Mike D’Antoni, Amar’e Stoudemire, Steve Nash, all on the same floor!
It sure does, doesn’t it? While last night’s game reminded us of the heartbreaking NBA Finals loss, this one will remind us of another loss, one that I still can’t quite wrap my head around.
Let’s just recap:
Suns give Amar’e a bad offer, Amar’e refuses, Amar’e gets offer for New York, asks Suns to match, Suns don’t match, sign Frye, Childress and Warrick instead.
There, I just gave you Lon Babby’s biggest blunder in a single line. The Suns were a contender with Amar’e on the roster, and after a few “oh hey, let’s tread some water” moves, they ended up in the mid-to-low-to-terrible tiers of the Western Conference. The only good move made since was bringing in Marcin Gortat (thank you, Otis Smith)
For New York, however, a lot has changed. They have Amar’e, they have Carmelo, and they have a defensive stopper/glass cleaner in Tyson Chandler.
And yet, they struggle as their point guards fail to deliver any sustainable offensive plans, and an “All Melo Everything” offence is bound to collapse sooner then later. In their essence, even with the grand comeback of Baron Davis coming, the Knicks are a painful load of squandered potential, treading water in a wacky Eastern Conference. Every passing day, the “Never Trust the Hawks” meme seems to morph into “Never Trust the Knicks” a little more.
Meanwhile the Suns went from “Hey, we can actually make the playoffs” to “OH MY GOD, MY EYES, THEY HURT SO MUCH” in a matter of minutes. Thank Kobe for shattering their defensive confidence, I suppose. Offensively, with the grand exception of the Polish-Canadian pick and roll, the Suns weren’t much better, and Alvin Gentry decided to react. He made a wacky decision by starting Ronnie Price at the 2 and Morris at the 4 (Morris however is ill and might not start in the end). I don’t mind that, given that Jared Dudley’s natural role is coming off the bench as a hustle player. On the other hand it might mean Bassy Telfair or Shannon Brown playing point guard. If I were to chose one of those two at gunpoint, I’d pull the trigger myself.
With Markieff out the bench will probably suffer. Well, except for bench-warmer extraordinaire Josh Childress who will be *that* much closer to getting actual playing time.
My only question before tip off is: Will Channing Frye get the message regardless of whether Markieff starts?
That and… “Am I going to have to wipe blood off my cheeks again?”