Welcome to ‘Inside the Suns’, your weekly deep down analysis of the current Phoenix Suns team.
Each week the Fantable — a round table of Bright Siders - give their takes on the Suns’ latest issues and news.
Fantable Questions of the Week
Q1 - If you could ask Suns head coach Frank Vogel one question and be assured of a totally honest, non-evasive answer, what would it be?
OldAz: I would ask about his relationship with and plan for working with Kevin Young. It would be great to know the truth of how that went down during the hiring process (both being HC candidates) and if Vogel interviewed Young or simply accepted him based on the organizations request. Fans and media often speculate about these arrangements, so it would be cool to know the truth from his perspective and how much freedom KY will have in setting the offense and even in player rotations.
Brrrberry: Who on the staff is going to keep it real with DA and turn him from an aloof and sensitive highly paid role player that’s prone to disappearing and into a self aware and hungry monster that’s worthy of his self given Dominayton moniker?
Rod: I’d ask for his honest opinion on whether he really believes DA can preform at a level that will silence most of his critics (I say “most” because a few will always find fault in him and/or his play). I’m certain of how well he could become but I’m not in a position to make a fairly reliable prediction on whether he’ll ever actually get there.
Q2 - If you could ask Suns GM James Jones one question and be assured of a totally honest, non-evasive answer, what would it be?
OldAz: I would ask what his honest opinion of the KD deal was. What was the role of Sarver when the deal stalled and then Ishbia when it quickly happened? This would include his personal opinion (if no owner influence was involved) in what he thought a fair deal was. Would he have passed on the deal altogether and keep the core? Would he have held firm to keep some of the picks or change the players involved. It seems so much of that deal was owner driven that it would be nice to know what Jones’ line in the sand would have been from a purely basketball GM perspective.
Brrrberry: On a scale of 1-10 what would you rate Ishbia and Sarver and after you rate Sarver exceedingly low tell me all the times he meddled in personnel and player contracts that disallowed you from putting the best possible roster together...
Rod: Personally, I’d ask him specifically why he decided to pass on drafting Tyrese Haliburton with the 10th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Despite all the theories/opinions we heard over the years, the only thing I could track down with any certainty was that Haliburton only allowed access to his medical records to certain teams. Was that enough to scare JJ away? I’d just like a definitive explanation of his reasoning in taking Stix instead so we can put all the rumors and speculation to rest.
Q3 - Stephen A. Smith (ESPN) recently commented on Devin Booker saying, “He’s scared of nothing, he’s coming for you” and predicted a Suns/Nuggets playoff matchup in the Western Conference Final this year... with the Suns winning. What are your thoughts on his opinions?
OldAz: A Suns/Nuggets Western conference final is a reasonable prediction, as is a recognition of Booker’s relentless, attacking mentality. This particular statement doesn’t seem all that outrageous coming from Smith or any other talking head. That being said, the question asked what I thought about Mr. smith’s opinions, which I take to mean his opinions in general.
Steven A. Smith is a hired provocateur. There are lots of them in sports media and they maintain their status by saying more and more outrageous things. I find that they are often not well informed and don’t seem like they actually watch full games as opposed to highlight clips. They talk about and say the things that get them the most ratings.
Personally, I prefer commentary from former players (Inside the NBA is must watch TV for me) because their insight is normally generalized to how players see the game and their commentary is usually presented in a way that recognizes it is nothing more than biased opinion. Provocateurs like Smith present every statement as if it is undeniable fact. I find that when I agree with one of their outrageous statements, it is time for me to think again and make sure I am looking at an issue from all sides.
Brrrberry: He is not wrong!!! Props to Stephen A for this! Booker is my favorite player of all time so as objective as I like to think I am, this is likely a subject where I see through rose colored lenses. I think Booker may be the most underrated player in the league as it relates to opinions outside of AZ, whether it be media or fans.
Time and again, his peers recognize his excellence, but there is countless fans on social media that literally hate him. I can’t wrap my head around it other than it just being a societal thing to hate on greatness. Make no mistake, his performance in the most recent playoffs was greatness. 34/7/5 on 58/51/87 is rarified air and only something that could be accomplished by someone with ice in their veins who is “scared of nothing”.
I believe with every ounce of my being that if CP3 stays healthy and DA gives us his regular 16/10 with decent defense, we’re champs right now. That’s saying something because we had no business taking 2 games from Denver or being champs with our roster having zero synergy together and the TERRIBLE supporting cast (everyone but Book and KD). Book’s greatness allowed us to save face and not get completely embarrassed. This squad is going to be a juggernaut, and of course I’m expecting big things this season from him and fully expect we’ll meet Denver in the playoffs again, with the winner ending up as champion. This time we come out on top.
Rod: I usually don’t pay much attention to SAS but this came across more as something a fan would say, and an educated fan at that. I believe he’s spot on with his remark about Booker. I also believe that health/injury issues are the only thing that can keep this team from making it back to the WCFs.
There’s nothing earth shattering in what he said... not to Suns fans anyway. Like most talking heads on the sports shows, Smith is prone to hyperbole but not in this case IMO. Book is afraid of no one on a basketball court and the Suns are as good as he thinks they are.
As always, many thanks to our Fantable members for all their extra effort this week!
Last Week’s poll results
Last week’s question was, “Who is going to lead the Suns in 3-point shooting (by percentage) this season?”
07% - Devin Booker.
12% - Kevin Durant.
06% - Bradley Beal.
35% - Eric Gordon.
28% - Yuta Watanabe.
10% - Damion Lee.
01% - Someone else.
A total of 322 votes were cast.
This week’s poll is...
Do the NBA’s new rules on resting players during the regular season make it less likely that the Suns can keep their best players healthy?
This poll is closed
Possibly but there may be ways to work around those rules.