This year Amar'e Stoudemire decided he was going to test free agency, and although Suns fans still don’t want to accept the fact that Amar'e is gone from the Suns, it’s the reality.
Stoudemire is a Sun no more. Stoudemire now calls the New York Knicks his home. The Knicks were clearing up cap for quite some time for LeBron James. They weren’t able to land him, but Stoudemire isn’t too bad of a second prize for the Knicks.
With Amar'e gone from Phoenix, it leaves a huge void in the starting rotation that needs to be filled. Obviously the void of a max player is a hard one to fill, but in due time it can and will be.
Despite the fact that Amar'e is gone from Phoenix, Suns fans shouldn’t be ready to jump off a cliff yet. Looking at this Phoenix team, you still have some good players on the roster. There are Grant Hill, Jason Richardson, newly acquired Hedo Turkoglu, and, most importantly, Steve Nash.
Although Stoudemire does throw down the baskets, let’s not forget who dished out those incredible passes to him. Nash is without a doubt one of the best setup men in the NBA today. Nash’s passes are a thing of beauty as he certainly knows where and when to setup his teammates.
Nash’s amazing leadership abilities, his never quit attitude, and his passing skills make him one of the, if not THE, best point guard in the NBA today. Let’s not forget that it’s dangerous to leave Nash open because of his killer shot. Believe me, if you make the mistake of leaving him open in three point territory he will knock it down, not looking back for one second.
Nash averaged 17.8 PPG last season along with 3.30 RPG, 10.1 APG, and a + 21.38 EFF. Nash is a seven-time NBA All-Star and a two-time MVP. Not to mention he is clutch when his team needs him and doesn’t choke under the lights like some other players in the NBA. Throw in that Nash seems to get better with age instead of declining and you’ve got one hell of a superstar on your team.
As long as Phoenix has this guy leading the way for them, I think they could still make the playoffs this season.
Plus, Nash isn’t being left totally out to dry with Amar'e gone. Jason Richardson, who stands at 6′6" and is a two-time Slam Dunk Champion, could make a suitable replacement for Stoudemire. Now we’re not talking about the PF position, we’re talking about Stoudemire’s role with Nash.
You see this is the basics you got out of Nash and Amar'e. Nash draws all the attention on himself, leaving Amar'e wide open, dishes the great pass to Amar'e as he goes up for the dunk, nails the jumper or whatever. Richardson could easily take that role upon himself and be the go to guy for Steve Nash.
Let’s throw in that you have Robin Lopez who has shown potential to be a great center for the Phoenix Suns, Grant Hill who is a great all-around player, Hedo Türkoğlu who could start as a PF for the club rather than SF and a great bench, and things are looking pretty good, wouldn’t you agree?
Now I know, this isn’t exactly like the NBA Western Conference Finalist Team we had last year, but it’s not exactly a team that should hide their faces in shame either.
So for all you Suns fans out there that are still crying over the loss of Amar'e and think our team is a shadow of its former self I’m telling you right now not to worry. Why? I’ll tell you why; because our team is actually in better shape than some of us may believe.
This article was originally posted on The Sports Dossier under the name "No Stoudemire, No Problem: Fans Should Not Worry About A Stoudemire-Less Phoenix Squad." Check out more great pieces from our talented staff of writers.
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