Blogtable: Suns in playoffs for sure now?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Pick a winner Saturday and tell us why: Heat or Lakers.

Magic: Better, worse or the same after the big trade?

And …

Suns, playoff team for sure now, or not?

David Aldridge: There’s no guarantee they make the playoffs; Houston is getting its bearing again after losing Yao (again), Portland could yet right the ship, and I haven’t given up on Golden State just yet; the Warriors could be interesting if they could ever stay healthy for more than a week. The Suns are better, if a lot more expensive.

Fran Blinebury: History says that guys like Vince Carter get into a lineup with Steve Nash and it’s like a bolt of electricity running through their body and bringing them to life.  With Portland falling apart and Houston still not convincing, the new look probably gets the Suns into the No. 8 seed.  But that’s not the point.  This deal is all about the future.  They clear out big salary space to go forward whenever the labor problems of the league are solved.

Art Garcia: Wasn’t sure before and definitely not sure now. Not sure where a team that lives by putting the ball through the hoop is going to get consistent scoring. If the Suns are relying on Steve Nash to be their leading scorer and set up everyone else, it’s going to wear down Captain Canada. Grant Hill? Vince Carter? Lottery? I’m thinking so.

Scott Howard-Cooper: For sure not for sure. But still possible. It seems as though I like the deal from the Suns perspective more than most. They get better defensively and they get bigger, and both were areas that needed obvious improvement.

Shaun Powell: Please. I’ve been saying the Suns are, at best, a 40-win team even before the trade, which only made them weaker (though I like Marcin Gortat). They can hold onto Steve Nash all they want. They’re just wasting their last precious trade asset, because dude ain’t getting any younger, or more valuable on the market. They should market him the way the Cowboys did Herschel Walker and turn their franchise around.

John Schuhmann: Not sure. They’ve been awful defensively, but while Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat should help on that end, it’s going to take a whole new team mentality to get stops consistently. Making the playoffs is as much about the teams around them as it is about the Suns. And if Portland or New Orleans doesn’t keep it together, I think Houston is the more likely candidate to take that eighth spot, because the Rockets have shown actual improvement over the last few weeks.

Sekou Smith: Or not, in the absence of a monster run here soon. It’s mind-boggling to think of all the talent that has passed through Phoenix in the past seven seasons, all the memorable regular season and playoff moments this team has provided and how much fun it was to watch what I like to call “Crazy Ball” in action, only to see it end like this. Losing Steve Kerr was the first major blow. Losing Amar’e cut even deeper. The saddest part is knowing that Steve Nash and Grant Hill might not be on a playoff roster this season. They deserve better.


  1. enteng says:

    nash will be joining his former coach and best bud amare, that will pull the trigger of signing carmelo in new york,

    • Number 1 fan says:

      Yeah, I agree with you! I’m a suns fan because of Steve Nash, it is better to let Steve Nash in New York for the sake of the hardwork that steve nash had done for their team, phoenix are not capable of getting good trades like getting pau gasol, or blake griffin! I think the best move will be that nash will be going to new york for a championship run! Go steve nash!

  2. mhatch says:

    I think the Suns game vs the Spurs playing well short-handed showed that the players they kept form a strong nucleus.
    Grant Hill has been amazing lately and Steve Nash is always solid when free from injury.

    If Pietrus can stay healthy, his ability to play several positions and his 3 pt accuracy are way more than Hedo contributed.

    VC can only play better with a guard like Nash running the break. I think he can contribute as much as RJ is currently providing the Spurs if he can stay healthy.

    The difference maker will be Gortat. The few times I have seen him backing up Dwight, he has been solid defensively and boxed out well. If he can provide a couple of blocks and avg 8-9 rebounds a game, then I think the Suns will make the playoffs.
    Of course all bets are off if the injury bug hits one of their key players.

  3. loyal-sun says:

    Western conference finalist last year. No Amare this year, good enough for seventh or eighth in the west. VC should be top scorer in that lineup if he’s healthy. Steve will find a way for everybody to stay on the same page, plus they relatively have an easier schedule before the all star break. No worries!

  4. Lakers says:

    I like Steve Nash! Unfortunately I think a championship ring will allude him. Great player though and hall of famer! One of Mark Cuban’s big mistakes……… let go of Steve Nash!!!!!!!!

  5. Lakers says:

    I don’t see how some folks can compare Marcin Gortat to Pau Gasol. Gasol was a franchise player in Memphis before he was given that gift of a trade to LA! Gortat has played second fiddle to D Howard for a while. Not saying he won’t contribute, but he’s a far cry from the skills of Gasol! About the only real comparison is that they’re both European!

  6. Lakers says:

    The showtime Suns with Nash, Marion, and Stoudemire had the best shot at a championship! Don’t think we’ll see a Suns team like that for awhile.

  7. We need to trade nash! for our own good. says:

    Suns get: Eric Gordon, Baron Davis, Al Harrington, 2011 first rounder from clippers

    Nuggets get: Chris Kaman, Al–farouq Aminu, Grant hill, Channing Frye, 2012 1st rounder from suns, Josh Childress, 2011 first rounder from clippers

    Clippers get: Melo, Steve Nash, J.R Smith, 2013 second rounder from phoenix

    The suns get a great young player in gordon, a good power forward in harrington, a back up point guard in davis, and a draft pick.

    The nuggets get all–star center Chris Kaman, a great young player in Aminu, a veteran in Hill, a three point shooter who can play as well as harrington but younger in Frye, and two first rounders.

    The clippers get Melo, and Nash. I know Melo said he doesn’t want to be a clipper, but come on, would you pass up an opportunity to play with one of the best point guards in the game plus Blake Griffin, a rising superstar? Nash can also be a great mentor for Bledsoe and can help him develop and play well once nash retires.

  8. Luis Gustavo Schuck says:

    They will be there. But what about their chances? First round?

    I’m sorry for Nash because he is on of the bests and probably never will be champion

    But for sure Vince Carter will be back, and Pietrus and Gortat playing with Nash…

    If i lay with Steve i can score in good numbers on NBA too, everybody can actualy

  9. Brad says:

    Bookmark this page, so when the suns prove these so called experts wrong (again), we can all laugh at there so called expert analysis

  10. dalton says:

    This trade helps phx out a ton. How many times have no name players come to phx and became superstars? this has happened a lot. With gortat, pietrus, and vincanity playing alongside nash phx will dominate. vince will be motivated to play at a high level. if grant hill at his age is playing this well in phx then imagine what vincanity has to offer. Phx will definately go far this season. maybe the nba finals.

    • larry says:

      I definately agree. I have been follow the suns since 2000, and saw what S. Nash has done for players like amare, marion,, g.hill and so on and so on. I mean he even made jake Voskul (anyone even remember him these days) better player than they were previously without him. even the good ol’ shaq got a carreer revive when playing with him.
      Vince/Pieteres/Gortat will get the same bonus out of playing with Nash. The people that keeps on saying we need to trade nash is obviously jealous. they just wanna create some off court rumor to bother the suns cause obviously thay have been on the receiving end of nash dominance for the last 5 years and they want nash bad.

      The suns will make the playoffs. and the so called “experts” are always saying “oh, suns? they wont have a chance” in the beginning of the year, and then singing the suns and Nash’s praises in Feburary saying “they have been playing extremely well” etc etc. Especially that David Aldridge, always saying that again and again. So as a loyal Suns fan, I simply ignore what hes gotta say about the Suns.

      All the Suns fans need to do is have faith in their own team. Since Nash’s arrival in AZ, the team has been nothing but GOOD, this year will be no different. GO SUNS!

  11. Kornel says:

    Let’s hope Gortat will get positively exited about getting a bigger chance to contribute. It’s gonna be a great test for him

  12. For The Win says:

    Does anyone remember the 2007 Nets with Vince and Kidd? When Vince was with Kidd, he went insane! Vince is with Nash now, another amazing point guard. The Suns WILL get into the playoffs and WILL do good! Nash will bring Vince back to the amazing player he truly is! Vince and the Suns are BACK!!!!!

  13. Dsalon says:

    I love how one of the headlines reads, “suns try to break the heats win streak”. The heat lost their last game. Anything to get views. The suns are just trying to win games, not break anyone’s streak

  14. For The Win says:

    Does anyone remember Vince and Kidd on the Nets?????? Vince was a REALLY good basketball player back then BECAUSE of Kidd! Vince will relive his Nets days but on a better overall team than the 2008 Nets. The Suns WILL make the playoffs and WILL do amazing! VINCE IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Chuck says:

    I am so sick and tired of these so called “professional analysts”. If you’re going to act like you can predict the future, please acknowledge how WRONG you were in predicting the future in the past. Remember last year, when every analyst said the Suns we’re questionable for the playoffs? Yeah, I thought so.

  16. Blargh says:

    Fred, they won’t even have the worst single season turnaround this year. Look at the mighty, mighty Cavs.

  17. Anonymous says:

    None of the experts thought that the Phoenix Suns would be any good last year, and they proved everybody wrong and got to the Western Conference Finals. I think this trade will get the Suns to make the experts to swallow their words again. MIAMI IS GOING DOWN TONIGHT!!!!

  18. sharmal says:

    Referees will not let the Suns Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin! It is Guaranteed!

  19. Chris says:

    fastbreak, if you dont want the suns to become the nets of the west, we need to trade nash! You have 2 choices suns fans. You could play with the team you have now, make the 7th or 8th spot in the playoffs and be immediately knocked out and than when nash retires the team wins 25 games a season, or you could trade him now for a good player and draft picks, be a 40 win team a couple years until the young players develop and then you become a good team back to the way things were last year. its your choice. I’m sure plenty of you will cry when Nash leaves, but you will get over it when you are a contending team again in 5 years. Its better than having nash play a few final years in phoenix and then they have 10 straight seasons of 30 wins or less.

    • Peter says:

      This is a very interesting trade. There is no doubt that suns fans will miss j-rich, but it was a trade that had to be done. Steve Nash and grant hill will not let this team slip away from the eighth spot, therefor they will make the playoffs. If there is one player in the NBA who deserves a ring it’s Steve Nash. Lebron and bosh don’t deserve one, and Kobe already has too many. Steve is the most loyal and hardworking player in the league. He always finds a way to make players better. The people who make the NBA schedule obviously don’t like the suns. They always play hard teams on back to back nights and teams like the lakers always get an easy schedule. I’m a suns fan and I am not at all panicked now because I know that the suns will finish in the 5 or 6 spot in the playoffs.

  20. saha says:

    It doesnt matter who traded in and who traded out. At the end, ( if it reach that point) Sun is going to play against Maimi heat and Referees, You know the outcome. Just wondering why spending time for the Regular season and playoffs. Just handover the trophy to Heat.

  21. dan says:

    suns fans if u ask me bout this trade , its a really good trades , add gortat, petrus n carter make a suns in the play offs . if gortat playin little bit like gasol .im pretty sure suns gonna be a black horse team like last year . west final this year gonna be spurs vs lakers but watch out suns from the under dog team !!!!

  22. Fred says:

    If the Suns failed to get to the Playoffs, it could mark the worst single season turnaround for a franchise: From conference finalist to lottery team the next year.

  23. Chris says:

    The suns need to trade Nash, for young players and draft picks. thats how they will turn their team around. Just look at the thunder for one example. they were getting old and falling apart, traded for some young players and draft picks such as durant, westbrook and green and look at them now. I would say if they had a more reliable big man playing center instead of kristic or ibaka they could win a championship. I think a trade to the hawks wouldn’t be a bad idea if we could get josh smith, jamaal crawford and a draft picks for nash and someone else. It would boost the hawks closer to a championship, but I don’t know if they are willing to give the suns josh smith. I wonder if the bobcats have any interest in nash? they are shopping wallace and im sure they have a couple draft picks, it would be an interesting idea. Or we could see if the 76ers would give us Iggy as part of a trade. I dont know how committed they are to Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday.

  24. Rick Johnson says:

    I think it would cause terrible carma if the Suns were to trade Steve Nash. He is a two-time MVP and two years ago he had the opportunity to go anywhere he wanted to, but he chose to resign with the Suns and finish up his career there where he started.

    The suns have dealed away franchise players before and look where it got them (i.e Shawn Marion) To answer the question I feel the Suns make the playoffs with the addition of two extremely hard working defenders and another that has been waiting for his chance to prove his ability for years.

    Remember Pau Gasol was a huge addition to the Lakers and yet a little unknown as far as his ability to score. So, I think he can be as good as Pau Gasol, he just needs the chance to show it.

  25. Albert says:

    I believe Suns can make the playoff. 2 games after the trade, they can still produce a lot of points.
    Dudley and Childress will get a better role, and Gortat and Pietrus will give them better defense.

    I thought Vince will come as a 6th man. Let Dudley play more minutes. He works so hard as the backup of JRich.

  26. MIKE says:


  27. Michael says:

    I am with Ray… and while it is nothing new that “experts” would predict the Suns to do little-to-nothing, I am still awed that people continue to doubt this team, despite the Suns proving most people (errr, “experts) wrong, year in and year out.

    As Ray said, they have had one of the toughest schedules (4th hardest, last time I saw)… I know winning is what everyone looks at as an indicator to whether a team is good or bad, but how can people ignore schedule strength, team chemistry building, and close games played? I don’t want to dog NY (cuz Amare is there, and I am a Suns fan), but they’ve had one of the easiest schedules… hence, explaining why they have a good record so far. (Now, they still have won the games, but that is not the point).

    The point is that the schedule balances out over time. We will see who is ultimately right after the season is over, but how many of you honestly had Phoenix as the 3rd seed last season, going to the Western Finals? I know its a different team (and we haven’t won a ‘ship with our GREAT leader… yet), but this team seems to be constantly “predicted” to not do much of anything (the 8th seed??? REALLY???), yet it continues to exceed the “expert’s” predictions…

    I am not saying we are a title contender, but I am willing to find out… I guess that is one of the advantages (or curses) of being a fan. Go Suns! … Keep proving them wrong!

  28. Fastbreak says:

    Great trade, and a some hope for the near future. But as a Suns fan the real worry is two-three years down the line w/o Grant Hill or Nash. I really don’t want Suns to become the Nets of the West which I honestly think they may become.

  29. SHAYAWN says:

    Suns will make the playoffs. And teams should hope they don’t see them in the first round. Cause when they are hot there hot. The whole team is nothing but shooters, to count them out is stupid. Suns will turn it around soon, and I believe they will become the talk of the NBA as one of the tuff teams to beat with this trade and moving forward. We got are own power 3 like the Heat, accept ours are vetrans, Nash, Hill and now Carter. In the past 7 years, Suns were right there, now I believe they will get there.

  30. SHAYAWN says:

    Suns will make the playoffs. And teams should hope they don’t see them in the first round. Cause when they are hot there hot. The whole team is nothing but shooters, to count them out is stupid. Suns will turn it around soon, and I believe they will become the talk of the NBA as one of the tuff teams to beat with this trade and moving forward. We got are own power 3 like the Heat, accept ours are vetrans, Nash, Hill and now Carter. In the past 7 years, Suns were right there, now I believe they will get there.

  31. Daniel says:

    Phoenix is a very interesting team to watch in the playoffs. Lots of offense in the game. Nash really deserves a championship ring! Still loyalty is still greater than championship. Helping Goran Dragic improve is what great players do.

  32. Allen says:

    PHX makes it, good trade. Still they better not sit on it because wins wont come they have to get them.

  33. Wait a Minute says:

    Phoenix will be there. 8th or 7th they’ll be good.

  34. Ray says:

    The Suns will definitely be in the playoffs this year. The Suns have had one of the toughest schedules in the NBA, and after the Miami game, they have a 16-game stretch where they can win 14 of them. If they can upset Miami Thursday, that could possibly be 15 out of 17 which puts them right back in the thick of things. Since Hedo was traded, there was an immediate spark on the team, as they went into OK and beat the Thunder, and played the Spurs tough Monday for the most part. The Spurs kept jumping out to big leads, but the Suns kept coming back. Had they had a little more firepower(i.e. the players from the Orlando trade), they might have been able to make more stops, and win the game against the current best team in the NBA.

    Don’t sleep on this team. Nash and Hill will not allow this team to give in, and I believe the trade makes them a better team than they were before. Frankly though, the Suns have just had a brutal schedule, and even last year the Suns had trouble beating good teams, so it’s nothing new here, it’s just a brutal first half schedule. Sun fans shouldn’t panic, because the schedule is gonna be very easy coming soon, and for the entire 2nd half. A lot of teams for them to statpad wins again. Looking at the Suns schedule the rest of the way, there are 30 very winnable games on their schedule, and that would put them at 43 wins, which is at least over .500. I didn’t add the Miami game, the Lakers twice more, the Celtics twice more, the Jazz twice more, New Orleans 4x, OKC 3x, Dallas 3x, SA 2x, Utah 2x, Denver 2x, and etc. as winnable games. I’m certain they can get a few wins out of that bunch. That’s just how easy PHX’s schedule is to finish the season. 30 winnable games not counting all those games I mentioned. They haven’t even played the Nets, the Cavs, the Sixers, or Detroit. They’ve only faced Minny, LAC, and Sac once. Don’t panic Sun fans. If their rebounding is improved by the addition of Gortat, then they will be able to beat some of those good teams that I didn’t count as winnable games.