Suns are second-worst out West? ESPN writer thinks so

Dec 20, 2011, 8:14 PM | Updated: 8:26 pm

Optimistic Suns fans may want to avoid for a
little while.

Monday, Chad Ford wrote that the
future is bleak for the team
, and Tuesday saw John Hollinger write the same
thing about the team’s present.

According to Hollinger, the Suns will finish the season
14th out of 15 Western Conference teams with a 24-42
record. Ouch.

The Suns weren’t that bad last season, but the only
changes for this season appear to be downgrades. They
replaced Aaron Brooks with Sebastian Telfair at backup
point guard, and the ghost of Vince Carter with Shannon
Brown at the 2. On a positive note, the Suns drafted power
forward Markieff Morris — adding him to Marcin Gortat and
7-footer Robin Lopez gives the Suns a better frontcourt
than in recent seasons.

But with Stoudemire and Jason Richardson gone, there’s
just no scoring pop around Nash. Channing Frye endured a
frustrating campaign last season and historically has
performed much worse as a power forward, where’s he’s
slotted for 2011-12. Nash and Hill are both in their late
30s and obvious risks for decline, especially with such a
punishing schedule.

Hollinger has not been the Suns’ biggest fan over recent
years, often times lamenting the team’s move from
contender to also-ran, and this piece is really no

However, that doesn’t mean his points are without merit,
as on paper the Suns don’t appear to be any better than
last year’s team, and key players like Nash and Hill are a
year older. Can they stay healthy? If they do and players
like Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley surprise, the Suns
could easily surpass Hollinger’s expectations.

If not, though, his prediction may be right on the money.

Phoenix Suns

Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against T.J. Warren #21 of th...
Associated Press

NBA, players agree on new multi-year labor agreement with in-season tournament

The league and its players reached a seven-year collective bargaining agreement Saturday, and ratification is expected to be a formality.
22 hours ago
Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) motions after making a basket against the Denver Nuggets dur...
Kellan Olson

Durant returns to form, Suns drop level in win vs. shorthanded Nuggets

The Phoenix Suns had a great first half and a not so great second half on Friday in a win against the Denver Nuggets.
2 days ago
(Phoenix Suns Twitter photo)...
Wills Rice

Suns use early lead to hold on to win over injured Nuggets

The Phoenix Suns held on to beat the Denver Nuggets 100-93 on Friday at Footprint center behind Kevin Durant's 30 points.
2 days ago
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, right, drives the lane as Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis ...
Arizona Sports

Nikola Jokic, 3 other Nuggets out for clash vs. Suns

The Denver Nuggets list Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray among a group of key players as out on Friday against the Phoenix Suns.
2 days ago
(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)...
Tom Kuebel

Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert fined for comments on officiating in Suns game

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was fined $25,000 for comments made that criticized officiating after the team's 107-100 loss to the Suns.
2 days ago
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

How to watch the Suns, D-backs and Coyotes on Friday

It's going to be a busy night of athletics to end March with three of the Valley's four major sports teams in action on Friday.
2 days ago
Suns are second-worst out West? ESPN writer thinks so