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Suns Rising - A Phoenix Suns blog | Page 7

A game after setting a career high in points, Marcin Gortat decided that he wanted to one-up himself on Sunday night against the Hornets. In playing 24 minutes off the bench, he went 9-of-10 from the field and scored 25 points to lead the Suns to a 104-102 victory over New Orleans at US Airways Center. He also pulled down 11 rebounds in the contest, and gave Alvin Gentry yet another reason to consider inserting him into the starting lineup. 

What's preventing Gentry from doing that right now is that Robin Lopez is really playing a more aggressive and effective style of basketball. He displayed that pretty well Sunday, scoring 10 points and pulling down 6 rebounds, including three on the offensive end.

Channing Frye also represented the big men well in the game. He played 41 minutes in the game, knocking down three 3-pointers and pulling down eight rebounds on the night. It was a rare good shooting night for him, as he has been a lot more prone to throwing up bricks as of late than quality shots. He'll certainly be on a short leash, but he'll stay in the lineup if he can stay deadly from the floor. He'll also stay in Gentry's good graces if he can have a repeat performance of the three blocks that he picked up tonight. 

While the Suns only won the game by two points, the reality was that the game was a lot more tilted in Phoenix's favor. They really established a good tempo throughout, and their ball movement was solid. They did turn the ball over 10 times, but for the most part they moved the ball intelligently, picking up assists on 26 of their 38 baskets in the game. That number was bolstered by another awesome performance by Steve Nash, who picked up 15 more assists as he kept up his stretch of excellent play recently. He is still second in the league in assists behind Rajon Rondo, but he is gaining ground quickly with these kinds of games. 

Perhaps the most important element of Phoenix's effort these last two games is that they are playing well against some really good basketball teams. The Hornets have been one of the league's hottest teams, winners of 10 straight before losing to Sacramento on Saturday night. The fact that the Suns' defense, which is still ranked among the worst in the league in points allowed, has been able to hold the Celtics and Hornets largely in check speaks to the effectiveness of the meeting the team had before Friday night's game. A little home cooking never hurts of course (the team is in the midst of a five game home stand), but the cohesiveness the team is showing has to make fans of the team smile. 

The Suns are heading into a part of their schedule with some very winnable games, so as they careen toward the All-Star break, they need to stay focused on what has been working over their past couple of games (solid rebounding, good defense, and smart passing), and if they can, they can stay in the playoff race in what has largely been a disappointing year. 

Bright Spots: 

-For the second consecutive game, the Suns were the beneficiaries of injuries to key opposing players. On Friday, Glen Davis left early with a leg injury, and on Sunday Emeka Okafor left after the second quarter with a similar ailment. 

-Thanks to Paul Coro for this nugget: Gortat's 25 point and 11 rebound performance is the best performance by a big man off the Suns bench since Tony Delk went off for an identical performance in 2001. 

-Zabian Dowell signed a 10-day contract with the Suns on Sunday after back-up point guard Goran Dragic cut his toe stepping on a glass. He will miss at least a couple more games after taking nine stitches to close the gash. 

-The Suns are currently 2.5 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the West. Portland is 25-22, and the Suns currently sit with a game in hand at 22-24. The Grizzlies are in 9th place at 24-24. 


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All it took was a strong first quarter showing and some questionable officiating for the Phoenix Suns to win their third straight game over the Boston Celtics on Friday night. The 30-16 first quarter marked the Celtics' worst showing in any quarter all season, and it set the tone for an evening full of lackluster basketball at US Airways Center. 

The Suns came into this game having lost three games in a row after a five game winning streak had brought them back into the Western Conference playoff discussion, and they held a players-only meeting before their game against Boston. The results were apparent on the court, as the team came flying out of the gate with a 30 point quarter and some really solid defense against a team that has the most efficient offense in the NBA.

The big star of the game for Phoenix was Marcin Gortat, who has been coming off the bench in recent games with a great level of effectiveness. he dominated the glass on the defensive side of the ball against the Celtics, who are blessed with big men like Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett, and Kendrick Perkins. He pulled down 15 defensive rebounds in the contest, and to add to his excellent night, he scored 19 points in a career high offensive performance as well. Perhaps his best moment in the game came at the end of the second quarter, when he drained a three-pointer at the buzzer. It was his first three-pointer that he had attempted all season, and the form that he exhibited on it was really solid.

Another solid performance for the Suns was that of Vince Carter. He may have been the guy who took the most out of the pre-game meeting, because he came out and played with a fire that isn't often exhibited by the often nonchalant star. He aggressively attacked the rim, created some good opportunities for his teammates, and he really started to create his own opportunities in the second half of the game. His most noteworthy play came in the fourth quarter when he drew a charge, prompting Sports Guy Bill Simmons to tweet "either my drink is spiked with LSD or Vince Carter just took a charge!" When a vocal critic of yours is praising something that you did on the court, you must've done something right. 

The game was out of hand early on, but the Celtics started making a run in the fourth quarter. The spark for them seemed to come when Kevin Garnett set a pick on Mickael Pietrus, which he did not particularly care for. Pietrus then gave KG a shot to the grill, and the incident really seemed to kick start the Celtics. They actually started moving the ball, and their defense tightened up as well. Things were going swimmingly for them until another Garnett incident put Boston down for good.

Early in the game, Channing Frye was going up for a three-pointer when Garnett seemed to stick his shoe underneath him. Frye landed on it, and while he did roll his ankle a bit on the play, he was able to stay in the game. The reason this is relevant is that KG once again did the same thing on a play in the fourth quarter, but this time he added the wrinkle of taking a light shot at Frye's groin-region. Understandably, Frye took exception to this, and by the time the fracas was sorted out, the officials had reviewed the video and determined that Garnett should get a double technical foul on the play.

While this play certainly warranted a review with all the pushing and shoving that was taking place, the double-technical on Garnett was a little severe. The initial foul definitely should have been called, as a player has to allow another player to land on his shot without contact. The shot to Frye's groin definitely could've been called a single technical foul or even a flagrant-one (as Pietrus' shot to Garnett's jaw was in the same quarter), but to give him a double technical on the play seemed a bit excessive, albeit satisfying to a man who could feel Frye's pain on the play.

In any case, that was the end of the Celtics' run, and the Suns cruised to the easy victory. The Hornets will be in town on Sunday to provide another stiff challenge to a team trying to keep it's head above water, and it will be interesting to see if the Suns can build off the momentum they got from this win.

Bright Spots: 

-The 19 points that Gortat had in the game were a career high. 

-Celtics head coach Doc Rivers was given a double technical foul during the second quarter of the game during a television timeout.

-At one point the Suns were up 19 on the Celtics, which is the largest deficit that Boston has faced all season.

-The Celtics got into Phoenix at around 4:30am on Friday morning after playing a game Thursday night in Portland. They will get a day off before facing the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in an NBA Finals rematch on Sunday afternoon. After playing Sacramento on Tuesday, they will fly back to Boston where they will play the Mavericks, Magic, Lakers, and Heat over the next two weeks. Talk about a rough schedule. 

- During the game, Suns President Lon Babby was asked about questions surrounding Steve Nash and his future with the team. Babby was adamant that the team would explore options to make themselves better, but that Nash would not be among those traded. It will be interested to see if he'll feel the same way if the Knicks or Hawks make him a tantalizing offer over the next few weeks. 

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The Phoenix Suns took the court on Friday trying not only to end a four-game losing streak, but also to end 2010 on a positive note. After losing Amar'e Stoudemire to free agency and starting the current season in less than stellar fashion, the team has been teetering on the edge of running itself out of the Western Conference playoff race. 

If they are going to avoid that fate, they are going to need more solid defensive efforts like the one they displayed on Friday night, holding the Pistons to 75 points in a 17-point victory. Vince Carter had an excellent game with 19 points and eight rebounds, and Jared Dudley scored 19 of his own off the bench in the victory.

The big story going into this game (aside from the four game losing streak of course) was the decision by Alvin Gentry to tweak the starting lineup. Out went Channing Frye, who has been struggling in all areas of the game and especially from shooting the 3-ball, and in came the red hot Mickael Pietrus, who has been tearing up the league ever since coming over to Phoenix from Orlando a couple weeks ago. The move didn't pay immediate dividends for the Suns, as Pietrus went 4-of-12 from the field while scoring 11 points. He also added four rebounds in the victory. 

Another big story that emerged from this game was the decision by Gentry not to play two of his highest profile acquisitions from the off-season. Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick both sat the entire night, and it illustrated how serious Gentry is taking the notion of playing hot hands with players coming into the rotation. Warrick only played seven minutes on Wednesday night against Philadelphia, and the fact that he and Childress did not see the floor in a laugher certainly says something about their place on the team right now.

The other big story was the team's emphasis on defense. The Suns have been known forever as a squad that will run you to death, but Gentry instituted a new and simpler defense for the squad, and Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic probably put it best when he said that the Suns "dumbed down the offense to look smarter."  It worked out extremely well, as the Suns gave up nearly 50 points less in this game than they did in their previous contest. Players like Marcin Gortat lavished love on the new defensive system, and it was apparent that the Suns are going to slow the tempo of games down in order to play better defense. It's very hard to play transition defense when you are a team that struggles as a whole on that side of the floor, and so by slowing things down, they'll give themselves more time to set up. It may work, but it's going to take some time to determine the level of success.

Finally, the game also revealed once again that Gentry has a problem in the middle of his starting lineup. Simply put, Robin Lopez is not getting things done, and his 13 minutes were ineffective at best and worthless at worst. Gentry is going to pull the plug on this soon if he is smart, and Gortat will find his way into the lineup. He handled the ball well tonight in dishing out five assists, and he is a very good defender, so he beats Robin at his own game. Do not be surprised if Gortat finds his way into the starting lineup at some point in the very near future. 

Another potential dilemma for Gentry could be the matter of his small forward. Grant Hill has played extremely solid basketball this year, but Jared Dudley has been like a Red Bull for the team every time he gets on the floor. He could very well be a perfect component for a high-energy attack to start games, but Hill probably has the edge now that the team is focusing more on defense. Needless to say, no one envies the position that Dudley has put Gentry in, but it is certainly a good problem to have that he has two very talented small forwards vying for minutes.

Phoenix will now head to Sacramento to see if their defensive success can continue, and one thing is for certain: the fate of the Suns' season is hanging in the balance over these next few weeks, and it will be up to the team's veterans to lead the way. 


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Things haven't been going too well for the Phoenix Suns as of late. Coming off of losses to the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers, and with several players struggling with their games,the Suns have been starved for good news, but they might finally be getting some on Wednesday night. 

As long as everything goes according to plan during the morning shoot-around, shooting guard Vince Carter will make his Suns debut when Phoenix battles the Philadelphia 76ers at US Airways Center. The issue at stake is whether or not there is any swelling in Carter's knee. It has been bothering him for awhile, but instead of opting for surgery, Carter and the team have decided to rest the joint, and it might finally be time to see what the Suns got in their blockbuster trade with Orlando a few weeks ago. 

With Carter's possible return, here is the lineup Suns Rising would like to see head coach Alvin Gentry put on the floor Wednesday night:

Point Guard - Steve Nash

Shooting Guard - Vince Carter

Small Forward - Jared Dudley

Power Forward - Hakim Warrick

Center - Robin Lopez

There are two differences between this lineup and the one that Gentry is likely to use. He'll probably keep Channing Frye in at the four, and he'll probably start Grant Hill instead of Dudley at the three. While these aren't make-or-break moves, I would disagree with them nonetheless. Dudley has been playing very solid basketball lately, and it would be nice to give the Suns a wing threat to take some of the pressure off of Carter in his return game. With that wing threat taken care of, the Suns could then opt to start Warrick over Frye at the power forward spot, because Channing's game is predicated around the outside shot, and Warrick could give Phoenix more of a presence down low. The Suns are dying for rebounding presence in the paint, and Lopez would be helped greatly by Warrick's insane athleticism.

Another rotation I would like to see the Suns use would be one that they could use in the second or third quarters when they are using their reserve guys. Putting Frye at the small forward spot, I would like to see the Suns use this lineup:

 Point Guard - Steve Nash

Shooting Guard - Goran Dragic

Small Forward - Channing Frye

Power Forward - Marcin Gortat

Center - Robin Lopez

This move doesn't give the Suns a true shooting guard on the floor, but it does give them a couple of unique wrinkles. Having two fantastic ball movers in Nash and Dragic would present a match-up problem, and both of them can spot up from outside as well so they demand pretty tight coverage on the wing. Frye does the same thing and also means that a taller guy has to guard him in case he decides to drive the basket. Going big with Gortat and Lopez down low also means that Phoenix can double team a center in the paint and force the ball back out to the wing, where certain teams aren't good at shooting the ball.

This isn't a lineup that the Suns should use right out of the gate, but I think that it could be a very good change of pace during games, and could definitely spark a rally when one is needed.

These two lineups aren't the conventionally accepted ones that Gentry is likely to use, but both of them are definitely an interesting change of pace for a team in desperate need of a spark. We'll see what Gentry ends up going with and whether or not Carter actually plays, but isn't it fun just to be able to have 10 guys who can all play solid minutes again?  

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After a lackluster defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat on Thursday, it seemed like a shoe-in that the Phoenix Suns would bounce back against the LA Clippers on Sunday at Staples Center. After all, the Suns have beaten the Clippers the game after a defeat at least once in each of the past seven seasons. 

Alas, despite a 21 point and 15 assist effort from Steve Nash and Mickael Pietrus' 25 points off the bench, the Suns couldn't overcome an 18 point deficit and were beaten by the Clippers 108-103. Blake Griffin led the way for LA with a 28 point & 12 rebound performance, and Eric Gordon poured in 24 points of his own in the victory. 

The biggest problem facing the Suns again tonight was a lack of production from some key players. Alvin Gentry has begun drastically cutting minutes for players who fail to produce the instant that they get onto the court, and that was definitely the case with several guys tonight. Hakim Warrick only ended up playing seven minutes, going 0-for-1 from the field and not doing anything else. Robin Lopez picked up two quick fouls and ended up only playing 10 minutes as well. 

Even Pietrus, who had an outstanding night coming off the bench for Phoenix, had his own goat moment to sour the evening. Down three in the closing seconds, Pietrus was bringing the ball up court when he was stripped by Eric Gordon, and the Clippers held on for the win after that. Other than that costly miscue, he looked extremely comfortable on the court, taking feeds from Nash and knocking down shots with confidence. It is easy to see him fitting in nicely in the Suns rotation going forward, and he will likely continue to see some solid minutes if he can play with as much fire and passion as he did tonight. 

One of the more inconsistent performances of the night belonged to another new acquisition in Marcin Gortat. He did earn Gentry's blessing as evidenced by his 27 minuets off the bench, but he was a huge liability defensively and definitely contributed to the team's five point loss. He couldn't stop anyone driving to the basket, and even though he did score 11 points, his plus/minus of -19 was by far the worst of the night on either team (Channing Frye was second worst with a minus-7). 

Phoenix is going to need Gortat to play more solidly on the defensive side of the ball if he is going to see a lot of playing time in the Suns' rotation. He was brought over in the Hedo Turkoglu trade to shore up the middle of the floor for Phoenix due to the inconsistent play of Robin Lopez, but he will need to show off more athleticism if he is going to fill that role. 

Speaking of Lopez, Gentry would be well advised to try playing Gortat and Lopez together at times during a game. In a league where several teams have the option of going really big (including Dallas and the Lakers), the Suns would be able to better withstand those times if they could respond with two solid big men of their own. This isn't to say that going small and using speed to counteract the size isn't a good strategy, but it would at least add a new wrinkle to the equation for coaches like Phil Jackson to consider. 

An added benefit of a Lopez-Gortat combo would be that it would force Channing Frye off the floor. Granted, his size does make him an attractive option as a match-up problem and he can knock down the three ball with the best of them when he's hot, but the fact of the matter is that he is an enormous liability when he is off, and that is happening with startling regularity. Sunday night was no exception, as Frye went an anemic 1-of-6 from behind the arc. 

With a fast-paced team like the Suns, missed three-pointers are a huge problem. Not only do they generally not have big guys set up down low to rebound the missed shots (partly because Frye is out on the wing shooting the threes to begin with), but it also is a trait that can really screw with the psyche of the squad. 

For the benefit of the team, and possibly Frye himself, Gentry has to be willing to yank him out of games when he starts clanging threes left and right. The Suns cannot afford more outings where Frye is jacking up threes and missing nearly all of them. Every point is too valuable when you have a defense as porous as Phoenix does, and Gentry would be better off putting someone else out in the power forward spot. 

All in all, it was yet another disappointing game for the Suns. They will next take the floor on Wednesday night when they play Philadelphia at US Airways Center, so between now and, Coach Gentry is going to have some serious questions to contemplate as this team struggles to gain traction in a Western Conference that is threatening to pass them by. 


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The Phoenix Suns may have been celebrating the addition of two new weapons into their arsenal on Thursday night, but even without Dwayne Wade, the Miami Heat were more than happy to spoil the party in a 95-83 triumph at US Airways Center. 

In their debuts as Suns, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus didn't exactly dazzle the hometown fans. Gortat had 4 points and 4 rebounds in the losing effort off the bench, and Pietrus had two points and one assist on 1-of-6 shooting from the field. He also missed all four three pointers that he attempted, so it was a rough start for both the Polish hammer at the man who claimed to be better at soccer than Steve Nash. Ideally, the Suns would like Gortat to eventually push Robin Lopez for more playing time in the middle, and they will also look to Pietrus to seize the opportunity to play at the two or three spot on the floor.  

Author's Note: In an effort to make up for the fact that we did not post after the Suns' game on Monday, we'll go into some more editorial detail on the players on the team, and what the future could hold for them in the wake of this trade. 

Jared Dudley undoubtedly had the best performance of any Suns player on Thursday night. He drained seven three-pointers in the game, and he looked  completely at ease every time he was on the floor. It was a coming out party of sorts for Dudley, who is trying to stick in the starting lineup after the departure of Jason Richardson in last week's trade. He also pulled down 12 rebounds (five of which came on the offensive glass) and had three steals in 42 minutes, and he argued that his secret to success was hiding in the shadows behind the team's bigger stars: 

"Early on I got a couple shots at the wing, LeBron (James) was guarding me and I tried to get a couple of offensive rebounds, got me going, and then after that it’s getting stops in transition and nobody is really thinking about me, thinking about Steve and Grant (Hill), guys like that, so if I can keep getting shots it will be big for us."

With Vince Carter still out of the lineup with a knee ailment, Dudley is going to get plenty of playing time in the next few games. He is definitely one of the highest energy guys on a team that prides itself on exuberance and fast-paced efficiency, and he has worked really well with Nash in the backcourt during his short tenure as a starter. He creates space with his speed, can move the ball quickly, and attacks the rim both with the ball and without. He may not be the biggest guy on the floor, but his fearlessness has definitely won him some fans this season. 

If he continues to play with this kind of tenacity and effectiveness, head coach Alvin Gentry will likely not have much of a choice but to keep him in the lineup when Carter returns to the rotation. That will likely mean a demotion to the bench for Grant Hill, but if that is the biggest problem facing Gentry when VC makes his Suns debut, then this team is going to be in pretty good shape. 

Dudley's big performance may have been the highlight of the game for Phoenix, but the biggest disappointment had to have been the play of their bench. As a whole, the bench averaged 14 minutes of playing time and went a combined 5-of-23 from the field. They also combined for six turnovers and an atrocious minus-60 on the evening. 

Gentry was definitely not satisfied with the bench's effort in this game, saying “once again, we keep searching for consistency. I know I keep beating it like a dead horse but, we’ve got to be able to have some kind of consistency where we’re pretty much assured of what we are going to get most nights," he said. "The second unit has been very good and then we fluctuate back to struggling. In some kind of way we’ve got to get to the point where we’ve got a pretty good handle on what’s going to happen when I take Steve (Nash) out of the game," he added. 

He particularly called out back-up point man Goran Dragic as one of the guys who needed to step up, and his comments indicate that he feels like Dragic is the key to the entire second unit. When Carter returns, that will return at least Dudley or Hill to the Suns' bench, and that can do nothing but help the second unit. Phoenix desperately needs to capitalize on the embarrassment of riches they have when it comes to high energy athletes off the bench, and if that offense can continue to click even with reserves in the game, the Suns become even more dangerous. If they can't, then the Suns are just another team in the West, and likely can't even be considered a threat to make the playoffs. 

Ultimately, the story of this game is going to be the inability of Phoenix to generate any offensive push from their bench, but a close second is going to be the performance that LeBron James put forth against them. He had to play some extra minutes with Dwayne Wade out of the lineup, and he made the most of his 37 minutes of floor time with a 36 point, six rebounds, and three steals in the contest. He frequently displayed the athleticism that made him the most coveted free agent in history this off-season, responding to the crowd's taunts and jeers with a couple of thunderous dunks that garnered the approval of folks from Muhammad Ali to Larry Fitzgerald. 

With a 13-15 record, the Suns aren't exactly burning through the first part of their schedule. Even with their below .500 record, the team is still only a game and a half out of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, so they still have time to find themselves, especially with the new talent that is around the team. 

If Gortat and Pietrus can begin producing at a decent level, and if Dudley can continue flourishing as a starter, good things are going to happen eventually for this team. They may not be loaded with superstar talent like Amar'e Stoudemire anymore, but they have plenty of athleticism to compete in a tough conference. The next few weeks are going to go a long way toward determining whether the Suns are going to be contenders or pretenders this season. 


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Steve Nash may be a big fan of Spurs as a general rule (he's a Tottenham Hotspur fan in English Premier League play), but when it comes to the San Antonio Spurs, he probably shares most Suns' fans disdain/grudging respect for the franchise. 

While the Suns finally did beat the Spurs in last season's Western Conference Semi-finals, all of the times that San Antonio eliminated Phoenix from the post-season are still painful memories for most of the members of Suns Nation. As the two teams prepare to face off on Monday night in Texas, Jeff Garcia of the Bloguin site "Project Spurs" was kind enough to answer some questions about the Spurs, and we returned the favor about the Suns over on his site.

You can check out Suns Rising's answers here (even though he does display a picture of one of the most infamous moments in Suns history, the body check of Steve Nash by Robert Horry), but for his view on the Spurs, you can check out our conversation below:

1. The Spurs have always been known as a team that is capable of playing shutdown defense (especially come playoff time) but this season they have displayed one of the NBA's most potent offenses, ranking fourth in the league right now in PPG and are around the middle of the pack in points allowed. Is this just a fluke of the early season, or is this something that we'll continue to see as time wears on?

This is something that even caught most Spurs fans off guard. No it's not a fluke. Over the summer coach Popovich and his assistant coaches got together and decided to run more and it seems to be paying off. It benefits players such as Richard Jefferson, Tony Parker and George Hill who can use their athleticism. 

Will it continue? Yes and no. Yes it will be a used but as well all know as the playoff approach, the game slows down and this Spurs team has shown this season it can go back to the grind-it-out style. Case in point the game against the Milwaukee Bucks.  

2. Manu Ginobili has had a stellar start to this season, averaging nearly 20 points, five assists, and two steals per game. What has been the component of his game that has impressed you the most, and do you expect him to continue his success?

Well this is due to him having a full summer of rest and letting those nagging injuries heal. Hard to say if there is one component to single out because Spurs fans have seen this from him year-in and year-out prior to him getting injured. But if I had to pin-point a component I would say it be his never-say-die attitude and aggressiveness. After dealing with injury-riddled seasons I did not think he would play at this level and at his age.
3. The last time the Spurs and Suns played, Tim Duncan was probably the single biggest contributing factor to San Antonio eeking out a two point win. He scored 25 points and grabbed 17 boards. That performance is one of his best of the season, but he has looked really good out there even at 34 years of age. Will this guy ever slow down?
Well he did say prior to the NBA season he will play until the wheels come off. Duncan is just smart. He knows he isn't the player he once was so he can defer to other players. Also, he is reminding the NBA he still has something in the gas tank. How comforting is it for Spurs fans to know if he needs to step up, he can. 

Will he slow down? No and I advise all who think he is not the Duncan of old to change their minds because he is resting and will be ready for the stretch-run heading into the playoffs. You have been warned.

4. Looking to Monday's game, the Suns likely will be without Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat, as they aren't expected to be available until Thursday against Miami. With the team so short-handed, which player are you looking at as the "key guy" that the Spurs have to stop?

Obviously Steve Nash. Slowing  him down will be a task for Parker but Parker has proven he can go at Nash and be a handful. Kind of a twist of irony the guy the Spurs drafted Goran Dragic seems to stick it to the team who traded him so he will also be someone the Spurs will need to keep an eye out on. Spurs fans definitely remember what he did to us in last season's playoffs.
5. Final question: at 23-3, the Spurs are unquestionably one of the league's best teams. Do you think that they have what it takes to overcome the Lakers come playoff time, or do you think the roster needs a little bit of tweaking before April rolls around?

No. The Spurs Achilles heal right now is the lack of size. Duncan will do what he can do but aside form him there is a drop off. DeJuan Blair is undersized. Tiago Splitter has not lived up to the hype so far and is still transitioning into the NBA. Antonio McDyess is serviceable but he cannot go a full game and Matt Bonner is too one-dimensional to be an effective big. The Lakers have Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and newly acquired Joe Smith.

If they do make a move I am hoping it be another big but who is really out there to provide some impact? Not really anyone.

We really appreciate Jeff's candid answers, and we would advise all of you to check out his blog if you want a fuller understanding of San Antonio.  


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