Previous week’s games
01/14/2011 SUNS 115, Blazers 111
01/17/2011 SUNS 129, Knicks 121
01/19/2011 SUNS 106, Cavs 98
Upcoming week’s games
01/21/2011 SUNS @ Wizards, 5 p.m., My45
01/22/2011 SUNS @ Pistons, 5:30 p.m., My45
01/24/2011 SUNS @ 76ers, 5 p.m., My45
01/26/2011 SUNS vs Bobcats, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
About a week-and-a-half ago, the Phoenix Suns appeared to be dead. They were coming off a blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets in which the team played with little or no effort and they were sitting six games below .500 with a 15-21 record. Today, the Suns find themselves in the middle of a five-game East Coast road trip and things are starting to look up.
The Suns, now winners of four straight, have moved up to the ninth seed in the West and are currently making a hard-fought push to get into the playoff picture. Their record has jumped to 19-21 and can continuing improving with a win tonight against a bad Wizards team.
Looking ahead at the upcoming schedule, the Suns have the chance to run the table on this trip and earn to a winning record for the first time in a very long time. In fact, the rest of the month is pretty favorable for Phoenix. If the Suns can continue to beat the teams they should beat, the momentum they build could carry over and turn into wins against some tougher opponents.
Despite the horrible stretch of basketball this team recently had, the Suns may actually be in a pretty good spot. The three teams above Phoenix in the playoff race are such big question marks that the Suns could surpass them all before the 82-game regular season is through. This will require obvious improvements from Planet Orange, but it’s entirely possible.
Portland, as resilient as they are, could easily start to slide as their knee injuries continue to pile up. Denver remains sidetracked by Carmelo Anthony trade talk, and if they trade him, which I think they will, they’ll have a tough time recovering and finishing the season strong. Then there’s New Orleans, who I haven’t favored all year.
Sure, the Suns have still had their issues, like letting Cleveland back into the game Wednesday night, but overall this team is starting to come around. The guys are finally starting to mesh. Coach Gentry seems to have a solid rotation. Each guy knows his role.
Marcin Gortat is coming around. Vince Carter is giving max effort, picking up rebounds and dishing out assists even when he isn’t scoring. Goran Dragic is becoming more aggressive. Channing Frye has found his stroke and picked up his D. Jared Dudley continues to get better and better. And Steve Nash and Grant Hill still amaze us every night.
Planet Orange is starting to show signs of life. Basketball is fun again.
The second issue of DPJ magazine hits the streets of Central Phoenix on Tuesday, January 25, and there are plenty of reasons to pick up a copy at January’s Radiate PHX or one of 300 or so locations nearest you:
- Find out how light rail is fueling a pedestrian culture in Downtown Phoenix, from First Friday to running daily errands
- Utilize a four-page pull-out Artlink map to visit some new places on your next First Friday adventure
- Discover how Encanto Park has evolved over 75 years
- Uncover a 100-year-old hidden gem in Garfield that draws in visitors from all over the world
- Take a look at CASS’ operations on the Human Services Campus and how it is sculpting the makeup of Downtown
- Hear what Downtown spot is Phoenix Suns power foward Hakim Warrick’s weakness
- Check out the evolution of PHXRailFood.com
- Read restaurateur Sam Fox’s thoughts on Downtown as he readies The Arrogant Butcher at CityScape
- Stay up to date on all of the latest Downtown buzz and events
- …and more!
Previous week’s games
01/07/2011 Knicks 121, SUNS 96
01/09/2011 SUNS 108, Cavs 100
01/11/2011 Nuggets 132, SUNS 98
01/12/2011 SUNS 118, Nets 109
Upcoming week’s games
01/14/2011 SUNS vs Trailblazers, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
01/17/2011 SUNS @ Knicks, 11 a.m., My45
01/19/2011 SUNS @ Cavs, 5 p.m., My45
To say the Phoenix Suns have struggled this season would be a huge understatement. They’ve been pretty awful, and the team’s play has looked very uninspired at many times, especially in the last month or so. The team has been on life support for quite some time. I think they were even in a brief coma (see losses to the Clippers, 76ers and Kings).
Going into tonight’s matchup with the visiting Portland Trailblazers, the Suns are five games below .500 with a 16-21 record, currently three games in back of Portland for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. When you consider their play, being just three games out isn’t too bad, and certainly puts them within striking range to make a push for that final playoff spot. If Phoenix is going to make that push, it needs to happen now.
The Suns have reached a point where they need to decide if they’re going to move forward with what they have or finally do the unthinkable and move two-time MVP Steve Nash. I’m in the boat that says they should still stick with Nash.
Can the Suns compete for a championship? Absolutely not, but they can certainly get back into the playoff picture while playing an exciting brand of basketball. If the Suns can put together a streak of five wins in a row or seven out of eight, things would start looking a lot better on Planet Orange.
I know I’m going to get blasted for this, but Wednesday’s overtime win against the Nets could turn out to be the type of win that sparks a team. In the fourth quarter and OT, we saw something we haven’t seen from the Suns in a while. They showed fight. They played with passion. They finally had a bounce in their step.
Fans in attendance Wednesday night saw a change in the players in the latter portion of the game. Everyone at US Airways Center rose to their feet and chanted “defense” without having a PA announcer or a jumbo-tron tell them to do so. That never happens in Phoenix.
Vince Carter showed signs of life, making some big plays down the stretch. Goran Dragic shared time in the backcourt with Nash and his confidence immediately jumped. Jared Dudley continued to be in baller mode. And Nash, was well, Nash.
I’m not trying to make a big deal out of an overtime win against the lowly Nets. I’m not saying people should get too excited with this win. I’m just saying the Suns aren’t dead yet. Lets leave the plug in a little longer and see if Nash and company can be revived.
DPJ is proud to bring you the best Yelp reviews of your favorite Downtown restaurants, boutiques, venues and everything in between. Every week, visit DPJ for a finely crafted, tell-all account of a Downtown spot straight from the experts: the people!
Fantastic! I vote 4.5 stars. I can’t wait to become a regular, try everything, and update with a fifth star! In addition to great food, what makes Vitamin T stand out among the rest are the creative twists to simple, good food.
Just walking up, I could feel the energy from the people hanging out on the patio and the (good) music filling the area. I almost walked right past the patio entrance in front of the main entrance, but luckily someone else was coming out so I noticed it.
The place was hopping, but it wasn’t too crowded, and you really have to expect that the first few days of a new place Downtown. Personally, I think it just adds to the excitement.
I couldn’t decide what I wanted to try first, so I went with three tacos ($7) and the Vitamin T Green Salad. The guy taking my order was super nice and seemed happy to be there (always a plus in my book). Add on a nice, refreshing lemonade for $1.50 and off to the salsa bar I go!
A good variety of salsa and even a few non-salsas. I loved the grilled onions, I could eat those as a side instead of a topping. And then there was some sort of pickled carrot, jalapeno and garlic concoction that I had to try.
Standing at one of the cool tequila barrels, waiting for my number to be called, I was really jealous of the dudes on the patio drinking their beers with their delicious food. As much as I wanted to stay and also have a beer (or margarita), SOME of us had to go back to work (insert cartoon music… Whaw Whaw Whaaa).
Finally, back at my desk, ready to taste it all! Out of the three tacos, the barbacoa was by far my favorite. The chicken and veggie tacos were good, too, but that barbacoa had a flavor that still makes my mouth water.
As a salad lover, I have to say this was a great one. I didn’t get any meat on it, so it was perfect complement to my tacos. Probably more than I needed, but I had to try it. The jicama and arugula in the salad really make a regular salad into something great; and that creamy avocado lime dressing… YUM!
Turns out, my nutrition has been lacking all along; I’ve been missing my Vitamin T! Now that I know where to get my fix, I see many more trips in my future!
Vitamin T is located at 1 E. Washington St. (light rail at Central/Washington or 1st Ave./Jefferson) — 602.688.8168
The DPJ Yelper of the Week offers honest insight on a Downtown business to help you explore your core. DPJ hopes that by partnering with Yelp to spread the good word about well-loved Downtown spots, you’ll spread your patronage and support local business.
Yelp is a social networking and local search engine that provides the reviews of places and things that matter to you. Simply log in, pick a place and queue up your inner critic. You can write a beaming review of your favorite gelato spot, or a scathing portrayal of that rental car facility you had to use after that curb came out of nowhere. Yelp’s reviews are at once honest, uncensored, wildly hilarious and true. Heck, the site must be doing something right — it had 26 million viewers just last month!
Previous week’s games
12/31/2010 SUNS 92, Pistons 75
01/02/2011 Kings 94, SUNS 89
01/05/2011 Lakers 99, SUNS 95
Upcoming week’s games
01/07/2011 SUNS vs Knicks, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
01/09/2011 SUNS vs Cavs, 6 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
01/11/2011 SUNS @ Nuggets, 7 p.m., My45
01/12/2011 SUNS vs Nets, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
Remember back when MTV had its Rock ‘N’ Jock basketball games? We’d get to see celebrities playing basketball and acting silly. It was a lot of fun. MTV did away with Rock ‘N’ Jock long ago, but we have a nice, and in some ways better, replacement here in Phoenix.
On Saturday, January 29, the Phoenix Suns will host their 10th annual Jack in the Box Celebrity Shootout presented by Robert and Carole Machiz at US Airways Center. For those of us in Phoenix, this is the perfect replacement to the old Rock ‘N’ Jock games. Sure, we don’t have a team named the Bricklayers or a 25-point basket, but we do get to attend the games live and get to see some of our favorite movie stars and musicians up close and personal, joking around and having a fun time. Oh, and it’s not full of B-list celebrities like Dean Cain. We get real stars.
This year’s rosters have yet to be released, but if they’re anything like that of past events, we’ll be in for a treat. In the previous nine years of the Celebrity Shootout we’ve seen Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx, American Idol and local product Jordin Sparks and hip-hop god (but horrible actor) Common. Oh, and Dean Cain.
Not only do you get to see celebrities in a different environment, you get the option to hang out with them the night before, January 28, at the Celebrity Affair Party in Scottsdale. How often do you get the chance to hang with some of your favorite actors? Exactly.
To top it all off, all proceeds go to benefit Phoenix Suns charities and Nite Hoops. You have no reason not to go. Buy tickets, go to the event and have a good time, all while supporting a good cause.
For more information on how to get tickets, visit the official Celebrity Shootout website.