric Bledsoe’s career night against Raptors exemplifies growth in complementary role. Arizona Sports

Five NBA Players Who Won't Be Traded—But Should Be. SI/The Crossover

Suns Trivia

Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss were selected to play for the U.S. Team in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2017 in New Orleans.

Booker, who scored 23 points in last year’s Rising Stars Challenge in Toronto, joins Amare Stoudemire as the only Sun to play in the event twice.

Booker and Chriss are the first Suns teammates to play in it in the same year since Wesley Person and Trevor Ruffin in 1995 in Phoenix.

Chriss is the 10th Suns player to participate in the event, joining Person (1995), Ruffin (1995), Michael Finley (1996), Steve Nash (1997), Shawn Marion (2001), Stoudemire (2003 & 2004-MVP), Markieff Morris (2012), Miles Plumlee (2014) and Booker (2016 & 2017).

Previewing the Week Ahead

Monday, January 30th vs Memphis Grizzlies (28-21)

Wednesday, February 1st vs LA Clippers (30-18)

Friday, February 3rd @ Sacramento Kings (19-28)

Saturday February 4th vs Milwaukee Bucks (21-26)

A grueling four game week for the Suns this time but with three home games. Unfortunately none of the games look to be very winnable.

On Monday night Memphis comes to town and the Griz have proven to be a tough matchup for the Suns for quite a while. I think that the Suns will give them a good game but will lose in the end. Suns 0-1.

Wednesday night the Suns will face the Clippers in Phoenix. The Clips have been playing well even without Chris Paul and I don't expect that to change in Phoenix. Suns 0-2.

Next up the Suns head out on the road to take on the Sacramento Kings. Many people thought the Kings would be worse after losing Rudy Gay for the rest of the season but they seem to be playing a little better without him. If this game was in Phoenix I might give the Suns at least an even chance for a win but not in Sacramento. Suns 0-3.

And finally the Suns return home to face the Milwaukee Bucks after playing the Kings on the road the night before. This is the one game that I'm tempted to give Phoenix a little bit of an edge in this week... so what the hell. I'll call this one a close win for the Suns.

My optimistic prediction is that the Suns will go 1-3.

How do you think the Suns will fare this week?