Last night's game was one of the must frustrating games that I’ve seen as a Suns fan and believe me, I’ve seen plenty.
We all knew that The New Suns were going to take some time to adjust and adapt to the new system. We all knew that there were going to be some games where we were going to feel this team was not going to make it to the playoffs and that the important thing was not to panic…However, I feel that Mr. Terry Porter needs to make some in-game adjustments to make sure he is using everyone the proper way.
Here are some suggestions from a fan:
1.Stop experimenting with lineups: I understand that you are trying to look for something to click offensively and defensively, you are moving your players to see which one plays better with whom but you can’t afford to do that against elite teams. Porter seems to have a different plan every game, different lineups and this could be confusing the players. Hard evidence to that is the amount of turnovers. Players are not expecting Nash to make a fast break pass anymore, they are expecting to walk the court and get positioned to execute the half court play. How many times did I see Nash push the ball and stop after realizing that he was alone in the fast break? There’s no rhythm on the offensive end and it could be because the players are not used to playing together and playing under a different system certainly doesn’t help.
2. Don’t just say you are going to run, do it!: Porter has said several times that he wants to run the ball on certain occasions, Hell, he said it last night also:
“We want to push it up and get to our spots quicker, we just want to execute quicker and give us a good shot earlier in the shot clock”
Really? Is that so? Because I didn’t see that last night. Not even when we were down by a bunch of points. All I saw was a team that was walking the ball without any type of desire to cut the lead. Dumping the ball in the post and standing around expecting Shaq to score.
Oh, but then he says stuff like these:
“The days of the fans thinking that it is going to be seven seconds or less are over, You just don’t have the personnel to do that”
Huh… Ok. Let’s see: Nash, Barbosa, Amare, Boris, Grant, Raja, Matt. I’d say you have enough to go small from time to time.
I don’t know if TP is hesitant to let Nash and the good guys play faster because he doesn’t want to resemble the suns former coach. Maybe he doesn’t want to get in trouble with the Boss. Who knows? But what he does have to understand is that most of our players play better when running and he might want to take that into consideration. After all, aren’t we suppose to be hybrids? The best of two worlds? Last night we had 0 points out of fast breaks. None.
3. The Point Guard issue: Steve Nash has made his career out of reacting instead of thinking. I think is safe to say that he doesn’t feel comfortable just dumping the ball in the Post and standing around. If Porter wants his PG to do this, he might as well start Goran and put Steve in when he wants to run or go small. It’s a waste of effort, he is useless in half court sets. If he is playing off the ball, he should shoot it. I haven’t seen any plays drawn for Nash, I’ve only seen
I’m glad to see Amaré and Shaq doing better, after all, both of them are getting a lot of touches. But if Porter is going to be as stubborn as D’Antoni (ironically, this time it’s not the defense but the offense) this team is not going anywhere. I’m all for the change, I’m all for the half court play and defense but all I’ve seen is the same -last year’s- defense with a worse offense.
I have to say that D’Antoni did a better job than Porter (at least for now) incorporating Shaq and half court plays and at the same time keeping a balance and allowing Nash to run and do what he does best.
Things can still get better, or worse. It’s only the 9th game of the season but last night’s game told me a lot about what to expect during the upcoming tough stretch.