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Tag: Jeff Hornacek

Andrew Lynch: Suns’ “Season Has Been a Complete Lost Cause”

The best season of Eric Bledsoe’s career was cut short due to lingering issues with his left knee (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).

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Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Tyson Chandler have already been shut down for the remainder of the Phoenix Suns’ season, but Fox Sports Senior NBA Writer Andrew Lynch isn’t convinced full-on tanking is in the team’s best interest. Andrew’s appearance comes fresh off 20-year-old Devin Booker’s history-making 70-point output in a loss to the Celtics Friday night. He contextualizes Booker’s rare night and breaks down many other integral Suns issues, such as Eric Bledsoe’s projected NBA future, the disappointing Alex Len, rookie Marquese Chriss’ potential and Phoenix’s approach to this June’s draft.

2:31-2:57: “In this season, Suns fans needed something like that, I think. And it’s just perfectly fitting – I tweeted this last night – that it came in a loss. All of my favorite Suns memories are in losses. I know people want to maybe belittle the achievement a little because he was taking so many shots, because they were fouling, because they were calling timeouts…70 points is 70 points in an NBA game. Period.”

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Defense Propels 76ers Nine Spots (Power Rankings: Jan. 20, 2017 Edition)

Coach Brett Brown and his Sixers are finally starting to see results, with wins in seven of their last nine games (TastyPoutine/Creative Commons).

With every team at or beyond the midpoint of its regular-season schedule, it could not be a better time to assess how each squad measures up. Some teams will be celebrating All-Star starter selections just named, while many others are confronting serious injuries. Amid this crazy time, the 76ers jumped nine slots, leaving the league’s cellar thanks to a mighty strong start to 2017. Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic have experienced the league’s steepest declines in recent weeks.

Biggest Jumps: Philadelphia 76ers (+9), Washington Wizards (+4), Detroit Pistons (+4), Denver Nuggets (+4)

Biggest Falls: Sacramento Kings (-8), Charlotte Hornets (-8), Orlando Magic (-7)
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Kristaps Porzingis Transforms Into a New Yorker & A Cuban Odyssey With Adena Andrews

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Freshly returned from Cuba, fellow Trojan Adena Andrews, who has written for ESPNW, NBA.com and CBS Sports, talks about the New York Knicks and her life-changing trip. Despite falling to the bottom-feeding Wizards (our interview was recorded before the game), the new-look Knicks have been showing signs of improvement. During the Knicks discussion, Adena addresses the team’s integration process given so many offseason changes, Kristaps Porzingis’ burgeoning New Yorkness and what the Zen Master brings to the organization, occasional controversy and all. Later, her enlightening journey to Cuba provides extraordinary insight into historical events and how they’ve shaped today’s Cuba. Adena also explains her newfound closeness with the foreign land and many of its people. Enjoy some excerpts below:

Knicks:

1:56-2:25: “I think I’m kind of like every other Knicks fan. We start the season and we’re like, ‘Oh yeah! We’re gonna win the chip! It’s gonna be ours!’ I think that’s what New Yorkers do best: we overreact. Especially because the Knicks are really good at getting great names and getting us excited. That’s where I’m at. I’m at the ‘Bring on the second round of the playoffs because we haven’t seen it in so long’ place.”

2:42-2:56: “It seems like every year we have a new unit, and that’s our excuse. It’s like ‘We’re in a building year. We’re in a building year.’ We’ve built enough buildings here to populate downtown Manhattan.”
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Midseason Awards Starring Porzingis, Towns, Popovich and McCollum

Kristaps Porzingis is one of the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year so far this season. (Ed/Wikimedia Commons)

Kristaps Porzingis is one of the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year so far this season. (Ed/Wikimedia Commons)

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Midway through the NBA season, Loren and Aaron take the opportunity to handicap the league’s various awards, including Best Hair of course. In the opening segment, they reflect on the state of the Suns and Nuggets – the most recent team interviews – as well as what’s on the horizon for those two.

Music: “Who Likes to Party” by Kevin MacLeod

Andrew Lynch: Suns “Have to Cut Bait With Markieff (Morris)”

Markieff Morris has been at the center of a series of problems this season for the Phoenix Suns (Mwinog2777/Wikimedia Commons).

Markieff Morris has been at the center of a series of problems this season for the Phoenix Suns (Mwinog2777/Wikimedia Commons).

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A season that began with so much promise appears headed downhill and fast for the Phoenix Suns. In a span of nine days, starting in late December, the Suns fell to the 76ers, lost Eric Bledsoe for the season, fired their top two assistants, surrendered 142 points to the Kings and scored just 77 points in a loss to the Lakers. With Bledsoe out for the season, Markieff Morris clearly wanting out of town and Tyson Chandler not fitting in, things are likely to get worse before they get better. Andrew Lynch, NBA coordinator at Fox Sports, helps us sort it all out. Some of the highlights of our talk can be found below:

5:13 – 6:26: On why the Suns’ defense has struggled: “Strong-side pressure defenses require that everyone be on the same page. You don’t necessarily need five above-average defenders. You need guys making above-average decisions…(guys) who are in the right places, who are not cheating outside of the system…and frankly Phoenix (doesn’t) have that. (With) Tyson Chandler…the hope was that he would help with the communication on that, …(but) he doesn’t necessarily have the experience in this system that will lend itself to telling guys where they need to be at all times…You need someone like Bledsoe at the point of attack…putting pressure on the ball…to force the issue when an offense is trying to get into (its) primary actions…Guys aren’t communicating well, and when they aren’t communicating, they aren’t necessarily in the right spots.”

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