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View Full Version : Don't sleep on the Suns, they have abandoned breakneck speed for defense



JordansBulls
10-27-2008, 12:41 AM
Source: Yahoosports (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Aqrys0n0HcetqinnFEf0vUG8vLYF?slug=ap-sunspreview&prov=ap&type=lgns)



PHOENIX (AP)—The delightful, if ultimately unsuccessful, breakneck style of the Phoenix Suns is history.

That’s probably just as well, because an aging Shaquille O’Neal enters his first full season at the center of Phoenix’s game.

New coach Terry Porter will take a few fast breaks, but his area of concern is at the other end of the court.

“The challenge for us all year long will be doing a better job at the defensive end,” he said. “That’s going to be a long, long process.”

The low-key Porter is a marked contrast to the flamboyant and talkative Mike D’Antoni, who left after five-plus successful seasons in Phoenix.

But D’Antoni’s Suns only once made it as far as the conference finals. He and general manager Steve Kerr had different ideas about how the game should be played.






“I still think you look at our roster and we have everything an NBA team needs,” he said, “inside presence, obviously perimeter presences, we have some athleticism and we have speed in areas that we need.”

D’Antoni never went more than eight-deep, and often used only seven, in his player rotation. Porter wants to use nine but says “there are some guys that are going to make it tough.”

Beno7500
10-27-2008, 01:02 AM
Ya we'll see when the season is on

DreamShaker
10-27-2008, 01:02 AM
Problem is....everyone in their starting lineup outside of Bell aren't capable of playing great defense....Nash was born to play run and gun and so was Amare....Shaq is old and so is Hill....I don't buy into the Suns playing great defense.....

thapharcyd
10-27-2008, 01:03 AM
I think the Suns are deeper than last year. Their ability to play defense will be immediately tested on Wednesday against the Spurs and Thursday against the Hornets. I am excited to see what they can bring but at the same time are hoping the aren't the Phoenix Spurs in their style of play. They need to find a medium. I get Porter's idea of improving defense but don't get why he wants to change an offense that worked. Still run with an emphasis on better defense... doesn't seem too complicated to me.

FlawlessKB24
10-27-2008, 01:04 AM
i still dont think they're better than L.A., Houston, New Orleans, Utah, San Antonio---actually maybe SA

Beno, i'm sorry. i just cant help but to watch the gif in you sig. such a blatant travel

Lost Art
10-27-2008, 01:06 AM
If that is their strategy...........they are in big trouble. They just don't have the personnel on that roster to be a good defensive team. Steve Nash, Shaq, Grant Hill, Leandro Barbosa, and Amare are all defensive liabilities. The only decent defender on their team is Raja Bell and other than that they've got a bunch of offensive minded players. The only way that team is going to be successful is if they outscore their opponent, if they're going to try to win on D.......they're in trouble.

Beno7500
10-27-2008, 01:17 AM
i still dont think they're better than L.A., Houston, New Orleans, Utah, San Antonio---actually maybe SA

Beno, i'm sorry. i just cant help but to watch the gif in you sig. such a blatant travel

he is so quick, the refs can't catch it :D

UofA
10-27-2008, 01:26 AM
i still dont think they're better than L.A., Houston, New Orleans, Utah, San Antonio---actually maybe SA

Beno, i'm sorry. i just cant help but to watch the gif in you sig. such a blatant travel

Yeah, I had noticed that too

theimortalone
10-27-2008, 01:31 AM
Problem is....everyone in their starting lineup outside of Bell aren't capable of playing great defense....Nash was born to play run and gun and so was Amare....Shaq is old and so is Hill....I don't buy into the Suns playing great defense.....

Matt Barnes is the starter not Hill :) So they have Barnes and Bell that can play "D". I like how phoenix is the team that is thrown under the radar this year.

amare#1
10-27-2008, 02:03 AM
Problem is....everyone in their starting lineup outside of Bell aren't capable of playing great defense....Nash was born to play run and gun and so was Amare....Shaq is old and so is Hill....I don't buy into the Suns playing great defense.....

Hill isn't starting, defensive specialist Matt Barnes is instead. And Amare has stated that he wants to be the next Ron Artest on defense... we will see if he can live up to that. Shaq clogs up the key defensively which is good because it stops deep penetration.

amare#1
10-27-2008, 02:06 AM
Steve Nash, Shaq, Grant Hill, Leandro Barbosa, and Amare are all defensive liabilities.

Grant Hill is actually known to be a decent defender, rather than a liability.

Like Imortal said, I like that Phoenix has slipped under the radar this season. Less pressure, more surprises.

Rome
10-27-2008, 02:15 AM
And its no big thing if we do get knocked out early in the playoffs. Well to everyone else, its huge for us fans, but better to shock a lot of people then be expected to win and fail.

First 2 games will be tough and show what were capable of.

#1Mavericksfan
10-27-2008, 02:50 AM
The Suns and the Mavericks are gonna Surprise everybody this season...just watch.

legendkillerv2
10-27-2008, 03:08 AM
if you think about it, its a good idea, if you block a shot or get a steal on the defensive end, it opens up the fast breaking game.

FlawlessKB24
10-27-2008, 03:20 AM
he is so quick, the refs can't catch it :D

lol it's all good.
the players arent the only ones getting their timing back in preseaon. the refs do too

LakerzDQ
10-27-2008, 03:57 AM
well phoenix has some decent defenders.

Raja Bell is obviously a good perimeter defender, Matt Barnes is pretty good, Robin Lopez is good, and Hill is actually above average.

Shaq is not a true defender but he's a big body in the paint, and Amare is good at blocking some shots.

it's not impossible for them to form a good team defense.

futureman
10-27-2008, 11:19 AM
:sleep:

JordansBulls
10-27-2008, 12:23 PM
The Suns and the Mavericks are gonna Surprise everybody this season...just watch.

I think anyone of the top 6 can take the West in Houston, Lakers, Hornets, Mavs, Suns and Spurs. However the Manu injury doesn't seem like the Spurs will be a top seed.

superkegger
10-27-2008, 12:37 PM
I think anyone of the top 6 can take the West in Houston, Lakers, Hornets, Mavs, Suns and Spurs. However the Manu injury doesn't seem like the Spurs will be a top seed.

You wouldn't include Utah in there?

But I'm not sleeping on the Suns. I think they can play decent defense, the only questions I really have are, that if they do resort to a more traditional style, how does that affect Nash and Amare's game. Both of them absolutely thrive in that style, as Nash won 2 MVP's because of it. Is he going to be as effective a player in a slowed down more traditional offense?

Joshtd1
10-27-2008, 01:48 PM
I think anyone of the top 6 can take the West in Houston, Lakers, Hornets, Mavs, Suns and Spurs. However the Manu injury doesn't seem like the Spurs will be a top seed.

The Spurs have proved they can win on the road though. As long as they make the playoffs, they will be a threat to anyone.

Joshtd1
10-27-2008, 01:49 PM
Barnes isnt that good on defense IMO, I'd actually be more confident in seeing Grant Hill guard someone then Barnes. Hill did a pretty good job on TP last year when he did guard him.

leftie5
10-27-2008, 02:10 PM
We will be a better defensive team, but it is a matter of consistency. You can't just turn it on in certain games and then play lazy defense the next. Porter and the staff will hold guys more accountable for their lack of intensity on defense.

I am actually more concerned about our offense and the different schemes. We will still put up points but will also be running more halfcourt offense than we did in D'Antoni's offense. There will be more feeding the ball into the post to Shaq as well so it will definitely be an adjustment period. The schedule is pretty tough to start so it should be interesting.

JordansBulls
10-27-2008, 02:12 PM
You wouldn't include Utah in there?

But I'm not sleeping on the Suns. I think they can play decent defense, the only questions I really have are, that if they do resort to a more traditional style, how does that affect Nash and Amare's game. Both of them absolutely thrive in that style, as Nash won 2 MVP's because of it. Is he going to be as effective a player in a slowed down more traditional offense?

I keep forgetting about Utah for some reason and I shouldn't since Dwill went to the same school as I did.

JordansBulls
10-27-2008, 02:13 PM
The Spurs have proved they can win on the road though. As long as they make the playoffs, they will be a threat to anyone.

As long as they are healthy. However, they haven't gotten anyone this offseason have they?

PhxGiant
10-27-2008, 02:27 PM
I see our points per game being around 102-105, i don't mind the new motion offense because instead of having Nash constantly having to create on every posession he'll be able to play off the ball a little bit more and finish plays instead of having to make everything happen. I'm not saying we can instantly become a top 5 defensive team but as long as we make a decent improvement i'll be satisfied. Atleast 6 teams in the west are capable of reaching the finals, its just some have more hype than the others.

JordansBulls
10-27-2008, 02:31 PM
I see our points per game being around 102-105, i don't mind the new motion offense because instead of having Nash constantly having to create on every posession he'll be able to play off the ball a little bit more and finish plays instead of having to make everything happen. I'm not saying we can instantly become a top 5 defensive team but as long as we make a decent improvement i'll be satisfied. Atleast 6 teams in the west are capable of reaching the finals, its just some have more hype than the others.

The key for Phoenix is Shaq. How much does he produce? Can he still give you 14 and 9 or something like that when Amare is getting you 22 and 9 as well?

Also I would love to see a Kobe vs Shaq first round this year. Lakers vs Phoenix to see if the Lakers can finally knock off Phoenix in a series.

PhxGiant
10-27-2008, 02:41 PM
The key for Phoenix is Shaq. How much does he produce? Can he still give you 14 and 9 or something like that when Amare is getting you 22 and 9 as well?

Also I would love to see a Kobe vs Shaq first round this year. Lakers vs Phoenix to see if the Lakers can finally knock off Phoenix in a series.


Yeah no doubt Shaq is the key this season, if he can give anywhere around 13 and 10 then that should be enough because by todays standards thats good for a center.

Wow a Suns vs. Lakers matchup, the media would milk the Shaq and
Kobe thing to the fullest. It would be a memorable series no doubt.

JayW_1023
10-29-2008, 05:53 AM
As long as they are healthy. However, they haven't gotten anyone this offseason have they?

Don't fix what ain't broken, buddy.

JordansBulls
10-29-2008, 08:38 AM
Don't fix what ain't broken, buddy.

But in their title runs they have usually always added another player to help.

JayW_1023
10-29-2008, 11:12 AM
True...but the last two years we didn't win the title was all because one of our stars was hobbled. Against Dallas it was Timmy against LA it was Manu.

gcoll
10-29-2008, 11:28 AM
Phoenix is the sleeper this year. Gonna surprise some people.

And really...the first year with Nash was the only year we were "breakneck speed"

Our strength hasn't been a fast offense, it's been an incredibly efficient offense predicated on the pick and roll, and spreading the floor with the threat of the 3 ball. And even that hasn't been prevalent over the past couple years.

sportsnutzz
10-29-2008, 11:36 AM
Yeah... I always enjoyed when the Jazz played the suns we tend to kill them at there own game some how. But if this team slows down its hard to say how good they will be this year. I think they are a good pick for a sleeper.

STAT32
10-29-2008, 11:57 AM
It would be dumb to count the Suns out this year. When you look at the roster it is a very capable one, it's all about putting it together and peaking at the right time this year.

Cadarn
10-29-2008, 12:10 PM
Suns are old news

PhxGiant
10-29-2008, 01:28 PM
Suns are old news

No, the hype has just moved on to different teams.

king4day
10-29-2008, 01:44 PM
Suns are old news

Amazing debating there.


"But D’Antoni’s Suns only once made it as far as the conference finals. He and general manager Steve Kerr had different ideas about how the game should be played."


This part of the article is wrong. Suns lost to SA and Dallas in the WCF. Not sure where these writers are pulling their facts from.

king4day
10-29-2008, 01:46 PM
Suns will be good. Probably not division title good, but health at seasons end is more important. It seems like we're never 100% come playoff time.

PhxGiant
10-29-2008, 01:56 PM
Suns will be good. Probably not division title good, but health at seasons end is more important. It seems like we're never 100% come playoff time.

Agreed, we haven't had the best health come playoff time.

Just off the top of my head

04-05 Joe Johnson gets injured against Dallas.

05-06 Amare misses the whole season, then Kurt Thomas goes down and isn't able to come back in time to make an impact in the playoffs. Raja gets injured against Dallas in the WCF.

06-07 I can't remember who if anyone was injured that year, but i think thats when Amare and Diaw got suspended.

07-08 Grant gets injured.

leftymo
10-29-2008, 05:15 PM
Injuries are a part of basketball. So each team has to deal with it accordingly.

As for Phx and defense. I do agree that its the correct method to take, but I think its foolish to think Amare/Nash/Shaq are going to be stoppers this year. Since one is way past his prime to effectively stop anyone, and Nash can never guard anyone. Amare has the ability to stop people but the question is will he? Especially since he'll use most of his energy on the offensive side of the ball.

Phx should make the playoffs, but since there weren't any major changes with personell, I expect a first round exit like last year. Of course if they were in the east, they'd probably go further.

JPHX
10-29-2008, 05:24 PM
if you actually look at what the suns did offseason we did make some major changes. WE UNLOADED ALL OF OUR SCRUBS! and we got legit backups for every position now.

suns will be contenders this season if they:

a.) Find cohesion in a new system and execute it to perfection as they did with the Run n Gun.
b.) Play defense
c.) Create a system that can rest their vets throughout the season
d.) trade diaw for al harrington (optional)

Squad13
10-29-2008, 05:31 PM
:sleep:

leftymo
10-29-2008, 05:38 PM
if you actually look at what the suns did offseason we did make some major changes. WE UNLOADED ALL OF OUR SCRUBS! and we got legit backups for every position now.

suns will be contenders this season if they:

a.) Find cohesion in a new system and execute it to perfection as they did with the Run n Gun.
b.) Play defense
c.) Create a system that can rest their vets throughout the season
d.) trade diaw for al harrington (optional)


1. I never said depth is the weakness for the Suns, its actually the starting five and four core players over the age of 32. (two at 36). And not overall as a team but moreso why they aren't contenders.

2. Depth was probably the reason why Phx didn't win a championship a couple years ago, and just looking at the roster I just see Barnes, and that's about it. The rest are youngsters barely making any money so they'll need to prove themselves first before I say they have depth.

3. Phx aren't contenders. Shaq is still 36 years old and won't play on some nights which leaves Phx as a two man game with Nash & Amare as the legit options that could possibly beat other teams best players, but the west is stacked and you'll need more than two stars to contend. Most have three minimum... (and in their prime or younger) (like NO, LAL, Houston, SA, etc...)

JPHX
10-29-2008, 07:20 PM
1. I never said depth is the weakness for the Suns, its actually the starting five and four core players over the age of 32. (two at 36). And not overall as a team but moreso why they aren't contenders.

2. Depth was probably the reason why Phx didn't win a championship a couple years ago, and just looking at the roster I just see Barnes, and that's about it. The rest are youngsters barely making any money so they'll need to prove themselves first before I say they have depth.

3. Phx aren't contenders. Shaq is still 36 years old and won't play on some nights which leaves Phx as a two man game with Nash & Amare as the legit options that could possibly beat other teams best players, but the west is stacked and you'll need more than two stars to contend. Most have three minimum... (and in their prime or younger) (like NO, LAL, Houston, SA, etc...)

my bad dawg. i was just putting my two cents in and not referring to your post. but anyway since you brought it up, everyone keeps bringing up the issue of shaq's age. yes he is old and has lost his lift. he cant play like he used to. he slow. hes fat. he talks too much. not saying that you said it but a lot of people have been saying that. all of these would make him ineffective if you were trying to play him like he was 20 again. to make an old shaq effective you must play him where he still has strengths. He is still one of the best passing big man in the league. no doubt about that. thats mainly why porter decided to shift some of the offense from run n gun to a motion offense. on the block, if you dont have a sufficient big man, shaq can still tear you up with his turn around hook and other post up moves. he will sometimes attract double teams. this is where shaq will be at his best as he finds cutters and shooters like amare, bell, barbosa, barnes, etc. same as the other vets you must play them at their strengths. and your right that shaq will rest some nights and leave amare and nash as the stars. but if you realize the past 4 or 5 seasons they were the ones who led us to the playoffs when we didnt have him.

as for our bench, first off barnes is a starter. so hill will be playing on our second unit. this brings leadership to those bunch of youngsters who make no money and havent proved themselves. let me just say the our backup C, Lopez, had 7 block in one of his games. Regardless if it was preseason, 7 blocks is impressive enough. in another game our backup pg flirted with a triple double with a stat line of 10-8-7. they havent proven themselves yet, but neither has oden or bynum, and look at the attention their getting. our rooks show promise just as oden and bynum do. and with the veteran leadership in nash and shaq, they will be good. bynum and oden have no current player that have vet leadership at their position.

JordansBulls
10-30-2008, 11:17 AM
Amazing debating there.



This part of the article is wrong. Suns lost to SA and Dallas in the WCF. Not sure where these writers are pulling their facts from.

A lot of times many of them mix up information.

ink
10-30-2008, 11:33 AM
Porter has done an outstanding job getting the Suns ready for the season. They're not the haphazard team they were last year. This team has really improved. It's only been one game but they played a consistent, intelligent game last night. Maybe Kerr knows what he's doing after all. ;) The D'Antoni approach has been driving us all crazy for the last few years.

op12
10-30-2008, 11:43 AM
i have a feeling it is going to be the suns and rockets in the WC Finals. but thats just me.

JordansBulls
10-30-2008, 12:41 PM
i have a feeling it is going to be the suns and rockets in the WC Finals. but thats just me.

It's definitely possible.

leftymo
10-30-2008, 02:05 PM
i have a feeling it is going to be the suns and rockets in the WC Finals. but thats just me.



i'll go with the teams with proven talent, coaching, and defense... in the WCF.


NO vs. LA

Kabowdos
10-30-2008, 04:59 PM
Spurs can't score for crap.

Kabowdos
10-30-2008, 05:00 PM
i have a feeling it is going to be the suns and rockets in the WC Finals. but thats just me.

I don't see it. I don't think either of those teams are making it. Lakers look unstoppable. I mean really unstoppable.

JPHX
10-30-2008, 06:23 PM
current Lakers havent knocked the suns off in a playoff series yet. and they wont this year.

Hawkeye15
10-30-2008, 07:00 PM
It is funny how everyone, including myself at time, blows the Suns off. They are limited on defense, sure. But they have Nash, Amare, and Shaquille O'Neal. Nobody should sleep on that lineup. Are they contenders? Yes

legendkillerv2
10-30-2008, 07:35 PM
hawkeye is right you can't count them out, but i don't think they can beat the lakers, that team looks scary.