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The Madhouse - Week of 1/17/20: The Suns don’t get beat by 30+ nearly as often

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The Phoenix Suns are fun to watch on television.

Phoenix Suns v New York Knicks Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Suns Stuff

We are halfway through the 2019-20 season and your Phoenix Suns are TWO GAMES out of a playoff spot.

I know, I know. There’s a lot of context I’m leaving out there. For a better look at how the Suns are faring at the midway point, take a look at the fine work from our own Dave King.

But I don’t need no fancy words or numbers to know that Phoenix being that close to postseason play means that this season has been a considerable success.

Do you know where your Suns were on January 17th of last year? I’ll tell you where, dead last, with 11 wins and 14 wins behind the Jazz and Lakers who were tied for the 8th spot in the West.

Long ago I got over my interest in the Phoenix Suns winning a championship. At a certain point it’s better for your mental health as a sports fan to forget about such things. For the past several seasons I’ve only thought about two things. Competitiveness and watchability.

The Suns are giving you both. And that the back-end of the Western Conference is doggedly dedicated to sub .500 play doesn’t distract me from the fact that this is the most fun Suns basketball has been in many moons.

You know their worst loss this season is by 21 points? Granted there’s a lot of basketball left to be played, but last season they lost to Denver by 37. They lost to Houston by 36. They lost to Indiana by 34. They lost to Utah by 33.

And I’m sure we all fondly remember the 48-point losses to San Antonio in 2018 and Portland in 2017.

It may be a weird barometer, but for a long while all I’ve wanted is for the Suns to give me a reason to keep the television on. The 2019-20 campaign has provided that reason.

So where are we at now? Winners of 3 of 4 with Boston, San Antonio, and Indiana up next. Is it unrealistic to think that the Suns could take two of three? Lets be unrealistic. Phoenix will be 19-25 by next Friday.

NBA Stuff

At long last, Zion Williamson is going to compete in a contest of professional basketball on national television. San Antonio at New Orleans, January 22nd, ESPN.

Here is an article outlining which players and teams sell the most jerseys. The Phoenix Suns are not mentioned in the article.

Dan Feldman of NBA Sports writes that it is a good time for bad teams to work their way into postseason play.

The NBA has been talking about instituting a mid-season tournament. The WNBA is done talking. The quest for the “Commissioner’s Cup” kicks off in August.

The NBA is getting into bed with Louis Vuitton.

And Apple Music. The NBA gets around.

Who will be the next John Beilein? Who wants to be? Anyway, here is the list of coaches NBA execs think are best suited to make the jump from the “amateur” ranks to pro ball.

If you care about the influence that Silicon Valley has on the job titles that are utilized in the NBA, then this article is for you.

On Monday Derrick Rose threw a pen into the stands with 37 seconds left in Detroit Pistons 117-110 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. On Tuesday the league slapped him with a $25k fine.

The NBA is reviewing Spencer Dinwiddie’s plan to turn his contract into a “tokenized investment vehicle,” WHATEVER THAT MEANS.

My Stuff

What I’m reading: Yesterday - The God Game, Danny Tobey. Today - Swan Song, Robert McCammon.

What I’m playing: Lots of Raiden.

What I’m listening to: Trivium.

What I’m watching: Sports. I really don’t know what I want to watch.

What I’m Thinking

I gotta talk about this debate. Did you watch this debate on Tuesday? I gotta talk about this debate.

To say nothing of my own political leanings, what a snooze-fest. I don’t know what I expected, but it definitely wasn’t the remorse of burning an evening of free time on that garbage. I don’t really have anything interesting or funny to say about that I suppose. It just sucked. The whole thing sucked. Eventually I had to start fast-forwarding through big chunks of it.

There’s too many people up there, first of all. They need to trim that group down to three. I don’t care which three, but get down to three. I had never seen or heard from that guy on the far left of my screen. Tom. Get him out, he’s too late.

I don’t belong to a political party so the man doesn’t permit me to vote in primaries. But compelling television it was not. Thanks for nothing.

Are you following this sign-stealing scandal in baseball? I am, and it’s fantastic. This is the sort of sports drama I can really sink my teeth into. I understand that maybe Dodgers fans are upset. Yankees fans are upset. I get it, maybe they were robbed.

But as a Chicago White Sox fan, it’s only fun. So the Astros cheated. The Red Sox cheated. Whatever. Maybe the Pale Hose would have lost 87 instead of 90.

The most fun came Friday morning. Former Sox pitcher Jack McDowell was on the radio talking about how Tony LaRussa orchestrated a sign-stealing scheme when he was on the southside of Chicago. The highlight:

“You know how it used to be taken care of?” McDowell said in the radio interview. “If they were stealing signs from second base, you just had the catcher call a breaking ball and then throw your fastball off someone’s neck and just say, ‘Oh, you’re gonna keep trying to pick up signs, guys? What’s it going to be?’

”There’s ways to go around it. Players could police it back in the day. But now if you throw a ball 6 inches inside, you’re almost thrown out of the game immediately and everyone wants to fight. Back in the day, it was like, ‘You want to steal signs, yeah that helmet better be working right now.’”

That is just fantastic. Here’s hoping there’s a lot more fallout to come across MLB. While we watch I’m going to have a t-shirt made that reads, ‘Yeah that helmet better be working right now.’

Til’ next week.