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Saturday , Feb , 04 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Steve Nash and Suns open to trade?

Despite the Suns' struggles, Steve Nash has yet to express an interest in being traded, league sources said. But the organization will try to accommodate Nash's wishes if the 37-year-old foundation of the franchise decides he'd like a chance to compete for a championship with a contender. "It's really on him in terms of what he wants to do or not do," a person with knowledge of the situation said. Nash, who turns 38 next week, will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps this is the first step in Steve Nash leaving the sad-sack Phoenix Suns before becoming a free agent at season’s end.

After all, the two-time MVP, perennial All-Star, and sure-fire Hall of Famer is deserving of so much better than playing for Robert Sarver’s thrifty team.

Sarver’s alligator arms have forced the Suns to give away draft picks, pass on free agents, and roll out the exit map for stars Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Bottom line: what was once one of the NBA’s premier teams is now irrelevant. And Nash has wasted some productive years toiling on that irrelevant team.

Of course, he knows this.

However, Nash is reluctant to request a trade, rightfully believing such a move would  wreck his legacy with the city of Phoenix and Suns-nation.

It would be different if the club traded Nash prior to the deadline, and attributed such a trade to needing an asset for their rebuilding project.

Hopefully, Nash is freed from Phoenix. His situation has become sad. And he needs to play meaningful basketball before it’s too late.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 

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Thursday , Jan , 19 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Knicks to sign Steve Nash this summer?

The Knicks just need to look at the other bench tonight to see what their offense is supposed to look like. Nash, who ran D’Antoni’s system to perfection, was averaging an NBA-high 10.1 assists before last night’s 118-97 loss to the Bulls, even though he will turn 38 next month. That’s why The Post has reported the Knicks plan to target Nash (along with Jameer Nelson and Raymond Felton) with this summer’s $5 million mid-level exception.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Nothing new here.

The New York Knicks are reportedly interested in Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash, and will try to sign the sure-fire Hall of Famer this summer when he becomes a free agent. 

After all, the Knicks are coached by Mike D'Antoni, Nash's old coach and mentor. And they need a reliable table-setter to deliver the ball to scorers Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. And Nash lives in New York during the summer, so the transition would be easy.

In fact, the only surprise is the Knicks waiting until summer. Why not pursue Nash now and enhance their chances of playoff run?

Well, the Suns and their two-time MVP are playing chess. Both sides know a parting of the ways is inevitable, but neither wants to make the first move.

Sun fans would never forgive owner Robert Sarver for dealing Nash. And they'd never see Nash in the same light if he requested a trade.

This, however, won't stop the Knicks from pursuing Nash. Not now, and not six months from now if he gets to free agency.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

 

 

   

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Friday , Dec , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Alvin Gentry ‘Very Excited’ about Suns signing Michael Redd

Very excited about Michael Redd joining the team. Great offensive weapon. He will be a welcome addition.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is what Coach Alvin Gentry has been reduced to.

The personable sideline boss must put a positive spin on his Phoenix Suns signing shooter Michael Redd, who has struggled with injuries the last few years.

Redd, a veteran who is attempting to resurrect his career, is the best the Suns can afford -even in the post-lockout world of greater parity and revenue sharing.

The problem is simple: Robert Sarver. The Suns’ controversial owner doesn’t have the resources to sustain an NBA team, let alone one that will stay in contention for a playoff spot.

So Suns’ management must cut corners and react. Draft picks are sold. Star talent is allowed to walk. And cheap replacements are brought in.

Hopefully, Redd resurrects his stalled career with a solid year. Even this won’t change the Suns’ sinking fortunes in a competitive Western Conference.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Friday , Dec , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Suns to sign Shannon Brown?

Unrestricted free agent and former Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown will sign a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Phoenix Suns, sources told ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard on Thursday.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Oh, the highlights will be plentiful.

Just imagine: Steve Nash gets the outlet and starts the break; Shannon Brown bolts down court filling the lane; Brown takes the pass in mid-air and crams an alley-oop of epic proportions.

Expect this scenario. Again and again.

Brown signing a one-year deal with the Suns will be a boon for Youtube; hoop heads will scour over his highlight reel jams off Nash dimes.

Entertainment aside, this will do little for the Suns. They need real, tangible changes. And Brown -a nice but hardly spectacular signing – doesn't provide a long-term direction.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Dec , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Suns to buyout Carter?

The Phoenix Suns will move forward without Vince Carter on their roster. Carter’s full $18 million salary for this season would have been guaranteed if not released within 72 hours of the official start of free agency.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In Toronto, he was touted as the face of the NBA. In New Jersey, he was a perennial All-Star. In Orlando, he was tabbed as the final piece of the puzzle.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Sometime over the next few days, the Phoenix Suns are expected to exercise the opt-out clause on the final year of Vince Carter’s contract.

The club would rather pay the $4 million buyout and have Carter walk then fork out $18 million for the 2012 season.

Carter will become a free agent. And there will be interest in his services, however, he’ll be lucky to get the Mid Level Exception.

After all, Carter’s days as a high flyer are over. Too often, he avoids contact and settles for perimeter fade-aways and off balance jump shots.

The next few days provide Carter a final shot at salvaging something from a mostly disappointing career.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
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Monday , Nov , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bulls to sign Vince Carter or Rip Haimlton?

"I think that the Bulls should be very busy, they should look at Rip Hamilton who may be released from Detroit," Gill said. "Vince Carter is an older player, but still has a lot left in the tank. The Bulls need an upgrade at 2-guard, which Vince Carter can fill."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Memo to the Chicago Bulls. Don’t sign Vince Carter -even if he’s available at a low wage.

Yes, the Chicago Bulls need a scorer to take pressure off 2011 MVP Derrick Rose, however, Carter is not the answer.

The former Slam Dunk Champ’ and All-Star is no longer Half-Man, Half Amazing. The days of Kenny Smith screaming ‘it’s ova’ have passed.

Remember, Carter flopped with Orlando, and lost his starting job to the solid-but-hardly spectacular Jared Dudely in Phoenix.

So, what could Carter offer Chicago?

Well, not much. The once athletic swing is too much of a perimeter player, often refusing to attack the basket and settling for low percentage fade-aways.

The Bulls would be better off pouncing on Rip Hamilton once he’s waived by the Detroit Pistons as part of the amnesty provision in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Hamilton, provided he's happy, can score and is an upgrade over Carter on defense.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Nov , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Steve Kerr on Meeting Michael Jordan

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Before his broadcasting days and before he took over as GM of the Phoenix Suns, Steve Kerr was the sharpshooter who played next to Michael Jordan. 

Here’s a video of Kerr describing his first impressions of Jordan. As usual, watch the video and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.


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Sunday , Nov , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq: Pat Riley and I nearly fought in Miami

I start taking a couple of steps towards Pat. Udonis Haslem steps in and I shove him out of the way. Then Zo tries to grab me. I threw him aside like he was a rag doll.Now it's me and Riley face-to-face, jaw to jaw. I'm poking him in the chest and he keeps slapping my finger away and it's getting nasty. Noisy, too. He's yelling "F--- you!" and I'm yelling back, "No, f--- you!" Zo is trying to calm us both down and he has this kind of singsong panic in his voice. He keeps saying, "Big fella, no big fella, big fella!" I finally turn around and tell him, "Don't worry. I'm not going to hit the man. Do you think I'm crazy?"

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Shaquille O’Neal’s tell-all tour continues. No player, coach, man, or woman will be spared.

The future Hall of Fame center has a spill-the-beans book coming out, so he and his people have leaked excerpts to create a buzz.

Like O’Neal’s World Wars with Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. Like O`Neal`s take on LeBron James ignoring Coach Mike Brown in Cleveland. Like O`Neal`s lack of a relationship with iconic center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The latest: O’Neal nearly fought Pat Riley, also known as the oil slick, during practice with Miami. Of course, O’Neal says he was heroically sticking up for teammate Jason Williams.

This may or may not be true. There’s no disputing O’Neal has had problems with coaches.

There was the fallout with Riley. There were problems with Phil Jackson, another all-time great on the sideline. And he undermined Terry Porter in Phoenix.

So before blaming others, O’Neal should perhaps look inward first. This, however, is unlikely.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Who is at fault for this lockout?
Saturday , Oct , 22 , 2011 J.N.

Who is at fault for this lockout?

Derrick Rose recently said that the current NBA lockout is “not our fault.” That makes sense. He is a player. He is a part of the Player’s Union. Captain Obvious is obvious. Why would he state something that does not need to be said? It’s not just Rose, but for the rest of the players. This generic statement is an easy statement to make. We understand the need to put blame on someone. Someone has to go down. Upon further examination, is the blame truly on the owners? 

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Saturday , Oct , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Amar’e Stoudemire blames Robert Sarver for lockout

Amar'e Stoudemire believes he knows where to place the blame for the NBA's aggressive stance against the players' union: the owner of his former team, the Phoenix Suns. "[Robert] Sarver, for sure," Stoudemire said. "He's probably the main guy that's pushing for this lockout."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: I didn’t think Robert Sarver, the owner of the Phoenix Suns, could look much worse.

After all, he single-handedly decimated the Suns, refusing to re-sign Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire and selling first round draft picks like action figures on E-Bay.

Well, I was wrong.

Fair or not, Sarver is seen as the hardline owner who held up the two sides agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement a few weeks back.

And his comments about wanting to take the mid level exception home in a handbag to his wife and sitting out the entire year were asinine and stupid.

The players are taking note. Starting with the Suns' former star in Stoudemire, who saw first hand how Sarver's nickel and dimming destroyed his chances of winning  a championship in Arizona.

It’s not that Sarver doesn’t have a right to speak his mind. It’s that he lacks the credibility for anyone to listen.

The lockout has made that point even clearer.

-O.Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Vince Carter’s NBA Legacy
Thursday , Aug , 18 , 2011 J.N.

Vince Carter’s NBA Legacy

I just watched a Youtube clip featuring Vince Carter slipping on a banana peel against the Charlotte Bobcats during a cross over move. I do not know what to make of it. He could have stepped on a wet spot. Yep, that’s what it was; a wet spot. Got it. I’m also taking it as a sign to think about his career. The high flying explosive Vince Carter disappeared after 2008 and currently does not live here. 

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Thursday , Jul , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Steve Nash: ‘I prefer to stay in Phoenix’

As a veteran, Nash said an NBA championship ring was still a strong lure for him, but he said he would not change teams to achieve that goal.

"Every player wants the ring. We were very close to it many times. Changing teams may be a way. But I don't think I will join another team; I prefer to stay in Phoenix. Hopefully, we can go further next season," said Nash.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Steve, hope is not a strategy for you or your Phoenix Suns.

While visiting China on behalf of his sponsors, Nash told the assembled media his preference was to close his eyes, cross his fingers, and ’hope’ his Phoenix Suns achieve better results.

Lets be clear: what else can Nash do?

He’s too classy to publicly call out Robert Sarver, the Suns’ thrifty owner who refuses to spend on the necessary talent to contend, let alone win a championship.

He’s too classy to publicly call out GM Lon Babby, who first acquired Hedo Turkoglu and then sent the Turkish swing to Orlando for another underachiever in Vince Carter.

And he’s too classy to publicly call out his teammates, who seem a little too interested in taking shots at each other via the media.

Right now, Nash can only grin and bear the Suns. Of course, he can hope. Sadly, this is what the future Hall of Fame point guard has been reduced to.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Jul , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Is Marcin Gortat vs. Robin Lopez a problem for Suns?

Marcin said that on his first day in Phoenix he asked Robin if practice started on the court or with a video session. Robin told Marcin that he didn't know so Gortat went to the gym while Lopez went to watch video. According to Gortat, a coach came to get him and asked why he was late and Marcin said that he had asked Robin and was told he didn't know where practice was starting. The coach said everyone knew where they were supposed to be. Marcin took that as a sign of where things stood between himself and Lopez.

Gortat went on to talk about the opportunity that Lopez had to earn and keep the starting job.

"This guy (Lopez) had such a big chance, such a big opportunity, to play in the best league. When I was Orlando, playing behind Dwight (Howard), I was praying to get a chance to play and he (Lopez) has had this chance for two years and he didn't take.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Sport is competitive.

Every night teams compete, and every night teammates compete for playing time, touches, and shots, which determines the zeros on their contracts.

The tiff between Phoenix Suns teammates Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez is about as surprising as the current pissing match between Commissioner David Stern and Union Head Billy Hunter.

The Suns weren’t winning, so Lopez and Gortat focused on the starting center position. And it got petty -fast.

Gortat publicly accused Lopez of sabotaging his first day with the Suns by intentionally telling him practice began in the video room when it began on-court.

However, the Polish post was just warming up. He then mocked Lopez for not taking advantage of the opportunity given to him by the Suns.

On the one hand, Gortat is about as wrong as you can get. He can’t call Lopez out to the media for what`s likely a miscommunication.

On the other hand, Gortat is right: Lopez, for whatever reason, hasn’t seized the moment and performed near expectations.

Of course, Gortat vs. Lopez isn’t going anywhere. Both want to start. Both are intense. Neither will back down. 

When the season begins, Coach Alvin Gentry should encourage competition, but can’t let his centers become a distraction like Brenadan Haywood and Etan Thomas with the Washington Wizards.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Jul , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Can Vince Carter help a contender?

Vince Carter may realize that his time in Phoenix is pretty much up – how short it was – but he still wants to play ball. Not overseas.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s no slam dunk that the former Slam Dunk Champion can average 12-15 points per night for a contender.

Right now, Vince Carter is an unrestricted free agent. Some feel ‘Half-Man, Half-Amazing’ can re-invent himself as a second-unit, game-changer for a contender.

I’m not so sure, though.

On a contender, everybody defends. No exceptions. Any contender would have reservations about adding a one-way scorer, like Carter, who resembles a statue in his own end.

Those who don’t defend on contenders –again, like Carter – find themselves on the bench. They stay on that bench for the season. They only play in a blowout or a pinch.

If Carter can’t get on the floor for meaningful minutes, how can he average 12-15 points per night for a contender?

Let’s suppose, for a minute, Carter gets a chance to prove his worth at training camp. He struggled to score with the up-and-down Phoenix Suns, even though defense was optional and Steve Nash, the league’s great playmaker, was setting-the-table.

With a contender, he won’t be a first, second, or third option. And Carter, in recent years, has stopped attacking the hoop, settling for fall-away shots, weak drives, and long-range jumpers.

The coaching staffs of contending teams know this. Or they’ll quickly discover this. So do the league’s best players. They’ll all tire of him quickly.

For Carter, it may be a one year deal for the minimum with a small market or nothing. Yes, nothing. The NBA’s great enigma will continue fading to black.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Jul , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Jason Richardson to Chicago?

As a free agent, J-Rich has reached a critical point in his career: Does he sign with a team that can pay him the most money or take less to play with a contender?

Obviously, he would love to have the best of both worlds. He might be able to find that with the Chicago Bulls, who are in need of a quality starting shooting guard.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Is Jason Richardson the difference between the Chicago Bulls winning and losing the Eastern Conference?

The answer: at best, a maybe. Sure, Richardson is talented. Sure, he has range. Sure, he’s arguably the top free agent shooting-guard. And sure, the Bulls need a scorer.

Richardson is 31-years old, though. While still solid, he was deemed expendable by the Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Bobcats, and Phoenix Suns. His latest club, the Orlando Magic, have little interest in extending him.

A large part of this had to do with money. Charlotte and Phoenix, two smaller markets, had trouble swallowing Richardson’s big-ticket. For financial reasons, they cut ties.

A large part of this had to with skill. More and more, Richardson stopped using his athleticism to attack and defend, and seemed content on shooting three-pointers.

Who knows what role the off-court stuff played? Richardson was charged with Driving Under the Influence and reckless driving. Of course, there was also this.

Richardson is a risk. His value on the open market will be hard to gauge because of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

Chicago should ask Richardson for a contender discount. If he refuses, they should look elsewhere for their difference-maker.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Jul , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Grant Hill to follow in Jason Kidd’s footsteps?

He watched Jason Kidd, a fellow rookie of the year, win his first title last month, and is willing to keep striving for an opportunity to play in the Finals. Hill's career has gone from one of promise, to misfortune, to longevity, and he is willing to wait out a potentially long lockout.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To pull a ‘J-Kidd’, he can't re-sign with the Phoenix Suns.

The end is near for the 38-year old Grant Hill. The former Duke legend and NBA All-Star doesn't believe the end is now, though.

Instead, he’ll wait for the lockout to end and, inspired by Dallas Mavericks legend Jason Kidd, try for a championship.

Here’s the thing: Hill won’t win with the Phoenix Suns. Heck, Hill might not see the playoffs if he stays in Arizona.

This falls on Suns owner Robert Sarver. He doesn’t have the resources to sign and/or keep talent. A new Collective Bargaining Agreement won't do enough for Sarver, even if there's a hard cap with flexibility.

So Hill will have to leave as a free agent. He will have to part with pal Steve Nash. He will have to risk injury by forging a relationship with new trainers.

This seems scary, but Hill has survived numerous ankle surgeries, a life saving procedure in Orlando, failures at the pro‘ level, and unfortunate comments in a documentary by former rival Jalen Rose.

Free agency won’t phase him. Hill will weigh his options and do what's best. In a year, like Kidd, he could also be hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy. 

--Oly Sandor.


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Wednesday , Jun , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nash for Billups?

"There have been renewed whispers the Knicks have inquired about Suns point guard Steve Nash, who lives in SoHo in the offseason. The Knicks have talked internally about trading Chauncey Billups for Nash as both have expiring contracts. But there does not appear any reason for Suns owner Robert Sarver to make a move and give Mike D'Antoni a chance to reunite with his favorite son."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The whispers won’t die. Steve Nash continues to be connected to the New York Knicks.

Here’s the latest Nash-to-New York tidbit: the Knicks want to send veteran Chauncey Billups to the Phoenix Suns for the charismatic Canadian.

This rumor works for two reasons. First, Billups and Nash both have expiring deals. They make similar money. So the contracts match.

Second, it’s 2012 or bust for Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni. ‘Mr. Seven Seconds or Less’ must exceed expectations to earn another contract from owner James Dolan.

Enter Nash.

The two-time MVP is the best point guard to run D’Antoni’s system. Nash’s passing and creativity would help former Phoenix teammate Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony post career numbers.

The Knicks would entertain. Madison Square Gardens would be fun. And they’d probably win, which means D’Antoni gets his extension.

There's a complication: Phoenix owner Robert Sarver won’t trade Nash. This may be posturing, though.

Sarver would part ways with any asset if given enough of a financial incentive. The outspoken owner was particularly hard hit by the financial downturn.

Perhaps Nash finally joins the Knicks. Perhaps it’s as simple as meeting Sarver’s price.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Sunday , May , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: D’Antoni losing Knick players?

One player said Chauncey Billups, especially after he got injured, did far more coaching on the bench and in the huddle during the playoffs than (Mike) D'Antoni, and "made a helluva lot more sense." In private, the Suns veterans -- excluding Steve Nash, perhaps -- similarly degrade D'Antoni.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat, the two teams in the NBA Finals, have shown that defense still wins championships.
 
Now run-and-gun offensive schemes entertain. Fans love it. And players post highs in points and assists. Then the regular season ends. And the playoffs begin.
 
In the playoffs, Coach Mike D’Antoni’s ‘Seven Seconds Or Less’ scheme gets exposed. The tempo slows; each possession matters.  
 
D’Antoni’s players soon realize they can’t win, or even be serious contenders, with his offensive approach. When on the sideline in Phoenix, his Suns could never get a key stop.
 
Steve Nash aside, he lost his players.
 
The same appears to be happening with the New York Knicks. The players are tired of the gimmicks and song-and-dance. They want to win. And now.
 
Winning comes through getting-stops. Not out-scoring opponents. So D’Antoni may get another short-term contract, but he won’t be on the sideline if the Knicks go deep in the playoffs.
 
For that, they’ll need a coach who values what players do in their own end.
 
--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Apr , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Michael Beasley embarasses Jared Dudley with ankle breaker

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Two non-playoff teams provided a classic ankle breaker.

Last night, Michael Beasley crossed up Jared Dudley with time running out in a meaningless but entertaining game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns.

Watch the clip and get at us with thoughts on Beas’ embarassing Dudley in the comment box below.   

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Apr , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Amar’e: ‘I always play better in the postseason’

"That's the whole goal now," Stoudemire said. "I always play better in the postseason. I want to be 100 percent healthy to keep that trend going. The good news is it's getting better by the second. I'll play sooner than later."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Amar’e Stoudemire has never lacked confidence.

The New York Knicks’ superstar expects to play his best during the playoffs, which may or may not occur.

On the one hand, Stoudemire has always excelled in the second season, posting massive scoring and rebounding numbers with his old squad, the Phoenix Suns.

While the Suns never won the championship or even made the NBA Finals, they did have some inspired runs to the Conference Finals.

On the other hand, the new-look Knicks, despite improved play, are still awkward. The Carmelo Anthony-Stoudemire combo is a work in progress, and poor chemistry is a concern at Madison Square Garden.

However, Stoudemire must first get healthy. He’s currently in a walking boot to speed up his recovery from an ankle sprain.

So confident or not, playing his best basketball or not, Stoudemire and the Knicks will face serious challenges this playoffs.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.