This week the local papers let loose with a flurry of preseason tidbits giving some insights into Porter's thinking and how this new Suns team might look.
On Defense - Porter showed why he was Kerr's choice and clearly demonstrated a strategic alignment (that's an MBA term - look it up) between the front office personnel decisions and the coaches emphasis.
Great teams have a plan and they stick with it. The Suns plans have clearly changed as they look to go back to a more traditional style in keeping w/ the type of players Kerr and Porter were.
There's a lot here in what TP had to say in this article:
"Our defense will be better just because we're going to have different schemes," said Porter, who will have the Suns denying middle penetration, a change from previous seasons, when the Suns forced dribblers to the paint."
Forced dribblers in the paint? Not so sure about that at least in the pre-Shaq Suns. It was more like couldn't keep dribblers out of the paint and couldn't stop them when they got there.
"From an energy standpoint, we're going to be solid. Effort is going to be consistent. It really comes down to having more of a presence at the defensive end."
This has been a long time bone of contention for Suns fans. It seemed like after every lose we would hear about the "energy levels" and it came to be a joke around here. Perhaps some accountability and a bit more depth will do the trick helped along with the attention grabbing solar panels on the roof.
"I don't foresee scoring to be a problem going forward," Porter said. "Are we going to be scoring 115 a night? Probably not. I'd like to be a team that defends a lot better. That's going to be a focus of ours. And a team that scores in the 100s."
Gone are the days of "best defense is a great offense" and we can look forward to a team that understands the need to be able to hold teams now and again. Especially in the playoff's.
I have to say though the 'Antoni's high scoring system could have worked. He certainly got close with it. But in the end he was too stubborn to adjust. Maybe the Knicks will be his redemption.
"I'm more of a traditional type of guy about guys playing the same positions and traditional sets. I'll be running pretty basic NBA sets but just have different wrinkles than they've had in years past."
The Suns top 7 or 8 players are as good as any team. There's a lot of talent there and Amare is ready to carry a larger offensive load with the scoring less reliant on Nash's creativity.
Mostly though, what I hope this means is that Boris Diaw will never again play the center position.
There's a lot of talk also about Nash and his role. He admitted that he was overused last year...
Nash admitted he was worn out at the end of last season, more than he had been in past seasons. But rather than blaming age, he said it was a matter of circumstance.
"I handled the ball a lot, probably abnormally compared to other guards," he said. "It was a grind, and I was a little tired and yeah, there is a lot of mileage. But there was no time to rest. Either we were behind or adding Shaq (Shaquille O'Neal) or fighting to get into the playoffs or fighting for seeding ... it's tough.
The new plan now with Dragic is to play him 15 to 18 minutes and reduce Nash's work load down from his ~35 mpg average. As much as Suns fans might not want to accept it, there's really no other choice. Kerr rolled the dice with Dragic and he's going to give him a chance to play.
My hope is that while Dragic is going to take some time to develop he can step in immediately on defense and the Suns can sustain less Nash floor time by holding teams on one end and feeding the post on the other. It won't be as flashy but it's the right move for this team.
ed note: This is not the long anticipated season preview series. This is just random Saturday stuff. Stay tuned.