A Lost Year

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We kept waiting . . .

First, for "all three of our bigs to get healthy." Then Beale came back.
Then, for the team to gel. They did, kinda, but what they "gelled" into is completely inconsistent, defensively challenged,
and uncoordinated.
Then it's, "Well, they'll make a push for the playoffs." Then they lost to undermanned Bucks, Hawks, San Antonio and the Thunder.

Occasionally they rise to the occasion, as with games against the Nuggets.

But there is something seriously wrong with this team, and it's still unclear if it is coaching (I'm usually hesitant to immediately blame a coach), lack of effort, or continued
uncertainty as to what system they are actually playing. They seem often totally incapable of getting the ball to Allen when he is open, for example, while other teams seem to
always have their hottest 3-point shooter open. Nurk is a great defensive rebounder, but he is extremely slow at getting back on D---often because he falls more than any big man I have ever seen in 30 years of watching the NBA---whines about every call (most of the time, correctly), but way too often the Suns are chirping at the officials rather than hustling back. A Nurk, Durant, Bol line should never give up an inside shot---yet they do constantly. I lke Bol, but he relies way too much on his reach and not his positioning to rebound. I have yet to see him body up on anyone.

Booker, it seems, has fallen into that Walter Davis role of being too small at forward but not nimble enough off the dribble to constantly defeat the double teams. And most of all,
the idiotic cross-court passes are destroying any hope this team has of winning. Even when they do pass off screens, however, it is nonchalant and lackadaisical with far too many turnovers.
I don't know how you get a vet-heavy team to return to fundamentals, but that is exactly what this team needs, and it will likely have an extra month or so to practice, as I don't think they can make
the playoffs, let alone catch fire.

END OF RANT
 

Peter Sheldon

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We kept waiting . . .

First, for "all three of our bigs to get healthy." Then Beale came back.
Then, for the team to gel. They did, kinda, but what they "gelled" into is completely inconsistent, defensively challenged,
and uncoordinated.
Then it's, "Well, they'll make a push for the playoffs." Then they lost to undermanned Bucks, Hawks, San Antonio and the Thunder.

Occasionally they rise to the occasion, as with games against the Nuggets.

But there is something seriously wrong with this team, and it's still unclear if it is coaching (I'm usually hesitant to immediately blame a coach), lack of effort, or continued
uncertainty as to what system they are actually playing. They seem often totally incapable of getting the ball to Allen when he is open, for example, while other teams seem to
always have their hottest 3-point shooter open. Nurk is a great defensive rebounder, but he is extremely slow at getting back on D---often because he falls more than any big man I have ever seen in 30 years of watching the NBA---whines about every call (most of the time, correctly), but way too often the Suns are chirping at the officials rather than hustling back. A Nurk, Durant, Bol line should never give up an inside shot---yet they do constantly. I lke Bol, but he relies way too much on his reach and not his positioning to rebound. I have yet to see him body up on anyone.

Booker, it seems, has fallen into that Walter Davis role of being too small at forward but not nimble enough off the dribble to constantly defeat the double teams. And most of all,
the idiotic cross-court passes are destroying any hope this team has of winning. Even when they do pass off screens, however, it is nonchalant and lackadaisical with far too many turnovers.
I don't know how you get a vet-heavy team to return to fundamentals, but that is exactly what this team needs, and it will likely have an extra month or so to practice, as I don't think they can make
the playoffs, let alone catch fire.

END OF RANT

so well put!!!

Well a couple things that can squarely be put on the coach. Which is why I want him gone.
-Not playing Young more in place of Eubanks and not giving Bol more run.
-Not freeing up GA at the 3 and setting up plays for him. (you alluded to this)
-Allowing the team to go into Hero-ball in 4th quarter with Book or KD
getting double-teamed and nobody stepping into space for bail out and team passing completely stops.
-Subbing out whoever has the hot hand according to some pre-determined script (ala Monty).

Ultimately, teams with tall players with jumping ability who can get to the rim give Suns fits.
Suns have a lack of lateral quickness and jumping ability to defend this.
So Suns beat teams like Denver but lose to teams like SAS with lousy records.
And if a team gets to the rim at will AND hits 3s, it's a blowout.

sad, sad season and they mortgaged their entire future for it.
 

BirdGangThing

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we weren't winning a chip this year - there are other just as talented teams that have played together longer and it shows - i was hoping however that we learned how to win this year but that hasn't been the case - when the going gets tough we start blowing - there's been a few instances of glory sure - but for the most part we continue to fall apart

i wouldn't call it a wasted year - disappointing yeah but we aren't splitting the big 3 up or anything - altho it'll be discussed relentlessly - nah i think it's back to the drawing board - we'll resign grayson (fingers crossed) and tweak the bench some more with daddy big bucks eating fines like it ain't no thing because damn - say what you like but ishbia wants to win
 

Mainstreet

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we weren't winning a chip this year - there are other just as talented teams that have played together longer and it shows - i was hoping however that we learned how to win this year but that hasn't been the case - when the going gets tough we start blowing - there's been a few instances of glory sure - but for the most part we continue to fall apart

i wouldn't call it a wasted year - disappointing yeah but we aren't splitting the big 3 up or anything - altho it'll be discussed relentlessly - nah i think it's back to the drawing board - we'll resign grayson (fingers crossed) and tweak the bench some more with daddy big bucks eating fines like it ain't no thing because damn - say what you like but ishbia wants to win

If true, it goes back to why the Suns overpaid for Durant to begin with. Still, I think the Suns had a chance to contend this season with the right head coach if everyone stayed healthy.

There are troubles in paradise beyond talent.
 

Proximo

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we weren't winning a chip this year - there are other just as talented teams that have played together longer and it shows - i was hoping however that we learned how to win this year but that hasn't been the case - when the going gets tough we start blowing - there's been a few instances of glory sure - but for the most part we continue to fall apart

i wouldn't call it a wasted year - disappointing yeah but we aren't splitting the big 3 up or anything - altho it'll be discussed relentlessly - nah i think it's back to the drawing board - we'll resign grayson (fingers crossed) and tweak the bench some more with daddy big bucks eating fines like it ain't no thing because damn - say what you like but ishbia wants to win
Are you seriously saying you expect this exact team to be better next year?

The pieces don't fit, and we have almost zero flexibility - this will be 90% the same team next year if the big 3 aren't moved. The difference will be minimum salary players that almost never make a big impact.

I for one want no part of this team because I am 100% convinced they are a failure. Not one time this season have they convinced me other wise.

Yes I think the coaching has sucked, but this combination of players are not going to ever win at a high level. Beal and Book don't really work together. Durant and Nurk are turnover machines.

Mark my words if you get your wish and this team comes back mostly the same you will be saying it was a mistake to bring them back this time next year.
 

BirdGangThing

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Are you seriously saying you expect this exact team to be better next year?

The pieces don't fit, and we have almost zero flexibility - this will be 90% the same team next year if the big 3 aren't moved. The difference will be minimum salary players that almost never make a big impact.

I for one want no part of this team because I am 100% convinced they are a failure. Not one time this season have they convinced me other wise.

Yes I think the coaching has sucked, but this combination of players are not going to ever win at a high level. Beal and Book don't really work together. Durant and Nurk are turnover machines.

Mark my words if you get your wish and this team comes back mostly the same you will be saying it was a mistake to bring them back this time next year.
that's exactly what im saying - you do realize none of our starters had played together before this year? unless you count kd and book but come on man - the big 3 are staying - nurks still under contract and we'll probably resign grayson - so nothing different as far as starters go - and logic and history both suggest - longer a team plays together better they play

look - we have like 6 or 7 boneheaded idiot braindead some would say coached induced losses against lottery teams - those losses alone are the difference between home court and a play in

only thing gonna change is the coach and some of the bench - and you're damn right - i do expect it to be better - less turnovers and less chokage to be precise - but it's okay if you don't see it - me and you been on opposite ends of the spectrum all year long so no biggie
 

Proximo

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that's exactly what im saying - you do realize none of our starters had played together before this year? unless you count kd and book but come on man - the big 3 are staying - nurks still under contract and we'll probably resign grayson - so nothing different as far as starters go - and logic and history both suggest - longer a team plays together better they play

look - we have like 6 or 7 boneheaded idiot braindead some would say coached induced losses against lottery teams - those losses alone are the difference between home court and a play in

only thing gonna change is the coach and some of the bench - and you're damn right - i do expect it to be better - less turnovers and less chokage to be precise - but it's okay if you don't see it - me and you been on opposite ends of the spectrum all year long so no biggie
Maybe they are staying - but if they are that just tells me Ishbia is not a good owner or businessman. You have to learn to cut bait on a losing proposition when there is no hope of success. That is hard for many people to do because of the sunk cost fallacy, but successful people have usually learned to do it the hard way.

As far as the bench being better next year, I don't see how. Bol Bol is almost certainly going to cash in somewhere else, and based on all the other minimum guys we added the odds of us finding someone as good or better are very slim.

A coaching change should help - but how much? The best coaching in the league would not make this team a contender in my estimation. Remember KD is only going to get worse. Players always start falling off in their late 30's and I would argue it's already noticeable that his decline has started.

Nurk is really flawed, but I don't think we can trade him for someone any better.

Beal is playing like an average starting guard not an all star - that is a rather large issue and I think it is highly related to having to defer to KD and Book. Don't see how that gets better.

The way I look at this team is we have a choice, start the rebuild as fast as we can and get the most we can out of KD now, or wait and prolong the number of awful years just so we can witness another garbage season like this one.
 

ajcardfan

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I didn't like the Durant trade and I liked the Beal trade even less. Think the owner has built a team like a fan would.

But, what am I going to do? Losing won't get us anywhere faster. We mortgaged the future. So, I watch and hope for the best knowing we are likely going nowhere for a long time. As we have for most of the 48 years I have been a fan.
 

Hoop Head

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Are you seriously saying you expect this exact team to be better next year?

The pieces don't fit, and we have almost zero flexibility - this will be 90% the same team next year if the big 3 aren't moved. The difference will be minimum salary players that almost never make a big impact.

I for one want no part of this team because I am 100% convinced they are a failure. Not one time this season have they convinced me other wise.

Yes I think the coaching has sucked, but this combination of players are not going to ever win at a high level. Beal and Book don't really work together. Durant and Nurk are turnover machines.

Mark my words if you get your wish and this team comes back mostly the same you will be saying it was a mistake to bring them back this time next year.

I agree with most of what you say except Beal and Booker not working together, I think they do. I believe KD is the pyrite. He doesn't work with Beal or Booker. He needs to go. Beal has accepted his role and so has Book but KD is the one who can't facilitate for others. He can fill it up when he feels like it but that's it. I believe moving KD might allow us to retool and move us closer to contending than with him. He's not the guy to lead a team to a championship. I'm not sure Booker is either but he's 10 years younger than KD so I'd rather send KD off in an effort to retool than completely blow it up.
 

Phrazbit

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I agree with most of what you say except Beal and Booker not working together, I think they do. I believe KD is the pyrite. He doesn't work with Beal or Booker. He needs to go. Beal has accepted his role and so has Book but KD is the one who can't facilitate for others. He can fill it up when he feels like it but that's it. I believe moving KD might allow us to retool and move us closer to contending than with him. He's not the guy to lead a team to a championship. I'm not sure Booker is either but he's 10 years younger than KD so I'd rather send KD off in an effort to retool than completely blow it up.

Trading KD will be difficult.

We cannot trade with other teams over the 2nd apron, which eliminates the Warriors, Clippers, Bucks and Celtics, it also effectively eliminates the Heat and Lakers... probably the Sixers, Mavs, Wolves, Grizzlies and Nuggets too, as those teams are too close to the 2nd apron to pull off a deal.

We can't trade him to a team that isn't currently gunning for a title because none of those teams would want him and even if one did he wouldn't be willing to play for them. That eliminates most of the league.

That leaves the Pelicans, Kings, Rockets, Knicks and Thunder.

IMO, the Pelicans, Kings and Rockets are out because... I just can't see it happening.

Ideally, it would be the Thunder, they have a ton of developmental players they also have so many 1st round picks over the next several years that they will have to consolidate those assets at some point, they also have a ton of cap space, and could allow the Suns to drop well below the aprons, giving them far more trade and cap flexibility. It would be a great story, he was the first star in the city, it would be a huge boon to his legacy if he could win there and allow OKC to tie a couple generations of basketball together. However... they might not be interested because cashing in your chips for a 35 year old is stupid, also, their fan base despises him (but they would probably forgive him if he returned).

The Knicks are probably the most realistic. They have the contract flexibility to make the money work, they have a lot of draft collateral and they have an impatient, billionaire owner who meddles.
 

Proximo

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Trading KD will be difficult.

We cannot trade with other teams over the 2nd apron, which eliminates the Warriors, Clippers, Bucks and Celtics, it also effectively eliminates the Heat and Lakers... probably the Sixers, Mavs, Wolves, Grizzlies and Nuggets too, as those teams are too close to the 2nd apron to pull off a deal.

We can't trade him to a team that isn't currently gunning for a title because none of those teams would want him and even if one did he wouldn't be willing to play for them. That eliminates most of the league.

That leaves the Pelicans, Kings, Rockets, Knicks and Thunder.

IMO, the Pelicans, Kings and Rockets are out because... I just can't see it happening.

Ideally, it would be the Thunder, they have a ton of developmental players they also have so many 1st round picks over the next several years that they will have to consolidate those assets at some point, they also have a ton of cap space, and could allow the Suns to drop well below the aprons, giving them far more trade and cap flexibility. It would be a great story, he was the first star in the city, it would be a huge boon to his legacy if he could win there and allow OKC to tie a couple generations of basketball together. However... they might not be interested because cashing in your chips for a 35 year old is stupid, also, their fan base despises him (but they would probably forgive him if he returned).

The Knicks are probably the most realistic. They have the contract flexibility to make the money work, they have a lot of draft collateral and they have an impatient, billionaire owner who meddles.
I haven't thought about it that way. That is even more depressing that there are that few potential suitors.
 

Hoop Head

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Trading KD will be difficult.

We cannot trade with other teams over the 2nd apron, which eliminates the Warriors, Clippers, Bucks and Celtics, it also effectively eliminates the Heat and Lakers... probably the Sixers, Mavs, Wolves, Grizzlies and Nuggets too, as those teams are too close to the 2nd apron to pull off a deal.

We can't trade him to a team that isn't currently gunning for a title because none of those teams would want him and even if one did he wouldn't be willing to play for them. That eliminates most of the league.

That leaves the Pelicans, Kings, Rockets, Knicks and Thunder.

IMO, the Pelicans, Kings and Rockets are out because... I just can't see it happening.

Ideally, it would be the Thunder, they have a ton of developmental players they also have so many 1st round picks over the next several years that they will have to consolidate those assets at some point, they also have a ton of cap space, and could allow the Suns to drop well below the aprons, giving them far more trade and cap flexibility. It would be a great story, he was the first star in the city, it would be a huge boon to his legacy if he could win there and allow OKC to tie a couple generations of basketball together. However... they might not be interested because cashing in your chips for a 35 year old is stupid, also, their fan base despises him (but they would probably forgive him if he returned).

The Knicks are probably the most realistic. They have the contract flexibility to make the money work, they have a lot of draft collateral and they have an impatient, billionaire owner who meddles.

Philly has cap space. Getting out from Harden's deal and Tobias Harris expiring at the same time will give them max space. They're rumored to make a run at PG13 this off-season.

I know it'll be difficult to move KD but I think it can be done. Philly, New York, OKC, and a potential dark horse like Memphis are all teams that should be able to make it happen. There's always a dark horse, see Milwaukee for Dame, the Raptors for Kawhi, Cleveland for Mitchell, etc. I believe all options need to be explored. We only need 1 team to bite. After moving KD we can reevaluate everything else.
 

Cheesebeef

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Guys… they ain’t trading KD. Even if they should. First guy to go is gonna be Vogel and then a run back to see if he was the main problem.
 

TJ

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KD, Beal and Book aren’t the problem. It’s the goofy coach.
 

Mainstreet

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The Suns should have moved on from Frank Vogel this season, barring the team miraculously coming together.
 

Proximo

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KD, Beal and Book aren’t the problem. It’s the goofy coach.
Their salaries are a huge problem. It prevents enough depth from being available. That problem is not going to get better.
 

Proximo

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Guys… they ain’t trading KD. Even if they should. First guy to go is gonna be Vogel and then a run back to see if he was the main problem.
Don't be so sure. Going out in the play in might really make Matt rethink his willingness to spend 50 million on luxury tax.
 

Cheesebeef

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Don't be so sure. Going out in the play in might really make Matt rethink his willingness to spend 50 million on luxury tax.
I doubt it. Billionaires don’t like to admit they’re wrong, especially when they take a huge swing and that’s what the KD move was. Maybe after another failed season/new coach, I could see it. But not now, if for no better (or worse) reason than ego.
 

Dr. Jones

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We are not good enough. And it may cost us Durant and Vogel this offseason.
 

Phrazbit

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I doubt it. Billionaires don’t like to admit they’re wrong, especially when they take a huge swing and that’s what the KD move was. Maybe after another failed season/new coach, I could see it. But not now, if for no better (or worse) reason than ego.

I think it’s more likely that KD torpedoes the situation.
 

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