The good foilks at SB Nation have requested a team preview contribution from BSOTS. ZONAFLASH did an awesome preview that I will not be attempting to outshine. Instead, here's the bare bones that we all have been agonizing over.
Also, be sure to check the team previews at:
Team Name: Phoenix Suns
Last Year's Record: 46-36
Key Losses: Shaquille O'Neal, Matt Barnes (not really a "Key" loss)
1. What Significant Moves were made during the off-season?
- Extended Steve Nash
- Resigned Grant Hill
- Signed Channing Frye
- Drafted Earl Clark and Taylor Griffin
- Traded Shaquille O'Neal for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic and executed buyouts with each. ($, addition by subtraction)
2. What are the team's biggest strengths?
Offense. The running mentality has been restored. There will be consistent emphasis on continuing to be a team that wants to run and score a lot of points thereby playing to its strengths.
Motivation. Amare Stoudemire is out to show that he is healthy and worthy of a maximum extension. The team acknowledges the low expectations from fans and media alike and are looking to play with a chip on their shoulder.
3. What are the team's biggest weaknesses?
Defense. The team is undersized. Channing Frye and Amare Stoudemire will most likely act as underized 5's for the Suns until Robin Lopez returns from injury. Rebounding will be difficult with such a small team whose focus is on scoring a lot of points.
Age and Injury. Keeping Nash and Stoudemire healthy is vital to the success of this team. Nash is aging and tends to wear down over the course of a season. Hopefully Goran Dragic can turn into a dependable back up and be able to provide Nash with plenty of time to rest. Stoudemire is attempting to return from a serious eye injury. Injuries to these two players could spell doom for the 2009-10 Suns.
4. What are the goals for this team?
Getting back to being a playoff contender. The team seems happy as a whole which means a lot to a squad of guys who had to deal with plenty of on the court and off the court issues last year.
SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION!
5. Can Amare Stoudemire return from a career threatening injury and lead the Suns back to the playoffs?
Projected Finish: 48-34, 2nd Place Pacific Division, 8th seed in the playoffs.
Suns Other Preview Stories: