It's been hard to put a finger on it, and these past two losses definitely don't prove anything good, but it is becoming more and more apparent that they are starting to find a grove. Now if you asked the team they would say the opposite, a loss against the Warriors where we lead most of the game, and a loss to a short handed Denver team might indicate a lack of talent in our team. However I think over the past 9 games or so we have recovered a few pieces we were missing at the beginning. Channing Frye has found his shot and gotten a bit better on defense, Michael Redd is starting to find his legs and his shot is falling, Grant Hill has found his consistency which is invaluable to our team and Steve Nash has decided that he is a veteran in a rookies body. So, why then have the wins not begun to flow?
First off lets talk about Michael Redd, the man has been producing off the bench consistently and over the past 7 games has averaged almost 13 points a game. There is something to say about his starts though, in the 2 games he has started he puts up numbers, registering 17 and 20 points respectively. Given that this is being done in less than 25 minutes a game we should be overwhelmingly happy that he is rounding out to old form.
Thank you Aaron Nelson...keep giving him whatever magic juice you got!
Channing Frye has been one of the more infuriating players on our team to watch. He started off the season like he had never held a basketball, let alone seen a basketball court, but luckily like he always does, he found his stroke and now it looks prettier then ever. The past 6 games have shown an improved, even from last year, Channing Frye. Putting up 5 straight games of double figures, and in the 6th game he only didn't get there cause he shot 4 shots total sinking 3 of them. We all know that Channing Frye playing well means the Suns play well.
I don't think we have to delve into Steve Nash or Grant Hill because, lets be honest...we all knew they would play this well. Okay, I do have one thing to say about Steve Nash, people need to stop saying he isn't the best point guard in the league...his numbers prove it so give him another damn MVP. Really he is the only reason this team scores any points.
Okay lets get down to the problem...why do we keep losing games we can win? I hate to keep hammering this home, but the Suns have stopped playing the excellent defense they started early in the season. Now we don't have to be the defense only team like Miami or Chicago to win, but with this talent level we have to be able to keep a team to 90 points. Our defense has once again fallen down to 21st in the league when our offense is only 19th in the league. You just can't win that way. So either the Suns have to become an offensive powerhouse overnight or the team has to get more offensive boards, blocks, steals, and basic stops. With the talent that we currently have on this team I think the only real option is to play defense, we have the size, we have good rebounders, and we have long armed quick footed players like Grant Hill, Jared Dudley, and Josh Childress to clog lanes and get back out to shooters.
The one thing I think we can do offensively to take the load off of players like Chilly and Dudley to score would be to finally buy into Michael Redd, giving him the ball to lead the offense. So far when Gentry has done this we have seen his ability to score almost at will and when he gets double teamed that leaves another person wide open for a three or a big to drop it down to for an easy dunk. This is why the Lakers have Kobe, why the Celtics have Pierce, why the bulls have Rose, why the Spurs have Ginobli. Talented teams almost always have a go to scorer and Micheal Redd is starting to show, and I say only starting to cause he has more to prove, that he can be just that a clutch go to scorer and he will only get better as time goes on.