Since our beloved Phoenix Suns couldn’t find their way into the playoffs for the third consecutive season, the NBA season has ended early for Planet Orange. However with the NBA lottery taking place later on today it’ll be the first page for the Phoenix Suns’ 2013-2014 season. So what are some hot topics involving the Suns and the NBA?
1) What is Ryan McDonough’s role exactly?
When I first found out the Suns hired McDonough I didn’t think he would be a typical GM. I thought that Chad Ford hit the nail on the head when he said in an interview that McDonough would pretty much be the head scout a GM title, but that has not been the case. McDonough has already fired people, he’s been very secretive in a highly respectable way, and he has shown the public that he’s more than what meets the eye. I believe that if the Suns and Lon Babby gives McDonough enough autonomy when it comes to basketball decisions there will be good results.
I think his role is the same as the normal GM’s in that he will have the final say along with President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby and Owner Robert Sarver on all personnel decisions starting with the new head coach and on to the players. During the coaching selection and the draft, McDonough will take the recommendations of the people already in place in the organization as just that, recommendations. He will then decide what the best course of action will be.
2) Suns’ draft philosophy, go for the safe pick or swing for the fence?
This year’s draft is a very strange draft. On one hand the talent depth seems to be depleted, but on the other hand there seems to be some very promising players. There are very few “Safe” Players in this year’s draft, and I think that if there’s a safe player at all, that player is Victor Oladipo. Olapido is undersized for his position measuring at just a little over 6’3 without shoes but his length, athleticism and his motor on defense and on the boards more than compensate for that.
With the 2014 draft so incredibly loaded, the Suns best interest this year should be going with the safe pick so that way they can add another building block. I’m highly confident that a player like Oladipo WILL NOT be a bust. At worst he will become a smaller Tony Allen, but with his hard work and athletic gifts he can very well be an all-star game regular by his third season.
This seems like a question between drafting Ben McLemore (risk) versus Otto Porter (safe). Both are consensus top-three picks this year that Arizona Republics’ Paul Coro accurately described in his article today as a draft that is, “heavier on depth than stars.” I would say go for the safe pick in Otto Porter who seemingly has a high-character, motivation and motor, and looks like he has a higher floor. In other words, Porter is less likely to be a bust and can contribute to the team significantly over the years. Management can swing for the fences (Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Ruben Randle) next year.
3) Who should the Suns hire to be their next coach?
BRIAN SHAW, BRIAN SHAW, BRIAN SHAW! Brian Shaw is one of the most qualified candidates and I explain why he’s the best candidate in detail here: (Click this)
The two names that I seem to like are Brian Shaw and Kelvin Sampson. What I like about them is that they have garnered national attention from other teams but don’t carry the baggage of already being head coaches that have expectations fettered to them. However, I would be OK with whoever they chose because it is a rebuilding time. Its not as much pressure. What I do want is a coach who can teach the fundamentals to the young kids as opposed to a complete Xs and Os guy.
4) Which of the three remaining teams has the best chance to dethrone Miami?
What team did Reggie Miller play for in the NBA? Oh that’s right! The Indiana Pacers! A week ago I thought the Memphis Grizzlies would be the Heat’s kryptonite but I think that throughout the playoffs, the Pacers have been the better team. Roy Hibbert has stepped up in a big way for the Pacers in the playoffs and so has the rest of his squad.
The Pacers also match up against the Heat much better than the Heat does against them. If the Pacers can turn the Heat into a jump shooting team, they will have a great shot at their second trip to the finals in franchise history.
I think it’s Memphis hands down. They have the exact lineup that can bring down South Beach. Indiana doesn’t have the go to scoring yet, and San Antonio is too old in key spots to deal with Miami for a whole series. I would go in order: Memphis, San Antonio, and Indiana.
Memphis can exploit the weaknesses of the Heat. Think about Marc Gasol defending Bosh and vice-versa. He would eat him up! Tony Allen and Quincy Pondexter can take turns defending Lebron. Gasol and Randolph will take ALL of Miami’s rebounds with ferocity. Also, Mike Conley is coming into his own and his penetration will hopefully seal the deal.