Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.
Team Suns (U.S.) vs The World L (150-141) Full Recap
The loss to New Orleans was close but the win against the Lakers wasn't. And I loved it even though it let the Lakers pull a little closer to the Suns in the reverse rankings for that coveted high draft pick that is pretty much all that Suns fans have to hope for this season. The last word on the draft order is always the lottery so we will have to wait for that to know where our draft pick will fall no matter where we end up at the end of the season. The lottery hasn’t been kind to us in the past so we’re due for some good luck. That really means nothing but we’re still due... overdue in fact.
With the trade deadline rapidly approaching everyone has an opinion on what Ryan McDonough should do. Although there are plenty of rumors but little real info to go on for anyone trying to figure what he actually will do. The only thing that I'm fairly certain of is that he isn't going to give away any of the Suns' players that have been the subject of numerous trade rumors. Beyond that your guesses are as good as mine but perhaps we won’t have to wait until the last second for something to happen this year. With the Kings sending DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans I think that other teams might just start pulling the trigger on deals now since DMC is already off the market.
Having Booker, Chriss and Jones Jr. participating in the All-Star weekend activities was pretty cool but I'm ready to find out what will happen at the trade deadline and get back to the regular season games.
25 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds
Yes, those are Eric Bledsoe's numbers for his third career triple-double in the Lakers game. I almost went with "137-101" which was the game score and the largest margin of victory that the Suns have ever had over the Lakers. Both are (or should be) feel good moments for Suns fans in what has turned out to be a very disappointing season.
Stats courtesy of ESPN.
Quote of the Week
"Last year I felt like we had to make a move. The Markieff Morris situation had obviously become untenable, and for the good of the organization that was something we had to do. I don’t feel that way this year." - Ryan McDonough
This quote is from an interview McD did with Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. The link to the full article is below in the "New & Notes" section. It's an interesting read if you want more on McD's thinking as we head toward the trade deadline.
Marquese Chriss - 20.6 mpg, 11.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.0 apg, 2.0 spg, 1.0 bpg
Tyler Ulis - 5.9 mpg, 2.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg, 4.0 apg (1 DNP-CD)
Derrick Jones Jr. - 3.8 mpg, 6.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.0 apg (1 DNP-CD)
Dragan Bender - OUT INDEFINITELY
Stats courtesy of NBA.com
News & Notes
NBA's Tyler Ulis returns to Marian Catholic for honors. Chicago Tribune
ESPN NBA experts weigh in on Eric Bledsoe’s trade value. Kellan Olson/Arizona Sports
Phoenix Suns' top dunks through the years. AZCentral
Suns GM: Plenty of trade options, but dealing Bledsoe likely not one of them. Arizona Sports
NBA's most valuable teams: Suns No. 14 in Forbes' 2017 rankings. AZCentral
Suns’ Booker, Chriss and Warren make ESPN’s top-50 under 25. Arizona Sports
Phoenix Suns' 3-point defensive struggles continue. Doug Haller/AZCentral Sports
Solar Panel: Devin Booker, Confident or Cocky? Greg Esposito/Sports360 AZ
This Week in Suns History
On February 19, 1996 Charles Barkley pulled down his 10,000th career rebound in the first quarter of the Suns' 98-94 OT win against visiting Vancouver to become the 10th NBA player with 20,000 points and 10,000 rebounds in his career.
Leandro Barbosa ranks 15th in regular season career points scored as a Sun with 6315 total points. If he scores 54 more points this season he will pass Connie Hawkins for 14th and 106 points would move him into 13th place ahead of Jeff Hornacek. Barbosa also ranks 3rd in career regular season three point shots made, 12th in steals, 16th in assists and 10th in games played as a Sun.
Stats courtesy of Land of Basketball.com
Previewing the Week Ahead
Following the All-Star break (and the trade deadline) the Suns play two games on the road.
Friday, February 24th @ Chicago Bulls (28-29)
Sunday, February 26th @ Milwaukee Bucks (25-32)
First is a rematch with the Bulls in Chicago. I'm sure that the Bulls are itching to get revenge for the 18 point drubbing that the Suns gave them in Phoenix just two weeks before although staying in the Eastern Conference playoff race is probably a bigger motivator. But with all the trade rumors swirling around who knows how much one or perhaps both of the two teams will even resemble the two teams that previously met in Phoenix. I'm going to predict a Suns loss but if the Bulls decide to make radical changes to their team then all bets are off. The Suns might make some radical changes of their own but I expect that any that they might make would probably make them worst in the short term. Yes, they can get worse no matter how bad you might think they already stink.
On Sunday the Suns head to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks. The Bucks aren't going to make any radical changes at the trade deadline but they will be missing Jabari Parker who is out again with a torn ACL. But the Bucks have won their last three games after adjusting their starting lineup by adding Thon Maker and ... Michael Beasley??? Yes Super Cool Beas has been playing well for them (as has Thon) and the return of Khris Middleton hasn't hurt either. I'm betting that the Suns loss this one no matter what they do (or don't do) at the trade deadline.
I expect the Suns to go 0-2 this week although the Bulls just might decide to make some franchise changing trades at the deadline that could give the Suns an edge in that game.
How do you think the Suns will fare this week?