Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum discuss how they were affected by playing with Suns coach Earl Watson, following Sunday’s Portland win over Phoenix. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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Suns guard Devin Booker discusses his game-winning play to beat the Mavericks in Dallas on Saturday. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Sarah McLellan and Doug Haller discuss the Suns’ loss to the Lakers, tanking for best possible draft pick and the Pac-12 basketball semifinals.
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Suns guard Devin Booker reacts to Thursday night’s loss to the Lakers.
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Suns guard Devin Booker talks about his team’s fight in Tuesday’s loss to the Wizards and the team’s attitude after P.J. Tucker was traded at the trade deadline. Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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Shot Clock: Final Four contenders, Isaiah Thomas vs. Tyler Ulis and Taijuan Walker has a good outing for the Diamondbacks. Video: azcentral sports
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Phoenix Suns’ Tyler Ulis talks about his game-winning shot against the Celtics on Sunday, March 5, 2017. (Doug Haller/azcentral sports)
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Suns center Alan Williams discusses Friday night’s win over the Thunder.
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Broadcaster Al McCoy, “The Voice of the Suns” talks about his induction into the Suns Ring of Honor on Mar. 3, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz. By Rob Schumacher
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley break down the NBA MVP race and a possible reunion in the Cardinals defensive backfield.
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Jose Calderon made 415K for two hours and he didn’t even play. Veuer’s Nick Cardona explains why.
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This point guard is making his next inspirational move. Buzz60’s Emily Drooby (@emilydrooby) has the story.
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Former NBA player Eddie Johnson tells us who’s favored to win the NBA championship.
USA TODAY Sports
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PJ Tucker, after being traded by the Phoenix Suns to the Toronto Raptors said: “Phoenix has changed my life. All the people here, all the fans… I couldn’t ask for a better place.” Video: Doug Haller/azcentral sports
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Jay Dieffenbach and Doug Haller of azcentral sports talk about the Suns’ defensive future and the trade of P.J. Tucker to Toronto. Hannah Gaber/azcentral.com
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Phoenix Suns center Alan Williams watches his mother, Jeri Williams, sworn in as Phoenix police chief in Chesapeake Energy Arena. (Paul Coro/azcentral sports)
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Hosted by head coach Earl Watson, who says the Suns “embrace and celebrate our youth.” Video: Phoenix Suns
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Blazers guards Lillard, McCollum on Suns coach Watson
Suns’ Devin Booker on buzzer-beater to beat Mavericks
Shot Clock: Suns-Lakers, tanking, Pac-12 picks
Devin Booker on loss to Lakers
Devin Booker on Suns’ loss to Wizards
Shot Clock: Final Four contenders, Ulis vs. Thomas, Taijuan Walker
Suns’ Tyler Ulis on buzzer beater
Alan Williams on Suns’ win over Thunder
Broadcaster Al McCoy talks about his induction into the Suns Ring of Honor
Shot Clock: NBA MVP debate, Cardinals DBs
NBA player makes $415,000 for two hours
NBA star will donate $1,000 for every point and assist he makes
Are Cavaliers or Warriors favored to win NBA title?
PJ Tucker after being traded by Suns: ‘I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a tough day for me’
Suns’ trade of P.J. Tucker no big surprise
Alan Williams watching his mother’s police chief ceremony
Suns ’embrace youth’ in WeArePHX ‘Momentum’ video
A month or so ago, Suns coach Earl Watson said forward Marquese Chriss could make a run for NBA Rookie of the Year with a strong finish.
So what does a strong finish look like?
“Just double-doubles,” Watson said. “Him scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage. There is not a rookie that is running away with that with high-volume scoring, so it’s just consistently scoring. Double-doubles I think will be the key.”
The 76ers’ Joel Embiid appeared a lock to win the award until he was ruled out for the season in late February because of a knee injury.
Embiid still could win the award, with the 76ers’ Dario Saric and the Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon among those in contention.
It’s a stretch to think that Chriss could win it, but he’s inserted himself on the periphery of the conversation.
Chriss’ shooting has improved, as has his defense, Watson said.
According to NBA.com, Chriss is ninth among rookies in field-goal percentage (.442), eighth in scoring (8.1), sixth in rebounding (3.7), fourth in blocks and tied for seventh in steals.
Asked what’s led to Chriss’ improvement, Watson replied, “He’s one day closer to 20 years old.”
Chriss doesn’t turn 20 until this summer.
“He’s come so far from his development from summer league until now,” Watson said. “We’re are excited about where he is going. He is becoming a big-time shot blocker at the rim. He is shooting the 3 better.
“You can tell he’s starting to get past that rookie wall.”
Point Guard U?
The University of Arizona prides itself on the number of point guards it’s produced, but Watson considers another Pac-12 school Point Guard University.
Yes, it’s his alma mater, UCLA.
“I don’t think their list really matches when you talk about point guards over the last 30 years, UCLA to Arizona,” he said.
Watson also pointed out that the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook was the Most Valuable Player in the All-star Game and the Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine has been in the dunk contest.
Both went to UCLA.
“And another pretty good point guard coming out this year,” Watson said, referring to Lonzo Ball. “So it’s continuing to get back where it’s supposed to be.”
WIN $1,000 IN PRIZES: NCAA Tournament bracket contest
Watson wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch of UCLA and Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins beat the Wildcats this season, and Watson won some bets with a few of his players.
“Those guys owe me some money from the last couple games, but somehow they never have their wallet when I ask for it,” he said. “I tell them at least my kids will always be rich because they’re going to owe me forever.”
Watson hasn’t filled out a bracket yet, and might now.
“I just like to watch the games,” he said. “I’m big into grassroots basketball. You see all these tournaments, all these kids and there’s so much talent. Only so many can get to the high D-1 schools. That’s why you have all the upsets, the mid-majors, the lower majors, there are still a lot of talented players.”
Center Alex Len returned Wednesday night after missing two games with a hip contusion. Guard Brandon Knight was ruled out because of back spasms, but he hasn’t played since the All-Star break.