Mike D’Antoni may be in New York, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Suns have still been the best offensive team in the NBA five games into the season.
Case in point, entering Friday’s game in Chicago, the Suns:
- Lead the NBA in scoring at 106.4 points per game.
- Lead the NBA in field-goal shooting at 55.4 percent, while no other team is even shooting 50 percent. The Suns’ percentage is so high because Amare is shooting 69.6 percent and Shaq 68.8 percent.
- Rank fourth in 3-point shooting at 42.9 percent.
- Rank a very close second in offensive efficiency at 113.4, just behind Detroit at 114.0.
- Lead the NBA in assist ratio, meaning Suns baskets results from assists more so than any other NBA team. That comes as no surprise with Steve Nash leading the show and the ball movement being so crisp when opponents double the post.
Unlike in the D’Antoni years, the Suns’ stellar offensive numbers can’t be attributed to any extent to a fast pace because Phoenix’s more deliberate style under Terry Porter puts the Suns in the middle of the pack at 18th in pace factor, averaging 94.0 positions per game.
Can they keep it up?
With names like Nash, Amare, Shaq, Raja, Matt Barnes, Grant Hill, Diaw and LB taking the shots, this will be a great offense at any speed.
Shaq actually sitting out
The Arizona Republic reported Shaq would be sitting this game out, after originally being slated to sit Wednesday’s contest in Indiana before moving back into the lineup when Barnes suddenly had to leave the team to attend to the birth of his twin sons.
The Suns will be a bit shorthanded in Chicago with both starters out, but it should make for a great opportunity for Robin Lopez and Louis Amundson against active Chicago bigs Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah and Drew Gooden, terrible matchups for Shaq on defense. Boris Diaw should get a heavy workload as well off the bench.