If it's possible, I was actually encouraged by a lot of what I've seen in the last couple of games. The Shaq acquisition was probably going to take 10 games to figure out and we're coming up on that mark...
Operating under the assumption that the turnovers will go down (they have to, right?) as the new system (and that's what it is) comes into focus, I think the new-look Suns have a few bright spots:
- They're finally a team that can hang in the rebound category. This is important, especially come playoff time.
- Gordon Giricek. Yeah, this isn't Joe Johnson coming back against the Spurs a couple of years ago, but I liked what I saw last night. An outside shooter who can create his own shot off the dribble (an offensive tool that got Shawn Marion lacked but was overlooked because of everything else he did).
- The defense. OK, perhaps this is a stretch considering the 5 losses since Shaq's arrival have gone well into the triple-digits, BUT... the wins have come in grind-it-out playoff style games, which can only help, right? Hello? No? OK. But seriously, they've played it well in spurts (even in last night's losing effort), and if, in fact the turnovers go down, they will play it well enough to turn some of these L's into W's.
But overall, I think the much-ballyhooed chemistry issues are getting sorted out. With a 5-game homestand featuring Utah, San Antonio, and Golden State, it's put-up or shut-up time. I'd like to see them go 4-1, but I'll settle for 3-2. Anything less than that, and my hand is going to start sneaking back toward that panic button.
Ack, that was a lot for my first post. I'll shut up and get off the floor on one last note...
PAD - Points After DeepFreeze (a little nod to Al McCoy's reference to a game who's outcome has already been decided.)