Sunday, June 1, 2008

Phoenix Suns: Rising from the Ashes

I might sound a little biased here so bear with me. I am a huge Phoenix Suns fan ever since Steve Nash came to the franchise. No, I take that back. I am a huge Steve Nash fan. And like many other Suns fans out there, my heart broke when they got eliminated by the Spurs – again.

And what hurts me even more is that Nash is aging, Hill is aging, and Shaq is aging. The possibility of getting that championship is diminishing slightly as time passes by. Another heartbreaking update is that Suns GM Steve Kerr plans to replace Mike D’Antoni as head coach. It was D’Antoni’s suggestion to get Nash to spearhead the ‘run-and-gun’ offensive the Suns are known for. It is the kind of game Nash blends in so perfectly that he can make his teammates into instant scorers.

Nash, Hill, and Shaq admit that the hill is now going down for them. As the 2008 NBA Season is now over, all they have to do is make some adjustments. The Phoenix Suns has one of the league’s most talented lineups; the key is to exploit every last one of them.

As usual, Nash will lead the group but a backup point guard must be groomed to take his place when he’s off the court. D.J Strawberry must be toughened for this role. Leandro Barbosa is good at the point but he is more effective as a shooting guard rather than calling the shots.

Brian Skinner should be given more minutes and more experience if he is to replace Shaq when the superstar center is on the bench. Skinner has the body, the build, and the power. He just needs some refining.

Sean Marks is also a good candidate to back both Shaq and Amare. The management should consider further improvements in Mark’s game. He should be made lethal!

Here’s my Phoenix Suns fantasy lineup, all improved including backups:

PG Steve Nash / D.J. Strawberry

SG Leandro Barbosa / Raja Bell or Gordon Giricek

C Shaquille O’Neal / Brian Skinner or Sean Marks

SF Boris Diaw / Grant Hill

PF Amare Stoudamire / Sean Marks

Here’ my Phoenix Suns powerhouse lineup

PG Steve Nash

SG Leandro Barbosa

C Shaquille O’Neal

SF Sean Marks

PF Amare Stoudamire