Tag Archives: Phoenix Suns

Blazers First Round Match Up Possibilities

Portland Trail Blazers

Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are indeed one of the strongest title contenders in the Western Conference this season. Whilst they entered the 2013-2014 campaign as underdogs, they have earned the contender characterization thanks to their incredible performances, especially during the first months of the season and also thanks to their consistency. The Blazers currently rank third in the conference, but it’s still unclear at which spot they’ll end up at the end of the regular season. Let’s examine who will the Blazers play in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

The truth is that the Blazers seem capable of beating almost any opponent, at least in the Western Conference. The Blazers won’t most probably meet the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first leg, so we’ll keep them off of our discussion.

Dallas Mavericks

Portland Trail Blazers

Blazers

If the regular season ended today, the Dallas Mavericks would be the first-round opponents of the Portland Trail Blazers. Rip City would be the obvious favorite in this matchup. Although the Mavs are over performing this season, they have neither the quality nor depth to match with the Blazers in a seven-game series. Damian Lillard would own the point guard spot, since Jose Calderon is unmistakable slower than the Blazers’ superstar. In the battle of the power forwards, between Dirk Nowitzki and LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland has the upper hand, too. Aldridge is recording arguably the best season of his career, while Dirk not at the best shape he’s been.

Golden State Warriors
The Dubs will be an opponent to avoid for the Blazers come playoff time. The Warriors are a very dangerous team and when the duo of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry find rhythm, it’s almost impossible to stop them. The Warriors are great against teams with thin defensive lines and Portland currently ranks 25th in the league in points allowed. The Warriors currently rank seventh in the Western Conference but they are a potential opponent for the Blazers.

Phoenix Suns

Damian Lillard Blazers

Damian Lillard

The Phoenix Suns are another strong potential opponent for the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers could find themselves playing against the Suns, who have been impressive up to now in the season. No one really saw them coming this season and yet they have managed to establish themselves as one of the most dangerous teams in the West. No team, even the highest-seeded one, will really want to meet the Suns in the first leg of the playoffs. The Suns currently rank eighth in the West, but they may be able to climb one or two seeds by the end of the regular season.

Houston Rockets
The battle for the spots three to five is very close in the West. The Houston Rockets have been trying to clinch one of the highest ones this season. At the end, though we might see the Rockets falling a bit behind and meeting the Blazers in the first leg of the playoffs. Whilst Dwight Howard and James Harden have already build chemistry, the Blazers have the potential to top them in a seven-game series. My favorite match up would be the Blazers Vs Rockets!Chris Michaels

Western Conference Contenders and Pretenders

Western Conference

Western Conference

Two weeks into the 2013-2014 NBA season the Western Conference is taking shape. The usual contenders, San Antonio and Oklahoma City are at the top, but with Denver and the Los Angeles Lakers struggling there’s an opportunity for some new contenders to make a playoff run. Here’s a look at the elite, contenders and pretenders of the early NBA season.

The West Elite: (San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors)

The veteran San Antonio Spurs picked up where they left off and are off to a fast start to begin the season. They’re well coached, experienced and deep and should contend for the top record in the NBA all season. If Tim Duncan and Tony Parker can stay healthy the Spurs are the favorites for a return trip to the finals. The Oklahoma City Thunder welcomed back Russell Westbrook early and their star point guard seems to be the same explosive player he was before his meniscus tear. The Thunder is 5-1 on the season with their lone loss versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. The presence of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook guarantees 55 to 60 wins—how that translates into the postseason is the big question. The Thunder still misses that extra scorer that James Harden once provided. The Los Angeles Clippers are still adjusting to the coaching style of Doc Rivers, but have a deep lineup and bench and an elite point guard in Chris Paul.

The Next in Line: (Minnesota, Memphis, Dallas, Houston)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are finally healthy and displaying the potential that many predicted when Ricky Rubio arrived in the United States. In Rubio, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic the Wolves have one of the best trios in basketball and an elite Head Coach in Rick Adelman. The Wolves acquisition of Kevin Martin, who thrived under Adelman in Sacramento, has given the club the strong perimeter shooting two guard they missed. Look for the Wolves to challenge the 50 win mark and reach the playoffs for the first time under Love. Memphis switched Head Coaches, with Dave Joerger taking over for Lionel Hollins. They’ve struggled initially in the transition but still feature the same big and physical lineup that’s worked for them the past three seasons. Marc Gasol is one of the league’s best centers and he forms perhaps the best center/power forward combination in basketball with Zach Randolph. The Dallas Mavericks, who missed the playoffs last season, have rebuilt to make another run. The newly minted backcourt of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon is working so far, giving Dirk Nowitzki the guard play he hasn’t had since the Mavs title run. The key for Dallas, like San Antonio, is the health of their veteran players. Over in Houston the Rockets have the potential to be in the elite group, but have struggled defensively so far this season. Dwight Howard is showing many of the same inconsistencies he displayed in Los Angeles last season and he’s not yet providing the interior defensive presence the Rockets desperately need. Houston can score points on anybody; the big question is whether or not they can defend like an NBA title contender. Right now the jury is still out.

On the Upswing: (Portland)

The Blazers are off to a fast start (5-2), although only one victory is over a legit playoff contender (San Antonio). That being said the Blazers look to be a club that can occupy the playoff position(s) that the Lakers and/or Denver may be vacating. LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the premier power forwards in the game, while Damian Lillard and Nicolas Batum are consistently improving their game. The Blazers have been efficient, reducing turnovers, and are second in the conference in field goal attempts per game. Their +4.0 scoring margin is good for 5th in the conference.

Bubble Teams: (Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans)

Putting the Lakers in the bubble team category may be a stretch. Their success hinges on how close to .500 they are when Kobe Bryant returns. Los Angeles has improved their overall depth and the youth of their roster, but still lacks the quality depth of most playoff contenders. It’s questionable whether or not Steve Nash has anything left in the tank as he battles persistent injuries. If Nash can’t provide the minutes the Lakers need they may plummet down the standings. The Pelicans are an interesting club. They’ve had some good victories this season as well as some bad performances. They’ve injected some talent into their roster but it’s still not clear how the backcourt trio of Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holliday will co-exist due to their high ball usage rate. Inside though the Pelicans have the emerging Anthony Davis who’s quickly becoming the superstar many predicted. Davis alone could be the difference maker that vaults the Pelicans into playoff contention.

The Pretenders: (Sacramento, Denver)

The Sacramento Kings have a talented roster that once again looks like a bunch of spare parts. DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most talented big men in the game, putting together a solid season. His checkered past though makes it hard to rely on him day in and day out. Ben McLemore has great potential but he’s young and finding his place in the NBA. The Kings have nice depth inside and some solid role players, but due to the consistent roster overhaul it’s been hard for them to find consistency. They’ll be a lottery team again. Denver, a Western Conference power last season is off to a slow start in the post-George Karl era. Losing several key roster components, like Andre Iguodola, Corey Brewer and Kosta Koufus has disrupted their rotation. They still have Ty Lawson to lead the team but the recent injury to Javale McGee is another blow to their depth. Denver has a significant home court advantage at Pepsi Center that could make them a fringe playoff contender, but it’s hard to see them making much of a run.
Andrew Wiggins Contenders: (Utah)

The Jazz are the NBA’s worst right now. With Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson playing for other teams the Jazz are relying on the young of Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter to provide the bulk of the scoring. The trio has potential but they’re young and overmatched against the rest of the Western Conference. Utah is solidly positioned to get a high lottery pick with the ability to add a significant piece next June.

By:Chris Michaels

The record-breaking winning run continues for the LA Clippers as they defeat the Phoenix Suns 103-77

Once again the Clips showed their teeth and won easily on the road by double digits to record their 13th straight win and the six consecutive on the road. They have already broken their all-time winning record with their last win against the Sacramento Kings. “We hear it all but we’re about just getting these wins and if they come within a streak or when we haven’t won somewhere, that’s fine.” said star forward Blake Griffin after the game. He led all scorers with 23 and some monster dunks during the game. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and made once again clear that he is capable to retain his all-star level gameplay and help his team reach its goals this season. He was successful on 7 of his 11 attempts from the field and also hit a 3-pointer in his 32-minute performance. For yet another time, Clippers Head coach did a great job distributing minutes effectively between the starters and the bench. “I thought our starters did a good job in the first quarter and then our second quarter, we jumped on them” , commented Clippers Coach Vinnie Del Negro.

Chris Paul also had a great game with 17 points and 13 assists. The usual suspects off the bench, Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes contributed as well as they normally do combining for 37 points. The team shot an overall 55.2% from three point range, 11-21 and also made 38 shots from the field in 71 attempts, 53.5%, while holding their opponents to just 36.3% and a disappointing 3-17 from beyond the arc. Although the Suns had a good start and were up 14-12, two made shots from downtown from Caron Butler boosted the score to 50-69 for the Clips but they didn’t stop there and continued to make it a 31 point game, 60-91 in the end of the third period.

It was a rather non-flattering performance for the Suns, who were left wide open on defense in many times and turned the ball over allowing their opponents to score easy baskets. Jared Dudley had a team-high 19 points and Luis Scola finished with 11, while the rest of the team ended up in single digits. The Suns tied their season low in points scored. Head Coach Alvin Gentry was ejected with 2:33 left in the first half, after receiving two consecutive technical fouls. Six technical fouls were issued to both teams during the first three quarters.

Phoenix played without their star forward Michael Beasly and knew even before the game that this one would be tough for them. The Clippers are still playing without Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill, who both are sidelined with injuries. During their winning streak, they have won by an average of 13 points, four of them are with a 20+ points difference.
The Clippers play in front of their home crowd at Christmas against the Nuggets and then face the Boston Celtics at the Staples Center on Thursday. Last two games of the year are against the Utah Jazz, first one away and the last one, Sunday December 30th at Staples Center. Phoenix plays home on Wednesday night against the Knicks.

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Suprise Steve Nash a Los Angeles Laker

Steve Nash Los Angeles Lakers

Steve Nash Los Angeles Lakers

Espn.com is reporting that the Lakers have a greed in terms to a 3 year sign and trade deal for PG STEVE NASH. Nash broke the Phoenix record for all time assists and is 5th in the all time NBA list.

The Suns will receive 2013 and 2015 first-round picks and 2013 and 2014 second-round picks from the Lakers, according to the Arizona Republic.

The deal can’t be officially completed until July 11, when a leaguewide moratorium on new business is lifted.

There are also rumors that Nash will try hard to convince Grant Hill to sign with the Lakers.

More to come on this!

Lakers looking to eclipse the Sun

Preview: L.A. Lakers At Phoenix Suns
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 7, 2012
Where: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Lakers Vs Suns Tickets sold out for tonights game.

THE STORY: After letting a winnable game slip away their last time out, the weary Los Angeles Lakers face the challenge of mustering enough energy as they prepare to play their sixth game in eight days. Both teams will be playing on the second night of back-to-backs when the Lakers travel to face the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night. The Pacific Division foes have split the first two of three meetings this season.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, KCAL-TV

ABOUT THE LAKERS (35-21): Andrew Bynum wasn’t around to see the conclusion of the Lakers’ 112-107 loss to Houston on Friday, as the All-Star center was ejected early in the fourth quarter for a second technical. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak. Bynum has been a dominating force of late and was coming off one of his better scoring performances of the campaign when he had 36 points against the Clippers while nursing a sprained ankle.

ABOUT THE SUNS (28-27): The Suns had surged in recent weeks, winning 11 of 17 games after a slow start before a late collapse on Friday. Phoenix surrendered the game’s final nine points in a 105-99 loss to Denver. “It was a bad loss for us,” point guard Steve Nash said. “We had a bad close to the game and didn’t make plays down the stretch.” Nash had 14 points and 11 assists and is averaging 11.2 assists per game, percentage points shy of his career high.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. The Lakers are in search of their fourth consecutive road victory overall.

2. Michael Redd’s career resurgence is gaining steam. The Suns’ shooting guard is averaging 16.3 points his past three outings.

PREDICTION: Lakers 98, Suns 92.

Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors

Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors
NBA, Western Conference, Pacific Division
Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
Monday, February 13th, 2012. 10:30 PM EST

Analysis of the Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns, led by PG Steve Nash, were one of the elite teams in the NBA just a few years ago. Nash and PF Amare Stoudemire were a deadly combo, and the Suns were popular picks to win the West. Now Stoudemire is gone and the other key pieces (outside of Nash) have been traded away. The Suns are starting their rebuilding process, and a 12-15 record in 2012 shows this.

Analysis of the Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are where the Suns would like to be in 2-3 years. An incredibly young squad with some great pieces built around the draft (mainly), the Warriors have yet to turn their talent into results on the court (going 9-14 on the year so far) but certainly are capable of being on of the better teams in the West given a year or two of experience and one more elite player.

Key Players
Phoenix Suns: Marcin Gortat
The leading scorer, rebounder, and blocks man on the Suns, Gortat will get a favorable matchup against C Andris Biedrins of the Warriors. If Gortat can step up and get 20-15-5 of points, rebounds, and blocks, the Suns will come out of Oakland with a W.

Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry
Curry, the 3rd year PG out of Davidson, was drafted 8th overall in 2009. If it were done again he’d be a top 5 pick for sure. After missing the start of the season with ankle trouble Curry has played very well, averaging 18 points and 7 assists each game this season. A game where he goes 20-10 against the Suns would really help the Warriors win.

Key Statistics
Rebounds:
Both the Suns and the Warriors are in the bottom 5 in the NBA in rebounding, only pulling down about 41 rebounds a game to the league leading 45. Both squads have an elite big man (Gortat for the Suns, PF David Lee for the Warriors) that can really pull down the ball when needed, and the team that has the rebounding edge in this one will come out on top.

Prediction
The Warriors are one of the higher scoring teams in the league and also have their own version of the big 3, Curry, Lee, and SG Monta Ellis. The Suns counter with Nash, one of the best point guards in the history of the NBA. While this game could swing either way for a variety of reasons, I think that you have to take the big 3 over the elite 1 in this situation.

Prediction = Golden State Warriors: 110 – Phoenix Suns: 90

Top Five Retro Basketball Games

Arguably one of the greatest NBA game of all time occurred during the 1976 showdown in the final match of the NBA championship between the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns. The first overtime ended with Paul Silas (Celtics) attempting to signal an unauthorized timeout subsequently ignored by referee Richie Powers ending the period tied. At the end of the second overtime, the Suns scored to take a one-point lead with only four seconds to the buzzer. John Havlicek sprinted down the floor and sunk a fifteen-foot jumper to put the Celtics up by one, bringing hundreds of fans to the floor in celebration; the game, however, was not yet over. With one second restored to the clock, Paul Westphal (Phoenix) requested an ineligible timeout resulting in a technical foul. The Celtics scored, moving to a two-point lead, but the Suns with ball at half-court scored on a Gar Heard jumper to tie. The stunned Garden crowd went silent. Glenn McDonald, Celtic reserve, scored six points in the final period to bring home a 128-126 win for Boston.

One game previous to this Celtic win was a dynasty defeat in 1958 NBA championship final competition which ended a decade long run by the infamous Boston club. The St. Louis Hawks, whose 6’9” power forward Bob Petit, scored 50 points, 19 of which were in the final team 21 as they steam-rolled over Boston with a last minute tip-in leaving fifteen seconds on the clock in a 110-109 Cinderella win.

A game just four years later marked the astonishing feat by Bill Russell in the final contest of the 1962 NBA championship season whose 30 points and 40 rebounds led the Boston Celtics to a 110-107 defeat over the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime.

The 1980 6th game of the NBA finals comes on the heels of this competition with rookie Magic Johnson suiting for injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At halftime, the Lakers and the 76ers were tied at 60-60. The Lakers came out explosive in the third quarter firing fourteen unanswered points and stunning the Spectrum crowd as Johnson commanded the boards with 42 points. He was, however, overshadowed by Jamaal Wilkes who scored 25 of his 37 in the second half.

An awesome spectacle by Michael Jordan occurred in the 1986 NBA first round playoff game between the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics in which the Bulls fell to the Celtics 135-131. Jordan, in a his one-man show at Boston Gardens, made it into the annals of NBA history with an awesome display which included fade-away jumpers and signature flying dunks to drop 63 points for the Bulls effort that included 19 of 21 free throws and 22 of 41 field shots.