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Phoenix Suns’ Twitter account not impressed with Dwight Howard dunk

The Houston Rockets went into US Airways Center Sunday night and left with a 115-112 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Dwight Howard led the way for Houston with 25 points, nine rebounds, and two blocked shots.

Midway through the second quarter, Howard rolled to the basket after setting a pick for Patrick Beverley and finished an alley-oop with his left hand. The Rockets’ Twitter account thought the play was one for the ages. The Suns, however, weren’t too impressed.

The win improved Houston’s record to 38-18 on the season — good for third in the Western Conference. Barring an epic collapse, it would appear the Rockets are well on their way to securing a playoff spot and potentially home court advantage in the first round.

Looks like there is a good chance we could see more of this from Dwight in the postseason.

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Phoenix Suns Sol Patrol Member Nick Corrales Dunks Himself (Video)

Trampoline dunks are always a great way to keep the fans occupied during timeouts and breaks at a basketball game. As fans, we’re normally in awe of how much practice it must take for these little acrobats to be able to spring themselves off a trampoline and dunk without breaking their necks. A member of the Phoenix Suns Sol Patrol came dangerously close to doing just that on Wednesday night.

The young man, whom Deadspin informed us is an ASU student named Nick Corrales, caught a little too much air on the trampoline and ended up dunking the ball and himself through the basket. You have to see it to believe it, so check it out:

Corrales is one lucky guy.  If he had eaten one more meal the day that happened, they would probably have been plucking him out of the hoop with a cherry picker.

Steve Nash Does Not Think Suns Are a Playoff Team Yet

The Phoenix Suns were one of the surprises of the NBA last season. They got on a role late in the year and became a force in the second half, winning enough games to grab the third spot in the Western Conference. On top of the strong second half during the regular season, the Suns swept the Spurs and made it to the conference finals before losing to the Lakers in six. Channing Frye had a career year, Goran Dragic and Robin Lopez emerged off the bench, Jason Richardson and Grant Hill were both solid, and Amare Stoudemire played like an MVP in the second half. Now that Stat left for the Big Apple in free agency, the Suns will be missing a huge weapon.

The changes have taken their toll on the team according to star point guard Steve Nash, who gave an honest assessment of the Suns on Sunday. “To be honest, if I was outside this picture and a betting man, I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs considering all the changes and the new guy,” Nash said after the 2-6 preseason showing. The new guy has to be Hedo Turkoglu who was acquired in a trade this off-season.

Turkoglu found his home in Orlando where he became a multi-threat player and fit into Stan Van Gundy’s system, but things were a mess last year in Toronto. In addition to Turkoglu, the squad also signed Josh Childress who spent the past two seasons in Greece. There are many talented teams in the Western Conference, most of whom have more continuity than Phoenix. The Suns will probably battle for one of the final playoff spots in the conference. It’s quite possible they’re left on the outside when the season is over.

Suns Loss Continues Their Strange TNT Losing Streak

One of the strangest, most bizarre streaks I’ve seen continued on Thursday night when they Suns lost to the Trail Blazers in Portland. The loss ran Phoenix’s losing streak in games televised on TNT to 17. To make the loss look even worse, the Suns were up by 11 entering the fourth quarter, and up 83-70 after Jared Dudley made a shot to open up the final quarter. When Dudley hit a long jumper midway through the fourth to put them up by six, I thought to myself that this was the game Phoenix would end the streak. So much for that. Portland immediately went on a 10-0 run and wound up winning 105-102. How can this bizarre losing streak possibly be explained? Let’s ask Suns GM Steve Kerr:

“It’s bizarre,” Kerr said. “What are the chances of losing 16 in a row? I know the competition’s tougher but it’s not like we don’t beat good teams on ESPN. There’s no explanation. “Let’s pin it on Charles. He brings that negative vibe all the time.”

Without being able to see Kerr’s expression, I’m guessing he was being sarcastic. Part of the losing streak is attributed to playing weak competition; Phoenix wouldn’t be losing 17 in a row if they were playing the likes of Memphis and Oklahoma City on TNT. But even against good competition, they still should win a few games. Another note is that the team has been on the road for 11 of the 17 games which makes winning more difficult. Lastly, the team tanked once they acquired Shaq and altered the team’s gameplan. The streak began shortly after he was acquired. Then again, it’s continued this year even since he was traded. I don’t know what the reason is for this phenomenon but the Thursday night losers need to start winning in primetime.

About Time Terry Porter Got Fired

The amount of coaches facing the firing squad this year in the NBA has been pretty stunning. For the most part, I’ve sided with the coaches, expressing support of Reggie Theus and Marc Iavaroni after they got canned. In both cases, the coaches didn’t have much talent on their roster, and in the case of Theus, injuries cost him his best player most of the year. Now Terry Porter on the other hand, I firmly believe needed to be fired. The demise of the Suns probably dates back to the forearm shiver by Robert Horry that cost them the playoff series against the Spurs, setting off a chain reaction of Shawn Marion getting traded for Shaq and Mike D’Antoni leaving for the Big Apple. Things were going to be different this year with D’Antoni gone and Shaq around to slow down the offensive style, but I never expected the team to be as disappointing as they’ve been.

Phoenix wasn’t too bad to start the season, getting wins against good teams like Portland, Dallas, Denver, and Orlando. Lately however, the Suns have totally sucked. It could be due to the tribulations of a long road trip, but this team hasn’t had a quality win in a month. And to cap things off, Phoenix got completely run off the floor the last two games before the All-Star break. The road losses to the Knicks and Bobcats last month really alarmed me, and then seeing them lose easily at home to the Bulls a few weeks — a team that has no inside presence — really sealed the deal for me. You can tell that Porter hasn’t found the right mix and can’t decide what style they need to be playing. Furthermore, he hasn’t helped this team a lick defensively; opponents throw in over 100 against them with ease.

And last week, when the team got wiped by Philly, they were down 14 after three quarters, a margin not impossible to overcome in the NBA. Porter pulled his stars and really lost them after that, from what I hear. Things were not going to turn around under Porter so it’s about time he got canned. It’s Phoenix’s only hope to become a semi-threat in the playoffs; before, they weren’t even a factor.

Dan Majerle: No as Suns Head Coach, Yes as Assistant

With the news of Mike D’Antoni (no apostrophe necessary) going to the Knicks, that leaves the Suns with a nice big vacancy at their head coaching position. Veterans like Rick Carlisle, Scott Skiles, and my buddy LB are off the board, so who’s left for the Suns to pursue? That’s been a big question, and one name that has appeared as a potential replacement is former Suns player, Dan Majerle. Well much to my surprise, Majerle was a guest on FSN Arizona’s telecast of the D-Backs/Rockies game Tuesday night in the top of the 5th inning. Daron Sutton wasted no time getting to business asking if Majerle would be the next coach of the Suns and who he thought were candidates for the job. Majerle’s response:

In a word, no. At this point in my life I am not interested in being a head coach. I would not say that I would not want to be an assistant or some kind of assistant for the Suns. I would entertain those kind of ideas because I always thought maybe I could be a good coach.

I know that Jeff Hornacek has surfaced, Marc Jackson has surfaced, a couple of assistants — the guy from Boston — guys like that.

Jeff Hornacek? Where’d that come from? And it sounds to me like Majerle could become a head coach in time and that he could wind up on the staff at some point. Majerle also said that he was against the Shaq trade because he wanted to see the team get another chance to win the title since he felt they were so close. We agree on that point, largely because I didn’t see any positives to adding Shaquille. So to answer those questions, Majerle behind the bench is a possibility, just not as head coach.

Shaq Trade Officially a Bust for Suns

That’s it, I was critical of the trade when it first went down, and now I officially declare the Shaq trade a bust. The bludgeoning in Phoenix administered by the Pistons last weekend got me started thinking something was wrong. The ass-kicking in New Orleans was another light bulb. And now the home loss to the Sixers was the bright neon sign officially announcing that the Shaq trade isn’t working for the Suns. I know Shaq keeps insisting that we need to wait because he’s a new player playing with a new team but I’ve heard enough of his song. He can keep signing the tune and tell us we need to be patient and wait for them to get in sync. You know what I say to that, Shaq? Tell us to keep waiting and before we know it, the Suns will be out of the playoffs.

Honestly, at this point, I don’t even think the Suns will manage to make the playoffs. Sure, they’ve played four difficult teams since Shaq started playing minutes and gone 1-3, but they’ve also played two poor ones and gone 1-1. Yes, the Suns are only 2-4 with Shaq in the lineup. They keep this type of performance up, they’re not going anywhere. They lost at home to the Sixers Saturday night! That is absolutely inexcusable. I don’t know how Shaq can even talk his way out of that one. With Marion, they would have played the Hornets close. With Shaq, they got smacked by 17. If there is a silver lining to this debacle of a trade for Phoenix, it is that Steve Kerr sacked up, threw his balls on the line, and took a shot. He decided his team wasn’t good enough as it was and made a move. Looks like he missed, but at least the dude has some guts (I guess).