September 2007 - Posts

After months (actually years) of trade rumors and other mumblings, the Phoenix Suns' Shawn Marion has formally requested a trade from the team he's spent his entire career with.

Shawn reaches out and says that he loves all of the Suns' fans, but he thinks his time here is up.  The organization hasn't done a good job of keeping their intentions quiet, so it's hard not to feel for Marion.  Phoenix has been using Marion's name in trade rumors for several years now, including a possible 3-way trade involving Kevin Garnett, another w/ Kirilenko, the Lakers' Lamar Odom and several others.

I wish Shawn the very best if he does end up being traded, although I think he's not going to perform as well as he has with the Suns... the team is perfect for his style of play.  A possible trade would throw a huge wrench in the Suns plans for a title this year, since Marion was positioned to play both small & power forward positions.  With Amare at center and Hill at SF (or spelling Nash), Phoenix will be even weaker in the post & on the boards.

Shawn Marion formally requests a trade

Added 10/4/07
I read a great post from "Ricko" on his "But It's A DRY Heat" blog on FoxSports.  The post details Marion's impact on the Suns pre-Nash and post, his contributions to the team and good reasoning on why the Suns shouldn't trade him.  The post is a bit long, but well researched and makes good points.  It's worth your time, so check it out.

This season's fantasy basketball pre-rankings came out this week on Yahoo Fantasy Sports, arguably the web's most popular destination for fantasy sports.  We're not overly concerned with non-Suns players who made the list, so let's get into the details of where your favorite Phoenix Sun was ranked.

Steve NashSteve Nash - PG
Nash is in elite company, but wasn't the top rated fantasy point guard for the 2007-2008 season; that honor is given to the Wizards' Gilbert Arenas.  Coming in as the #2 rated fantasy PG, Nash will lead the Suns to the playoffs again and do his best to pad all his fantasy owners' stats.  The #2 ranking is quite good for Steve, especially considering his age and the level of competition at the position.  Rounding out the Top 5 point guards are: Dwyane Wade, Jason Kidd and Chris Paul.

Leandro BarbosaLeandro Barbosa - PG
While there's no doubting that Barbosa is emerging as a force to be reckoned with, he'll still be the 6th (or 7th) man on the playoff-bound Suns roster.  Despite the fact he's not even a starter for the Suns, Yahoo ranks Barbosa as the 10th best point guard...wow!  I would probably be more inclined to pick Deron Williams (#11) or Brandon Roy (#12), but Barbosa does deserve to be ranked ahead of most of the league's other starting point guards.

Raja BellRaja Bell - SG
Fantasy basketball is about stats, but that's not Raja's game.  Bell is more interested in playing defense and team ball on the way to a win, rather than trying to pad his stats for fantasy owners.  Because of his team oriented approach, it's not too surprising to find Bell listed as the #32 best shooting guard.  Raja Bell is a good pick, but probably not until the 6th round or later.

Shawn Marion - SF/PF
Shawn MarionMarion is a versatile forward who's listed as both a small forward and a power forward by Yahoo; this makes him an extremely valuable commodity, since he can be used wherever you need the most help (w/ your roster).  As long as Marion stays with the Suns (trade rumors are abound), you can expect him to keep putting up the same numbers that have helped Shawn be the #1 rated fantasy basketball player by Yahoo (2005 & 2006 seasons).  This year, Yahoo puts Marion as the #2 rated SF (behind Kevin Garnett).  Garnett and Marion are also rated 1 & 2 overall as power forwards.  As far as an overall contributor to your stats (across the board), Marion is a no-brainer.  Shawn has been consistent in FG%, FT%, 3-PT, steals, blocks, points and he usually ranks in the top 5 (rebounding).

Boris DiawBoris Diaw - PF/C
Of the Suns' player rankings, Diaw could end up the furthest from his projected ranking unless he recaptures the hustle & tenacity that he displayed in the 2005-2006 playoffs.  Boris could be a moderate bust (like last year) or he could be a great pickup for a team needing a steady backup center or power forward.  Right now, Diaw is rated the #25 PF by Yahoo and the #24 C.  Like Marion, Diaw can be used to fill holes at two positions and he should put up somewhat decent numbers.  If Grant Hill steps in and plays well (in limited minutes), I think Diaw is one player who's going to take a hit (fantasy-wise).

Amare StoudemireAmare Stoudemire - C
Much to this writer's surprise, Amare comes in as the only Suns player to be ranked #1 in his category (center).  I can't argue with the rankings, I just think there are a few other centers who, if healthy, will put up comparable numbers.  Those players include Yao Ming (#2), Tim Duncan (#3), Chris Bosh (#6), Carlos Boozer (#7), Al Jefferson (#8), and Dwight Howard (#10) among others.  Give Amare credit though - he's put in a lot of extra time this offseason (while not doing cover shoots) working on his game, including a 3-pt shot.  If he focuses a bit more on defense and records an extra steal or block each game, he'll put up great fantasy numbers.  Stoudemire played almost exclusively at center last year and I expect to see the same again this year; he may change up w/ Diaw every once in awhile, but probably not enough to become eligible as a PF.

As a general rule, you can't go wrong picking (any) Suns player to start on your fantasy roster.  With Steve Nash running the show, every player will get opportunities to put up better than average numbers.  It's possible that the Phoenix-trio (Nash, Marion & STAT) will all go in the 1st round of most fantasy drafts; hopefully you'll be one of the lucky ones!

On a personal note... I've been playing Yahoo's fantasy basketball since 2003 (Hoop's World before that) and am a big fan.  Their systems are easy to use and the league's are pretty fair.  I'd probably suggest signing up for a competitive league though, so you know you're getting a full set of owners who are interested in playing out the season. 

I hope to see you out there (w/ your own team)!

Additional Fantasy Basketball Resources:

Phoenix Suns NewsWhile the Suns season is still several weeks away from starting, there's a good amount of news and rumors abound this week.  

Perhaps the biggest news of the week, is a rumor that the Suns considered (or were proposed) a trade that included Shawn Marion and AK-47 (Andrei Kirilenko) - this is another stab at Marion's confidence and feelings toward the Suns organization.  As fans, we can only hope that the situation works itself out (for everyone) and that Marion & Co. advance to win this year's NBA Championship.

Below you'll find the most recent player & team news:

Phoenix Suns News

Suns To Audition Big Men Wednesday - RealGM - Marion,Illinois,USA
The Phoenix Suns will begin auditions for a vacant reserve big man spot today with Elton Brown, Vitaly Potapenko and Michael Ruffin all coming to town

Suite holders get to play sweet pickup basketball - Arizona Republic - Phoenix,AZ,USA
Steve Nash won't be around for an assist, but a lucky group of Phoenix Suns suite holders will get to travel on his turf next week. The Suns and US Airways...

Bordow: Marion sticky situation for Suns - East Valley Tribune - Mesa,AZ,USA
The Phoenix Suns love Shawn Marion, the basketball player. They treasure his versatility, his unselfishness and his ability to cover everyone from point...

Bordow : Trade Rumors Are All About The Matrix's Insecutiry - By GC
Why would an organization as savvy as the Phoenix Suns ever consider swapping a talent as prodigious as Shawn Marion for the underachieving AK-47? Perhaps, because as the East Valley Tribune's Scott Bordow suggests, "Marion's constant...

Steve Nash News

Nash feeling fresh back on courts - AZ Central.com - AZ,USA
Steve Nash has reveled in the chance to play half-court games over the past week with his new teammate, Grant Hill, at US Airways Center.

Guelph Youth Basketball hooks up with Steve Nash - Guelph Mercury (subscription) - Ontario, Canada
Guelph Youth Basketball Association is renaming its recreational program Steve Nash Youth Basketball after partnering with the Steve Nash Foundation.

Steve Nash: More Than Just a Basketball Star - The Official Phoenix Suns Blog - Phoenix,AZ,USA
Here'sa quick game for you: If you're a Phoenix Suns fan, raise your hand. Now, if you think Steve Nash helped bring hope back to Suns fans when he signed

Amare Stoudemire News

Amare Stoudemire Makes It Rain - AOL SPORTS - New York,NY,USA
That's Amare Stoudemire, proving yet again that some NBA players really do have more money than they know what to do with. What, you didn't think the whole...

Amaré looks forward to season - Arizona Republic - Phoenix,AZ,USA
LAS VEGAS - Sunday was golden for Suns center Amaré Stoudemire, from when he thoroughly enjoyed a pregame one-on-one matchup with a ball boy to a familiar...

Wednesday GM: Ben Gordon Or Kevin Martin, Dwight Howard Or Amare... - Hoopsvibe.com - USA
The Details: Howard and Stoudemire split minutes for Team USA. Howard dominated down low, grabbing rebounds, swatting shots, and shooting a high percentage

Amare Stoudemire Mo-Cap - By Steve Bolender
On Friday, Amare Stoudemire came to our San Diego motion capture studio to perform, conduct some interviews and be photographed and filmed. Decked out in a black and blue mo-cap suit fitted with numerous sensors he shot jumpers...

Leadership Talk - By TexSUN
It sounds like the time Mike D'Antoni has spent with Amare Stoudemire as an assistant coach during the FIBA Americas tournament has really helped the relationship between them. In an AZCentral article earlier this week...

Greg Oden's tonsils aren't going to force him to miss any practice or game time the rest of the season... good news right?

Wrong... Oden underwent microfracture surgery to help alleviate the soreness in his knee; a surgery that will force him to miss his entire rookie season w/ the Portland Trailblazers.

The top pick in the June draft went in for an exploratory procedure on his right knee and ended up having microfracture surgery, which means he will sit out the season.

"Greg looked at me as he was coming out of his surgery, and he and his mom, Zoe, probably said 'sorry' 20 times," Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said.

While Greg Oden does have several things in his favor - youth and recovery time - this type of surgery is still somewhat risky and could have long term effects.

Greg Oden - #1 Draft Pick in 2007 NBA Draft
Associated Press

Several players have made a successful return to the NBA after microfracture surgery, including the Suns' Amare Stoudemire, the Nets' Jason Kidd and a small group of others.  On the other side of the fence, many players have never been the same after having the surgery.  That list includes 90's superstars Chris Webber and Penny Hardaway.

While Oden's development was already hampered this summer from his tonsil issue, this latest setback is a devastating blow to the Trailblazers, who were hoping to compete for a playoff spot this year.  They already traded away Zach Randolph (to the Knicks) and bought out Steve Francis, so they're really going to struggle the entire season unless they make another trade.

Blazer nation is no doubt crying over the situation... after looking forward to a much improved season, they're left to wait another year.

"We picked the right kid, he cares about his organization. And I can't (overemphasize) how bad he felt, and not because he had to go through the rehab and all that, but because he felt like he let us down," Pritchard said, "and he hasn't let us down at all."

"I didn't tell anyone because I didn't want to seem like I was complaining or making excuses for anything. Plus, I wasn't doing anything at the time I realized it hurt, so I figured it couldn't be anything big," Oden said.

While it's hard to fault Oden for missing his rookie year, it's hard to believe that he didn't know about this before the draft.  Several scouting reports pointed out health & physical issues before the draft, so part of the blame has to fall on Portland's coaching staff.  Should they have drafted Oden still?  Probably, but trading away their other pieces was likely a premature move.

Phoenix Suns NewsNash, Barbosa and Tucker to Play in Charity Game in Beijing - NBA.com - USA
A trio of Phoenix Suns players, including two-time NBA MVP guard Steve Nash, 2006-07 NBA Sixth Man of the Year guard Leandro Barbosa and 2007 first-round...

Amare Disses the Bobcats - Bright Side of the Sun - Phoenix,AZ,USA
I'm going back to the Phoenix Suns, baby!" I doubt Amare intended any disrespect toward the Bobcats. I'm sure he only meant that it is much more fun going...

Posted by chowell | with no comments

To regular readers of this Suns blog, please don't leave...  we're working on building a bigger, better Phoenix Suns blog for you to visit and read.

Be sure to keep checking back for regular Suns posts & great changes to the website.

Oh, and COMMENTS are enabled now, so feel free to let me know how I'm doing or how you feel about the topics.

CJ

Posted by chowell | 1 comment(s)
Phoenix Suns News

Here's a summary of the top Phoenix Suns news for this week:

East Valley briefs: Suns to air all 82 games on TV - East Valley Tribune - Mesa,AZ,USA
The Phoenix Suns announced their 2007-08 broadcast schedule today, which will continue to allow fans to see all 82 regular season games on either the Suns'...

Who Will Lead The Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash And Raja Bell Or Amare... - Hoopsvibe.com - USA
Why force him to be The Man off-the-court? Who do you see as the leader of the Phoenix Suns? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

Posted by chowell | with no comments
NBA - National Basketball Association

The NBA announced yesterday that they're going to allow referees to use instant replay in games this year. 

Before you get excited (or pissed off), be aware that the replays will only be allowed in instances where a player or players are being ejected - flagrant fouls (type 2 only) and fights/brawls/melees/etc.  It basically comes down to this... if they're going to eject someone and possibly change the outcome of a game (or multiple games) as a result, they want to make sure they get the right guys the first time.

This announcement likely came as a result of all the crap the league had to take after suspending Boris Diaw and Amare Stoudemire in the Spurs-Suns playoff series earlier this year.  Neither player really should've been suspended since they didn't do anything (except leave the bench).  It remains to be known if the “leaving the bench” rule will change or be affected by the instant replay, but at least the refs will be able to eject only those players that were involved and not other players who weren't involved.

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Al McCoy, Voice of the Phoenix Suns, to be Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

The Phoenix Suns' Al McCoy, who's broadcasted games for 35 years, will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame September 7-8 in Springfield, MA.

Al McCoy will receive the 2007 Curt Gowdy Media Award during festivities Sept. 7-8 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  The award is annually awarded to a print and electronic journalist. Malcom Moran, a former USA Today and New York Times writer, also will be honored.

The award, given annually to one member of print and electronic media, is typically reserved for national figures. But the 35-year Suns broadcaster is a Valley institution who made his mark describing the action in lively lines like "hoop-de-doo for two" and the three-pointer exclamation: "Shazaam!"

Al is a staple for Suns fans, whether from hosting pre & post games on channel 45 or broadcasting games on the radio.  He's well respected in the broadcasting industry and the Curt Gowdy award is a reflection of that.  McCoy has also come up with some great nicknames for players and catch-phrases (and some not so great) during his tenure w/ the Suns.

Since 1972, he has been telling radio listeners what is happening on the court. He's created catch phrases like "Heartbreak Hotel" when a shot goes awry and "zing go the strings" when it sinks the net.

Through the Suns dynasties, he has coined nicknames for beloved players from the Nash Rambler to Sir Charles Barkley and Walter Davis, the man with the velvet touch.

I'm not sure “dynasties“ was the right way to phrase the Suns (how many titles have they won? 0)... back to celebrating McCoy.

Phoenix Suns' Al McCoy bobblehead doll

Throughout the years, we've come to know exactly what to expect when we turn on the radio or the TV to listen to Al's play-by-play and game conversation. 

In an era where sports are big business and even the announcers are minor celebrities, McCoy has stuck with calling the plays.

"The game is still the most important thing, not where the announcer had his dinner last night," he said. "Precision, accuracy in description and letting the game be the story" Schulte said of his lessons.  More from AZ Republic

Congratulations to Al McCoy for the great honor; he's very deserving for the hard work he's done for the Phoenix Suns and Arizona.

Posted by chowell | with no comments
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