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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:45 PM   #1
sly fly
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Steven Hunter: Doghouse or Injured?


Steven Hunter has gone from being an integral part of PHX's interior defensive to a DNP-CD night after night.

Beyond the occasional times of not boxing out or poor FT%, there is something going on that we as fans are not seeing. Is his attitude or emotions causing Mike D'Antoni to fall completely out of favor with him? Off the court issues?

Opponents have been getting too many easy buckets in the lane. It's no coincendence that this has been increasing since the dissapearance of Hunter.

There is no other player on the roster who can make an impact down low like Hunter. Amare needs help on the weakside.

Something needs to be done. Soon. PHX will not be able to turn the D on and off. This is a real glaring weakness that has taken away the dominating performances on BOTH ends of the court.

... Or, is Hunter's finger more damaged than originally thought?
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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:55 PM   #2
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Not playing Hunter is the worst decision D'Antoni has made yet. Even if he isn't playing great now, for the Suns to have any success in the playoffs, they will need an inside presence. I fear the additions of Jackson and McCarty are just "more of the same". We still have no interior presence, and in a game like last night, it really hurt us. Hunter has no guarantee of success, but at least he has the potential to be something, other than Voskhul, who we know can do nothing.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:59 PM   #3
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I would think that if it were Hunter's finger that has kept him out of this many games, something would have been said long before the one line in the paper a couple days ago saying that he will need surgury in the offseason.

I think he's in the doghouse.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #4
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I wouldn't say Voshkul can't do anything, but I would say that he excels at nothing (other than fouls per minute). I would think it has to be an issue of attitude, focus and/or basketball IQ. The only other possibility I can think of is that Jake and/or his agent complained about playing time and this is Jake's chance to show he can play.

It really doesn't make any sense that D'A will give Q a greenlight even if he's shooting 0-8 3pt, but if Hunter blows one defensive assignment he's all over him.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 02:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASUCHRIS
Not playing Hunter is the worst decision D'Antoni has made yet. Even if he isn't playing great now, for the Suns to have any success in the playoffs, they will need an inside presence. I fear the additions of Jackson and McCarty are just "more of the same". We still have no interior presence, and in a game like last night, it really hurt us. Hunter has no guarantee of success, but at least he has the potential to be something, other than Voskhul, who we know can do nothing.
I agree with that, but that still doesn't the question.

There has to be something going on that is making Mike D jeapordize the success of his team. You just don't sit a 7'0" defensive fly-swatter unless something is seriously wrong.

Hunter got D'Antoni's attention after the home loss to Minnesota. He came in and almost brought them back with his D. Before that, D'Antoni was also hesitant to use him.

We're going through the same thing again. Hunter needs to prove himself either in practice or limited game minutes. Or else, I hope PHX plans on scoring 150 every night.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 02:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeecham

It really doesn't make any sense that D'A will give Q a greenlight even if he's shooting 0-8 3pt, but if Hunter blows one defensive assignment he's all over him.

Well, a starter usually gets a lot more leeway than a bench player. That makes plenty sense to me.


I really have no idea why Hunter isn't playing though. My guess is it is a combination of things. The last few games he played in down the stetch he proved he was a big liability for a hack a hunter technique.

Oh well I guess. I wish he was playing some, but I am not going to loose sleep over it.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 02:15 PM   #7
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Yeah, I'd like to believe that we are a championship caliber team, but let's face it, without a decent interior presence, our only chance is if a combo of any 2 of Marion, JJ and Q are hot....I don't like my odds... JJ for Dalembert seems like a better idea every game to me. JJ is just the ultimate tease, and more often than not, he doesn't show up in big games, like last night. I think our balance would be stronger without having JJ, Q, and Marion hanging around the three point line, with only Amare inside. (and even Amare takes his fair share of long jumpers).
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Old February 18th, 2005, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeecham

It really doesn't make any sense that D'A will give Q a greenlight even if he's shooting 0-8 3pt, but if Hunter blows one defensive assignment he's all over him.
Exactly.

Anyone know if Hunter has played at all since the time he was yelled at & yanked by D'Antoni? By the way, don't ask WHICH time ..... It was the time D'Antoni was rather livid about a mistake Hunter made and I'm sure most of us remember it.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #9
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I remember it and I it was in the Seattle game. I'm not sure exactly what he did, but I think he came into the game and let his man get good rebounding position for an offensive rebound and putback and D'A yanked him right back out after 1 play. He hasn't played since.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 02:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jbeecham
I remember it and I it was in the Seattle game. I'm not sure exactly what he did, but I think he came into the game and let his man get good rebounding position for an offensive rebound and putback and D'A yanked him right back out after 1 play. He hasn't played since.
If he did that with Amare he would get DNPs as well. Hunter is what the Suns need and Mike just doesn't want to play him at all? If not Hunter then let Bo play Jake just doesn't get the job done.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 02:52 PM   #11
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If he did that with Amare he would get DNPs as well. Hunter is what the Suns need and Mike just doesn't want to play him at all? If not Hunter then let Bo play Jake just doesn't get the job done.
Show me a time when Jake was a liability last night. There isn't any. He was just fine last night.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 03:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeecham
I remember it and I it was in the Seattle game. I'm not sure exactly what he did, but I think he came into the game and let his man get good rebounding position for an offensive rebound and putback and D'A yanked him right back out after 1 play. He hasn't played since.
That was against Seattle. Not only did D'Antoni give him the evil eye, Alvin Gentry slapped Hunter's ass and had a desperate look of frustration on his face.

Someone needs to call in to one of the radio shows when Phil Weber, Gentry, or D'Antoni are on and try and get the scoop.

Those coaches can't be sitting there and believing everyhing's roses on the defensive end.

Hunter needs to take most of the blame on this. Whatever he's doing, it's pissing somebody off.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 03:02 PM   #13
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Show me a time when Jake was a liability last night. There isn't any. He was just fine last night.
Yeah, the Voskuhl bashing needs to stop. He was and has been the last reason PHX has been struggling on the D end.

Jake just needs to stay healthy. That's been his biggest downfall.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 03:46 PM   #14
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Yeah, the Voskuhl bashing needs to stop. He was and has been the last reason PHX has been struggling on the D end.

Jake just needs to stay healthy. That's been his biggest downfall.
It's not so much that Jake is horrible. It's just that he doesn't bring a whole lot to the table except hustle. He is a poor man's Mark Madsen. On top of that he has the Mark West syndrome where he can't move without being called for a foul.

I distinctly remember that play in the Seattle game. I was at the game sitting at the Phoenix Suns end of the court. Hunter's man got an offensive rebound, basket, and I believe a foul. However Hunter was clearly foul going for the rebound. He was held. It was quite obvious. When he came out of the game one of the coaches really gave it to him.

As others have said if most of the other players were on the same short leash as Hunter most of the starting lineup would never play. I mean Amare Stoudemire gives up offensive rebounds, layups, and easy baskets on a regular basis almost every game. Steve Nash is a mediocre defender at his best. JJ and Q are both prone to serious defensive lapses. Shawn Marion is the most consistently good defender, but he is at a disadvantage because of his lack of size even when he plays small forward. This team desperately needs and eraser in the middle on defense, and Hunter is the closest thing on the roster.

As I've been saying for a while I know that Steven Hunter isn't the perfect big man. he's not strong on the boards. He can't make a basket if he's farther out than 5 feet. Still, this is a better team when he gets 15+ minutes on a regular basis.

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Old February 18th, 2005, 03:53 PM   #15
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It's not so much that Jake is horrible. It's just that he doesn't bring a whole lot to the table except hustle. He is a poor man's Mark Madsen. On top of that he has the Mark West syndrome where he can't move without being called for a foul.
A lot of the time, it's not his fault. He deserves some slack. The guy plays and gives his all when he's called upon.

Quote:
As I've been saying for a while I know that Steven Hunter isn't the perfect big man. he's not strong on the boards. He can't make a basket if he's farther out than 5 feet. Still, this is a better team when he gets 15+ minutes on a regular basis.

Joe Mama
He's never gotten 15+ minutes on a regular basis, so we don't know for sure how effective he would be. Would he get too tired too quickly? That's a definite possibility. Personally, I'd like to see Hunter get more minutes, obviously, but I don't think that Jake deserves everyone's scorn because he's getting the minutes and Hunter is not.
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