FanPost

Gortat's Offense, Shannon a Starter?...

* For a Suns team suffering through early-season offensive woes, could Gortat "carry" the team for stretches at a time? Marcin continues to impress overall. His footwork and hook shot stand out, he's definitely looking for his shot, which is perhaps most encouraging of all. (A few times Tim Duncan seemed surprised at how quickly Gortat was catching and converting.) However, Gortat also had a season-high 4 FTAs against the Spurs! He is now averaging only 1.8 FTAs/game. If he's a good enough shooter to have opposing players respect the mid-range game, he has to drive hard to the rim more, risking contact. Consider Gortat's evolution on the defensive end. He has been taking charges more than I can ever recall, a sign of court awareness and smarts. If the finger is now healthy, he should play far more aggressive. The finger injury was hugely important, not underestimating its impact over the first few weeks. He also averaged 3.2 FTAs in 55 games last year. If Gortat adjusted his game I would enjoy watching more of the offense move through him. At that point perhaps he could carry the offense in stretches.

* In spite of the recent chucking, Shannon Brown deserves consideration for the starting lineup. Dudley has clearly struggled and not exactly locked down the starter spot. It's hard to see how Dudley averages more than 11/game. Thinking about the upside of Shannon Brown is like looking at the MC Escher stairs, up becomes down becomes up. He blows assignments and forces off-balance jumpers, but his athleticism and ability to create/get to the line are sorely needed. I could see Brown with the Suns for a long time, really enjoy him already rooting for teammates. If Dudley looks more and more like a backup, and Brown shows steady improvement as a decision-maker, what could it hurt to start Brown?

* Thoughts on this, especially #3? Moving Kyle Lowry to get Pau Gasol is very, very debatable. Because Nash will never play alongside Kobe in a Lakers jersey, anyone have suggestions for a workable HOU-POR-PHX deal, with Nash landing in Portland? Maybe a cross between deals 2 and 3?

* Do the Phoenix Suns have any official MLK Day-related events? Arizona has a peculiar history with the holiday and was actually punished by the NBA in the 1980s for not embracing it. "On the same day the recall drive was announced, [then-Governor Evan] Mecham, when told the NBA withdrew its annual meeting from Phoenix as a protest of the cancellation of King's birthday, responded, 'I guess they forgot how many white people they got coming to watch them play.'" I've heard of other NBA cities organizing events, just curious.

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