The results are in...guess who's #1?

The results of LA Ball Talks team blog contest are in. And once again, Jazz fans have made it clear that True Blue Jazz is their favorite Jazz blog on the Internet. Thanks to all who voted. Stay tuned because we have big big BIG news on the way....Prepare for Jazz heaven.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Come with us to the Bright Side of the Sun

Seth @ Bright Side of the Sun took a moment to answer some of our burning questions. Here is the transcript:

1. Honestly, how happy are Suns fans to have Shaq in town?

At the risk of offending billions of Suns fans worldwide, I will answer (in the vernacular of the kids these days) IMHO:

When this deal was first rumored I was in line to pick up Chinese food and my Blackberry dinged w/ a text alert. I drove home not believing it could be possible. It sounded like the Dumbest. Idea Ever. Now, after a few weeks and some time to ponder Aristotle-like I am sure it is in fact
The. Dumbest. Idea. Ever. But most of my fellow travelers disagree.

What's been most fascinating to watch was the collective hive of Suns fans go from shock and awe to over the cliff exuberance after the Suns PR machine went full bore and led the lemmings to the edge of hysteria. All in the span of about 48 hours and 3 press conference.

Now, after seeing what should have been obvious, the tide is turning back and there is a lot more concern and skepticism. One thing everyone agrees on is that its still too soon to say for sure but March is a lousy time to be conducting training camp and also stay in the playoffs in a highly competitive Western Conference.

There are some things that have been positive though. We have gone from a -6 TREB Diff to -4.4 and have managed suddenly become a rebounding Juggernaut and also a team that's getting to the line more. So far, Shaq isn't even a threat in a low post but that should improve soon and his range will increase from 0 to 3 ft. And then look out!

Of course, we also went from a team that finally learned how to play D and was ranked 11th in OppFG% to a team that is struggling to stop anyone. Like Memphis. Or Philly. Let alone Denver.

And finally, if you really care what I think (and why would you) about how this could possible work you can read the Signs of Shaq Success post I did before his first game. After 8 games I think I was spot on. Thank you. Thank you very much.

2. Who are your three best defensive players now Marion has jumped shipped?

Nash. Barbosa. And Eric Piatkowski. Defense is a team effort and you are only as good as your weakest link.

How's that for a Jerry Sloan answer!

No, but seriously now. We have some decent defenders in Hill and Bell and even Diaw. Amare can be awesome on D when he wants and if the match-up is good. But we seriously miss Marion. There is no one like Marion that you can put on Boozer, Dirk, Parker, Baron Davis, Le Bron, T-Mac, Melo. Kobe. Anyone. There is no way for example that guys like Rudy Gay and Andre Igudola go for career nights against us w/ Marion on the team. It just didn't happen. Of course, we would regularly give up huge numbers to bigs like Al Jeff, Bogut and Kaman.

So, on paper we trade perimeter D for interior D and hopefully the team will learn to adjust and play a different style of D where they stay up on the shooters and give up some more penetration knowing that Shaq and Amare can protect the rim. Of course, they could have found a young athletic and less expensive 7ft'er to do that. Someone like Johan Petro or a Diop type. But that's not how the Suns roll. They have always gone for the big splashy move. Now we have $40m worth of rebounding and size.

3. When do you see Deron Williams finally surpassing Steve Nash in overall PG play?

After 10 years and two MVP's.

D-Will is a nice young player and I was really impressed with his heart against the Spurs in the WCF last year but its way too soon. Of course, we are also seeing signs of Nash slippage so its likely that within two years when Nash's contract is up and he retires than your man will take the lead.

Btw - and I know how touchy you guys are about this - but CP3 is friggin awesome. His D and on court leadership are better and I think Deron will be playing second fiddle to that guy for another 12 years.

4. Do you prefer a shaggy haired Nash, or a clean cut Nash? And Why?

Shaggy. The record is clear. With long hair he won 2 MVP's. With short hair he hasn't won anything. Scoreboard.

Besides, I think all white players should go for the full shag ala Gasol and mini-Gasol. And then since we are on hair. I predict that this will be the look across America within two years. Get yours now.

5. If you had to create an All-Star starting 5 out of the Jazz and Suns, who do you take at what position and why. Also, a coach and 6th man (must be a bench player).

C - Amare. I know he hates playing Center but this is an all-star game so interior D and rebounding isn't a factor. Besides, Okur vs Amare is a no brainer.

PF - Boozer. I love his game and with Amare at C who else is there? Diaw?

SF - Hill. I am not down w/ spiked-hair Russians that cry. Sorry.

SG - Brewer. The few times I have seen him he has been impressive getting to the rim and he's far more athletic then Bell. And since this is an all-star team who cares if he can't shoot from 3 and his D...actually, I have no idea how he plays D

PG - Nash. This is closer then it should be and next year I might answer the other way. But Nash at the end of the game is the guy you want running your team. Besides, this is an all-star game and who cares about D. (are you sensing a theme?)

6th Man - This is tough. I think I will go w/ Milsap b/c I love the way he plays but of course LB is awesome and this is an all-star game so who cares about D.....But I will go w/ Milsap

Coach - Sloan no question. I have always loved this guy and have a soft spot for hard tough men. Besides, this is an all-star game and who cares anyway.

Thanks Seth. No prediction from Seth, but I'll do it for him...Jazz 114, Suns 110. I always knew Seth was a Jazz fan.

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