As a Southern California native and life long LA Lakers fan, I have to gloat over how badly the Phoenix Suns are playing lately. I just came home and turned on the TV to see that the Charlotte Bobcats are beating the Suns 74-46. That's right, the once high powered offensive juggernaut Phoenix Suns have 46 points half way through the 3rd quarter, and their porous defense has given up over 70 points already.
This is not the same Phoenix Suns team that has had relative success in the Western Conference over the last few years. Coach Mike D' Antoni.... gone. Shawn Marion.... gone. Their toughest defender, Raja Bell, was recently traded to the Bobcats along with Boris Diaw. This is a totally different team now. The acquisition of Shaquille O' Neal last year didn't really gel, but this year he is looking like their best player, despite missing some games.
The other night, wannabe star Amare Stoudemire had a career low game in both points and rebounds. I think he had 3 points. I know he's going to be a starter in the All Star Game, but I can't for the life of me understand why. Had he not left the bench when Robert Horry threw Steve Nash out of bounds, the Suns may well have gone to the NBA finals two years ago. Stoudemire started the year off pretty well.... what happened? I think Amare needs to take a more humble approach and lose the ego.
Let me break it down for you. Terry Porter is not head coaching material, and Steve Kerr should probably be fired for dismantling the team that was formerly one of the best in the West. Just like George W. Bush, all he had to do is not screw things up, but he did. When a manager comes in and feels that he must put his stamp on an already successful team, caution is advised... the result in this case is not pretty to watch.
Steve Nash and Grant Hill are playing well. On the other hand, the "Brazilian Blur", Leandro Barbosa has not gotten any better in the last two years. In fact, he may have gotten worse. Had he lived up to his potential they wouldn't have needed to trade for the malcontent Jason Richardson. Poor Suns fans. I would complain to the ownership if I were you. Steve Kerr has ruined your team. If they make the playoffs, they will surely be defeated by the Hornets, Lakers, Nuggets or Spurs. I don't even think they can handle Portland.
Then again, maybe this team is built for the playoffs. They had better hope so. The Suns appear so utterly dysfunctional right now that it's hard to imagine them making a run in the playoffs, but I suppose anything is possible. They look good on paper anyway.
Wow, as I finish typing this article, the score is now 90-56. The Charlotte Bobcats are not exactly one of the better teams in the NBA either. The Boston Celtics blew the Suns out by 30 points the other night too. The Suns had better take a long look in the mirror, do some soul searching, whatever. This team is looking much worse than the sum of its' parts.