FanPost

23. Season Series Won: The View from Phoenix

Snips and clips from the Suns camp, plus:

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  • Free Association: Stern Deems Hornets Good Investment
  • Sean M.: More Young Guys? Awesome!!!  (reprint)
  • Haiku Game Review
  • Fried Rice
  • Blazers/Suns Recap
  • Popcorn Machine

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(1)

This sucks.

posted by East Bay Ray to Bright Side of the Sun gameday open thread.

We were supposed to pile up some wins during this stretch against "weaker" teams.


Dude, we ARE the weaker team.

posted by keify34 oto Bright Side of the Sun gameday open thread.



I [obscene emphatic] hate the truth.

posted by East Bay Ray to Bright Side of the Sun gameday open thread

 

(2)

Defense?

posted by by Larfleeze to Bright Side of the Suns gameday open thread

Can we stop daring teams to beat us in the 3pt line... or long twos.... can we just throw the stats away and play solid man to man defense.

 

(3)

STEAMED

posted by gadogry to Bright Side of the Sun gameday open thread

I'm coming back from my haitus of commenting in this hyperspace to express my disappointment/anger/pain towards this Suns team.

YOU CAN'T KEEP LOSING THE TO THE FREAKING BLAZERS!! THEY'RE FIGHTING FOR A BOTTOM PLAYOFF SEED JUST LIKE US!! BROY'S KNEES ARE SHOT SO YOU MAKE JRICH/JCHILL/DRAGIC/ANYONE DRIVE AT HIM OR POST HIM UP TO TAKE HIM OUT. ALDRIDGE IS AS SOFT AS A STICK OF (MELTED) BUTTER. AND THEIR ONLY PLAYER WHO CAN REBOUND IS AS OLD AS MOON LANDING. AND THEY RUN THE CLOGGED TOILET OFFENSE THAT GOES INTO TANK EVERY SINGLE 4TH QUARTER. AND SOMEHOW THEY'RE OWNING US 3-0. I'M TOTALLY JUMPING OFF A BRIDGE IF THE BLAZERS GET THE 8 SEED AND WE ARE 2 GAMES BEHIND!!!!!!!!!

(exhale...)

 

(4)

Phoenix Suns Start Slow Again, Continue Slide in 101-94 Loss to Portland Trail Blazers

by Paul Coro, The Arizona Republic

It is a good thing this Suns team was not the one playing Portland in the first round of the playoffs in April.

They would be on the brink of a sweep after losing to the Trail Blazers for the third time in as many games this season Friday.

The Suns' 101-94 loss to Portland on Friday at US Airways Center also put Phoenix on a three-game losing streak for the second time this season.

The Blazers (12-11), who had played Orlando on Thursday night in Portland, moved ahead of the Suns (11-12) for eighth in the Western Conference by winning their fourth consecutive game and hardly looking like the NBA's third-worst shooting team for most of the game. Portland entered the game shooting 43.3 percent from the field, but shot 58.5 percent for the first three quarters.

When the Suns second-stringers sparked a better defensive fourth quarter for the second consecutive game, the Suns turned anemic offensively with Portland imposing its will for most of the game. * * *

 

(5)

Turnover Machine

posted by Herman4MVP to RealGM Phoenix Suns message board

Nash in the 4th quarter = Turnover Machine

Sometimes he thinks too much, sometimes he chooses the wrong guy but just watch some older games and you'll see it's true.

 

(6)

Suns Lay Down To Blazers, 101-94

by Alex Laugan, Bright Side of the Sun (SBN)

* * *
Kudos to Portland for being the better team right now. The Blazers deserved to win all 3 games this season. The Suns deserve nothing.

Them's fightin' words, you say? I'm not worried. The Suns don't know how to fight back anyway. All I'll get in return is a shocked face and open palms as they walk back down to the other end of the court. No worried about hard fouls. Or any contact at all, really. So I'm good.

Need I go on?

OK, I will. That was a waste of my season ticket money - hard-earned, I might add. The moment I gave up on the game? How 'about that drive by Cunningham to the basket where NO SUNS PLAYER even attempted to provide help defense. I mean, that drive developed so slowly even I could have provided help defense if I wanted. Unfortunately, I reacted as fast as the Suns players did. You're welcome, Dante.

Officially, the Suns won the rebounding battle 39-36, but does anyone who watched that game REALLY think the Suns won on the boards? Me neither. Steve Nash was the Suns' leading rebounder with 7. * * *

 

(7)

Two Things

posted by Fritzy to Bright Side of the Sun recap

1. We out rebound them, hold them to 49%, which while not great is workable, keep our turnovers about even with them, and actually double them up on offensive rebounds. So what's missing?

Our shooting, that's what. Everyone including Gentry says that they don't worry about points, like it's their birthright to shoot 45 percent from the 3 or something. And naturally around here everyone yaps about defense because they remember some blown assignments that make the highlight reels.

But what fool cares what we hold them to if half our guys can't hit their wide open threes or point blank dunks, and the other half are too scared to take a shot so they pass it around until there's 2 seconds left on the shot? Honestly, this season is starting to remind me of the porter era...mediocre defense and terrible offense... is this really what we want?

2. I'm beginning to understand why Portland is so injury ridden. It's not perennial bad luck or a curse on the franchise. All the fanfare about their fabulous physical playing style which is so hardcore also puts their players at a high amount of risk for injury every time they step on the court. It also exhausts them quicker which puts them even more at risk as fatigue sets in. Of course I spose their style also has the bonus of potentially injuring other players, so they have that going for them..

 

(8)

Live and Die by the Jumper

posted by Beavis25 to Bright Side of the Sun recap

As soon as J-Rich started missing we started losing. Even with our poor effort the past 3 games, if JR just shot a little better we would have won all 3 of them and been on a 6 game winning streak.

It's kind of funny how our rebounding has improved yet we haven't improved as a team. Guys are crashing the boards a bit better and Barron's presence has helped in that regard, however, he's quite the offensive liability. As good as Warrick is he's not a post presence like Amar'e. Yea, he can play the PnR, but Amar'e could do that better and much more.

The Knick fans are going crazy right now over how good Amar'e is around the basket. They didn't think an Amar'e/Lee swap would change anything, but is has, big time. I hate to say it, but at some point we will have to trade for a big-man for the main purpose of offense. Ironic, huh? If not, than we live and die by the jumper.

 

(9)

Portland Trail Blazers 101, Phoenix Suns 94 — A Matter of Time

by Tyler Lockman, Valley of the Suns (True Hoop)

There are only so many ways to tell the same story. When it comes to the Suns, that story can often be told 48 minutes before the final buzzer.

The Suns' defensive deficiencies once again got the best of them and, despite a late rally, the team dropped its third straight game Friday night, 101-94 to the Trail Blazers. * * *

"When you let yourself get down as deeply as we did, everything has to be perfect," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "We made a good run; it didn't work out."

In a game where the Suns trailed from the 6:44 mark in the first quarter, there couldn't have been a worse time to start playing hard on both ends, but that's what happened. Out of a timeout, Gentry reinserted the starters after the bench unit failed to produce the same energy it did in Wednesday's fourth quarter rally. * * *

 

(10)

Suns Drop Third Straight to Blazers

by Kevin Bonneville, Suns Zoo (Rant Sports)

* * *
If you took a quick glance at this game, you would have thought that the Suns were the ones coming off of a back-to-back, but it was the other way around. The Blazers played late Thursday night on TNT and didn't get into Phoenix until 3:30 A.M while the Suns were resting in their beds. Despite that, Phoenix still came out flat and didn't show a lot of energy until a late fourth quarter comeback in the final couple of minutes.

The Suns struggled on both sides of the court all night long. Portland shooting 49 percent from the field was a bit misleading considering that they shot poorly in the final 12 minutes. They managed to get pretty much any shot that they wanted throughout the night. Every Portland starter scored in double digits with Brandon Roy leading with 26 and LaMarcus Aldridge close behind with 23. Marcus Camby had 16 points and was huge on the glass with 18 rebounds.

Except for a few minutes late in the fourth quarter, the Suns starters played poorly. Steve Nash had 24 points, but he only ended up with seven assists. Anytime an opposing team holds Nash to that assist total, they have a pretty good shot at beating the Suns. Grant Hill and Channing Frye added 17 and 12 points respectively.

Jason Richardson's struggles continued on Friday night. It appeared as though he was in store for a big night after scoring the game's first two points on a jumper, but it was all down hill after that. Richardson had only eight points and only made two shots from the field. He also didn't make a single three in four attempts. For those counting at home, J-Rich has now missed his last 12 three-point attempts. * * *

 

(11)

Games Should Be Fun

posted by Rowanasche to Planet Orange message board

I imagine with all of the combined skill, talent, years playing, dedication and love of this game that the players and coaching staff are just as, if not more, frustrated with these sorts of games than the fans could know.

Besides that, the Blazers fans just spent quite a while ripping their team for a losing streak. Even when they won, their fans were still angry about their players being injured and debating the relative competency of the coaching staff.

I'm always amazed at how almost bipolar commentary becomes depending upon whether a team is winning or losing. Regardless, I would love to see the Suns TEAM enjoy playing again and have FUN. With the way the box score/highlights read (didn't get to actually watch it because of work), it seemed to be executed more like a chore or some act of desperation rather than what this really, really is... a game.

 

(12)

Phoenix Suns Management, It's Your Move Now

by Paola Boivin, Arizona Republic

* * *
C'mon, management, it's time to woo us.

The roster is entertaining but riddled with too many wings. It's time to see if this newly assembled and highly respected front office can succeed at its first big test: finding a big man.

It won't be easy. Teams don't like to part with size and many, particularly those west of the Mississippi, aren't excited about helping a Suns team that is just a solid inside presence away from getting over the hump. Management's best bet is to target a big man underutilized elsewhere or to target a team that needs to pull the trigger on a move.

Word has it Lon Babby, president of basketball operations, has been working the phones around the clock.

"It's no secret in this league that the more size you have, the better chance you have to win," point guard Steve Nash said, smiling. "But it's really not my role to (address the team's needs)."  * * *

 

 

The Bottom Line:

1. Another bad start for the Suns — and the slump continues.

2. Okay, Blazers, we get it — you have our number this year.

3. It's time for this team to start acting like a playoff team by winning a few games, damn it!

 

 

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Anybody Wanna Buy a Basketball Team?

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The NBA has decided to buy back its New Orleans franchise for $300+ Million. I'm sure you've heard this already, breaking news it is not. Thousands of words have been written about the transaction, of which — if you're like me — you may have read a couple dozen.

It takes a couple days for these things to sink in and I'm only now starting to become intrigued with this dopes deal. There are really a ton of questions...

Why is the NBA doing a member of the Billionaire Boys Club a $300M solid? What is the significance of the exact price? What about the timing — why now? Why did the NBA insist upon buying back the entire franchise instead of just cashing out the one guy who was so hot to sell, majority owner, George Shinn? And what now if the NBA owns the franchise — are they buying it to KEEP it in New Orleans or are they trying to get the hell out of Dodge?

See what I mean? Tons of questions.

Let's take it from the top...

1. The NBA Clears the Decks

"Clearing the Decks" is a very old naval term. When one is getting ready to take a ship into a fire fight, getting ready to pull upside a foe and to let rip with the cannons, ya gotta get things tidied up so you're not tripping over crap or getting hit with flying gear. That sort of thing can get people killed and cause ya to lose a battle...

David Stern is getting the NBA frigate ready to go to war with the NBA Players Association and, quite simply, the distressed New Orleans franchise and its majority owner, George Shinn, was starting to look like crap on his deck that needed to be put away to maximize efficiency during the forthcoming attack.

A while back I was snorting around for this column, doing research into David Stern and the NBA owners' claims behind their hardline negotiating position. One thing I learned — I forgot where or I would cite the source — is that there are basically two types of NBA owners, each with a specific orientation to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

First are the "new owners" — those who bought their franchises for HUNDREDS of millions of dollars... This group is very sensitive to their yearly profit-and-loss situation, since they don't anticipate massive escalation in the value of their franchises. If you buy in at the current market rate and cash out in a few years at the current market rate, it's hard to anticipate building up much equity. If you're dropping $20 Million per year on basketball operations in the meantime, that's a real problem. These owners want to go at the Players' Union hard, hard, hard to fundamentally reshape the deal in their favor.

The other group of owners, the "old owners," bought their NBA franchises for a small fraction of their current value — $30 Million, $40 Million, $50 Million... They have seen a ten-fold growth in the paper value of their franchises and are thus far less fanatical about balancing the books in any given year. They're looking at pocketing a sweet 9-figure profit when they cash out — why worry? These owners are less inclined to wage a fight to the death with the NBA Players Association.

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George Shinn was a prototypical "old owner," having purchased the Charlotte Hornets franchise for $32.5 Million back in 1987. Shinn nearly doubled his money in 2007 by reportedly flogging off a 25% share of the franchise to Gary Chouest for $62 Million. Shinn subsequently has been trying to fully cash out by selling the majority share of the franchise to Chouest, but the deal fell apart when Chouest failed to find minority shareholders to get Shinn fully paid.

The NBA's intervention ended the potential distraction of a sale under duress by George Shinn.

2. The NBA Invests in Itself

But why would the NBA insist upon purchasing ALL the Hornets for their appraised value of somewhat more than $300 Million instead of cashing out Shinn's majority share pending minority owner Gary Choest raising the rest of the necessary funds? The answer, as nearly as I can suss things out, is that the NBA wants to invest in itself.

Think of this cash shuffle as something akin to a speculative real estate purchase. If one can buy a property at the low end of its estimated range of market values, reasonably assured of forthcoming price appreciation in a bull market, a lot of money can be made very fast by "flipping" the building to a new buyer. So, too with the Hornets franchise.

Three hundred million and some odd dollars may sound like a colossal sum, but in terms of NBA franchise the amount is actually substantially less than record price the Golden State Warriors recently realized in their recent sale ($450 Million).

Furthermore, in the event of a substantial victory by the NBA owners over the NBAPA and an increase in the owners' share of revenue, franchise values will immediately escalate to reflect the newly enhanced profitability of owning an NBA team.

So if you're the NBA — the oligopoly of professional basketball team owners — it's all pretty simple economics. You just buy back one of your teams at the low-endy rendition of its current market price, bust the players' union 12 months hence, and "flip" the team in the world of the lucrative new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The co-conspirators, if you will, then split the $100 Million or $200 Million or whatever is gained 29 ways. That's three or five or seven milion bucks or whatever that falls from the sky for each franchise owner to stick into his pocket. In the interim there is one fewer owner's snout in the trough full of TV money, and that's valuable, too. Peter Vecsey says that's one less share of the TV dosh represents another $33 Million right there.

3. Bye, bye New Orleans...

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But then comes the next question: why would you cash out the minority owner of the New Orleans franchise in the process if you're the NBA? If the league were serious about keeping its roots in the New Orleans community, wouldn't it make better sense to keep its financial hooks in an already heavily-invested minority owner of the franchise and to allow him time to come up with the outstanding balance?

This is precisely the thing most interesting about this deal. The NBA was faced with a choice of methods of buying out George Shinn. Either they could buy him out in a way which maximized the likelihood of continued presence in the New Orleans market; or they could buy the team in a way which maximized the potential profit garnered by each of the 29 owners in the forthcoming resale. The NBA consciously chose money over franchise stability, ultimately dooming the league's continued presence in New Orleans.

The price of a NEW ORLEANS NBA team is one thing; the price of a FREELY MOVEABLE NBA FRANCHISE quite another. The latter is clearly worth more — much more. If separate groups of bidders seeking to pack off the Hornets to Kansas City or Las Vegas or Seattle or wherever can be caused to bid against one another, the price realized figures to be substantially higher than making what amounts to an interest-free loan to Gary Chouest until he can lure additional investors to repay the NBA's buyout bucks.

By cashing out ALL the New Orleans owners, the result is a "consolidated" deed of ownership for a moveable entity — a much more valuable asset than a franchise chained to the uncertain economic fortunes of one troubled city.

In choosing to cash out not just George Shinn, but also minority owner Gary Chouest, Stern & Co. effectively served notice that the Charlotte-to-New Orleans Hornets would soon be moving yet again.

Stern essentially admitted as much in a weaselly conference call made with leading members of the press on December 6 to herald the pending purchase. When asked whether finding a local New Orleans owner was a priority, Stern said: "...We'll be making the world aware of our decisions, but we have the luxury of time to make these decisions... I think the best thing we can do is do this and let everyone who doesn't know what our email address is to know it and then we can receive expressions of interest over time."

According to one of the parties of Stern's conference call, a reporter from The Sporting News, Stern explicitly expressed his certainty that the league would turn a profit in the forthcoming sale. Very interesting indeed.

Takeaways:

1. The NBA thinks it is effectively buying the Hornets low so that it can later sell high. It is not fronting money to an established New Orleans ownership group.

2. The Hornets buyout has the associated benefit of removing a "weak link" owner who might not be inclined towards a long and bitter fight to the finish with the NBA Players Association.

3. David Stern is pretty sure the owners are going to win substantive concessions from the NBA Players Association in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will make all franchises more lucrative.

4. In the process the owners have essentially thrown the city of New Orleans under the bus and will be soliciting a maximum bid to a new owner intending to move the Hornets.

 

*   *   *


In Defense of Continuity

A really good essay popped up in the comments section attached to one of Ben's main page FanShots, written by Bedger Sean M. It should have been a FanPost all by itself — it certainly would have been one of the most highly REC'd discussion starters of the season if it was.

In view of the speed that things get buried by new content on the BE main page, I'm taking the liberty of reprinting Sean's entire essay here, with some minor editing.


More Young Guys? Awesome!!!

Andrekobe_medium

In 3 years, the Blazers can be same team the Thunder are this season. That should go over well with the fanbase. The reality is that Blazers’ fans were starry-eyed and optimistic in 2008-09 until that little reality check Houston delivered. Now, fans are expectant of success, and simply are not going to tolerate another rebuilding process. If Rich Cho blows this team up mid-season, I’d predict a 40 to 45% renewal rate on season tickets. That is, if and only if, management doesn’t try to raise prices again.

Fans are on edge. The vibe from the RG is not good. Every setback in every game is met with a palatable feeling of lack of faith in the team’s abilities. Put simply, fans are already a lot closer to abandoning the live experience than most people realize. Of course, people will still follow the team. They will catch a game on TV or check a box score, but the RG will not be rocking any longer. Paul Allen and his investment group seem to want to break even. That appears to have been a high priority goal for the last two seasons. Try breaking even on 12,000 tickets sold a game.

Has the team really exhausted all posibilities? Do they have a clue yet what Brandon Roy is still capable of doing on the court? Do they really want to give up their veteran leadership? Will we be saying in 3 years that all they need to make it over the top is some veteran leadership? With Patty Mills, Armon Johnson, Dante Cunningham, Wesley Matthews, Nic Batum, and Rudy Fernandez getting minutes, are the Blazers really in need of more young players?

How about this? Thank Sean Marks for his service and his willingness to sign a non-guaranteed contract and cut him. Then sign or trade for real backup Power Forward. Not a big body, not a guy who can "do some things" or any other Nateism — a real PF. Let’s just end this tweener garbage once and for all. Sorry Dante. I see no use for you unless you learn to play Small Forward or the Blazers play the Suns and Warriors 41 times a season and in the Playoffs. Just imagine if LaMarcus went down for 6 weeks. That’s a glaring hole in the current makeup of the team.

Maybe let Andre Miller, Nic Batum, Rudy Fernandez, Wesley Matthews, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Patty Mills play the style of basketball they were born to play. Why do we have a team built for speed and play at Roy’s snail-like pace? It’s absolutely absurd. Paul Allen wants a team that runs. Everything he does makes that glaringly obvious. Just do it!!! Stop pounding a square peg into a round hole. It’s maddening!!!

Didn’t the Blazers just move in the opposite direction of what is being advised now? They let Channing walk, traded Sergio, and signed Miller. They traded Blake (not young I suppose) and Travis for Camby. Now, they are going to trade the vets for youngsters?!? Maybe in a couple years they could go with all Euros for a while, then create the first all left-handed team. What if Rich Cho flames out in a couple years and Randy Pfund swoops down to rebuild once again?

There is no need to blow this team up. There is a need to identify the team’s weaknesses and fix them. Lack of experience was a need. The team did a decent job filing that need given what we had to offer. Lack of Bigs is a problem — seriously, ask the Lakers what one hamstring injury can do to a team. Find a couple. Not Sean Marks, not Greg Ostertag. Find a couple real big men. Do in Portland what you failed to do in OKC, Mr. Cho. It just can’t be that hard.

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Find a way for Brandon Roy to flourish. He’s not the same, and he is in pain. But he is untradeable, and it didn’t look like his career was over last night to me. So what if he doesn’t have a wicked crossover that will make the morons on Sports Center drool. Figure out what he has left and utilize it. And be realistic about his abilities. Brandon really doesn’t eat first around here any longer, he can’t carry the team, and so what. Win by committee and deal with the fact that no one on the Blazers plays in the All-Star game. Get over it. Once a decade this team gets a superstar that actually wants to play in Portland. They might have to be the 2004 Detroit Pistons for a while because Melo and Chris Paul are not coming to Portland.

There are three guys on the Portland Trail Blazers that don’t wet their pants when facing adversity. They are Andre Miller, Marcus Camby, and Joel Przybilla. They work hard, they play hard, and they focus on one thing — winning. Install that ethic in everyone on this team and make a run. Leave it all on the court and try to finish what this team started in 2005.

Failure is an option. In fact, it’s likely. It’s been a tradition 39 out of 40 years. But Portland got one, and that is better than most NBA franchises. It actually makes Portland one of the elite. Lots of NBA teams would sacrifice just about anything to acheive what the Blazers already have acheived.

Portland wasn’t supposed to win in 1977. The thought that the Blazers would beat the mighty 76’ers was laughable to the rest of the country. They won because they never accepted that they couldn’t and neither did the fanbase. That’s the only way it’s going to happen again. And it is going to happen again. Someday…


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It's a game of streaks

Basketball will be that way

Lose six, then win four

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Here's some more wackiness from the twisted tongue of goofy Uncle Mike...

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Ricey the Rice loves that Grant Hilly the Hill...

"Grant Hill always played such good defense when he was a Dukey at Duke..."

 

Somebody call Greg Oden... Brandon hits a big shot and...

"My toooof! My toooof hurts!!!"

 

40 seconds to play, Portland up 9. How sure of this win are you, Rice?

"I'll shave my head bald right here..."

 

 

Game 23.

Blazers 101 at Suns 94.

November 10, 2010.

Blazers' record is now 12-11, the Suns are 11-12.

1. It was a 6:00 pm start and I had to work late, so I missed the 1st Quarter altogether. That's a pretty lousy review, isn't it? PDX 28, PHX 22.

2. I came in at 33-30 Blazers or some such. Portland was shooting well, with a field goal percentage just south of the 60% mark. The Suns came back to within a single point before Portland turned on the burners, with excellent ball movement. Andre with back-to-back lobs to the rim — LMA with authority, Wesley with finesse. The run was 13-2 and the double-digit lead was restored, with four of the Blazers' starters already into double figures at the half. Portland played some rasty D with three straight Phoenix romps to the rim. Portland lead by 8 at the break, with MB sure to remind everyone that Portland's lead had been "as much as 11." Accentuate the negative whenever you can... PDX 61, PHX 53. Blazers were shooting 63.9% for the half, season-high for them at intermission, I think.

Halftime Entertainment: The Automatics [Portland]  "Captain Cool" (live) 

3. Roy played some inspired jumper-shooting offense. Rice: "A lot of people have been disrespecting Roy in the Portland area." Hey, Coach, we don't work for Paul Allen or ride on his airplane with Brandon, we have the luxury of objectivity...  Portland maintained a double-digit lead, with Portland extending its largest lead of the night — 14 points — at the 7:30 mark. Camby was brilliant, sucking up rebounds and putting the ball back in the hole with a highlight-quality tip in of a Matthews airball. Phoenix was money from the FT line, going 15-for-15 from the line through the end of the quarter. Phoenix was cold from the perimeter, which helped Portland maintain a healthy double-digit lead throughout the period. PDX 87, PHX 73.

4. The Blazers went into one of their patented shooting chills, with the Phoenix bench squad playing some hard pressure defense and causing Portland to force up a series of bad shots and make lame turnovers. Portland was tentative until a key sequence in which Brandon arched one in, followed by Camby capping Goric to cause a 24 second violation, followed by a nifty zip pass from Wesley to LMA. Portland restored its 15 point lead at the midway point. The Blazers once again went small ball coming out of the 6:00 break, but Portland once again went cold, with Phoenix knocking 4 points off the Portland advantage in the next two minutes. With just inside of 4:00 remaining, Nate McMillan called time.

Portland were 3-for-13 shooting in the quarter with Brandon leading the clank parade (have we heard this song before?). Fortunately for the Blazers, the Suns weren't much better. With 3 minutes to play, the lead was down to 9 points — 3 possessions. At 3:00 Andre returned to the game. Roy chucked up a bad 3 and clanked. On the other end, Channing did the same. Portland failed and Turk hit a trey to make the lead just 6 at the 2:00 mark.

Portland was tight and gripping the arms of the comfy chair, needing just a few buckets to end it but unable to hit. Portland turned over, Phoenix turned over, Portland burned clock and Roy hit a J from the elbow to put the Blazers up by 8 at 1:06. Portland ended a drought of nearly 5:30. Phoenix called time. 

It was a game without a dagger, somehow. Nash made gimme buckets, Portland hit a few Free Throws, and there you have it. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS 101, PHOENIX SUNS 94. Portland wins the season series with Phoenix and pockets their 4th straight victory after 6 straight defeats.

Marcus Camby was the superstud for Portland with 16 points, 18 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Roy had a nice night, too, scoring 26 on 10-for-19 shooting.

 

 


Let's take at this thang graphically, shall we?

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For those of you who don't like words, here are some swell pictures. CLICK THE LINK to see 'em...

Here's my take:

A. Pay no attention to the announcer, this was a dominant Blazer performance from a 15-6 run in the 1st Quarter onwards.

B. Wesley Matthews had a 14 point 2nd Quarter and scored exactly 2 more points the rest of the night. Hmmm, that's not optimum.

C. Brandon had a nice game, finishing with 26 points and sitting at +11 in Plus/Minus. He had at least four points in every quarter. I do not that he was shooting stepback jumpers and not driving the lane.

D. Phoenix went on a 9-0 run to make things interesting in the 4th Quarter, but their shooting was almost as bad a Portland's and they were unable to capitalize on the Blazers' by-now-traditional second half shooting slump.

E. Nic Batum was zero points on 0-for-7 shooting in just over 20 minutes. That's not good.

F. Steve Nash had as many rebounds as Ostensible Center Channing Frye, 7 each.

 

 

I wasn't able to get the Thursday night highlights show up previously, so here it is now...

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The Basketball Jones is a NBA blog and video/audio podcast, written and recorded five times a week by J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Jason Doyle and Matt Osten. Assume that there will be a couple Not Suitable For Work words used in any given episode.



 

Photo Credits: George Shinn with CP3: Layne Miurdoch, NBAE via Getty Images. Shinn headshot: Alex Brandon, Associated Press. Gary Chouest: Cheryl Gerber, Associated Press. Andre and Kobe:Francis Specker, Associated Press. All images heavily tweaked in Photoshop by Tim Davenport.

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