Phoenix Suns: Shaq Wasn't Missing Piece in Playoff Puzzle

Andre EllisContributor IApril 30, 2008

Where to start? Oh, I know, let's talk about the Shaquille O'Neal trade for the millionth time.

Oh wait...that might be a has been overanalyzed and nobody wants to talk or hear (or write) about it anymore. So this short blurb is about the Shaq and Shawn Marion trade.

The only problem I have with the trade is a big problem! We (yes, I've been a Suns fan for seven years now) only got Shaq because of the need for a big man who could clog up the post come playoff time.

Well, playoff time came and went (booted in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs, 4-1) and I don't see how Shaq was a better piece to the championship puzzle than Shawn Marion.

Here's a couple of stats for you "prove it to me" people. Shaq has a career playoff average of 25.2 ppg with 12.1 rbg and 2.2 blocks per game. With the Suns, he averaged 15.2 ppg with 9.2 rbg and 1.5 blocks per game.

Hmmm...seems like trading for a no-longer-dominating, washed-up center wasn't a good idea after all. But the best part of his playoff run with us was the 44 percent field goal percentage, when he averages 58 percent in the playoffs.

Now, onto Shawn Marion (keep in mind he plays power forward but he is only 6'7").

His career playoff averages are 17.1 ppg with 10.9 rbg and 1.7 blocks per game. During the 2006 playoffs, in which the Suns lost to the Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, Marion averaged 20.4 ppg with 11.7 rbg and 1.1 blocks per game.

He has insane jumping abilities and is very versatile on offense and on defense. (Yeah, I know the Suns don't play defense…but hey, we always have a good season.)

With Marion, we reached the conference finals every year since the 2005 playoffs. When we trade him away for the "key" to a championship, we almost get swept by the old and decrepit San Antonio Spurs!

Marion wasn't the problem. We should've gotten someone to compliment Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion so that they could play their natural positions.

Amare had his best season this year at his natural position of power forward.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, the next move for the Suns should be to trade Grant Hill and Shaquille O'Neal for Byron Scott—or another coach who knows how to utilize a team with more talent than any other team in the NBA.