Previous week’s games
01/15/10 Hawks 102, SUNS 101
01/16/10 Bobcats 125, SUNS 99
01/18/10 Grizzlies 125, SUNS 118
01/20/10 SUNS 118, Nets 94
Next week’s games
01/22/10 SUNS vs Bulls, 8:30 p.m., ESPN/Fox Sports Arizona
01/23/10 SUNS vs Warriors, 7 p.m., My45
01/25/10 SUNS @ Jazz, 7 p.m., My45
01/26/10 SUNS vs Bobcats, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
Right about now, lots of Suns fans are hitting the panic switch. People are asking for trades and claiming it’s time to blow things up. Is it really time to rebuild? That’s debatable. So, let’s debate!
Let’s start with expectations. Before the season started, it seemed that the consensus around the league was the Suns would fight for a playoff spot, with most “experts” saying we’d miss out on one. Those that said Phoenix would get in claimed it would be at best be as a sixth seed out West. So, with the Suns currently sitting as the sixth seed in the Western Conference a little more than halfway into the season, you’d think most people would be happy with that. From the chatter I’ve heard, though, people aren’t too satisfied.
There’s obvious reason for people to be less than happy with the Suns right now. The last two months they’ve played well below par. The talent level of this roster says the Suns shouldn’t be losing to the Indianas and Charlottes of the world. However, from time to time, this team will struggle, but as a result of the Suns’ impressive 14-3 start in October and November, this bump in the rode has people overacting.
A few weeks back, I wrote about the upcoming trade season and my belief was that Phoenix should stay pat. No reason to risk disrupting the chemistry this squad built early on. I still stand by that, for the most part. Sure, if some team out there is willing to take Jason Richardson off our hands, I’d more than likely be all for it. Thing is, teams aren’t calling for JRich.
I’ve heard lots of people say that it’s time we trade Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire, Grant Hill and just blow this team up. To me, that’s nonsense. I’m all for tweaking things; I just don’t feel it’s time for a complete overhaul.
If you’re going to rebuild, you do so with draft picks. We don’t have a first-round pick this year, so we can’t afford to start rebuilding this season. If you’re thinking we acquire picks by trading Nash, Stoudemire and Hill, think again. The only way any of those three players get traded is if they get traded to a contender. So, even if we traded any of them for draft picks, it would be a late first rounder. Do you really want to trade Nash for the 28th pick in the NBA Draft? Yeah, neither do I.
There’s still 39 games left in this season. That’s a whole lot of basketball to be played. Sure, we’ve slipped in the standings, but not by much. Only 3.5 games separate the Suns from the #2 spot out West, and only one game separates Phoenix from San Antonio and the 4 spot. If the Suns run off five in a row, we’re looking at home court in the first round of the playoffs. That’s just how bunched up things are out West right now, and the Suns are right in the mix of things. It’s way too early to throw in the towel.
People are still going to say we need to make trades — mostly the same people that complain about the previous trades we’ve made in past years, but I’m a half-full-cup kind of guy. The four-game losing streak wasn’t all bad news. It did show us that Robin Lopez can produce. There’s always some good to be taken out of everything. So, basically, I’m just trying to say, relax, Planet Orange. We’re going to be just fine.