Planet Orange (cones)?!
How new are the new-look Suns exactly? Well, everybody now: the Suns are so spanking fresh that they're playing on a brand new court. Not just the players on the court. We're talking, if you've yet to catch a glimpse, the home hardwood has literally undergone an offseason transformation (much less purple, much more black).
As I asked Lance Blanks prior to the Suns preseason home opener, are you an NBA general manager or the host of "Extreme Makeover?"
Of course, for those of you who fastened that football feedbag to your face way back in April in honor of the NFL Draft (been there, done that too), you may not be aware that the Suns currently lead the NBA in decision-making. Starting with the trade of Steve Nash to the Lakers (still no comprendo), it's been like a Burger King drive-thru: one whopper after another. Grant Hill - gone to the Clippers. Goran Dragic - back from the Rockets. Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson - acquired in hopes of maximizing more unrealized potential than environmentally protected Alaskan oil fields (do teams really part with Top-5 picks who can still blossom?)
Actually, forget that question, it's too late for that. The real-time question becomes whether we can add the word "improved" to new-look Suns and say with a straight face that it's truly a "new and improved" Phoenix Suns roster? Answer -- not yet. And not even close to yet.
Why not? Well, first and foremost, if we haven't learned players names yet, then how can all the new players learn each other and, most importantly, if their games fit together. Heck, they might all repel each other like refrigerator magnets, right?
No one knows -- not yet. However, in talking with Lon Babby, the Suns president of basketball operations did note that every single player currently on the Suns roster has been acquired by the current front office. Translation: no more payroll holdovers or salary cap leftovers from a previous personnel department.
Which leads to the next conclusion: the Suns upcoming season becomes a cab ride of sorts, where fans can drop the flag on the meter and track wins and losses like a fare to the airport.
As for what's clear right here, right now? Well, during Suns Media Day, it became clear during numerous player interviews that although Steve Nash is gone (still surreal), the up-tempo style is most definitely not. Emphatically and almost defiantly, players and coaches both state that they plan to get up and down the floor. Now, whether it will get 'em anywhere…(?)…like say somewhere close to a playoff spot ...well, that's the question this season is designed to answer.
So as the Suns prepare to say "boo" on Halloween night (in hopes that Suns fans do not boo during the home opener), ‘tis the season to trade the hard hats for high-tops. It's come time for the guys in the orange vests to replace the orange cones with Planet Orange.
Attention motorists - construction season has now given way to the NBA season.