The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

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first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Locally though, there’s more of an appreciation for the fact that David Johnson and Markus Golden will be returning to a roster that already boasts star power in Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson and Chandler Jones. Are there question marks? Absolutely. But there’s upside too.FALLINGDiamondback BatsArizona has mustered just 16 runs in the last eight games, going 1-7 in that stretch. And now A.J. Pollock is out four to eight weeks with an avulsion fracture in his left thumb. Not great.On the one hand, the D-backs have played a brutal schedule and still sit atop the NL West. On the other, though, they’ve been struggling to score runs for awhile now, and their leader in pretty much every major offensive category is on the shelf. Somebody else needs to step up in a hurry.The Anti-Tanking StanceThis has always been my stance, and it’s not going to change. Sports are about competing and going all out to win now, not damaging your team’s culture by trying to lose games and hoping some ping pong balls fall your way so you might be able to draft a 19-year old who might pan out and might help you in three years.That said, the team with the worst record has now won the NBA Draft lottery four times in a row, so tanking isn’t going anywhere. Ironically though, the Suns veered more towards that “strategy” in 2017, and dropped to the fourth pick. This time around, they seemed to be trying, couldn’t win anyway and finally got the top pick they need. And if the early returns on Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball are any indication, this was the better year to land No. 1 anyway. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories (AP photos) 3 Comments   Share   center_img ErrorOK ErrorOKBasketball enthusiasts in the Valley haven’t had much to cheer for over the last eight years, and they’ve never had a No. 1 pick to look forward to. The fanbase needed this more than the team itself.Ayton vs DoncicNow that we finally have something good, let’s argue about it. The public opinion locally leans heavily towards the Suns drafting DeAndre Ayton, and that’s great if he truly is the best player out there. But if that stance is being influenced at all by the notion that he played his college basketball in the state, we probably need to take a more open-minded approach here.Ayton is probably the guy. But it’s at least worth spending the next few weeks to take a long look at Luka Doncic, who many scouts and basketball insiders nationally feel is the best prospect in this class. Neglecting to do that would be like hiring a coach without interviewing any other candidates.Thing is, the Suns cannot get this wrong. So even if Doncic has the higher ceiling, Ayton may still be the way to go if he’s the safer pick. Especially if he can contribute from the perimeter, the way NBA big men need to in 2018.Cardinals OptimismThis certainly doesn’t apply nationally, where the popular stance on the Cardinals is that they’ll wind up near the bottom of the division. Vegas is even mentioning them in the same breath as the Cleveland Browns when it comes to projected win totals, which is just mean. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires It’s been a roller coaster of a week for Arizona sports fans, with the Suns landing the first overall pick in the NBA Draft Lottery and the Diamondbacks continuing to struggle on offense.Here’s a quick look at the sports topics trending up and down this week:RISINGThe Collective Morale of Suns FansIn the span of a half hour on Tuesday evening, the narrative around the city changed from “we’re going to get stuck with the fourth pick like we always do,” to “can this team contend for a playoff spot in 2019?” And the Suns didn’t even really do anything. That’s a good night.Related LinksThere’s no debate: The Deandre Ayton vs. Luka Doncic debate is realSuns win NBA Draft Lottery, will pick No. 1 in 2018 NBA DraftChange of fortune has Diamondbacks fighting for local attentionlast_img

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