Suns News: Failure in Phoenix

Brandon SheehyAnalyst IMarch 16, 2008

I thought that the Suns put themselves into a hole ever since they traded for Shaq. Not only is he on a steep decline in his career, but he doesn't have a lot of Diesel Gas left in the tank. The Suns high-tempo style of play is just too much for Shaq to handle. His career average of 25.4 points a game has dropped to 10.9 for the Suns. In his last year at Los Angeles, he averaged 36.8 minutes a game. This season for the Suns, he is only averaging 27.5 minutes.

The good thing, though is that for the last three seasons, he has averaged 9.2, 7.4, and 7.8 rebounds per game, respectively. This year, however, he is averaging 10.2 for the Suns. That's about all of the good that I found.

While they are currently on a 4 game winning streak, it doesn't impress me much. Beating the Spurs by 7 was impressive. He scored 14 points in that game. When they whooped Memphis, though, Shaq only shot once. Beating Golden State by 8 was okay, but Shaq only shot 5 times, and had no offensive rebounds. I am also not stunned by them beating the below .500 Kings. Although Shaq was 6-6 with 8 rebounds, it WAS the Kings.

Since acquiring Shaq, the Suns are 10-8. That is much worse than what they previously had, which was 34-13. The Heat, however, didn't do much to support their future, by getting 29 year-old Shawn Marion, who is only younger than 3 other Heat players. But that's a whole different column.

The Suns average age per player is now about 29.57, whereas Western Conference leader Los Angeles Lakers average age is 25.92. The Suns need to win it all fast, and the Shaq trade may have ruined their chances for that.

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--Brandon Heshee