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The Madhouse - Week of 1/10/20: Suns entering ‘must win’ territory

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‘Must win.” I said it. Don’t argue with me.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Suns Stuff

So I have bad news for you, fellow 30, 40, 50-something Suns fan who finds his or her free-time evaporating at record rates.

We’re entering ‘must-win’ territory.

Yes, I hate the terminology as well. But if you’re like me and you want to see the Suns in the postseason by any means necessary, the upcoming Phoenix slate is vitally important.

Last week I told you that you could turn your attention elsewhere if the Suns were not winners in at least two of their next five. We are three games into that stretch and Phoenix has posted an unimpressive 1-2 mark.

I can get over the Grizzlies game. I can. I don’t want to, but I can. The Kings game on the other hand was a meltdown. That one especially hurts. If only because I feel like that’s the squad that we are being measured against this season. Both teams have paid a lot of rent in the Western Conference basement the past several seasons. Both teams made significant changes last offseason.

It feels like in what is always a packed Western Conference playoff race, there can only be room for one of those two teams. So in my mind I’ve created a rivalry of sorts. It’s fun. If only for me.

So that can’t happen again. Here’s what’s up next:

Jan. 10 vs. Orlando

Jan. 12 vs. Charlotte

Jan. 14 @ Atlanta

Jan. 16 @ New York

Split those four and I can continue to make Phoenix Suns basketball part of my regularly scheduled viewing schedule. And I think that’s quite gracious.

After the Magic and the Hornets the Suns have 13 of their next 19 away from Talking Stick Resort Arena.

So they should probably do some winning for the next week.

NBA Stuff

“A lot of people, they talk about being able to visualize and imagery and all that is weird, and if you’re a fly on the wall watching it, it does look weird...But it works. I know it works. I’m a true believer that it works.” NBA2K plays a big role in helping the Sixers’ Trey Burke get game-ready.

Charles Barkley donated $1 million to Miles College, a historically black institution in Fairfield, Alabama.

Gossipers are gossiping that Philly may be interested in Robert Covington and/or Andre Iguodala.

More NBA players are wearing Puma. This has been a good thing for Puma.

John Beilein called his players “thugs.” He later apologized and said he meant to use the word “slugs.” This has been a bad thing for John Beilein.

Oh yes, the Sixers are also said to be interested in Glenn Robinson. That’s enough about the Sixers. We’re not going to talk about the Sixers anymore.

The second returns from 2020 NBA All-Star voting have been released and Devin Booker is CLIMBING THE CHARTS.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young helped pay off $1 million in medical debt for 600 low-income residents of Atlanta.

Bobby Portis hit Kentaviouis Caldwell-Pope in the head on Tuesday. Portis said it was “unintentional.” Everyone not named Bobby Portis disagreed. It will cost Portis $25k.

My Stuff

What I’m reading: Yesterday - The Cruelest Cut, Rick Reed. Today - The God Game, Danny Tobey.

What I’m playing: Started Dark Souls 2 on Wednesday. Have my eye on Far Cry 3.

What I’m listening to: Sabaton, Powerwolf. This is my first foray into whatever musical genre these two bands satisfy. If you listen to such music, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

What I’m watching: Nothing new. The Irishman or Joker are probably up next.

What I’m Thinking

The college football national championship is entirely too late. Entirely too late. Stop it. Now if I had my druthers the college football season would end on January 1st. But I get that most people under 35 don’t feel the same way. But January 13th is absurd. Simply absurd.

The best season is summer. The best temperature is a dry 100.

The college basketball conference season shouldn’t start until after the new year. You shouldn’t be playing in conference games in November. That’s silly. Knock it off.

What team do you associate Alonzo Mourning with? I associate Alonzo Mourning with the Charlotte Hornets. I had PTI on earlier this week and Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon were talking about Dwayne Wade’s upcoming, three-day jersey retirement ceremony in Miami. One of the two, I can’t remember who, called Alonzo Mourning the second most important player in the history of the Miami Heat, behind Wade.

I honestly thought that was the dumbest thing I had ever heard. He didn’t even play the majority of his career with the Heat. He spent most of his time in Charlotte.

Did you know that ‘Zo played THREE seasons with the Hornets and TEN with the Heat? A decade. A DECADE. I mean, what was I doing for that decade? And that’s across two stints. In between he was with the Nets. THE NETS. WHERE WAS I?

Curiosity piqued, I texted my best friend who’s a year older than I am and asked him what team he tags with Mourning. He responded with the Hornets. I told him he was in Miami three times as long. He didn’t believe me and had to look it up.

I texted my brother, asked him the same question. He’s eight years younger than I am. He shot back, “Heat,” immediately, and called me a dope.

Jalen Rose was on my TV after that. You know, Jalen Rose of Denver Nuggets fame? No, Rose was only in Denver two seasons. Then Indiana for SIX, Chicago for THREE, and Toronto for another THREE.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just a function of getting older. Maybe I was just busy with other stuff at the time. Graduating high school by the skin of my teeth. Graduating college by the skin of my teeth. Finding a grown-up job by the skin of my teeth.

Sam Cassell was in Milwaukee longer than Houston??

Dan Majerle was in Miami for five seasons? FIVE??

Clarence Weatherspoon played anywhere after Philly? ANYWHERE?

Maybe I’m crazy. That’s okay, I’ve been called worse. But I’m telling you right now, there’s a player that you think you remember fairly well, that you don’t. Be brave enough to admit it.

Tim Hardaway was a Maverick, a Nugget, and a Pacer??? WHAT?

Talk next week.