RSS Feed for This PostCurrent Article

What’s Wrong Phoenix?

What's wrong with the Phoenix Suns?Phoenix keeps winning games, but something is different this year. Nash and Amare look great, and Grant Hill looks better than he has in 10 years, but something is still wrong. They’re not the team they were last year.

Part of the problem might be the “been there, done that” feel the regular season must have for the Suns. They have demolished teams in the regular season for the past 3 years, but they kept coming up short in the playoffs. Maybe they’re thinking the regular season isn’t too important. Of course I’ve heard all the talk about Phoenix wanting the number one seed, but their effort on the court seems to suggest otherwise. Most games, they don’t play any defense or bother with boxing anyone out. Granted, the Suns have never played much defense, but they seem to have taken it to another, lower level this season. Phoenix still wins most nights because of their offense, but unless they rebound and play some defense they will drop their share of games and miss the number one seed.

A second reason that Phoenix is under-achieving might be a weaker home crowd. Phoenix might be 9-3 at home, but the three or four home games I have seen haven’t had the same atmosphere as in the past. Similar to a New England Patriots’ crowd, Phoenix fans seem to be used to the winning. Amare’s thundering dunks and Nash and Bell’s three pointers don’t seem to get the crowd as excited as they did in the past.

These first two problems ultimately shouldn’t cost the Suns much in the playoffs – the crowd will get into the games and the team as a whole will play better defense. The biggest problem with the Suns is their lack of a tough low post defender. The Suns gave away Kurt Thomas in the offseason in order to avoid the luxury tax, and while this move saved Suns’ owner Robert Sarver a few million dollars, it may ultimately cost the Suns an NBA Championship. This was most evident in the Suns loss to the Lakers. Andrew Bynum killed the Suns offensively and on the boards. The Suns, of course, had no problem scoring, but they gave up 122 points and Bynum must have had 8 or 9 dunks. Amare is a great player, and for the most part he plays hard defensively. But he’s not good enough to defend a post player on his own – he needs some help. Kurt Thomas could have been that player, but there are other defensive power forwards out there. P.J. Brown could be had for very little. If the Suns are willing to spend a little money, they could easily address this need. Unfortunately for Suns fans, I don’t think they will. Good luck against San Antonio.

Ballhype: hype it up!

Trackback URL

  1. 4 Comment(s)

  2. By Jake on Jan 4, 2008 | Reply

    I completely agree that the Suns need to improve their interior defense. They have been getting burned up by some mediocre big men this year. BUT, I don’t think that keeping Kurt Thomas around would have necessarily been the answer. Let’s face it, all roads go through San Antonio. Its almost become a popular belief that Kurt is some sort of Duncan-stopper… Tim still averaged 28 pts and 14 rebs in the semifinals last year against Kurt. He’s going to dominate anyone that Phoenix can sign, so it doesn’t really matter. If Phoenix can limit Manu and Tony from both having huge games at the same time, and Amare can stay out of foul trouble, they can beat San Antonio.

  3. By JL on Jan 5, 2008 | Reply

    Good call Jake. Stop Parker or Ginobli, and San Antonio becomes very beatable.

  4. By Basketball Fever on Jan 16, 2008 | Reply

    What’s wrong with you?

  5. By kit on Apr 10, 2008 | Reply

    3-1 with shaq…thanks for the good luck wishes

Post a Comment