The magic behind the 2009-2010 Phoenix Suns season

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Players

One of the biggest keys for the Suns this season was their bench. Lou Amundson was a big man who could block shots. Goran Dragic had all the potential to one day be a starting point guard and had the perfect mentor in Steve Nash. Jared Dudley was a sniper who gave it his all on defense.

Throw in a more experienced Leandro Barbosa and a defensive-minded Robin Lopez, and the Suns’ bench was as solid as it had been in years past.

Their hustle, shooting, playmaking, and defense gave the Suns the tools needed to be special. Every player could do so much, and the magic the bench provided pushed the Suns over the hump from good to great.

Now let’s get into the starters. For the guards, you had the great Steve Nash, a two-time MVP (should have been three-time) and all-time great who knew how to make his team better. Next, you had Jason Richardson at shooting guard, a very athletic swingman with an outside shot.

The forwards were Grant Hill playing the 3-spot. Despite his history of injuries, Hill could handle the ball, shoot from mid-range, and be active inside. He even shot a career-high 43% from 3 (if you don’t count the season where he went 1/1).

Next to him was the dominant Amar’e Stoudemire. He was an inside force who would dunk on anybody and shoot it from just about anywhere inside the 3-point line.

At center, the Suns started with Channing Frye, a stretch big who had the season of his career, improving his 3 point percentage by 10%, which provided floor spacing for the Suns. Towards the All-Star break, Phoenix switched to Robin Lopez to man the middle. Robin was a shot blocker, and he did not need to score to be effective. He just needed to stop the opposing team inside, and that was enough for the Suns.