Yes, I blame Shaq. Well, not so much Shaq but the trade for Shaq.
I mean I agree that Shaq is playing well and getting better. But the insertation of that huge bolder in the pond is what's causing all these waves with everyone else.
Its the disruption of a system and style of play and cohesiveness on the court that had been built over several years. Suddendly they are starting from scratch with a mid-season pre-season.
And while Shaq is great on the boards and getting better on offense he is still and will always be a liability on defense b/c he simply can't move well enough to come out from the basket and cover the pick and roll or close out fast enough against the smaller faster front line shooter like Gasol and Boozer.
The Suns have traded one liability - low post D - for another.
Its about D. And specifically team D. Learning to play together again. Learning a new system. Coaching.
I do think that this team - if it can stay healthy as it ages - is very very good. A true contender. I just worry that there is enough time left, and enough defensive coaching talent and emphasis, to get it together in 6 weeks when the old pre-trade team had already figured it out.