Posts Tagged ‘Phoenix Suns’

Throwback Thursday: First round series to go seven


VIDEO: The Bulls and Celtics square off in an epic 2009 first-round series

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: First round series to go seven games

The NBA Playoffs are a magical time in the basketball universe as every game matters and each player gives it their all.

To honor the playoffs, this Thursday we look back at the 14 first-round series to go the full seven games (the first round expanded from a best-of-five to a best-of-seven format in 2003). Hopefully this year’s playoffs provide similar dramatics.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: First Round Series to Go Seven

Which of these was your favorite series? Leave your comments below!

Jeff Withey passes ball to himself

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — New Orleans Pelicans center Jeff Withey pulled off quite the trick during last night’s Pelicans/Suns game. Thanks to the hands of Eric Bledsoe and the dome of ref Bennie Adams, Withey pulled off the ol’ pass to himself. Impressive.

He should have shot the ball immediately just to see if he could get an assist to himself (you can see the full play here) …

eitlixkddczmlfk5sikd

(via Deadspin)

Someone made a Goran Dragic music video

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you had to choose an NBA player to make a music video about, Phoenix point guard Goran Dragic seems like as good a candidate as anyone. Even if he didn’t make the All-Star game, Dragic has had a breakout season, which has raised his profile in the NBA, as well as in his native Slovenia. In fact, Dragic has become enough of a celebrity in Slovenia that he’s become a target of Slovenian comedian Klemen Slakonja, who has made what is probably the first and only Goran Dragic parody music video. As Dragic told Suns.com, the lyrics are satirically praising his evolution as a basketball player…


VIDEO: Dragic video

Gerald Green gets NBA Jam-ified

By Jeff Case

When most of us think of NBA Jam of the 1990s on the old Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo, we think of the high-flying dunks, the trademark catch-phrases (“Boom shalakalaka! He’s heating up! He’s on fire!). For me, that game was all about getting on fire and seeing how far away from the hoop you could get before you’d go up for a monster jam.

Anyway, we mention all of that to say sometime art imitates life in the NBA. A couple of nights ago, Gerald Green of the Phoenix Suns went into NBA Jam mode. He burned the Oklahoma City Thunder for a career-best 41 points and eight 3-pointers en route to Phoenix’s upset win. The fine folks over at Suns.com decided to give his night a little bit of the NBA Jam treatment:


VIDEO: Gerald Green on fire ala ‘NBA Jam’ style

Phoenix Suns Cover Jackson 5

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When you’re a rookie in the NBA, you have certain duties to perform. Buying donuts? Carrying luggage? Taking care of the veterans? These are all things NBA rookies are regularly charged with doing.

Covering “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5? That’s something that isn’t required as regularly, but at the recent Phoenix Suns JumpBall charity fundraiser, a trio of Suns rookies (Alex Len, Dionte Christmas and Archie Goodwin) were charged with performing the Jackson 5 classic. Little pitchy?


VIDEO: The Jackson 3

Phoenix Suns Find Second Jobs

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Phoenix Suns recently posted a series of photos on their website from an event where several Suns players and coaches spent a day working for Southwest Airlines at the Phoenix Airport. So if you happened to fly Southwest out of Phoenix this week and your bag is missing a wheel or a handle, you might be able to blame point guard Ish Smith or coach Jeff Hornacek. And give it up for Goran Dragic, rocking the neon vest on the runway…

But when I went to Suns.com to see if any video existed of this event, I instead found myself taking a wonderful trip in the internet wayback machine. It seems having the Suns work at the airport isn’t the first time the Suns have found secondary jobs, because here’s a video of former forward Tom Gugliotta, who played for the Suns from 1998-2004, putting in work at a Phoenix-area car wash for a bit called Suns Hidden Camera. Nice cargo jorts, Googs.


VIDEO: Tom Gugliotta Car Wash

(Airport via TNLP)

Throwback Thursday: Milwaukee And Phoenix Receive Franchises


VIDEO: Bucks win the NBA championship in 1971

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s TBT topic: Milwaukee and Phoenix are granted expansion teams in 1968

By Jonathan Hartzell, NBA.com

Prior to the 1968 All-Star Game in New York on January 22, 1968, the NBA Board of Governors awarded franchises to Milwaukee and Phoenix to join the league in the 1968-69 season. These franchises, later nicknamed the Bucks and Suns, pushed the number of teams in the NBA to 14.  Since then, each franchise has enjoyed periods of great success during their 45-plus seasons in the NBA. The Bucks, in fact, became the fastest expansion team to win a championship in any major professional sport when they were crowned after the 1970-71 season. The Suns have made two NBA Finals (1976 & ’93) and, in their 46 seasons, have had 50 or more wins 19 times (the Bucks, by comparison, have had 13 50-plus win seasons and also have made two Finals).

The photo gallery below details the five best players in the history of the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns. (NOTE: Click the “caption” icon in the gallery for details about each player.)


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Bucks & Suns Receive Franchises

Who would you put as the top-fives for Milwaukee and Phoenix? Leave your comments below!

Rockets Mascot Scares Rockets Players

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — For an NBA team, what good is having a mascot if you do not use the mascot at some point to scare the heck out of players? We saw it earlier this season in Phoenix, where the Gorilla popped out of a trash can wielding an air horn. And last season in Milwaukee, Bucks mascot Bango scared Dwight Howard.

So recently in Houston, the Rockets used their inflatable version of their mascot, Clutch, to stand sentry in a hallway and suddenly and terrifyingly come to life as various Rockets players left practice. The best part of this video is probably the slow motion replays spliced in, showing the players leaping into the air with genuinely frightened looks plastered across their faces.


VIDEO: Mascot Scares Rockets

Horry Scale: Joe Cool


VIDEO: Joe Johnson’s GWBB

The game winning buzzer beaters are coming fast and furious now. So yeah, we’re on the third Horry Scale entry of the last seven days, as last night Joe Johnson and the Brooklyn Nets went to Phoenix, and their game drifted into overtime before JJ managed to end it with a dagger. NBA players obviously can not resist the allure of making Horry Scale appearances.

Before we get too far into this, we should stop and explain. What is the Horry Scale? For those who are new around these parts, the Horry Scale examines a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Kings-Pistons game?) and celebration (is it over the top or too chill? Just the right panache or needs more sauce?). Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, the patron saint of last-second daggers.

With the rules in place, let’s check out last night’s game-winner.

DIFFICULTY
I’ve long held that Joe Johnson is one of the most underrated offensive players in the NBA. I watched nearly every Hawks game he played, and saw him night after night carry the load offensively. It wasn’t always pretty, it wasn’t always the most efficient offense, but it was more often than not effective. Johnson can score in so many ways, and that versatility was on display last night. Joe’s GWBB was a runner in the paint with two defenders coming after him. Joe put a slight hesitation dribble on PJ Tucker and watched him soar past, then went up and lofted the ball high over Channing Frye for the bucket, just in time. On first glance it wasn’t particularly spectacular, but the more I watch it the more impressive it becomes — going the length of the court in four seconds, being patient enough to let Tucker take himself out of the play, and then getting the shot off cleanly over a seven-footer before the clock trickled out of time.

GAME SITUATION
So here we are, game tied at 98 in overtime, 8 seconds remaining on the clock and about 2 on the shot clock, and Frye misses a three from the wing. Johnson ends up with the rebound, and the rest is history. You often hear coaches debate whether or not to use a timeout in those circumstances. Do you stop the game to set up a play, but also potentially allow the defense to get set? Or do you take advantage of the chaos and let them play? Another potential subplot for the Nets is, Who takes the final shot in a close game? All of these issues were avoided by Coach Kidd by just letting the game play out in the moment. (Worth noting: Deron Williams had sprained his ankle earlier and was out, so perhaps that played into Kidd’s decision as well.)

IMPORTANCE
The Nets have been struggling this season, starting off 2-5, one loss away from the basement in the Eastern Conference, and not looking anything like the contending team most experts projected them to be. Conversely, the Suns have been surprisingly good, beginning 5-3 and making people wonder if talk of tanking was premature. It’s still early in the season, but a W for the Nets could help them start to turn things around. As Johnson said after the game, “It was big. There could be a domino effect.” The Nets better hope so: They play the Clippers in Los Angeles tonight.

CELEBRATION
The jubilation was there, if a bit muted until Kevin Garnett arrived and shook up the huddle a bit. To be fair, Joe Johnson has never been accused of being demonstrative. (Also, check out Tucker in the background on his knees, head to the court, literally floored by the loss.) “I couldn’t even celebrate, I was so tired,” Johnson told the New York Post. (He logged almost 45 minutes between regulation and overtime.) “But I was just ready to get out of there. [My teammates] are trying to celebrate and I’m ready to go… I’m like, ‘Let’s go into the locker room and shower and let’s get out of here. … We’ve got a tough game tomorrow.’”

GRADE
Sneaky difficult shot, pretty important game for the Nets, a team excited to get the win. There have been tougher and more important game winners, for sure, but I feel like this a GWBB that will overlooked by some. Anyway, for the reasons outlined above, I’m giving this one three Horrys.

horry-starhorry-starhorry-star

That’s my take. How many Horry’s would you give Joe Johnson’s game-winner?

Phoenix Gorilla Pranks Suns Players

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Imagine that you’re on your way to work, minding your own business, when a gorilla leaps from a trash can. That would be scary enough, right? But what if this was not just a gorilla, but a gorilla wearing a sweatsuit, armed with a compressed air horn. And not just a gorilla wearing a sweatsuit and armed with a compressed air horn, but also clutching what appears to be the skin from a gigantic alien head.

This is exactly what several members of the Phoenix Suns organization were faced with on their way to work earlier this week. Poor Goran Dragic nearly falls out right there in the hallway…
-

VIDEO: Phoenix Gorilla pranks players and coaches