Three For All: Phoenix Suns

by Micah Hart

As everyone knows by now, the compressed NBA schedule will force every team to play three games in three nights at least one this season (42 times in total). With only 66 games to stake a claim to a playoff spot or seed, how teams perform during these killer slates could have a large impact on how their seasons turn out.

With that in mind, we’re going to keep track of each of the 42 three-plays to see which teams take advantage and which teams fall apart. Up next, the Phoenix Suns, who played three straight from Feb. 13-15.

While I have your attention, I’ll step aside from the task at hand for a moment and agree with the presiding opinion going around the Internet and say: Free Steve Nash.

The Suns have stated they have no interest in blowing up their team, and that is their right, but if their reasoning is that it alienates fans, I have to respectfully disagree. Fans want to win, clearly.  But what they really want is to compete for titles, and most intelligent fans are willing to tolerate a year or two of losing as long as there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Look no further than the Indianapolis Colts, who are most likely about to part ways with Peyton Manning — more an institution in his city than Nash is in Phoenix — and their fan base couldn’t be happier because they have Andrew Luck waiting to take his place. Suns fans know that Nash’s time is coming to an end regardless of where he plays, and as much as they’d hate to see him go, if they get some young prospects in return that help set them up to return to contention, they’ll take that deal all day long.

Why do I bring this up? Because the Suns joined the Detroit Pistons as the only two teams to lose every game in their three for all:

Game 1: Warriors 102, Suns 96 – One player the Suns shouldn’t trade is Marcin Gortat, who has evolved into one of the best centers in the NBA (though that does speak in part to the paucity of legit big men). The Polish Hammer had 25 points and 12 rebounds in the loss in Golden State. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for Phoenix against Golden State. -2 points

Game 2: Nuggets 109, Suns 92 – Phoenix sat Nash and Grant Hill for this one, trying to conserve their energy in the midst of the brutal stretch. So yeah, they really didn’t have much of a chance in this one. Markieff Morris had 21 points, which reminds me that in college, I always thought his brother Marcus was the hot shot recruit, and that he (Markieff) was sort of the Robin Lopez to his brother’s Brook. I mean, Marcus was Big 12 Player of the Year, and a second-team All-American. Then Markieff got drafted first (Marcus went to the Rockets with the very next pick), and now I question everything that happened to me in the last two years. Was it all just a dream? -1 point

Game 3: Hawks 101, Suns 99 – No one should get much grief for losing a third in three, but the Suns did lead by 15 points in the second half. Josh Smith had an absurd line for the Hawks (30 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocks), and when all is said and done I still expect someone’s injury to put him into his first All-Star Game next weekend in Orlando. 0 points

Time to face facts, Phoenix. The Nash-Era Suns are long gone, and the sooner you turn the page the better off you’ll be. -3 points for the Suns.

Up next: The Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers play three straight Feb. 14-16.

Three for all Top Ten:
Miami Heat (15 points)
Chicago Bulls (13 points)
OKC Thunder (12 points)
Atlanta Hawks (8 points)
Houston Rockets (7 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (6 points)
L.A. Clippers (6 points)
Philadelphia 76ers (6 points)
Denver Nuggets I (6 points)
Orlando Magic (5 points)

Full Three for all standings

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  1. c0achdesigns says:

    I still see no relevance of this ALL-FOR-THREE or THREE-FOR-ALL, whatever, to the playoffs. Is this about in preparation to 3 games from the 2-3-2 series in the finals?. I bet not.
    Will 3 games prove that a particular team is worth the ring? what about the other 63 season games + playoffs?

  2. Nick says:

    Steve Kerr already blew up the Suns! You mentioned the paucity of legit big men in the NBA, well I believe you may apply that to GMs as well. In addition to Phoenix, witness the destruction in the past of Detroit, NY & NJ by GMs, and more recently Orlando. Phoenix has brought themselves to this place where all they have left, really, is Nash. Rather than build around Nash and Stoudemire – a combo that helped them reach the playoffs consistently – Kerr systematically destroyed the team. What type of logic is it that these GMs use when they take a playoff team and tear it apart because they didn’t go all the way and “only” managed to win their conference? It’s frustrating to see how some players act, but I believe Howard, for instance, has a legitimate gripe. He may not be approaching it properly (let’s face it, he’s really a big kid!), but he’s heard for seven years how management will build a championship contending machine around him, yet for the most part there has been one boneheaded trade after another. Nash, although he has not complained (publicly, that is – after all he’s older and wiser), he must be flabergasted as well. Damned right he should be traded – not just for the future of Phoenix, but to give him the opportunity the Suns have destroyed: the chance for a championship.

  3. Philip says:

    I agree man. I feel bad for Nash. I am a die hard suns fan. I always will be losing or not but they need to trade Nash for the teams and his sake. Can anyone tell me why the suns have gotten rid of so many good players? Barbosa. Bell. Diaw. Dragic. Marion. Amare (we all know what happened there) Remember Tim Thomas and his threes??? I do! I want to start over asap and it begins with trading Nash.

  4. harold says:

    portland trailblazers is a good team for steve nash

  5. Dom V says:

    You guys also forget the random picks that turned into amazing players…

    To name a few off the top of my head

    captain jack
    Rudy fernandez…

  6. Kratos' rage says:

    Trade someone else not Nash! I mean you see the guy still has it at his age so thus Grant Hill. It’s not his fault why PHX SUNS is loosing or something. You know how Nash play and he need some guys who can compliment to his game. He still has like 2-3 yrs left as what i can see in his game. Gortant is really at revelation and a steal on that trade last year and he has found his game in PHX. There can never ever be another STEVE NASH so stick to the fella

  7. Jessica says:

    Phoenix played well against the Lakers tonight and pushed Kobe Bryant to declare that the Lakers organization should state whether it intends to trade or keep Gasol already. I don’t know how I feel about this…