I'm tired of it...I don't want to hear the talk of offense being stagnant, I don't want to hear about how with a couple of moves this team "could" be good again. In fact I don't want to hear another word about how we are missing this or that or that it comes down to players not playing to potential. What it really comes down to for the Phoenix Suns so far this season is as simple as the basic ways to play the game of basketball.
The reason I don't buy the tale of lack of talent in Phoenix is because we are seeing that it can be done with less. Two teams in particular are "outperforming" by most standards. The Utah Jazz and the Philadelphia 76ers. These two teams have some of the least known lineups in basketball, both expected to do very little this season and yet the 76ers are second in points allowed behind only chicago and first in opponents field goal percentage. How could this be with a lineup of raw young talent and fading veterans. It simply comes down to defense. What Philly has managed to do is keep the teams it's played from feeling like a single shot will fall, consistently contesting jump shooters while hustling back to help in the paint making the teams utterly demoralized when they play against them. This is the key to a good defense, it has to be stifling, as a team they must put a symbolic lid on the rim so that when given open jump shots the player hesitates and misses.
If you look at what Phoenix, we started off doing exactly that...we lost a couple close games we could have won, but we were constantly causing havoc on the other teams moral by keeping them from getting to the hole and rotating out on their shooters so they felt like they never had any room to operate. Well in the past 6 games or so that has stopped completely. Gentry has consistently said in post game interviews that this can be blamed on the offense being stagnant and the shooting being porous. I call bull s@$% on this, because in the last 4 games we have been averaging over 95 points a game. Now while this is not the Phoenix Suns offense of old I think we can win games with that many points, regardless of the shooting percentage. If we look at Chicago's numbers they only average 95 points a game and still have managed to pick up the best record in the East, by locking down opponents and stifling their feeling of hope the Bulls make the other team beat themselves.
Utah also only averages 95 points a game and while they don't have the godly defensive numbers of Chicago they still keep teams to only 93 a game and that is what the Suns were managing in the early part of the season until we fell back on to old habits.
Last night we gave up an irresponsible 118 points to a Derrick Rose-less Bulls team, since he is the center of their offense this will be a loss that very few Suns players will be able to shake. Don't expect much to get better tonight, unless they remember what this team has to do to win games, and that is scrap...it...out!
I know it's not fun to watch the Suns play defense, I know that Steve Nash is accustomed to a fast pace, but if we want to be a winning team anytime in the next year we will have to embrace the way "winning" teams play. Go search Suns and defense on youtube and you will get a myriad of results titled things like, "Lebron tears through Suns defense", "destroys defense of Suns". It's officially embarrassing.