The Phoenix Suns, Jeff Hornacek’s ball club, are in the final and 8th playoff spot. Led by Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, they look to run and gun throughout the West and make some noise against the upper tier of the Western Conference. They might scare some playoff contenders, but they will make noise as they head up the ladder of the West. I like the Suns’ chances of upsetting a playoff contender, but don’t expect them with the likes of the Morris brothers, run away with a few NBA playoff games and a run to the second round. Jeff Hornacek will get them to match the intensity of the other 29 teams come playoff time. Did I mention Zoran Dragic can really ball with the premier shooting guards of the NBA? Expect backup point guard Isaiah Thomas to do some damage with the basketball, competing against other point guards.
Now replaced by new Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek, former coach Lindsey Hunter has left. 6 wins and 6 losses into the season, Hornacek is managing a Phoenix Suns club running and gunning with newly acquired Eric Bledsoe from the L.A. Clippers and Goran Dragic in the back court scoring and slashing at the basket while they have the Morris brothers, Markieff and Marcus in the front court grabbing rebounds and getting garbage points. They are creating excitement in the league, but the question is how long can they last since getting a new head coach in Hornacek and trading away Marcin Gortat to the Washington Wizards. There is a lot of buzzing around in Phoenix, because Gortat is no longer the centerpiece of the Suns franchise. Now, it’s up to Markieff and Marcus Morris to generate revenue in Arizona for as long as Phoenix fans want to see their Suns win games. Channing Frye should be Hornacek’s favorite shooting player, because he can shoot the basketball. I’d like to see how Alex Len develops under coach Jeff Hornacek’s tutelage, because there isn’t much damage Len can do yet, but he will gradually become a dependable center who will score points and grab rebounds. Hornacek will be able to identify with the shooters on this Phoenix Suns basketball squad, because he was a shooting guard for the Utah Jazz, Philadelphia Sixers, and the Suns. He will try and get his players to shoot the basketball consistently on a game-by-game basis.
This is the start of the NBA season and I have yet to witness, but read about it, Paul George’s basketball brilliance. He continues to expand his perimeter game and he is on the cusp of greatness, the same as Lebron James, and both George and James are continuing to put the hurt on opposing perimeter defenders with their long-range shooting and slashing to the hoop. Houston is 4-1, because of James Harden and new Rocket Dwight Howard’s post interior defense, scoring, and rebounding. It will all depend on Howard’s ability to finish games, because he was unable to help Kobe Bryant finish late in the closing seconds of basketball games when he was with the Lakers. Cleveland is 2-2 and I am keenly interested in how Jarrett Jack mentors the young Cavs in Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Teams to watch out for as November games continue: the Brooklyn Nets with their starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Brook Lopez, and the Chicago Bulls and their star point guard Derrick Rose plays since his injury, and Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe, who got off to a fast start having 18 points and 6 assists against Utah on November 1, 26 points and 14 assists against OKC on November 3, and 25 points and 5 assists against New Orleans on November 5.
Jarrett Jack signed an offer sheet to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler were traded as part of a three-team deal and went to Phoenix. Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick were also part of that deal and were traded to the Clippers. Andre Iguodala signed to played with the Golden State Warriors as Nick Young agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers. J.J. Hickson signed a three-year deal to join the Denver Nuggets. The San Antonio Spurs reached an agreement to sign Marco Belinelli away from Chicago. The Portland Trail Blazers signed guard Earl Watson. Chauncey Billups is returning back to Detroit. Billups will be mentoring the younger Pistons guards at work. That will be a very good sight to watch. The NBA has had a bunch of signings of rookies joining up to play in the NBA. The Cleveland Cavaliers went and got Andrew Bynum from Philadelphia. The Bucks signed Jeff Teague to a contract and the Detroit Pistons signed Josh Smith and went to get Rasheed Wallace and brought him in as an assistant coach for the Pistons. C.J. Watson signed with the Indiana Pacers and the Pacers brought back David West. Lots of things happening in the NBA. I just remembered to mention the signings going on right now. I think this fall’s NBA season going to be a very busy time for most of the NBA players.
It’s a brand new year and the L.A. Clippers are on a 17-game winning streak. There’s no stopping the Chris Paul-led basketball team, the Clips are outmanning the other 29 NBA teams with their deep bench and inside-outside scoring of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. I think there’s going to be a lot of firepower, especially with Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford as well as Eric Bledsoe on that Clipper bench. Look for Ryan Hollins and Ronny Turiaf to provide defense and energy behind DeAndre Jordan and Griffin. It’s a close matchup between the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks and the Indiana Pacers in the Central Division. Of course, can’t miss the East matchup of division leaders between the New York Knicks in the Atlantic division and the Miami Heat in the Southeast division. I like the Oklahoma City Thunder’s chances of ruling the West with their dominant basketball play behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and of course, bench scoring weapon Kevin Martin.