By Craig Kwasniewski
The Phoenix Suns roll into Staples Center tonight to face the Lakers and who better to probe into the NBA's early season surprise than Phoenix resident and current Suns media member, Brett Pollakoff (oh and the co-founder of this here site). Let's get it rolling... five questions about the Phoenix Suns with Brett's responses in italics:
1 - So is Channing Frye looking like the Trevor Ariza lite that I suggested when they acquired him? (I've been carpet bombing Brett with emails claiming Frye could be the next Ariza... we'll see how that plays out this year.)
Um, not defensively. But for a center to be able to step out and shoot threes, it really opens things up. He's shooting a much lower percentage from downtown on the road than at home, but he's been solid shooting 20-footers either way.
2 - If PHX squeezes out a 50 win season will Nash get his second "I didn't expect this from Phoenix so because of that I'll give their leader the MVP" MVP award?Yeah, no. HOWEVER ... he has singlehandedly had more assists than the other team in 3 of the Suns' 8 games so far, and he has two 20-assist games already this season. He only had 5 20-assist games in his entire career, so it's safe to say he's feeling rejuvenated.
3 - But seriously, we both expected a good season but not this good of a start. (No seriously we both felt the Suns would improve after Shaq left because they have the right blend of talent, coaching and experience, but we both felt they were more of a 7 or 8 seed.) Are they deep enough to keep this up?The Suns have had 4 different players lead the team in scoring, so they're versatile and deep. The key will be for them to keep playing with high energy, and for their bench (guys like Jared Dudley, Goran Dragic, and Lou Amundson) to continue to produce. But the strong start is only building those guys' confidence.
4 - Will the Amare trade talk at the deadline mess this up?I just found out that Amar'e has a player option after this season for 1 year and $17.7 million. If the team is winning and he's happy, the team doesn't need to trade him, and he can choose the big payday in PHX for one more season before doing the whole free agency thing.
5 - And finally, we're talking coach of the year stuff if they win 50 because of the same "I didn't expect this" factor that the media always rides.
Coach of the Year usually goes to a top 2 or 3 team in the conference, so the Suns would need to keep this up all season. There's a long, long way to go, but he would have to be in the conversation given the way he's gotten the team to play together and especially the way he's getting the most out of a group of unheralded players off the bench.
One last thing, Brett's been grinding it out and blogging constantly on the Suns the past year and a half and was dutifully rewarded with full media credentials with photo ID. It's VERY cool when you actually see it. To go from jerkoff blogger to fully credentialled media member in a two-year span is amazing and a testament to all the talent and hard work... congratulations Brett!