ESPN Hollinger

More Love For The Suns

As he often does, Professor Hollinger had some good things to say about the Suns today, namely that the Suns are having an historic offensive season, and that nobody seems to notice.  I’d say that’s certainly true, although I suppose it’s not terrible for the Suns to sit under the radar just a titch…at least that way people don’t waste all their breath talking about what a gimmick the Suns are (and yeah, I’m talking to you, Eddie Johnson).

Anyway, I guess the point is that people aren’t even noticing how ridiculously good the Suns’ offense is because they’re just so used to the Suns’ offense being ridiculously good.  Here is his chart of top offenses:

Obviously, we’re talking about Offensive Efficiency (points per 100 possessions) as compared to league average.  Notice anything about those top 5 teams?  Maybe a certain person played for all of them?  Yeah, I thought so.  Not bad, right?  And as the Professor points out, they’re within shouting distance of their own 2004-05 mark.  That’s efficient.  I’ll let the Prof. take it from here:

Granted, the Suns won a few more games that season because they defended better than this group: 62, compared to a likely 53 this season. But the biggest reason we got caught up in Phoenix Phever was the shocking newness of it. A dominant offensive team built around a point guard? With nobody in the post? And just running and gunning all game like it was 1982 again? It was totally unexpected, and totally unrivaled.

It still is. It just isn’t new anymore. But man, does it work. The Suns lead the league in field goal percentage and 3-point percentage and have the league’s highest rate of assisted baskets. They’ve even remedied a weakness from previous years, climbing into the top 10 in offensive rebound rate after perennially ranking at or near the bottom under Mike D’Antoni.

Like I said.  Not shockingly new anymore.  Just straight up good.  The other interesting thing is how much STAT has taken over for Nash as the season has gone on.  As he’s played himself into better and better shape, and Nash has taken a slight downturn (because he’s just so dang old), STAT has really come on.  They’ve pretty much just swapped places in terms of PER and Usage Rate over the last 39 games as compared to the first 38.

Finally, Nash and Amar’e have the best true shooting percentages of any starter in the league at their respective possessions.  Just amazing all around.  And like he says, with uncertainty for both of them on the horizon, we ought to be appreciating the hell out of ‘em right now.  Start appreciating them, people!

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