My first fanpost...
I was thinking about all the things that will happen next year based off of some of the current rumors and interviews I have heard and pieced together an interesting outlook on next season.
~Shaq's diet: the big guy is ready to play. If he can be even half of what he was last year it will be worth it. A Shaq under 300? Ridiculous.
~Gentry's take on defense: In his interview with KTAR he emphasized the importance of working on the weakside and pick-and-roll defenses. This isnt just talk like in the past, he really means it. The thing is, the players want it and will work for it under Gentry. Last night, I was watching the Lakers and the commentators said something interesting. Reggie Miller noted that this Lakers team isn't great on defense (sometimes they are downright awful), but that when they play well offensively, they tend to try harder on defense, as if they are fired up and want to score more on turnovers and such. This type of mentality would be great for the Suns and Gentry is the man to implement it.
~Bench guys: Do I even need to say much? We all know the potential of our bench guys and its very encouraging. Dragic is looking better and better all the time. He will be really important to this team in the coming years. If he works hard this offseason I think we will see some massive improvement. Dudley is downright sick as a bench guy. High energy but super basketball smart. He rarely makes mistakes and always capitalizes on the other teams'. Amundson is a great energy guy and with Amare back in the lineup he can play against smaller players at the 3 instead of the 4. He really needs to work on the FTs. Lopez has the gifts, he just needs someone to light a fire under him - enter Shaq for one more year. Tucker has a ton of potential to be a pure scorer. I was encouraged by his performance last year in the preseason and unfortunately he had surgery which set him back. If he uses the offseaon well then we might be in for a nice surprise later.
~The big question mark for next season is Amare. I hate to say this because I really like Amare even to a fault. Will he take up the challenge given to him to become a good defender? Does he really want to stay with the Suns or has his last few years here built up entitlement issues in his head? Does his injury continue to linger or was it a fluke? For God's sakes can we have a healthy Amare Stoudemire for a WHOLE FREAKIN SEASON!? These are important questions and if Amare can step up his game, but more importantly his maturity, then I think we have a great season next year.