Suns-Spurs: Steve Nash's Weaknesses Amplified Without Shawn Marion

Ralph isaacAnalyst IApril 25, 2008

What was Shawn Marion's main reason for demanding to be traded? The Suns organization, from management down to the players, didn't appreciate him enough.

This was illustrated when Amare Stoudemire phoned his owner saying that he wanted Shaq in a Suns uniform. Nash, who benefited the most from Shawn's presence, approved the trade.

This is the same Shawn Marion who helped Nash gain his second MVP trophy and reach the Western Conference Finals when Stoudemire was out for the whole season that year with knee injury.

Whenever there was trade talk, Shawn Marion was the first one to be shopped around. Why? because Suns brass valued Stoudemire's talent more than they valued Shawn's all-around game.

Phoenix was dumb not to shop Stoudemire more aggressively in the summer to get a Top Five lottery pick so they could trade for Kevin Garnett.

With Garnett, the Suns would have had a three- to four-year window to win the championship.

But what did the Suns do? They traded Kurt Thomas so they could save money. To make matters worse, they traded two first-round picks along with him. 

Here comes Steve Kerr, the new general manager/fanboy to save the day. What did he do to improve the Suns? He traded Shawn Marion, the Suns best defender, for 35-year-old Shaquille O'Neal. That's a move only a fan would make.

Take a page out of the Lakers' book. They were badly in need of a big man, so they signed Mbenga instead of the more well-known Webber, who flamed out badly in Golden State. 

You think Suns couldn't have gotten a better big man than Shaq for Marion? 

My guess is, Mike D'Antoni reluctantly agreed to the O'Neal trade. Shouldn't Steve Kerr have known better than anyone that Shaq is one of the worst pick-and-roll defenders in the league? Why would you couple him with Stoudemire, who's equally as bad?

Also, with Marion gone, Nash's defense would be exposed. Isn't that a disaster waiting to happen?

This is exactly how the Spurs are beating the Suns: pick-and-rolls, Hack a Shaq, and Parker going through Nash like a knife through butter. 

P.S: Notice I didn't even mention Ginobili.

I wonder if Shawn Marion is somewhere down in Miami right now, with his shades on, with a big grin on his face, saying, "I told you so!"