Hope you all like the new layout. I figured it'd make things a little easier to read, because it gives me a ton more flexibility to write...well...pretty much as much as I want.
End plug about the blog. Now onto the meat.
Last night, a lot of what we heard floating from the bowels of the US Airways Center related to the 2008-09 Suns being a work in progress.
I don't buy this for a second.
A work in progress doesn't do into the most hostile territory in Suns history and gut out a win, regardless of Manu Ginobili being out and the Spurs "not caring" until February. It doesn't work like that.
A team with a potential problem of maintaining momentum is what we may have seen last night as the Suns got rolled by the NOOCH (My pet name for the Hornets, a harkening back to the old days when they split games between N'Awlins and Oklahoma City) 108-95 in a game that really wasn't as close as the 13-point margin of defeat may suggest.
The Hornets own the Suns. Period. If the Suns were to face NOOCH in the playoffs in a seven-game series, Chris Paul and the guys in teal might win in three. The Hornets never trailed last night, outshot the Suns all night, turned over the ball at almost half the rate as Phoenix and outstole them to the tune of 10-2.
I'm forgiving of the idea that the team might still be getting used to Terry Porter's style of coachign and the style of play he has introduced. I'm attentive to the fact that this, god forbid, was only the SECOND GAME of the regular season and, according to my Microsoft Outlook calendar, there are 80 more to go.
I'm not buying into the "work in progress" tag. The nucleus of Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire are still intact. The roster as it is, save Matt Barnes (who is an atrocious shooter, officially, and shouldn't be starting), Goran Dragic and Robin Lopez, is the same that gelled down the stretch, went into the playoffs and spent all of training camp together.
This isn't a work in progress. The Suns got beaten by a better team last night, and it might be something we have to get used to in the Western Conference this season.
Some quick other thoughts...
-In 12 minutes of action, I think I liked what I saw out of Goran Dragic, but he needs to get over the jitters. He's just a bit hesitant with his ball movement, and it's going to cost him in the NBA, where the game moves much faster than it does overseas. One thing is for certain though: this kid can pass.
-James Posey signing with NOOCH might end up being the most important, yet nonheralded, free agent pickup of the past offseason if the Hornets end up making the deep run in the playoffs that many expect. He brought New Orleans instant energy off the bench and showed dagger-like accuracy with his three point shooting.
-Did I mention that Matt Barnes shouldn't be this team's starter at the 3? Maybe I didn't. Matt Barnes should not be this team's starter at the 3! As a life-long Warriors fan, I know of Matty's exploits; he doesn't realize that he shot just 29% from beyond the arc last year. Despite that, he continues to launch ridiculous shots from all over the court.