Mar. 2, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard (3) Chris Paul dives for a loose ball from Phoenix Suns guard (13) Steve Nash in the second half at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Clippers 81-78. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Another day, another Clippers game, another edition of "Questionable Blogger". We're once again chatting with Seth Pollack of the SBNation Suns blog, Bright Side of the Sun. When Seth first started blogging, his handle was PhoenixStan. Since my first handle was ClipperSteve, I just assumed his name was Stan, and that's what I called him in emails and such -- I think I was still calling him Stan the first time we met at the Vegas Summer League in 2009. It took me awhile to figure out his name was Seth, after all us bloggers starting going legit and using our real names. Turns out the 'Stan' was more of a suffix for a country or region, like Kurdistan or Turkmenistan -- who knew?
As always, my answers to
Stan's Seth's questions will appear on BSotS.
The Suns have suddenly won 8 of their last 11 and are now just three games out of eighth place in the Western Conference, tied for 10th place. Tell the truth -- would you rather the team squeak into the eighth spot in the playoffs and get hammered in the first round by the Thunder, or just go ahead and miss the playoffs and get a better draft pick? The rebuilding needs to start some time, but Steve Nash seems to want to win games, damn him.
Seth Pollack: Ah, the eternal debate....For me, there's no question, if you are an athlete worth a damn, you ALWAYS want to win. If you are a sports franchise worth a damn, you ALWAYS want to win. Losing is contagious and infectious and a very hard smell to remove from the carpets.
One of the first reactions from a Warriors player after their trade was, "I guess we're giving up on this season."
Players know if you are trying to win or not and if they don't see the same sense of competitive desire in the front office as they have in the locker room, things are going to go south fast and that's hard to recover from.
The flip side of that, for the Suns we are talking about the difference between maybe a 8th or 9th pick and perhaps something like a 16th or 17th pick. There's plenty of examples of guys getting drafted in either spot and being either a bust or a hit. In other words, the draft is no guarantee.
That said, I don't expect to see the Suns do anything before the deadline design to help with this season. Last year, they dumped Dragic AND a 1st round pick for Aaron Brooks because they thought he could help get them over the hump. That was a huge mistake. I don't think we'll see that again.
So win baby, win!....otherwise you are a loser.
Steve Perrin: When last we spoke, you mentioned rookie Markieff Morris as one of a small number of keepers from the current roster when the inevitable rebuilding finally begins. Tell us more about him. A lot of people were surprised when the Suns picked him ahead of his brother Marcus, but so far it appears that they were right to do so. I for one had no idea that he could shoot the three as effectively as he does. What else should we know about Morris? Oh, and what's the deal with the Phoenix obsession with brothers (Jarron Collins, Taylor Griffin, Robin Lopez and Morris in the last few years)? Does it have something to do with the Van Arsdale twins?
Seth Pollack: Phoenix is the City of Brotherly Unlove...or something like that.
Markieff is a pretty mature player and has a great competitive fire and toughness. He reminds me of a young Kurt Thomas in that way quiet but crazy way.
As for skills, he can shoot and has decent post moves and is a very good rebounder for his size. We've not really seen him enough in the pick and roll to asses that part of his game but he's shown a few flashes of being able to finish on the move. Defensively, like most rookies, he's got a lot to learn but the basic skills and desire are there so I would look for him to improve in that area over the next few years.
He certainly needs to get stronger and better all around but he looks like he's the kind of role player that will give you a bit of everything. I don't think he has All-Star potential though. Think Carl Landry with a little more size, athleticism, rebounding and range. We'll see if he can develop Landry's touch around the rim and in the paint. Maybe a better comp is Kenyon Martin if he reaches his potential.
Steve Perrin: With the trade deadline almost upon us, Steve Nash is still in Phoenix. Estimate the odds that Nash is a Sun next season. A reunion with Nowitzki in Dallas would seem like a possibility for him as well, depending on what happens with some of the other big names set to be on the market next summer.
Seth Pollack: I think there's a good chance Steve will opt to stay in Phoenix for two more years. He's comfortable here and doesn't read Bill Simmons and so he doesn't hate Robert Sarver as much as everyone else. In fact, they seem to have a pretty good relationship.
Steve understands that he can't just pick a team and be guaranteed a ring and I don't think he's ready to take on a bench role in a place like Miami or Chicago anyway. If he's going to play, he wants to play his way and there's really no other place that can happen other than Phoenix. The Suns will also be able to offer him more money than contending teams who will only have the MLE or even the mini-MLE if they are over the luxury cap. If there was still a team in Vancouver, maybe he'd go there, but he's certainly not picking Memphis over Phoenix.
As for Dallas, it's possible but I'm not sure Nash has forgotten that Cuban left him for dead in 2004.
Steve Perrin: Can the Suns play worse than they did in that game back on March 2? I certainly hope that the Clippers can't. Man, was that an ugly game. Have the Suns had a whole mess of those 'schedule' games where both teams are terrible, presumably because they're exhausted? I'd like to think that's the reason for some of the Clippers' terrible performances this season at any rate.
Seth Pollack: That was an ugly game and we've seen a fair number of those this season with the schedule. Unfortunately, we might get the same on Thursday.
The Suns will be on the second game of a three-games-in-three-nights stretch. It might depend on the results of Game 1 (at home vs. Utah on Wednesday), but we very well could see Gentry sit Nash and Hill against the Clips on Thursday. He rested them for the middle game of the last triple header. They probably value the win Friday at home against Detroit more than trying to beat the Clips on the road on Thursday. Sorry.