Teaching an old dog new tricks proved to be difficult.
The number-one offensive team for the past few seasons, with 110 ppg under Mike D and little regard for defense, showed in the win-loss column that the defensive philosophy of the Terry Porter regime was one of the worst thing to have happened to the Suns for a while.
In their first game back after the firing of Porter, the Suns put up 140 points, shooting over 75 percent from the field, and building a lead of 81-49 in the first half against the LA Clippers.
The final score of 140-100 shows just how much firepower the Suns process.
The second game on a back-to-back against the Clippers wasn’t that much different as the Suns outscored the Clippers again with a final score of 142-119 while shooting close to 60 percent for the entire game.
The Suns have scored 282 points in 2 days suggesting the pace of the offense is going to pick up dramatically racing to the finish.
With addition by subtraction, the Phoenix Suns may have gotten better with the firing of their head coach Terry Porter. Out goes the defensive mentality and philosophy, in comes the high-octane offence that we had come to love from the Suns for the past few seasons to be implemented by Alvin Gentry—who is the only coach remaining from Mike D'Antoni's staff.
Gentry already laid down the philosophy of how this team is going to play from now on, saying in a press conference a few days ago, “We are who we are and I think we have to go back to trying to establish a breakneck pace like we’ve had in the past,”
Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire worked with Gentry with the “seven-seconds-or-less” system in the D’Antoni era and the coach is also very popular with the Suns players. That should suggest chemistry and atmosphere shouldn’t be a problem for the Suns now.
Back in December 2008, when the Suns were struggling to adjust and losing games in the new system, when asked about his availability in year 2010, Stoudemire said, “Absolutely! You have to look at those opportunities because this is a business and you want to explore every option.”
With the running and gunning system back and Porter fired, the Stoudemire trade speculations seems to have cooled down a bit. He should want to stay in Phoenix as the centerpiece if the Suns are winning again. It was one year ago today when Phoenix was sitting at the top of the Western Conference before trading Shawn Marion away. Everything went downhill from there.
Amare will be a 26 and 10 guy again ith the extra touches. He looks much more comfortable running in the fast break offense than he is in the half court game set. Stoudemire will be able to do his flying and dunking routine instead of shooting that 15-foot jumper 90 percent of the time when he played under Terry Porter.
When the game needs to be slowed down, the "Big Shaq-tus" is still able to clog up the middle when the Suns need to slow the game down.
The Porter experiment orchestrated by Steve Kerr cost the Suns six million in salary and almost changed a playoff contender into a mediocre team entering rebuilding mode. With the players the Suns have, they should still be challenging for the Championship this year and possibly the next before Nash, Shaq, and Stoudemire’s contracts are up.
With the Suns sitting at the ninth spot in the Western Conference at this time by 13.5 games behind the mighty Lakers, the Suns will be looking to quickly get their swagger back.
Expect plenty more blow-out victories as the Suns race towards regaining a playoff spot until the end of the season.
At this time, it would be much more effective for this old dog to go back to do what they do best instead of teaching it some new tricks.