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Suns Madhouse: Week of 12/6/19 - Winning without Baynes, winning with Baynes, new music, gift-giving

Aron Baynes will return. Deandre Ayton will return. The Suns will return to winning more than not.

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NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I forgot to write a Madhouse article last week.

Suns Stuff

Suns win. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuns wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!

That’s the benefit procrastinating, friends. Waiting until Thursday night to satisfy your blogging responsibilities that dozens, DOZENS of people rely upon mean that you get to ignore the losing that has occurred over the better part of the last couple of weeks and instead focus on wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinning.

Thursday night’s thrilling, overtime win over the Pelicans felt good. Well it felt good, then it didn’t then it did. Blowing seven point leads with under two minutes remaining is probably something we don’t want to turn into a habit. Kelly Oubre had his worst shooting night of the season. He should probably stop doing that.

But Devin Booker scored a great deal of points. Ricky Rubio dished out a great deal of assists. And to his credit Oubre set career highs with 15 rebounds and four blocks.

Most importantly though, the Suns won one that they shouldn’t have. If Baynes plays, Phoenix may have been favored. As it was, he was a no-go and the Suns were four-point dogs at tip. Three road games in four days? Don’t let the Pels record fool you, your Suns stole one.

So where does that leave us? Phoenix has a 10-11 mark and is still a playoff team. Deandre Ayton will be eligible to return from his suspension on December 17th when the Suns have a road date with the Clippers, AND HOW SWEET WOULD THAT BE?

The Suns have three games before we’ll chat again. Phoenix is in Houston on Saturday and will host Minnesota and Memphis next week. Sounds like a win to me. If Baynes returns, sounds like two.

That Minnesota game is going to be especially interesting. Baynes was out for the first one. Karl-Anthony Towns went for 31 and 17 and your Suns still managed to escape with a two-point win in Minneapolis.

But the T-Wolves don’t like playing at home. They’re considerably better away from the Target Center. I think Monday’s game could teach us a lot about this strange, new era of the Suns not being historically bad.

But they’re going to the playoffs. Obviously. I will not be changing my perspective on that. Regardless of where this season takes us.

NBA Stuff

The Houston Rockets may protest the outcome of Tuesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, which means absolutely nothing.

Waived from the Trail Blazers just two weeks ago, moving forward Pau Gasol will rejoin Portland’s bench as an assistant coach.

LaMelo Ball thinks LaMelo Ball should be the top overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Some people are discussing whether or not James Harden is the best scorer we’ve ever seen in the history of the NBA.

Stroopwafels are the hot new snack in Association circles.

Want to watch the Golden State Warriors on national television? Of course you don’t. ESPN is taking measures to make sure you don’t have to.

Luka Doncic was named the NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for November.

Updated odds to win it all have your Suns ahead of a third of the NBA.

The NBA is considering the possibility of a mid-season tournament and it is, of course, a fantastic idea.

LeBron’s feet were very talkable and walkable in Utah this week.

My Stuff

What I’m listening to: Big news on this front. Last week I signed up for Spotify Premium. This service is absolutely fantastic.

I’ve been following many of your recs recently. I’ve been trying to listen to more music. I’ve been trying to listen to less talk radio. Because you know what? Talk radio sucks. Even those guys I like. They suck too.

Like many, I suspect, I settled into my musical preferences a good, long while ago and never discovered anything new. Why did I stop discovering new music? Why did I start listening to so much talk radio? Talk radio sucks.

I like everything about this Spotify service and can’t recommend it enough. I reached out to a friend that knows a great deal about music and he turned me on to some stuff. I’ve discovered more new music in the last week than the last five years. Following his recs I started with Joe Bonamassa and I’ve branched out from there. Please continue to share your recommendations.

And just to show you how seriously I’m taking my new musical journey, on Black Friday I invested in a pair of wireless earbuds. I thought these things were absurdly expensive. They’re not. I grabbed this JBL pair for $30. So far so good.

What I’m reading: Today - Outer Dark, Cormac McCarthy. Tomorrow - The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner.

What I’m playing: Collected about 60% of the Resogun trophies on PS4. Put a dent in Sky Force Anniversary on Xbox One. Spent a not insignificant amount of time with Dragon Blaze on the Switch. This week I’ll be investing time in The Last of Us.

What I’m watching: Suns. Knights. I watched Planes, Trains, and Automobiles last week. Maybe like two episodes of First 48.

What I’m Thinking

I don’t care for gift-giving. And I don’t care for gift-getting. And I don’t care for those days on the calendar where the gift-giving and the gift-getting feature prominently.

For many years I chose not to give gifts. For no other reason than I didn’t want to. It was a hassle. It’s a stressor. A needless stressor. People told me, ‘well I’m getting you something for Christmas.’ And I told them, ‘well I’m not getting you anything.’ And I didn’t. And I was not remorseful.

But you can’t do that very long. Eventually you sell out. You start working in an office and tucking in your shirt. You get married. You buy a house. You have a kid. You become the person that Carrie Fisher wanted Tom Hanks wanted to be in The ‘Burbs. Everyone else wants to participate. So you have to participate.

But the gift-giving isn’t even the hardest part. It’s the gift-getting. Someone asks you what you want, and you can’t be completely honest. You can’t say ‘you know what would be really cool? A pair of Negele Knight game used sneakers.’ Because your spouse, mother, sister, don’t want to sit around the tree and watch you unwrap a pair of 30-year-old sneakers, bad-ass as they may be.

So you write on your list, ‘a light sweater.’

And you can’t be too specific, because no one is trying to work that hard. You can ask for a book, but you can’t ask for a book that, ‘oh, I don’t know. Maybe something set in Appalachia. Or the American Southwest. Themes of isolation. Biblical allegories are cool. Something to make me think, you know?’ No you can’t say that.

So you write on your list, ‘a book.’ And the book will be a James Patterson book.

And no one is buying your 37-year-old ass a video game. Those are for kids. So you write down a new pair of Bostonians. Because you’ll always run through a new pair of Bostonians.

They tell me I’ll feel different once my daughter starts recognizing, enjoying, and appreciating Christmas. That is flatly untrue. I’ll love experiencing that with her, no doubt. But I suspect my perspective on exchanging gifts with others will remain unchanged.

I hope she loves it. I really, really do. I’m looking forward to watching her enjoy her gifts later this month. While I sit in a comfortable chair. Wearing my light sweater, Bostonians, and reading a James Patterson novel.

Happy Holidays.

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