NBA Playoffs: The Sun also rises

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Thumbnail image for nash_game.jpgWell, well, well, look who’s back from the dead. 

The Suns are the… ahem… I apologize for this in advance… hottest teams in the playoffs. Shooting the lights out, causing turnovers, blocking shots, the works. Steve Nash is leading the league in assists, again. He’s shooting 50-40-90, again. Amar’e Stoudemire is back to dominating, and they have a core of young bigs who can defend, rebound, and hit from the outside, causing matchup problems. So how are they going to make a playoffs run? 
1. Punish the punishers: A favorite tactic teams have emulated from the Spurs against Nash is to have the defending guard go under the screen, then grab Nash’s wrist, just for a minute. It’s so slight, it avoids a call, but not only slows down Nash, but tweaks his back at the same time. The Suns need to counter this with a significant screen. Send a message. You mess with Nash, you reap the whirlwind. 
2. Get Amar’e in space: Stoudemire is deadly from 15 feet, especially right now. In addition to the pick and roll, the Suns should send their forwards low to draw defenders low which will open up Stoudemire from range. 
3. Get the Boy Wonder Healthy: Robin Lopez has a bulging disc in his back and his status for the playoffs is uncertain. If the Suns’ magical trainer team can speed the young man back to health, that will help them out to a huge degree. Though their draw means they won’t be facing teams stacked with big, tough defenders, they still need help in controlling the glass and attacking low. And Lopez’ presence helps to take emphasis off Stoudemire. 

Magic’s Aaron Gordon puts on show in preseason debut

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Aaron Gordon had been brought back slowly by the Orlando Magic after having surgery on his jaw back in July (an injury he got “horsing around” with his family, not in Summer League). But Tuesday night he was ready and made his preseason debut.

And he put on a show, scoring 10 points and displaying his athleticism.

Gordon threw down the dunk off the impressive bounce pass from Mario Hezonja.

Later, he showed some hangtime on this reverse layup.

The Magic are going to be entertaining to watch this season.

Report: Lamar Odom found unconscious, taken to Las Vegas hospital

Lamar Odom

UPDATE 11:03 pm: This is the press release on the situation from the Nye County Sherriff Department, which responded to the call. It confirms the key details from the original report:

At approximately 3:15 pm on October 13, 2015, a call came into the Nye County Dispatch Center from Richard Hunter, Media Director for Dennis Hof’s Bunny Ranch, requesting an ambulance for an unresponsive male experiencing a medical emergency at the Love Ranch in Crystal, Nevada, approximately twenty miles north of Pahrump, Nevada in Nye County.

An ambulance from Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Service arrived at 3:34 pm and the patient, identified as Lamar Odom was stabilized and transported to Desert View Hospital arriving at 4:16 pm. Nye County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Cory Fowles and Michael Eisenloffel arrived and conducted an investigation on scene.

After being treated by the physicians, arrangements were made to transport him by Mercy Air helicopter. However, Mr. Odom was unable to be transported by air due to his stature. He was immediately transported by Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Ambulance to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada for further treatment.

9: 51 pm: Let’s hope that this is not as bad as it sounds.

Lamar Odom, whose NBA career was cut short due to his challenges with drug use, has been taken to a Las Vegas-area hospital after being found unconscious at a brothel in a city not far outside the city, according to the report from TMZ.

Lamar Odom is fighting for his life after falling into unconsciousness at Dennis Hof’s Love Ranch South in Pahrump, Nevada … TMZ Sports has learned.

Sources at the Love Ranch tell us … 35-year-old Odom arrived at the Ranch Saturday and was partying with the girls for days. A source at the Ranch said Lamar was taking an herbal substitute for Viagra. We spoke with Hof … who tells us Tuesday afternoon, a woman went into Odom’s room in the VIP suites and found him unconscious.

Odom spent 14 seasons in the NBA, starting his career with the Clippers and going on to be a key figure in the 2009 and 2010 Los Angeles Lakers title teams. He won Sixth Man of the Year in 2011.

While famous in basketball circles — and incredibly well liked by players and media, he was one of the funniest guys in the league — he became a pop culture sensation when he married Khloe Kardashian. However, it was about that time that his drug use started to take a toll on everything in his life. It was not long before he was traded to Dallas, and things started to truly spiral out of control for him. He went for treatment after that, but never returned to the NBA.

We will have more as the story develops. Our thoughts are with Odom, and we hope he pulls out of this.