Memphis Grizzlies 104, Phoenix Suns 93 — Not enough bench

Posted by on April 11th, 11:50 pm

Bassy and the bench nearly rallied the Suns to a come-from-behind victory. (AP Photo/Lance Murphey)

Bassy and the bench nearly rallied the Suns to a come-from-behind victory. (AP Photo/Lance Murphey)

Before Grant Hill’s injury, the Phoenix Suns’ usual starting lineup of Nash-Dudley-Hill-Frye-Gortat spent 745 minutes together on the floor (second in the NBA to Indiana’s starting five) and was better than any unit that played at least 300 minutes together (18 such lineups).

By beating their opponents by 12.6 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com’s advanced stats tool, the Suns’ starters were better than powerhouse lineups from teams such as Miami, Oklahoma City, the Lakers and the Clippers.

But as has been the case quite often in the past week without Hill, the Suns’ bench shined whereas the starters just didn’t get the job done tonight in a 104-93 loss to Memphis.

“I think it’s very similar to what happened in Denver,” Suns head coach Alvin Gentry told reporters. “We’ve got to do a better job finishing games, especially on the road. We play hard and we put ourselves in a position to have an opportunity to win a game, and you just have to finish it.”

As was the case in Denver when the Suns’ reserves made a fourth-quarter run to put Phoenix on top before the starters suffered through three scoreless minutes to close out the game, the reserves propelled the Suns on top with a 14-1 run that ended three minutes into the fourth with Phoenix taking a rare lead.

However, it did not last long because when Gentry brought three starters back (Nash, Gortat and Brown) three minutes later with the Suns down two they never got any closer.

Memphis promptly reeled off a 13-4 run (the first two points came against the bench) and with just two minutes remaining this game was over.

It surely sounds counterintuitive to play Sebastian Telfair and Robin Lopez over Nash and Gortat, but the bench found a rhythm that the starters could never capture.

In that way this game also resembled the Utah victory in that each and every starter finished in the negatives of plus/minus and all the reserves were in the positives. Particularly glaring is the fact that Nash was a team-worst minus 21 and Gortat minus 20 whereas Telfair was a team-high plus 10 and Lopez was plus 9.

Obviously that makes this an outlier game for Nash since he annually ranks among the league leaders in this department, but it just goes to show this wasn’t his finest game. It’s hard to fault Gentry for going back to Nash in crunch time based on what he’s done over the course of these past eight seasons, but Telfair was the better point guard tonight as in just 13 minutes he racked up seven points, eight assists and four boards along with a steal and a block.

As the Wins Produced stat would tell you, Telfair was abysmal in the first half of the season with a -0.157 WP48 mark that was worst on the team by a long shot and the kind of number that would say Bassy doesn’t belong in the league. But the second half has been a different story as his 0.124 WP48 means he’s playing above average basketball and in April his 0.333 WP48 is slightly better than Nash’s number and puts him an elite category for these seven games at least (small sample size, I know, just saying it’s been a good month for the Suns’ backup point guard).

During the nine games without Hill, the Suns’ starters have outscored their opponents by about 4.8 points per 100 possessions, which is very good but pales in comparison to what the primary bench unit has accomplished.

In 70 minutes over six games, the Telfair-Redd-Childress-Morris-Lopez has outscored opponents by a whopping 44.5 points per 100 possessions with an astounding offensive rating of 138.2 and a defensive rating of 93.7, including a 25-15 advantage in 10 minutes tonight. Small sample size again, but still an impressive stretch.

All of this data brings up the critical question of how best to integrate Hill when he returns Friday night for the showdown in Houston.

Aside from getting bludgeoned on the boards (Memphis won that battle 43-31 and grabbed 16 offensive caroms), the Suns lost in large part due to Rudy Gay’s 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting. He played 42 minutes and in that time Memphis beat the Suns by 23.

If Hill were healthy it stands to reason he would have done a better job on Gay than anyone the Suns tossed out there instead, and based on Phoenix’s inconsistency with the current starters and its prowess with the original lineup it stands to reason the starting lineup will be much better upon his return.

However, Shannon Brown has ignited the offense many times during these nine games, averaging a team-best 17.9 points and shooting 38.9 percent from three. He has seemed to play a bit more under control with the starters while providing a much-needed scoring boost.

With Hill back, Brown will presumably be relegated to the bench, but I really hate to break up that unit right now. After struggling to find any kind of continuity off the bench most of the season, the Telfair-Redd-Childress-Morris-Lopez unit just really works.

Telfair has been a superb floor general, Redd delivers the scoring, Childress slashes and defends (tonight he added a season-high 10 points during the first six minutes of the second quarter alone), Morris spaces and can go hard to the rack and Lopez defends the interior while getting his share of buckets around the rim.

So now Gentry needs to figure out how to add Hill to jumpstart the first unit and aid the defense and keep Brown heavily involved without messing up the thriving bench unit. It’s no enviable task but my suggestion would be to keep Brown in the starting lineup instead of Dudley, who can replace Childress in the bench alignment. It’s not a perfect suggestion since J-Chill has really contributed, but it comes closest to keeping what’s working intact.

Gentry better find the right combinations with Friday’s humongous game in Houston lingering. The loss really stings as the Suns dropped below Utah into 10th place in the West, two full games behind both the Rockets and Nuggets. If they don’t win on Friday, we can start talking about lottery balls for good.

The Suns are in that position because of a tough loss tonight in which the starters could not finish the rally the reserves started.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Bench · Memphis Grizzlies · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Recap · Sebastian Telfair

49 responses so far ↓

  • 1 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Good article no fluff.

  • 2 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 12:11 am

    My question is ” is Gentry serious with his response to the media?”

    it is clearly his fault the team is not playing up to standards. I think he needs to take responsibility or just blame everything on Nash haha right

    I kinda like the guy but that is to clownish of a response for me, ya through the whole team under the bus it’s not my fault I just coach them.

  • 3 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Can anyone say new Coach?

    Is there any other coaches available next year that can coach this team?

    Nash is not a coach but he seems to run this team even in his current state, face it he is getting older, I liked to see the captions of bassy calling plays out there and running the team with his aggression, it was a breath of fresh air.

    I didn’t think Nash would ever lose a game for us but he is looking like a real liability. Poor Basty sitting on the sideline knowing he could do better. :(

    Now every one knows Nash is a liability in the defense area which is 50% of the game, he is now getting 5 turnovers before the end of the 3rd quarter and can’t make a shot.
    Is it a conspiracy why Alvin has to play him in the fourth quarter?

    He has sat him before in the 4th when there up.
    He looked way to slow out there against the faster point guards in memphis.
    He walked the ball up the court with 3 minutes left down by 9 points.
    All these things are unacceptable any other player would have been benched after 3 turnovers and not considering his bad shooting night.

    The coaching is disgusting.

    He brought in Slow Gortat in also who looks confused on defense also.
    The Substitutions are not good.

    I am glad he at least sat French Fry after his mistakes and non confidence Why not Nash?
    Fry is again blowing in his hands showing a sign of no confidence.

    Why did the coach play Redd and Brown together with Nash?

    Again The upside of Nash is 35% good and 65% bad for this team.
    turnovers, loss of composure, giving up, slow, no defense, bad shots, dribbling to much, is not adding up to the assists he gets considering that is all he is looking for is a good pass even when he is able to take that shot.

    I think that is selfish of him to try to be the best assist guy in the league when that is all he wants to do.
    He is taking away from the hunger his teammates have on winning by force feeding them all the time like he is the almighty on the court feeding his children, it’s just disgusting to me.

    Not comparing Sabastian to Nash (since I don’t want to argue my point with a couple die hard Nash supporters tonight) but his game tonight deserved more playing time, especially with all that aggression on D, assists and shot selection.

    So is Gentry just trying to ride the Nash era wave and end his career here on a good note with Nash?! IDK

    I question Gentry’s coaching and him not so called riding the hot hand as he said he does.

    I don’t think he is a good coach if he is going to ride the hot hand from the previous game and not the current one.

  • 4 Jason A. // Apr 12, 2012 at 7:40 am

    The problem isn’t the coach, the problem is certain players inability to consistently hit wide open mid-range shots and threes. We need a pure scorer bad.

  • 5 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Well why does the coach play those players that can’t shoot night in night out, why doesn’t he make a rotation that gives Fry 15 strong minutes to jack up three’s and pump and drive to basket, if he isn’t making them keep him out.

    Why did he start a small sf on a tall sf and continue with this line up throught the game?

    Why doesn’t he stand up to Nash, nash needs quick people around him that can shoot, so why is he playing nash with Redd and Brown?

    Why did he even go back to Nash and Gortat in the 4th?

    Why did he play his starters for so long?

    Why does he still run the run and gun with Nash and the team isn’t equiped for that?

    The real team looked like the 2nd unit, why doesn’t he try to bring the 1st unit off the bench?

    It’s obvious they play better, I don’t think he has what it takes to make an underachieving team a contender like a Portland or a Utah or Denver.

    We don’t necessarly need a 2 gaurd bad since we have a couple.

    The coach just needs to take the team by the horns and coach and not ride D antoni’s coat tail behind Nash’s Philosiphy.

  • 6 Cam // Apr 12, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Agreed with Jason A. Steve Nash said he wanted roster improvements and a go to scorer is who the Suns need. Who knows what the three amigos have planned for the offseason but I hope they have a few tricks up their sleeves. Go Suns.

  • 7 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

    they need a small forward.

  • 8 Cam // Apr 12, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Small forward and shooting guard. Go Suns.

  • 9 steve // Apr 12, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I think the 2-spot is obviously the biggest need. The NBA is full of good players at every other position. When looking at 2′s, there are honestly only 3 or maybe 4 guys I can think of that I think are legitimately good.

    1. Kobe
    2. Wade
    3. Manu
    4. Harden

    If you want to throw in a fifth, maybe Joe Johnson makes that list, but he’s really more of a 3 (and he’s also not that good). Also, please don’t try to say Monta. Is Monta better than what the Suns currently have? Absolutely, but so is just about every other starting 2 in the league. If we’re talking about pure numbers, not just current comparisons, there are only 3/4 SG’s in the NBA right now who would be considered good/elite in any age of the NBA. If you have an elite 2 in the NBA, your team is going to be very good. Just look at the standings for those teams. Top 3 in the West and number 2 in the East.

  • 10 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Once the Suns get a 2 guard who is the 3 going to be?

    Once they get a 3 who is the center going to be?

    We already have brown and redd at the 2, we need a legit 3.

    The weakness on the team is catering to Nash, the hands of our starting center and the athletic slasher 3 like a marion use to be.

    There is no answer for the suns as long as the keep Nash due to the coaching though.

  • 11 JZ // Apr 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    This was just bad. I saw some of Steve’s frustration throughout the game with Gortat and Frye. Seems like Robin and Kieff should actually be the ones finishing games instead of Gortat and Frye, because they can defend better than those two at crunch time. I like Dudley, but the will always be a good back up 3 not quite a starter.
    Steve needs a better pick and roll player than Gortat. I think I know what the FO should look into this off season and that’s is trading Gortat. It is fairly obvious that Gortat’s numbers will plummet if Nash leaves. This is a good opportunity to trade Gortat and this year’s draft for a higher draft pick and go for a young big with better handles. Also, Phoenix should really pursue Kaman and Camby this offseason for better defense and rebounding.
    Redd is a good keep for back up SG. This game showed why the Suns will come up short for a playoff spot again this season.

  • 12 steve // Apr 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    “Once the Suns get a 2 guard who is the 3 going to be?”

    I would argue that it doesn’t really matter. Kobe has never had a great 3 behind him, and that hasn’t exactly killed his career or his team.

    “Once they get a 3 who is the center going to be?”

    The center is Gortat. There’s no question about that. It would be awesome if his hands were better, but they’re not, and that’s something that can be worked around.

    “We already have brown and redd at the 2, we need a legit 3.”

    Having brown and redd at the 2 is precisely why the Suns need a 2, not a 3. Especially in light of the thought that the Suns can’t be very likely to retain both Redd and Brown after this season is up. Someone is going to want to throw a ridiculous contract at Shannon just because of the potential he’s shown in April, and I don’t think the Suns will or should throw a bunch of money at him. Redd is fairly likely to stay if he doesn’t want a pay day.

    “The weakness on the team is catering to Nash, the hands of our starting center and the athletic slasher 3 like marion used to be.”

    Catering to Nash is a huge fault of this team, I agree. The PnR simply isn’t a great way to go with the bigs the Suns currently have, at least not in crunch time when opposing defenses actually care.

    Gortat’s hands aren’t going to change. That’s something that is just going to have to be worked around, and it’s completely possible to win with a brick-handed 5, ESPECIALLY if you don’t force him to run 40 PnR’s every game.

    Marion was a lot more than a slasher. Marion had an array of moves around the hoop that few SF’s in the league can match. He scored a lot of garbage points, but at least half of his points were generated solely by himself. In his heyday, he was a legitimate star. Just calling him a “slasher” doesn’t do him justice. Josh Childress can easily be a “slasher” on Marion’s level, but he doesn’t have the other moves that require the respect of defenders to open up driving lanes… even still, Childress showed last night that he can get to the rim easily at this level (and against a stout defensive team, no less).

    I really think it’s time for Childress to be given a serious chance. I’m more than willing to admit when a player just isn’t very good. Grant Hill, for instance, is one of my favorites to ever play the game, but honestly, he should not be a starter for any NBA team. Childress, on the other hand, hasn’t been given a shot since he got back from Greece, and I think it’s a shame. Every time he puts forth effort, good things seem to happen. His years with the Hawks were productive, and his play was good enough to be considered one of the 10-20 most effective players in the NBA at his position. Not great, but it’s good enough to get by (after all, no one is ever going to have top 5 players at every position). I think he has the same level of skills as he did in his Hawks days, but I think the Suns simply don’t want to use him as he should be used.

  • 13 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    So you rather cater to childress than redd and brown?

    @jz is exactly right about the center gortat so I won’t bother commenting.

    So who would you get like a Kobe to fill the 2 guard spot that will allow the suns to play childress?

    (silence)~~~~ (crickets)~~~~(silence)

  • 14 steve // Apr 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I didn’t say Childress could only play with a 2 like Kobe. What I said is that with a 2 like Kobe, who plays at the 3-spot is virtually irrelevant. And, by the way, all the players at the 2 and 3 for the Suns are irrelevant, including Michael Redd and Shannon Brown. And lastly, the Suns SHOULD cater to Childress, the same way as the Suns should cater to Redd, Brown, Nash, Gortat, Frye, Dudley, etc. Every player’s strengths need to be utilized to their fullest, otherwise they’re simply a waste of space and money (what Childress has been so far). Childress has much more to offer to the NBA than the Suns have shown, and even if the Suns don’t do it for their own W-L column, they should give Childress an opportunity in order to attempt to make him tradeable. At this point, it’s likely that they’ll amnesty him, have to pay him his full contract, and let him play for another team next year without getting anything in return. That’s lunacy.

    Who would I get at the 2?

    Ignoring any player not currently in the Association because I despise college basketball and know nothing about it, I would say that the two best options at the 2 who might become available within the next couple of years through trade or FA are James Harden and Eric Gordon.

    While might write Gordon off as a chucker, he’s still a chucker that scored 22+ while shooting a 45/36/83 as a 22-year-old, all without having a worthwhile PG. Eric Gordon has an incredibly high ceiling, although I will admit that doesn’t come without the risk of a low floor. He has been prone to injuries, and there is no telling whether or not his decisions will get better if he is surrounded by better talent.

    James Harden is already a legitimate stud, and his floor is still being a top-10 level SG for the next 8 years (barring injury). His ceiling is probably being the 3rd best SG in the NBA for the next 5-8 years. I don’t think Harden is ever going to be the type of NBA player who will be the absolute alpha and killer of a team. I have never seen that in him, even in his days at ASU when he was MILES ahead of every other player in the conference in terms of skills, athleticism, and talent. However, he’s always going to give consistent, efficient production and he has a winner’s mentality and quiet, confident disposition.

    I can definitely see either (or both) of those two being in a different uniform other than their current one within the next two seasons, and I would love to see them don the purple and orange.

  • 15 Suns Critic // Apr 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I agree with you Schwarts. The Suns should move JD to the bench and keep Brown at starting sg as he has been playing very well with the starting 5. Hopefully Ghill will be the glue to bring back the starters to the kind of numbers they were getting before and JD’s move to the bench will be less obtrusive than working in brown.

  • 16 Tim in BC // Apr 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I think that Coach Alvin has done pretty well with the lineup he has been given although I think Childress should have been given more of a chance this year because he works hard. Even though Brown had a slow start I thought he has come up big in some games and Michael Redd has come through as well and should be kept next year. The Suns should try and get Goran Dragic back next year as he could be starter when Steve retires and even before so he could get more rest. Steve could be a playing assistant coach of some sort…just an idea? I wish they would have considered Hickson too as he seems to be doing well with the Blazers right now (or Milsap?)

  • 17 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    @steve
    That’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo you are talking.
    With eric gordon that doesn’t make the suns better it makes them the same.

    The past 10 games brown and gordons #’s are the same except brown is shooting better than him, and brown is taller, and turns the ball over less. That is not worth a trade, also browns trade value is higher according to his positional ranking at #41 and gordon at #79 on espn.

    and my previous question that was asked was which 2 gaurd are you going to get like Kobe because none you have mentioned are anything like kobe!

    A

    James harden may play a little smarter but there numbers are nearly identicle.

    Have you forgotten that great small forward that played with Jordan!?

    Isn’t there a small forward shooting guard combo in miami?!

    In Nashes good days as a sun didn’t he have a small forward by the name of marion!?

  • 18 steve // Apr 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    “The past 10 games brown and gordons #’s are the same.”

    I’ll help you math (yes, I mean “math” as a verb) because you seem to be confused.

    Gordon averaged 22.3 in 2010-2011 (two years ago, since he has been injured all year in 2011-2012). Shannon Brown is averaging 17.4 in his past 10 games. 2′s who average 17.4 are a dime a dozen. 2′s who average 22+ are something special. I’m not going to bother looking into all the other stats and splits because you clearly didn’t, and you’re probably not going to care anyways.

    “That is not worth a trade, also browns trade value is higher according to his positional ranking at #41 and gordon at #79 on espn.”

    In case you weren’t aware, Eric Gordon has been hurt all year.

    “and my previous question that was asked was which 2 gaurd are you going to get like Kobe because none you have mentioned are anything like kobe!”

    If you want me to answer the Kobe question, that’s simple. There isn’t a guy like Kobe, and you’re probably not going to find one any time soon. Not even Wade is on Kobe’s level, in my opinion (even though Wade is superior from a statistical standpoint). That’s a ridiculous question to ask in the first place. I never said the Suns needed Kobe Bryant or a player equal to him. I said the Suns need a top 2-guard because right now the NBA is severely lacking quality 2′s. If you have a great 2, you will be good. Therefore, the Suns need a quality 2 over every other position. Right now, the NBA is STACKED when it comes to quality 1′s, 3′s, and 4′s, and it’s not extremely lacking when it comes to middling-to-good 5′s either (although elite 5′s are lacking). Advantages can most easily be exploited at the 2-spot.

    I shouldn’t really have to point this out a second time, but there are 4 good 2′s in the NBA right now. They are on the top 3 teams in the West, and the No. 2 team in the East. A great 2 means a good/great team.

    “you need to get a clue and appreciate what you have before it’s gone.”

    I realize you must be a Shannon Brown fan/friend/family member/creeper, so whatever the case is, I hope you realize no one can take you seriously when you talk about him. I’m not arguing that Shannon is a bad player. I’m simply saying he is entirely replaceable. Guys like Kobe and Wade are irreplaceable, and Eric Gordon and James Harden are EASILY the best 2′s behind those two and they’re under 25 (22 and 23, if memory serves me correctly). It is completely reasonable to predict that James Harden and Eric Gordon will be on contending teams for the next 5 years simply because of the fact that they are that much better than everyone else at their position.

    And also again, I’m not saying a SF is unnecessary. I’m just saying it’s not as important. In the past 20 years, I can’t think of one championship team with a dominant SF off the top of my head besides Scottie Pippen (and let’s all be honest, Jordan very well might have gotten over the hump without Scottie). SA, LAL, DET, MIA, DAL… It’s just not as important of a position as the 2 or the 5. Almost always, championship teams have a dominant 2 and/or 5. Kobe, Manu, Jordan, Shaq, Duncan, Hakeem, Robinson…

    You’d have a tough time making a case that SF is more important than SG or C in determining NBA champions, but I’d like to see you try.

  • 19 GoSuns // Apr 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Never thought about that perspective steve, maybe that was why lebron didnt get a ring before leaving cleveland cause they some solid pieces but never a great two much like what the bulls are missing

  • 20 Evnerl // Apr 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    This is it, the inevitable decline of the suns, We can still make the playoffs but if we dont get the 6 seed it might as well be for nothing, in order to do that we must win every singe remaining game except 1, to realistically have a shot. Once again we will miss the playoffs and be stuck at the bottom of the lottery, where at best we will get someone like Morris, good player but not someone who can win a championship, oh well next season we will have a much higher pick, as we will not have Nash.

    The Suns will have to start back from square one,

    First they need a good A. SCORER, period, which can be at any position EXCEPT pg (shoot first point guards who are the A player dont win anything, ex Iverson, Malbary) so a 2,3,4,or 5,

    a scorer at the 5 is like finding a mythological unicorn and guarantees multiple championships.

    Then we need to get a B player who can play well along side of the A scorer I mentioned above. This player must have a competitive yet respectful nature with the A player.

    Often a 3rd stud is needed to make a good team, then good role players and a solid bench.

    After Nash only the last thing do the suns actually have right now, Morris, Gortat, Frye, Dudly, Brown are solid role players and bench players nothing more.

    Next year we wont have Nash, and wont have a singe stud. Not to mention we still will not play great defense, or rebound.

    We dont have the 2 studs that we need.

  • 21 PennyAnd1 // Apr 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Hey A-Rock

    Do you see the importance of Grant Hill now?lol Rudy Gay scored 30 points, if Hill was around that wouldn’t have had happened like last the last game before.

    Oh, do you also see how the 1st unit is doing bad that Hill is not playing but Brown instead? So much for your STUD Brown..jacking up bad shot at the wrong time.lol

  • 22 Tony // Apr 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    @A-Rock,

    what’s up with your pathetic and incessant Nash-bashing? Is it a racial thing, you don’t like him cause he’s white?

    I said this the other day, and of course A-Rock disputed this, but Dudley has to go back to the 2nd unit. His offense has disappeared along with his defense, and even his energy level is lacking. If Hill is 100% for tomorrow’s game, I hope Gentry starts Hill and sits Dudley. Let him twitter all day on the bench, where he belongs. As for Brown, Gentry needs to remind him that he’s not Kobe and needs to take better shots. It was ok when he was making them, but it was inevitable that he would start missing.

    Lastly, as far as what the Suns need, let’s see….they need a starting sg, a starting pf, a future starting pg, soon most likely a backup C, and a starting sf. They basically need an entirely new team. If Nash stays, between him and Gortat, they are covered at those positions, but sorely lacking everywhere else. I’m assuming Lopez is not resigned as well. The Suns also need a new owner, a new team president, and a new GM.
    Seriously, besides maybe the Bobcats and Bucks, are there any teams in a worse position for the immediate future than the Suns?

  • 23 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Apr 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    A-Rock is a bit over the top but at least he sees the problem at the root. It’s Nash, guys. It’s always Nash.

    The final minutes of this game put that on display.

    It’s not Gortat’s hands. Gortat actually has a pretty good handle and does catch most of what is tossed at him. A question, if I may.

    Any other center in the league. Think about all of them. How many of them have to get ALL of their points, (meaning EVERY TIME they touch the ball), running FULL SPEED off of a pick towards the basket when ALL FIVE DEFENDERS know it’s coming?

    He doesn’t get to work in the post, he doesn’t get to turn and face, he doesn’t get to hold the ball and observe the defense. He sets a pick and he dives.

    It’s not his fault the team goes away from him in the second half. Obviously he isn’t as sharp in the second half. He knows he isn’t getting the ball and when he does it’s a crazy bail-me-out type of screw-ball that he has to try to catch after setting himself up to get in rebounding position.

    Telfair has been rocking people with this adjusted second unit, and he does it because he can bend with the offense and it doesn’t have to be so specific. The same trait Dragon has, (though Dragon has a lot more of it).

    When Gentry came back with the starters, he did it because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Can’t fault him.
    As soon as he did come back with the starters, Memphis knew exactly what they had to do. They knew who to challenge and who to leave alone, because that was where the ball was going to be with Nash on the floor.

    It is why we fade a lot of times down the stretch. People know what’s coming and they’re ready for it, and where Amare used to just demand the ball and attack, Gortat is seemingly forbidden from doing that in the post.

    All of this 2-spot or 3-spot stuff is irrelevant.

    Dudley has fallen off because teams figured out, “Okay so, he’s the guy they want shooting it so we’re going to take him away.” That’s all it is.

    The team doesn’t need another SF. Chily should be beastin’ out there. He can’t because the offense with the starters is so specific, so all the things he brings to a team are wasted.

    With Gortat on the team, an electric PF is almost out of the question. One of those 2 front-court guys MUST be out of the way. They can’t do the same thing, so stop asking for that. It’s why Frye still has a job on the team and it’s why Morris never shows his full array with the first unit.

    Also, get off of this “Brown takes bad shots” bus. He might, he might not. The truth is, while Nash runs the team, the 2-guard will ALWAYS have the green light to throw it up. It has always been the case so why are so many so shocked that Brown does it now?

    If you want change and a new direction, guys, one guy has to sign somewhere else next season. Otherwise, expect more of the same next year, no matter who the players are.

  • 24 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    The chicago bulls don’t have a great 2 guard nuff said.

    Coach Gentry needed to watch the blue print of Tom tibido tonight in having the gonads to take your star player out when he is not producing.

    Tom did it against miami playing his 2nd unit to come out with the over time win!

    Some coach huh, that’s why he is coach of the year.

    He knows how to control the game with timeouts and substitutions.

  • 25 PennyAnd1 // Apr 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    @Rich Anthony

    You must be blind to say Nash is the problem. All you have to look at for example is Ricky Rubio & the Wolves. The players are the same when he was there & after he went down. With Ricky you have a young version of Nash. He might not score as much as Nash, but his spirit & his court vision is enough to give them 22 wins vs 4 wins since he went down. So to take Nash away, you’d be living A-Rock’s fantasy of being the worst team in the NBA crossing your fingers that you’ll run into another LBJ in the draft pick.lol gimme a break.

  • 26 PennyAnd1 // Apr 12, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    And 1 to Rich Anthony

    Why do you think Lakers dropped Brown last season in the first place anyways? If he’s that good, why did they lose him for nothing? Because everyone knows in LA, even the scribes there knows his tendency to jack off bad shots. To deny that is to prove yourself that you guys don’t know what the hell you guys are talkin’ about. And when I mean you guys (I mean you & A$$-Rock). Do us a favor and just follow LBJ or Dwight Howard

  • 27 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    @RICH ANTHONY

    you are so wise, you are like a brother from another mother. You are right on I just didn’t want to get into that argument my job is to make points of discussion.

    I am not with the personal jabs but I can move like a butterfly and sting like a bee with the best of them and most importantly brush off the personal stuff about me because it really isn’t about me, it is about the product the Suns are putting on the floor representing where I’m from. It’s deeper than the trivial talk amongst most on this site.

    I just had to change the subject straight to the coach again because if they don’t see it they won’t and I am not the one to be wasting my time.

  • 28 PennyAnd1 // Apr 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    @A-Rock

    Don’t worry, Nash & Hill will be going out soon. And most of us fans will go out with them. After that, you can fantasize about how good Phoenix is without them being led by Brown & Redd.lol Redd is great, but I don’t think he is enough to cool down hot heads when the going gets tough.

    You can have all the talent in the world, but in the end, it’s the PG that’s really important. Why do you think Howard & Miami wanted Nash? Why do you think Kobe is talking to Dragic about joining LA next season? Because PGs are supposed to oversee & distributes the ball. Without that point guard…good luck watching a bunch of NBA players play like rookies.

  • 29 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Remember when Kobe wanted to play for the Suns lol

    Back when he was the best 2 guard in the league but couldn’t get in the playoffs! haha

    Nash is slower than rubio with no defense, as bad as he wants to leave the team because he says there is no talent…… HE KEEPS ON PASSING TO THEM HHHHHAAAAAAAHHHHAAAA.

    I believe the team will manage with out nash as they did before this year.

    My point is the coach doesn’t know when and how to play him, he lets Nash do it all on the floor.

    My point if your going to let Nash do his thing on the floor. Then every one on the team has to have there specific role or responsibility on the floor also and that’s it.

    Nash limits the game. Browns role is to jack it up, gortats role is to dive to the hoop, fry’s role is to bring men outside the three point line to make 3′s, dudley is a spot up shooter.

    Very simple……Nash puts the whole team in a box.

    Now with the 2nd unit they are not boxed in the run more of a half court offense with a better style defense because of the able young bodies.

    It’s plain english guy’s.

    No one is bashing Nash it’s obvious.

  • 30 PennyAnd1 // Apr 12, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    @A-Rock

    in your delusional mind Nash is slower than Rubio. Nash at 38 can still outplay Rubio. What Rubio is doing now, is not even 1/10th of what Nash has done in his 6 season here with the Suns. Keep dreaming funny boy.lol

  • 31 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Nash has put every team he has been on in Phoenix in a box custom built for him, why do you think the suns play the same every year even when the able people aren’t available they try to manufacture it.

    All for Nash.

    Just last year Hakeim warrik was trying to be like Amare and now where is he, the bench because gortat is trying to be like amare.

    The point is they both aren’t trying to be like amare they are catering to nash.

    Remember when barbosa would come in the 2nd unit and just launch 3 pointers, it’s because he wasn’t placed in a box, if you don’t play with nash your not in a box, if you can’t accommodate him then you go to the 2nd unit.

    When playing with Nash the 2nd unit doesn’t mean your not good, it just means you don’t fit with his style.

    Raja bell spot up shooter so they bring in jared dudley to spot up and shoot.

    Same with Joe johnson they wanted him to just spot up shoot but he has more to his game which didn’t fit with nash so he got shipped out because nash was more valuable which may be the case with shannon brown.

    Boris diaw came off bench as distributor, went to another team to be a starter but he still wanted to distribute so they let him go. He was a product of Nashes system.

    When hill got here they wanted him to replace marion in the system (which didn’t happen) Marion was the motor of the team and grant isn’t and that was the beginning of the decline the never found another marion.

    they tried to replace marion with shaq didn’t work.

    eddie house, james jones 3 point shooters the list goes on and on.

    Look at all our 2nd unit while nash has been here disappear and get better contracts, to display there free play. To bad the receiving team they went to wanted them to be starters but not the STAR like they would be in the 2nd unit in phoenix.

  • 32 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Apr 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    @PennyAnd1

    You comparing Nash and Rubio kind of illustrates the problem the Suns have even further. You actually made my argument for me and you don’t even know it.

    You compare two guys in two totally different situations.

    First of all, the Wolves run Adelman’s beautiful Motion offense. This style doesn’t require the point guard to dominate the ball. It also doesn’t require pin-point specific players that suit an individual. It also doesn’t require 90% of the plays to start in the same fashion.

    It allows for the point guard to make plays. It allows for the power forward to make plays. It allows for guards and small forwards to dive and cut using off-ball screens as the play flips from side to side.

    In short, it allows for the players to all be involved and limits how much the defense can predict it on a play to play basis. The post SSOL PnR spread offense the Suns employ does none of that.

    Also, The Wolves have Kevin Love. That gave them two players that teams had to account for. You couldn’t just crowd Rubio. If you did, you leave Love with space and help reluctant to come because of holes in the defense.

    You using Rubio’s injury as an example of how a team needs a great point guard is wrong. What it points out is what happens when a team has ONE superstar on the floor, and teams know where the focal point is. That is why the Wolves struggle now. That is why the Suns struggle constantly. When you have ONE guy who dominates the ball it is easy to plan for.

    And I hate to break it to you, but as of right now, today, I’d take Rubio, (or Dragon) over Nash.

    Nash is an absolute beast, but he is no longer a fit on this team. You compare Rubio to Nash and you talk about the shooting. Who cares about the shooting if Nash is barely taking 10 shots a game. Rubio plays man defense. Dragon plays man defense. This means that the players behind them have to collapse far less. That means far fewer easy looks. That means more rebounds and fast breaks.

    They’re far less specific on the offensive end as well. Rubio because of that motion offense, and Dragon because he will absolutely attack the basket if you let him.

    Again, nobody is bashing Steve Nash. He’s a legend. But for the Suns, he is not the right guard anymore.

  • 33 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Apr 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    “You can have all the talent in the world, but in the end, it’s the PG that’s really important. Why do you think Howard & Miami wanted Nash? Why do you think Kobe is talking to Dragic about joining LA next season? Because PGs are supposed to oversee & distributes the ball. Without that point guard…good luck watching a bunch of NBA players play like rookies.”

    This is terrible reasoning. I can’t believe you typed that, actually.

    Again, it’s SYSTEM + PLAYERS.

    Of course Miami wants Nash. The way that team is constructed, IT IS A FLAWLESS AND PERFECT FIT for Nash and the team.

    He runs point. Miami uses double and triple PnR sets one after another with backdoor screens, the PF up high at the elbow, and a spot-up shooter. That has Nash written all over it!

    You can’t crowd Nash there and you can’t leve him either. So it’d create even more room for the Heat where Chalmers or their rookie cannot. If you double off of Nash, it’s easy buckets from outside all day.

    Also, if Kobe is in Dragic’s ear, it makes perfect sense NOW. Their system has changed. There is NO WAY Phil Jackson and his triangle even touch Dragic because it wouldn’t work. It works now because they have more PnR’s installed and the point guard is encouraged to attack the basket. That is what Dragon does.

    You don’t NEED an elite point guard. You NEED the perfect blend of system plus players. That blend hasn’t been in the valley for 2 seasons now and it isn’t coming back as long as Nash is here. There aren’t enough players on the open market available to come in and execute it.

    So yeah, fine, I hope Nash does sign with Miami or Orlando or Los Angeles. The fit is far better for him and for them.

    I don’t mind the rebuild or the reload. Gentry has proven, (through his settled second units), that if you give him the players who can do various things, he can make it work.

  • 34 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    @RICH ANTHONY

    AMEN!!!

    ALL CAPS, PERFECTLY WORDED.

    It’s to bad the emotional men that love Nash so much think we are bashing him, it’s there love for him that’s blinding them, keep preaching brother and maybe they will see the light! hahahahahahahaaaaaa

    Stay away from that Nashty juice @pennyand1 hahaha
    I’m watching my back because of you!!! hahaha

    I leave the emotion to the ladies personally, but Nash is a legend but I just couldn’t be so ignorant to the fact.

  • 35 neurotic steve nash fan // Apr 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    @ PennyAnd1. I’m with you man. Nash is the reason we have enjoyed the suns for the last 8 yrs. As soon as he’s gone these guys will realize what Nash still brings to the table. Im sure those clowns want Telfair to start now and have nash come off the bench. I dont mean to insult, but Arock and Rich Anthony really bug. Not so much Arock, he sounds like a young buck, so we can forgive his ignorance. But Rich actually sounds intelligent. Also sounds like he listens to talk radio all day and then tries to pass all that knowledge off as his own.

    And ya, I know, my love for Nash is blinding me. I dont deny that. But the reason we get so frustrated with the anti nash fans, is because he is so underappreciated. I know Im being simple here, but just look at how the Knicks have done with all their star talent, money, and max players since Amare got there. That team has 2 more wins than us. Thats it. And thats all Steve Nash. He can make a shitty team descent.

    I know Im wasting my time, but I had to vent. Forums are embarrassing in that the longer you spend in em, the dumber you get.

  • 36 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    This is a forum, I thought this was a place to talk about you neurotic steve nash fan! hahaha

    your name says it all YOUR BLINDED! LOL

    No one is bashing Nash, your the simple minded case of not being able to let a kid grow up because you love them to much!

    Buster love and let go, they will continue to grow and get better but you are going to be a mess if Nash goes.

    No one is hating on Nash, I don’t hate on no one, no time for that, especially something I can’t change.

    I just like coming to this site to talk about you and how simple minded you are.

    I never said anything about Nash leaving BUT you are so worried he will! haha

    Then it’s my fault he left because I told you the truth about the situation!!

    Right I’m the bad guy right?!

    you don’t even know this guy from adam or steve.

    your just a follower who doesn’t even listen to a real leader.

    And trust me I have no pleasure in talking to you so I don’t care if you respond.

  • 37 steve // Apr 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I don’t know if anyone is actually arguing that the Suns will be better without Nash in the short term. I think what people are trying to say is that an NBA team built around Nash does not have a high enough ceiling to meet the lofty expectations for this franchise. In other words, we don’t have the players to make Nash’s game work.

    I’m kinda with that point, but my biggest reason for wanting Nash out is defense, both individual and team. It will improve with him gone, just as the offense will get worse (at least initially).

    Glad you didn’t try to build an argument attempting to reduce the value of the 2 and increase the value of the 3. That would have been embarrassing.

  • 38 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Apr 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    “Rich Anthony really bug. Not so much Arock, he sounds like a young buck, so we can forgive his ignorance. But Rich actually sounds intelligent. Also sounds like he listens to talk radio all day and then tries to pass all that knowledge off as his own.”

    I’ll take that as a compliment.

    Firstly, there is no talk radio down here on the NBA as I’m currently on a nice little contract down under in Australia.

    I love basketball, I’ve played basketball, (run point in fact), and I just speak the honest truth on it.

    And again, you mentioned the “anti-Nash fans.” People like myself or A-Rock and even honored bloggers on the site like Michael or Andrew – we DO NOT HATE NOR ARE WE AGAINST NASH. That is not the point here.

    I, personally, love the guy. Still, he simply isn’t the guy for this team anymore.

    I’m also all for a superstar being loyal to his team and wanting to remain there, as long as the team can continue to evolve and improve while he remains. This is one of those unique situations where that man happens to be Nash, so to keep him on the team with the current landscape of the NBA is not good for the short or long-term of the team.

    Let me take a second to comment on the Knicks.

    Lets put it out there because a lot of people seem to miss this one simple fact. Mike D’Antoni DID NOT WANT CARMELO ANTHONY. He got Amare, liked his youth, (because really that group of players they traded away for ‘Melo were really nice in his system), and was trying to position the team in a way where it was attractive to a CP3 or a D12 when they became available or have that youth to be able to trade for one. His vision is what he was building with Amare plus a FA point guard who could execute that system to perfection.

    The guys upstairs in Knickerbocker land wanted ‘Melo and the pushed personnel to get him.

    And, to your point about the Knicks having 2 more wins that the Suns? Scroll up.

    SYSTEM + PROPER PLAYERS

    D’Antoni finally had a team the way he wanted it and knew what he needed and was trying to hold on until those guards became available.
    His offense is a simple one, Guard + Pick action, ball movement, open guy takes the shot whether the guard keeps, the roll man attacks, or the ball is swung to whoever the open man is.

    ‘Melo RUINED all of that because everything STOPS when he ends up with the ball.

    D’Antoni was all but dead when they signed Chandler. Why? Because having Chandler at the 5 obliterates everything Amare Stoudemire brings in that offense. Chandler can’t sit high. He has to sit low, so even if Amare rolls, Chandler is down low and so is his man.

    Easy easy easy rotation and / or denial. Combined with Anthony taking up the rest of Amare’s outside area, and nothing worked. MD got fired. His system failed because THE PLAYERS GIVEN TO HIM NO LONGER WORKED.

    Has nothing to do with star talent or money, as you say.

    Back to Nash. What do you want? You want to keep Nash?
    You want to continue watching Nash lead a team built on the “best players available who can compliment Nash but who aren’t actually elite players at any position” just so Nash can run it?

    You want to be trying to claw and crawl and scrape into the playoffs so OKC or Memphis or SA or LA obliterates us in the first round? That is what Nash represents for the Phoenix Suns.

    Not good enough to challenge for anything, and too good to bring in any sure-fire talent via the draft.

    It is time to blow it up. It has to be done. I’d much rather take my chances in the next few drafts. Remember how SSOL started? We were bad, and we drafted Marion, JJ was here, Amare got drafted – young pieces drafted by the Suns good enough to attract superstar talent to make a run for half a decade.

    OKC – Chicago – Orlando – Memphis – LAC – even San Antonio keeps the youth in house.

    Phoenix can’t go the MIA – Boston – LAL – Dallas route. There aren’t enough big name free agents available and even fewer available that would thrive in a Nash-driven system.

    I don’t mind being insulted. It’s forgotten as soon as it’s read. But if you guys are going to post things, at least post the complete truths and not half-cocked comparisons.

  • 39 RockChucker // Apr 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    I want Lopez during the final minutes of the game. Gortat is just not a closer. So many times he loses the ball or goes up weak to the basket. I wish people would stopped calling him “Polish Hammer” because that is definitely not a nickname that describes him.

  • 40 A-ROCK // Apr 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    In nash’s system the 3 is more important than the 2 since the 3 is the motor (engine) of the team that does the dirty work, doesn’t have plays called for him, jack of all trades, gets the job done by all means necessary averaging 20 points 10 rebounds.

    Which was Shawn “THE MATRIX” Marion.

    In Nash’s system as long as the 2 guard can shoot deadly from outside and that’s all ie RAJA BELL that makes a great Nash team!
    also considering you have a pnr guy……………….. A center and you definitively have a championship “I think.”

    But the question is will the suns get all that for Nash probably not since there isn’t that many players available that can play strictly that role.

    So which team does have those pieces or could get those pieces for Nash to win a championship is the question.

    If a team has that, and plays exactly how nash wants I see him winning a championship.

    That is why Nash is so rare not under appreciated.

    Mostly other teams depend on the 2 guard more than the 3 which is right, but doesn’t make it better either way.

  • 41 PennyAnd1 // Apr 13, 2012 at 1:17 am

    @Rich Anthony

    Ok you have your own opinion & own perspective of the game that’s fine. Don’t forget two times the Suns would have made it to the finals if it wasn’t a cheap shot Horry or a hard-to-block Kobe. So if you say the ceiling is limited due to Nash than I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    If anything Nash has been consistently leading Suns into contenders over the years. It was only last year that the Suns finally got a Center they have been longing for. However because they got the center, now they lost that PF and shooter (Amare & J-Rich) type of player. So to get rid of Nash, you’d be starting with scrap all over again trying to find a replacement.. and like I mentioned before..good luck with that. As you can see Lakers, Heat, and Magic are dying to find a PG like Nash. You should be grateful Nash is in Phoenix.

    As for Rubio vs Nash having different situations? the ultimate goal for the Wolves is to have Rubio play like Nash. Why? because it’s the most successful strategic game in the NBA! If it makes everyone better around you, then why not?! go figure!

    And as for @Steve commenting about just having Nash leave so defense will improve…will you really sacrifice wisdom, leadership, experience, making every player around you play at their maximum potential…for defense? Again, goodluck trying to enjoy Phoenix without Steve. Once steve is gone, Phoenix will die of boredom.

    And 1. Sure Telfair is doing great right now, but he wasn’t consistent throughout the season. He just began playing good about a month ago now. Nash has played consistently throughout his career! That’s the problem with you guys. You judge a player due to recent games, you have to look at the future. When the going gets tough do you absolutely think Telfair will continue to play good as he is now? There is a reason why he’s been moved from team to team. Consistency is the sign to true greatness. So far, Telfair & Brown hasn’t proved that to me. nuff said

  • 42 Scott // Apr 13, 2012 at 1:47 am

    So strange to see a discussion where the idea of Suns teams built around Nash is seen as a bad thing.

    If the Suns could get better players, they would. The fact that Nash is on the team doesn’t hold them back, doesn’t make them say, “No, we don’t want any complete players, or any star players. We want gimped players who can only play with Nash.”

    What Nash does is make so-so players better. When all the Suns can get are so-so players, it helps to have Nash. That’s all it is.

    And when he’s not in the game, these same players go into struggle mode, partly because they’re not that talented in the first place, and partly because they’re so used to Nash spoon-feeding them it takes them a while to adjust to fending for themselves.

    But if they have the skill to create, they can do it without Nash. Hill rarely struggles without Nash, and Redd doesn’t struggle much either. Most of the time, Brown is in his own world once he gets the ball, so he doesn’t suffer much either.

    BTW, it’s been great to see Telfair play the last couple of games. I’ve never seen him play so well. I have to wonder if he’s picked up this new high intensity play-style from going against Price in practices. If so … that’s the best thing that ever happened to him. So long as he can play like this, he’ll have a spot in the NBA.

  • 43 steve // Apr 13, 2012 at 7:17 am

    The Suns never would have made the finals. I don’t get why fans love to think that way. Fact is that they didn’t, so how could you say they “would have” when reality shows that they didn’t.

    Amar’e deserved the suspension (plus, that was only game 5 of the second round. There is no guarantee the Suns could have made it past sa the next two games with or without all their players). J Rich didn’t box out. It was the Suns’ own fault they never made it to the promised land.

  • 44 A-ROCK // Apr 13, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Why can’t people understand that to play with Nash you have to be incorpareted in the things he does best not what the player does best or what the other player can offer, if it goes against nash’s system they are sent to the 2nd unit.

    Right now the players that are in nash’s system can not maximize the system becuase there are thrown into the system but are not able to play those specific potions in that system.

    I’m not saying the suns have bad players because right the struggle without him but that’s until they start playing Team ball instead of Nash ball.

    You can’t expect them to play with out Nash when it is his system or any other player in the league becuase it is his system.

    That’s why Stat and Marion wanted to be the superstar here in Phoenix but they couldn’t because they played in Nash’s System.

    I think the Sun’s have good players that aren’t built for Nash’s system.

    So you can’t say the suns will die with out nash or this team sucks becuase I have seen them play team ball with out Nash and they are very good.

    And this isn’t a knock on Nash it’s just what he brings to the table can’t be fulfilled with the players around him and it will cost to much to get those players he needs around him which is nearly impossible unless he goes to another team.

  • 45 Fan in Chi Town // Apr 13, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Sad to say, but nash lost this game for us. He was our hero against Utah but Memphis knew exactly how to frustrate him enough to be ineffective. The phoenix commentators were saying conley was hand checking him too much but I thought it was great defense. Telfair was kicking butt. Gentry needs to grow some balls and ride the hot hand. We’re trying to get into the playoffs, man! He’s done this too much. He always feels pressured to get the starters back out even if the bench is killing it. I remember him benching amare in 2010, and that obviously worked out well. Rose was benched last night. Both kobe and bynum were benched earlier. Why should nash be different? If the bench is getting it done, leave them in. I believe they had completely earned the right to close out that game. Everyone who was watching it could see that. So frustrating…

  • 46 A-ROCK // Apr 13, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Good point fan in chicago.

    And for some strange reason I don’t feel like your bashing Nash.

    Thanks for making it clear and not taking it out on our star player.

    P.s Nash nation please don’t start getting b#tt hurt over what was just said because the coach indeed needs to grow some balls and Nash needed to be benched.

  • 47 Tony // Apr 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    @Rich

    Firstly, I don’t know what or whom you’ve been watching, but Gortat does not have good hands. And, in the 4th quarters, when he starts to get tight because of the pressure, he’s even more prone to dropping passes. Furthermore, his post game, while much improved from last season, hardly meets the criteria of consistency. Again, when the pressure is on Gortat, he collapses. So, making him a focal point is the wrong thing to do.

    As far as Nash’s play of course he is suited to a particular style as are most players. As Steve correctly noted, the team doesn’t have the personnel suited for Nash’s style. In fact, most of them are not suited to any style of play because they are not legitimate and dependable NBA players. Let’s not forget, this Suns team was not built for the playoffs but rather as just a semi-competitive team with the cheapest players attainable for the FO’s flexibility in supposedly obtaining elite players in the future. For some reason…., I have no faith in the Suns front office but that’s besides the point. The point is that with the talent level of this team, or more appropriately the lack of talent, this team should not be considered a playoff team period. The mere fact that they have played so well, relatively speaking, is a testament to Nash’s greatness. Again, this is dispite playing with guys who are not ideally-suited to play in a Nash-style system.

    A-Rock has no clue what he’s talking about. Arguing that Nash cost the Suns a victory last game is as ridiculous a claim as saying Sarver is a good owner. Sure, Telfair played well most of the time he was in. Yet, A-Rock conveniently ignores the last three possessions in the 4th quarter, when Memphis was regaining the momentum, in which Telfair dribbled the shot clock down to around 5 seconds, then missed two shots, and caused a TO. He ignores this because of his blinding hate towards Nash.

    Secondly, A-Rock ignorantly claims that the Suns roster continually is built around Nash. So A-Rock let me see, replacing Amare with Hedo, Childress, and Warrick was for Nash’s benefit???? I suppose Nash would rather also run fastbreaks with Dudley instead of JJ or even Richardson right? Furthermore, I suppose he would prefer running p&rs with Gortat instead of Amare as well right? Give me a break! Arguing that the front office has catered towards Nash borders on lunacy. I supposee the front office also didn’t pursue Diaw despite Nash’s insistence on retaining him was actually in Nash’s interest as well, right? Congrats man, you have surpassed Steve in most ridiculous claims. Although Steve is a close second.

    @Steve,

    “Amare deserved to be suspended”?????? Are you a closet Spurs fan? So let me see if I understand your logic. Amare, and don’t forget Diaw, should have been suspended for stepping on a line, when Horry committed a dirty play which could have seriously injured Nash? In case you’ve forgotten, which appears the case, the Suns had all the momentum going into Game 6 and had that series. The Suns lost their second best player and a key role player and the Spurs lost Horry. How you can argue that wasn’t a difference maker in that series is beyond comprehension.

  • 48 steve // Apr 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Yes, Amar’e deserved to be suspended (as well as Diaw). Here is the rule:

    “During an altercation, all players not participating in the game must remain in the immediate vicinity of their bench. Violators will be supended…”

    There is no wiggle room in that, and that was a very intentional move by the NBA when this rule was set in motion. There is no “spirit of the law” as so many Suns apologists loved to say at that time. The law is the law is the law is the law. There isn’t a way around it. And because Amare (and Diaw) deserved their suspensions, the Suns not being at full strength is their own fault.

    If they had been at full strength, might they have won two of three out of game 5, game 6, and game 7? It really doesn’t matter, because they didn’t deserve the chance to be at full strength. I, for one, don’t think they would have won two of three (just for the sake of the ridiculously pointless hypothetical argument). The Spurs beat the Suns at USAirways in Game 1, they could have done it again. Plus, the Suns were full strength in Game 6 and got their butts handed to them. They weren’t better than the Spurs. I know we would all love to imagine that they were, but if they were better, they would have proven it.

    Did the suspensions have no effect? No, I’m not arguing that they had no effect. What I’m arguing is that they were deserved. The rule is clear. Amar’e and Diaw broke the rule. Was it a dirty play by Horry? Absolutely. Does he deserve to live in basketball infamy as one of the most hateable players in history? Yes, sir. But was Amar’e justified in breaking the rules just because Horry is a chump? No.

    Note: I said it was Game 5 earlier when the suspensions occurred, but that was a typo. It was game 4, at SA)

  • 49 steve // Apr 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Btw, Amare didn’t “step on a line.” He was somewhere between 15-25 feet away from where he should have been sitting on the bench, he stepped completely on the playing court, and he had to be restrained by coaches… (that was all from memory, so if you really feel like nit-picking some video, do so at your own risk, but I highly doubt you’re going to find anything along the lines of “he only stepped on a line”)

    Listen, I have played competitive sports my entire life, and my teams (and me) have been in a number of physical altercations in those games. I have gotten myself kicked out of a few games for joining altercations from the bench areas. I knew the rules, and I decided to join the fights anyways to back up my teammates and make sure the fighting stopped before everyone ended up regretting it.

    I understand the desire to have your teammates’ backs. HOWEVER, every instance I just referenced above has been in meaningless games in regular seasons or exhibitions. Come playoff time, every single one of us knows the rules. No matter how dirty it gets, NEVER throw a punch, NEVER leave the bench during a fight, NEVER rush into a fight even if you’re just trying to break it up. NEVER. Just don’t fight. That’s all there is to it. We NEVER run the risk of being ejected or suspended for being in a fight because it’s just not worth it at that stage (and I’m not exactly playing in the NBA Playoffs).

    Amar’e should have known better. Diaw should have known better. The coaches should have known better. There is a time and a place for nearly all things, but the playoffs are a time for composure and reason, not impulse and anger.

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