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After not even playing in the season opener, Hakim Warrick has been one of the Suns' lone bright spots on offense.
Win against: New Orleans Hornets.
Losses against: New Orleans Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City Thunder.
And now we get to my favorite team, the lowly Phoenix Suns. I apologize in advance for being a bit long-winded, but I find there is a lot to discuss.
Welcome back to the cellar Suns fans—remember being here? Yeah, I tried to erase it from my memory also.
The Suns have been nothing short of pathetic on both defense and offense this season. Not only that, but even more unfortunately, as a fan, I have lost some faith in head coach Alvin Gentry.
It’s truly sad to say because Gentry has such an uninspired team to work with, but some of the decisions he’s made over the first few games have delivered head-scratching responses.
Gentry decided not to play Hakim Warrick in the season opener, despite Warrick leading the team in scoring during the preseason.
Instead, he’s been starting Channing Frye at power forward, whose shot has seemed to be lost in space for over a year now. Off the bench for Frye, Gentry turned to rookie Markieff Morris in the opener, who played surprisingly well in his rookie debut.
However, in crunch time of the season opener, when the Suns were down by one point to the New Orleans Hornets with four seconds left after Eric Gordon drained the eventual game-winning jumper, Gentry decided to stick with the inexperienced Morris. Morris caught the inbound pass on the final Suns’ possession, and promptly forced a pass to Steve Nash that simply wasn’t there, throwing the ball into the first row, dooming the Suns.
In game two of the season against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Suns were blown out in their own building, down at one juncture by the hair-raising score of 70-38. It was like watching your son or daughter in a YMCA game get smashed by a much more talented, more experienced team and having to cringe through the whole experience.
Gentry mixed up the rotation in this game, not only allowing Warrick to see court time, but 32 minutes of court time (scoring 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting). In the Suns' first win against the Hornets, Warrick led the team in scoring with 18 points. These performances came after Warrick failed to see a second of court time in game one. I thought this peculiar to say the least. Why didn’t Warrick play in game one?
It has been nothing short of perplexing to try and figure out players’ roles on this team. (Warrick doesn’t play at all in game one, and has 32 minutes in game two. Josh Childress played 18 minutes in the opener, and just six minutes in game two.)
It’s hard to blame Gentry for trying to figure out a rotation that will help this team compete, but everyone is at fault for just how bad this team has looked.
Bottom line: It’s time to trade Steve Nash (and possibly Grant Hill) to a contender.
It would be in their best interests in the short-term, and the team’s best interest in the long-term. What better time than a lockout-shortened season to tank and try to get a good draft pick? It’s less time the fans will have to endure watching a shoddy team, while gaining the positive of attaining a lottery pick.
Nash and Hill deserve better than playing on a bottom-of-the-barrel club in the NBA at the end of their careers.
In my opinion, it’s time for the Suns to rebuild, and has been ever since Amar’e Stoudemire left.
Only there’s one huge negative blocking this plan. The Suns decided to sign injury-prone shooting guard Michael Redd on Thursday, conceivably in an attempt to remain “competitive.” What a mess; the Suns are in so much denial about the state of their team at this point, it’s just plain sad. It bothers me that management could be this naïve.
All in all, this is a terrible sign for Suns fans who want the team to move in a different direction and accept that they are no longer a championship-caliber team, or even a playoff team.
It has been very depressing to watch this team early on in the season, but if they trade Nash to a contending team, the Suns have a very strong chance of “competing” for the No. 1 overall draft pick.