Okay, Okay...So it's not our fault that we love the Phoenix Suns right? We can't have that big of an effect on the game to keep them from winning it all. Well I think we have become spoiled, we have had the pleasure of watching one of the most entertaining basketball teams in the league, and that is exactly the problem. Ever since we were introduced to the ingenious, if somewhat misguided, Mike D'Antoni we have become accustomed to high scoring games, no defense, and fast paced action. So why was this a bad thing, I mean after all weren't we a winning team with the best record in the NBA a couple of years in a row. Well it comes down to defense, and that we didn't play it.
If you look back through the teams that have won championships over the past 10 years you will notice one thing they all have in common. They are all fantastic defensive teams. Whether it be the Lakers, Celtics, or even the newly crowned Dallas Mavericks, they have all had to find a way to be an above average defensive team. It took a Mavericks team redefining their image of being soft and finding a way to keep an aging team relevant. How did they do this, with a massive defensive overhaul. Where every player on the floor was held accountable, including the point guard, and where they all covered each others mistakes.
So why is it that the Phoenix Suns have yet to adopt a more defensive game plan, I think it stems from us fans. We have fallen in love with an uptempo offense and stopped worrying about the defensive side of the game, and while we don't directly make the decisions for the ball club I do think that we greatly affect the team. I mean if they want to keep selling tickets, and I know they do, then they try and give us what we want. They really don't care if we win a championship as long as they continue to fill that arena up to the brim.
Now that is not to say I think that there is no hope because we have made a major improvement in Gortat and we were smart in keeping Grant Hill, since he is our top defender. However we still have a ways to go in terms of building a defensive mindset here in the valley of the sun. For the front office to be motivated enough to want to move the team in that direction we have to support it, vehemently. That means we have to give up the wildly entertaining notion that a 7 seconds or less team can win a championship, we have to learn to love the defensive end of the game. Most importantly, though, we have to let our team know that we want this as much as they need it.
We can argue all day about how good we were under the Mike D'Antoni days, and how we won over 60 games a couple seasons, but what it comes down to is that we are still a champion-less team with a list of players who deserve one and can win one with the right strategy. We have the coach in Alvin Gentry, we have the core players, and we even have the heart. Now we just have to go out there and change how we think.
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