Thursday, October 11, 2007

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns Season preview

G Steve Nash
G Raja Bell
F Shawn Marion
F Grant Hill
C Amare Stoudemire

Boris Diaw
Leandro Barbosa

Last year
When the driving force behind any chance you have of getting a championship is getting close to his mid-thirties, I am assuming that the sense of urgency might be higher for the team to succeed then compared to, let's say, Portland with Greg Oden. The term "window of opportunity" is used in situations like this, were Oden has about 15 or 16 solid years while Nash had about 3 or 4 going into last season. Based on this, I can also assume that what happened in the playoffs to Phoenix might somewhat more painful and tougher to deal with when compared to some of the other teams in the league. The one game suspension for Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw can not officially be the reason why Phoenix lost the second round series to San Antonio, who is to say that the Suns would definetly have won 2 out of 3 if both players did play game 5? But there is more then enough reason to believe that the Suns were in control of the series before the Robert Horry body check. Tied 2-2 going into game 5, the Suns had home court advantage as well as coming off a victory in San Antonio giving them momentum. Again, who knows what would have happened if Diaw and Amare didn't leave the bench, but we do know that the Spurs had a very easy time against Utah and Cleveland the rest of the way, pretty much making the Suns/Spurs series the championship in most observers eyes. With a 3-4 year window, I could understand if a team would be pissed about how everything turned out. As for the regular season, the good news for the Suns was the play of Amare Stoudemire. It was questioned if he would be able to return to anywhere close to the level of play he was at in 2004-2005. The team took a cautious approach for the majority of November, but by the time December hit Amare would playing a solid 30-35 minutes a game while producing solid numbers. His numbers would get better and better as the season went on. Leandro Barbosa had a break out year coming off the bench for the Suns, with a speed that was almost unguardable by anyone in the league. And Shawn Marion had another solid year, although the issues of team chemistry that has been talked about during and after the playoffs sounds to be the product of the Matrix. With a 15 game winning streak followed soon after by a 17 game winning streak, the Suns were easily considered to be the NBA's elite team with the Spurs and the Mavs.

Signed Grant Hill
Traded Kurt Thomas and draft picks for a trade exception
Traded James Jones for cash
Drafted Alando Tucker
Resigned Sean Marks
Signed Brian Skinner
Signed Sean Marks

The signing of Grant Hill was a nice move, especially considering that Hill can still produce at a high level, and coming as cheap as some deep rotation players. This off season though did have the rumors about trades involving Marion and also Amare. The reason being that the Suns are at or will be over the Salary cap which means it will cost this team even more to keep everyone together. Owner Robert Sarver, with no championship as of yet, must be feeling the pressure to get the costs down, as we saw both Kurt Thomas and James Jones, both servicable role players, traded for nothing but cash and a trade exception. Depth was never a friend of this team, and it looks like that won't change anytime soon.

While the window is getting shorter for Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns, it's not closed yet. In fact, I see no reason to believe that Nash is going to start to show his age and produce anything but another MVP type of year. Amare will be ready to go from day one, and the addition of veteran player Grant Hill should help with some of the locker room issues they are having. I have no clue how Hill is going to be able to play the style of ball the Suns play with his ankles, but that had to be something they considered when they signed him, so that doesn't seem to be of major concern for the team, at least not when considering the bargain basement price they got Hill. What I expect from this team this upcoming season is something that was lacking from them anytime in the past few years since Nash arrived, which is a team full of piss and vinegar. They are not happy in any form about what happened last year, and unlike Dallas which is more embarrassed by what happened to them, the Suns are pissed off. When considering the top 3 teams in the league, the Suns/Spurs/Mavs, we see that the Suns are pissed, the Spurs are happy and satisfied and the Mavs are embarrassed. The advantage based on that goes easily to the Suns, but again it's a long season. I have no doubt that the style of ball the Suns play can win championships, and the 2007-2008 season might be the best chance they have at proving that.

What to watch for
1) Pissed off Suns - They are not happy about the playoffs last year. They will have an edge this season based on that
2) Marion's ego - Chemistry problems in the locker room that was the off-spring of Marion's issues with moving from the guy behind Nash to the guy behind Nash and Amare. They were close to moving Marion this off-season so let's see how the locker room works for the 82 games.
3) Spurs - The Spurs have the championship belt, and the Mavs have at least made it all the way to the dance. The Suns really have nothing to show fpr the past few seasons except for Nash with his MVP's. If they want to truly establish themselves with the best of the best, then they are going to need to beat the best which is the Spurs.

Let's not worry about Marion, I don't think he will be much of an issue. Let's worry about the Mavs and the Spurs, because those are the teams the Suns will be battling for the championship. And while the regular season might not be perfect, I think this is will be the year of the Suns.

Between 57 and 61 wins this season with a 3rd place finish in the West

1 comment:

breatnyS said...

Good defense by the Phoenix Suns drama boys, if only we could patch up the difference, this will be a Phoenix good season. They are running, switching in defense, rebounding see those efforts. We don't have yet the Suns team down.

I which I could see some Suns games live. I was looking for tickets all the good seats on ticketmaster were taken I had to check broker. And man you don’t want to do that especially for the Phoenix Suns. Thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Suns Tickets

I like slam dunks that take me to the hoop my favorite play is the ally-hoop,
I like the pic n roll,i like the given goal its basketball yo, yo lets go!
Go Suns Go!!!