Please, let us not blame the 36 year old Shaquille O'Neal or the trade that was effectuated for the athletic, high-skiing player Shawn Marion. “The Big Cactus," did his part in the playoffs. Coach Mike D' Antoni is also not to blame “He can't go out and play for them." Amare Stoudemire wasn't at the top of his game. Nevertheless, the responsibility of losing to the champs doesn't fall on his shoulders.
The quintessential factor, not just in this series but huge in all regular and playoff games, is the point guard, and the way he leads his team on the court. Floor general in Steve Nash—I think not!
The same reason why Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks went tumbling down (Josh Howard was also a factor), and the main reason the Phoenix Suns just couldn't keep up with the reigning Champions, again.
You can say all you want about his passing skills (best in the league) and shooting beyond the ark ability down the stretch. However, the South African born player was needed more on the defensive end of the court and was needed in that aspect for the past four years.
The constant pick and rolls, tear-drops and ankle-breaking maneuvers had Steve "Nasty," not so nasty. Its unfortunate the two-time MVP and quite possibly the highest basketball IQ in the league is not capable of finding a solution to marking the French-man.
The result of this is the Suns drooling over a T.V set for the remainder of the playoffs, focusing on the remarkable man-handling ways of Tony Parker who will proceed to have his way with every floor general in the league, including rising star, Chris Paul.
We must forget Shawn Marion—that team was just not working! And focus on a trade that happened years ago.
The Arkansas-native Joe Johnson and his move to the Atlanta Hawks, may have been one of the biggest mistakes the Suns committed. The star-player was averaging 18 points before heading to the Atlanta Hawks and was becoming a force for the Suns in the playoffs.
The big man with incredible ball-control skills, alongside a killer shot is leading, right this instance, the Hawks to maybe the biggest upset in Basketball history. He is also a tall shooting guard with strength and could of brought a more intimidating presence to the Phoenix Suns.
What do the Suns do now?
Well, one of the three Texas power houses must acquire some bench support and find a more reliable, head-smart player to replace Raja Bell and have him as a force coming off the bench. Younger legs are also needed for the aging Suns who have the talent, but, evidently lack the potential.