The Phoenix Suns were exposed as a mediocre team without Steve Nash once again.
Playing without their two-time MVP, the Phoenix Suns proved that they cannot when he doesn't play. Nash, who dressed for the game against Miami, decided before tip-off that he couldn't go because of a bruised thigh.
The suns, who have been plagued by turnovers all season, played poorly for most of the night. They seemed like a team that was searching for direction without number 13. Whenever Phoenix got close, they would turn the ball over and lose momentum.
Shaquille O'neal and Amare Stoudemire were held in check for most of the night by a smothering Miami Heat defense. The guards were unable to feed Shaq or have any flow on offense. O'neal finished with 12 points and nine rebounds while Stoudemire had 14 and six.
Leandro Barbosa tried to help with 20 points off the bench, but to no avail. The final score was 107-92 in favor of the Heat.
So, after all the coaching and personnel changes in the last couple of years, the Suns are still missing a real backup at point guard. Although Steve Kerr may have meant well, it's looking like he may have destroyed a real contender in the Western conference.
He ran off a coach who averaged 58 wins a year and had the perfect system for Steve Nash. The suns are still scoring about a hundred per night but, but they are not the offensive machine that they were. The defense has improved but it may not matter if the suns can't score without Nash on the floor.
I predict that Terry Porter will push Nash into an early retirement because of the style of play that he wants. That would be a real shame because Mike D'Antoni revitalized the whole league with the Run and Gun Suns.
If not for some bad breaks in the playoffs, D'Antoni may have silenced the naysayers who said you can't win with a running style of basketball. Now, we may never know.