Monday, October 6, 2008

The Age and The Bench

In all reality, the Phoenix Suns is a playoff material, but with the age factor looming over some of its key players, winning that title will be a long shot. With three role players playing more than 12 seasons and aging above 32, Grant Hill (36), Shaquille O’Neal (36) and Steve Nash (34), the Phoenix Suns need to train some fresh legs soon. Or better yet, get some potential individuals who can bring something to the table.

The Suns, under Mike D’Antoni, heavily relied on their starters to make things happen. Now that age is really becoming a definitive element on their play, the bench will have to step up. But then, that’s the problem. The Suns’ bench ain’t that deep.

While the trio of Shaq, Nash, and Amare Stoudamire is slated to become a beast, one must note that two of them are old. And the youngest of the three is plagues by injuries in the past seasons. If these 3 persons come out healthy, no doubt that the Suns will go blazing the floor. However, with Amare’s recent eye mishap, they need to fill in the void fast.

But is there a power forward who can do such feat? Or at least score and defend? At this point, Nada. Of course, Hill can take Amare’s spot, but then, he will playing out of his natural position. The center slot is also a problem should Shaq needs to be replaced. But who is there to replace him? Again, nada. Robin Lopez is an option but not a liable one. He might evolve to be a key player in the future. But not this season.

If the fates play it as Steve Kerr wants it, Goran Dragic can relieve Nash at the point guard position. An able scorer, Dragic has the potential to become a pivotal force for the Suns. But still, he is not yet ripe for this season.

Clearly, the only bench players with solid game coming out for the Suns are Leandro Barbosa and Grant Hill. Matt Barnes is also a great addition to the bench, but that only makes three of them.