The Los Angeles Lakers are considered, by most realistic sports followers, the best basketball team in the National Basketball Association. Right now, there is one other team, in the Lakers' own division, that is outplaying them... The Phoenix Suns. With a 14-3 record right now, the Suns have put together a family of talent that hasn't been stopped so far this season.
The injury-proned roster Phoenix had a year ago has disappeared for now. Amar'e Stoudemire is healthy again after suffering an eye injury, forcing surgery. With that loss in the post in the '08-09 season, they were absent from the playoffs. Shaquille O'Neal was somewhat there to take up Stoudemire's "hole", you might say. But what did Shaq actually do? Nothing. Shaq didn't do squat, except draw some crowds early in the season at US Airways Center in Phoenix.
Phoenix traded a key player in Raja Bell. Bell came off the bench as a sixth man, helping Leandro Barbosa and Steve Nash put points on the scoreboard, and put immense pressure on his opposition with about a steal per game.
The Suns are undefeated (6-0) at home; the Grizzly mascot obviously strikes daggers of fear into the heart of the other team. At home, the Suns are scoring close to 110 points. Grant Hill steps up his play with 13 points a game and 7 boards. But, of course, after all, home court advantage, wherever you may be, is tough to beat. Just look at the Cleveland Cavaliers last season: 44-1 over the course of the regular season. The present Suns are better talent-wise than last year's Cavs, so it's possible for an undefeated season at home.
People around my campus still think Shaq had some "stuff" to finish in Phoenix. What, though? Like I mentioned earlier, he did nothing. He always talks a big game, and he wanted to make a run in the playoffs (yeah, right!), but failed to even become a number 8 seed in the Western Conference. He hurt the Suns' organization until his farewell just after last season's closing. He now wants to "help" LeBron get that ring that so many people thought was a given last season.... HA!
In the upcoming future, look for Steve Nash to continue his destiny to another MVP-caliber season and lead the Suns into the second round of the playoffs. He's 34 years old, and he's putting up 17 points a night and a dozen assists.
Nothing, in the history of the universe, has found a way to stop the Sun without getting burned. What makes this any different on the court?
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