After an amazing and unexpected run, the season of the red hot Phoenix Suns ended as they were defeated by the defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers. Time and time again, they have been subjected to attacks from critics saying they aren’t cut out to play in the Finals. And time and time again, they have proven them wrong.
After a season absent from the Playoffs, they came back the following season with hope, and hope they had. Reaching the West Finals yet again after beating the bothersome San Antonio Spurs who have eliminated them in the Playoffs for the last couple of years, they were this year’s underdogs, but Kobe had other plans finishing the series in six games. Not exactly the storybook ending us Phoenix Suns fans hoped for.
So exactly what’s next for the Phoenix Suns?
One of this team’s top priorities is whether to have Amar’e in their line-up for another run to next year’s NBA Finals. This, without a doubt, will change the future of the Suns dramatically for the years to come, be it good or bad.
This five-time NBA All-Star, nicknamed STAT (Standing Tall and Talented) has made the Phoenix Suns a Playoff contender ever since he was drafted straight out of high school back in 2003. During that same year, he won the Rookie of the Year award over Yao Ming. Since his rookie year, his game improved, offensively and defensively with his rim-rocking, backboard shattering dunks and his heart-pumping blocks. And with the addition of the two-time Most Valuable Player to the Phoenix Suns’ roster, Steve Nash, they became one of the league’s best one-two punch executing the pick-and-roll to perfection.
Amar’e is truly athletic, but why take him out of the team?
Ever since the Phoenix Suns acquired Amar’e Stoudemire, the Phoenix Suns reached the NBA Playoffs five out of eight seasons (disregarding the 2005-2006 season since he was out with a knee injury). Being a fast-paced, run-n-gun team worked wonders for the Phoenix Suns to most opponents, but not all.
Yes, they were the highest scoring team at some point, but all that steam eventually ran out. The Phoenix Suns, a team that concentrated more on improving and perfecting their offensive arsenal, disregarded defence. Aside from scoring the most points in the league, they also allowed the most points scored by an opponent. Their defence was one of the worst in the league, especially their inside game and Amar’e was one of the reasons.
Amar’e concentrated more on his offence rather than his defence. Sure, he maybe averaging 9+ rebounds and a block per game, but when the game is on the line, those numbers won’t matter.
Which brings me to his offence.
No doubt, he is very athletic, able to jump very high and dunk over taller defenders averaging 20 points per game in his career. But in reality, most of those points came from Steve Nash. Most of those points came from that flawless pick-and-roll Nash and Amar’e play day in and day out. Without it, he’s pretty much useless. Okay, so maybe he has that mid-ranged shot he’s been working on. Do you really expect him to do that for 48 minutes every single game? I don’t think so!
Another point is that the Suns desperately need a “go-to guy.” Every team needs one. The Suns have one, but he needs that pick-and-roll to be one. Steve Nash’s shooting ability is remarkable, but he can’t be that “go-to guy” because he’d rather pass the ball and make everybody look good rather than score. So the team has to go with Amar’e to be the “go-to guy” who’s pretty much inconsistent with regards to his in-game performance. He’ll dunk over opponents early in the game. But during crunch time, he will most likely end up choking. Amar’e is no “go-to guy.”
Don’t get me wrong, I respect Amar’e. He truly lives up to his nickname, STAT, but if he or the Phoenix Suns want to win a championship, Amar’e has to find a more suitable team that will make use of his unique talent rather than rot in a champion-less team. The Phoenix Suns have yet to reach the NBA Finals ever since Nash came into their lives, falling short in the West Finals. If they ever want to win that glorified, prestigious championship, something has to change.