Tag:Raja Bell
Posted on: December 12, 2008 2:25 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2008 5:22 pm

Suns Trade Bell, Diaw to Bobcats For J-Rich

Phoenix Suns logoOn Wednesday, the Phoenix Suns began reshaping their lineup of discouraging players who weren't buying into head coach Terry Porter's new system, as well as GM Steve Kerr's vision of where this team is going.

The Suns traded D'Antoni's leftovers, Raja Bell and Boris Diaw to the Charlotte Bobcats for Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley and a 2nd round pick in 2010.  In addition, newly acquired guard Sean Singletary was also shipped in the trade.  He was, of course, acquired in the offseason from the Houston Rockets

Raja had been vocal throughout the season about his unhappiness in the new system and his lack of shots.  He had good reason to if you ask him... D'Antoni and Steve Nash helped convert Bell from a defensive minded guard, into a 3-pt shooting, swaggerin', "I deserve more money" shooting guard type of a guy.  Bell started to think he was the shit, getting his scoring numbers up, landing commercials and endorsements (locally), and generally being regarded as one of the Suns toughest players.  While Bell will certainly be missed, especially by a stunned Nash.  His lack of effort & results to start the season, however, are ultimately what led to his departure.

Boris Diaw on the other hand, had been playing "ok" basketball, but certainly nothing to write home about.  He was here one night and off in space the next 2-3 games - nothing consistent unfortunately.  Now theat the trade is completed, we hear that Diaw was "not having fun" anymore, like he did under D'Antoni.  While Diaw appeared to have a solid NBA game while Amare Stoudemire was out w/ a knee injury a couple years ago, he just didn't seem to have his full arsenal when Amare returned.  Coming off the bench and with the occasional start this year, you would think he might have the opportunities he needed to succeed, but apparently this was not where he wanted to be.

In Jason Richardson, the Suns get a bigger, stronger and more athletic shooting guard to compliment Nash, Stoudemire and Shaquille O'Neal Richardson can create his own shot, hit the 3-pointer and will no doubt become a fan favorite quickly w/ his amazing leaping & dunking abilities.  While his defense may not be up to par w/ Raja (a couple years ago), he can hold his own and should help the team in a big way.

BC Alum Jared Dudley is a good post player who's a solid bench guy that will come in and utilize his minutes playing defense, rebounding and fouling the other team. ; )

The biggest issue w/ the trade I see is team chemistry.  Nash and Bell were good buddies going back to Dallas, so it will be interesting to see how the Suns' 2-time MVP reacts to the new situation.  He certainly struggled against the Lakers Thursday night, but everyone's allowed a few bad games.  The shot attempts situation will be the most interesting and likely lead to the most drama between players ,  if there will be any.  Amare wants the ball, Shaq wants the ball and J-Rich is going to want the ball as well. There just are not that many shots to go around to please each player... at least on a nightly basis.

Overall rating of the trade B - B+ at this point.  Let's see how the team jells & go from there.

Posted on: December 10, 2008 2:35 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2008 5:21 pm

Suns Smash Bucks @ Phoenix, Lakers Are Next?

Phoenix Suns logoIn the fine words of Will Farrell, the Suns can say "we're going streaking!" and get away with it.....and this time, it's not a 4-game losing streak. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxX_hL-EJ2Y

On Tuesday night, the Phoenix Suns trounced the Milwaukee Bucks in PHX for their 2nd win in a row and 21st in a row against the Bucks in AZ.  The 21st in a row vs. the Bucks ties the current active streak in the NBA for domination over an opponent (tied w/ the Spurs no less).

Shaq was ultra dominant in the paint against the (soft) Bucks and the entire starting squad seemed to jell pretty well in the victory, while the Bucks continue to struggle.  Porter kept Nash's minutes down and the rest of the team performed when it needed to, including a blazing 74 point first half.  The game appeared much like the D'Antoni era, but perhaps the Suns played a bit better defense - although I wouldn't call allowing 115 points good defense.  Needless to say, the Suns get the win and head to Laker-land tonight for a match-up w/ the Lakers at the Staples Center.  Shaq will not participate due to a death in the family (grandma), so Diaw and Lopez will need to step up vs. Bynum and Gasol.

Posted on: October 29, 2008 4:13 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2008 8:43 pm

Phoenix Suns 2008 - 2009 Season Preview

Phoenix Suns 08-09 Season Preview


PG - Steve Nash
SG - Raja Bell
SF - Grant Hill (Matt Barnes WILL end up being the starter)
PF - Amare Stoudemire
C - Shaquille  O'Neal
RE - Leandro Barbosa
RE - Hill or Barnes
RE - Boris Diaw
RE - Goran Dragic*
RE - Alando Tucker
RE - Robin Lopez*
RE - Sean Singletary*


                                 Phoenix Suns logo  Phoenix Suns logoPhoenix Suns logo

The Phoenix Suns have done a lot of great things over the course of the past four years; changing the entire thought of game speed, the use of multi-position players on the floor and the lack of a "true" center in game play are all on the Suns' resume. On the other hand, with each passing season, they have failed to win a championship or even appear in a Finals matchup, for all of their talent. Whether it was the idiocy of acquiring and then not playing point guards to lower Steve Nash's minutes or really inconvenient injuries and suspensions to key players like Amar'e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw, or simple whimpering and whining of All-Star glue guys like Shawn Marion, Phoenix has not lived up, but with age playing heavily in the equation, they have to make the most of their time.

The three "seniors" of the team in Shaquille "The Big Cactus" O'Neal, Grant Hill and Nash are going to be needed for their collective ability to be healthy and produce in a long season. Shaq must fully commit to his conditioning, not that he's a fat man, as commonly and stupidly as it's written and said. It's really that a man with as much muscle, height and girth needs to be able to function properly from start to finish. If he were a smaller man, like Charles Barkley, who famously played his way into shape during regular seasons, his frequency of injury wouldn't be a factor, but Shaq is not that man. His guile and willingness to guard the basket and compliment S.T.A.T. (Stoudemire) will be his primary objective.

Hill needs to simply come off of the bench and be the reserve point guard that he was meant to be. He has always been a ballhandler first and everything else second, even during his high-scoring years in Detroit. The craziness in playing Leandro Barbosa, a natural two-guard, as a point guard is one reason that the Suns haven't advanced. Hill presents size and skill matchups that really create problems for team on both ends of the floor, not unlike what Scottie Pippen would do playing as the Chicago Bulls' de facto point guard. Keeping Hill on the bench will keep him fresh, which is a bonus for the Suns.

All Nash really has to do is keeping playing his game, but he needs to be more vocal in keeping his minutes low. Though wiry strong, No. 13 has a history of wearing down late in the season, because his teams are just that good to be playing in April and May. He has to rein himself in, if head coach Terry Porter doesn't, and look for his spots, not unlike Michael Jordan did in the last three years with the Bulls (many fourth quarters had him sitting on the bench with iced knees). Nashy need to take this approach and if need be, tutor any of the young guys (like rookie Goran Dragic) that would be filling out his minutes at the point guard spot.

For the rest of the team, only a brief summary is necessary:

Barbosa just needs to keep shooting;

Matt Barnes, the new guy from the Golden State Warriors, will do wonderful in Hill's place in the starting lineup at the small forward, and he'll also be great playing anything from point guard to power forward;

Raja Bell will do much better now having more competent swingmen as teammates to back him up, and the lowering of his minutes to keep him fresh wouldn't be a bad idea, either;

Diaw  must stay in shape and improve his perimeter shooting, while the Suns' coaching staff must also remember that he, too, is a natural 6'9" point guard at their disposal;

Robin Lopez, the former Stanford twin brother of Brook (for the New Jersey Nets) may be one of the X-factors in bringing this team to its full potential as a talented and legitimate center (and energetic backup to Shaq and S.T.A.T.).

Amare Stoudemire just needs to be Amare, because with a future in the Hall of Fame as a possibility, his expanded shooting range, ferocious dunks, speed, intensity and reported 2% body fat, the Suns will at least be NBA Finals contenders annually...

Anything Alando Tucker can bring in hustle, defense and/or shooting will all be positives.

For Phoenix, the time is now for the real winning to begin.

Or the desert (Gulp),  could soon find itself starving in thirst for of a championship.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com