Sunday, December 2, 2007

Will the Suns Keep Shining?

This entry may seem a bit out of place because it’s about sports…but one thing that I love besides fashion, media, technology and pop culture is basketball – but not just any basketball, Phoenix Suns Basketball! (I’m also a devoted University of Arizona Wildcats fan, but that’s a story for another day.)

I just got home from the Phoenix Suns vs. New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and it got me thinking – has all this media frenzy in recent seasons around The Phoenix Suns’ “amazing collection of talent”, “innovative playing strategies” and predictions to FINALLY take home the championship this season be detrimental to the overall success of the team? Let me explain a bit about each of these characteristics before I explain my concerns...

Amazing Collection of Talent: sure, the players play like a real team should – they feed off of each other’s strengths and don’t allow just one player to carry the team unless it’s absolutely necessary. They try to stay out of fights (again, unless absolutely necessary like Raja Bell’s clothesline on Kobe Bryant in the May 2006 game against the LA Lakers.) Above all, the team functions with all the ups and downs of a family…but mostly, it helps that the team is composed of players who possess the most diverse playing skills in the league – Steve Nash, Raja Bell, Leandro Barbosa, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Boris Diaw and as if that wasn’t enough, we now have Grant Hill, as well! What a talented (and gorgeous) team!
Innovative Playing Strategies: “:07 Seconds or Less” – need I say more? This is a great book by Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum about his experience shadowing the Suns for a whole season. Wouldn’t that be incredible? What I wouldn’t give to see my Suns day in, day out for a whole season! Ok, back to my point, for those of you haven’t read the book, have you ever wondered why most Phoenix Suns games seem to be more fast-paced and higher scoring than most NBA games? Well, this is why – the Suns believe that it only takes :07 seconds to set-up and take a shot. So if the shot clock is set to :24 seconds, why not try your shot in the first :07 seconds rather than waste the first :17 seconds with the potential to miss? Sure, there are some requirements for this strategy to work: 1) The Suns must maintain a high shooting average, 2) they must be very good at rebounding their own missed shots and 3) this strategy works best if the opposing team is a relatively low shooting average (otherwise, there would be more time freed up for the other team to take extra shots).

So that’s the great stuff…then why am I afraid for the Suns this season as are many basketball analysts? I was at the game tonight and the Suns won 115-104, but they actually struggled against the Knicks in the second and third quarters. There should have been NO struggle. There was expected to be NO struggle! Seems that there’s been something wrong with the team chemistry lately. They need learn to leave personal issues off the court and just support each other – without going overboard like jumping off the bench when a cheap shot is called on the team MVP! Also, since both Marion and Stoudemire will be sharing the spotlight this season, Marion needs to get over his petty jealousy issues and hug it out with Stoudemire. Either that or he’s got to go (and I hope it doesn’t have to come to that). They can’t rely on Steve Nash to be the team's band-aid for yet another season - he has more important things to focus on, like continuing to play like the MVP that he is!

While I'm on the subject... I'd like to send my love out to my original Suns: Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle and Charles Barkley!


Coolguy55220 said...

Biggest problem with the suns is their defense. The high tempo offense is very explosive but they allow a lot of points. In the playoffs, they have to go up against the spurs who happen to be the suns kryptonite.
The spurs play very good defense, and they play physical, which knocks the suns out off their high tempo game. And spurs also slow the game down on offense, they use most of the 24 sec clock.
With all that said, i think suns should have won last year if it wasnt for the bad officiating and suspension of amare for a rule that duncan also violated but did not get suspended for.
This year, i'd like to see Suns vs Bulls/Celtics
Didnt know you were a big suns fan though!

Miss Hollyhood said...

Hmmm, Talent vs. Gorgeous...Why do you like them again?