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| HOME |2008.03.06 Thu
This team is depressing
We lost again. What can I say? We officially suck.
I've been hating the Shaq trade, not that I hate Shaq, I had never hate the big guy, it was simply a bad trade at the worse possible timing. You can preach about being versatile all you want, but in reality it is inconsequential. "The versatiel model" isn't the problem. If the Suns want to play more than one type of game, that's great. But they have gone about all wrong. It is as simple as saying"Slow it down with Shaq, run without Shaq." And unfortunately, the Suns were foolish enough to think it would be that simple. It is like they sat around the table and just uttered "SHAQ BIG! SHAQ BIG! SHAQ HAS CHAMPIONSHIP! WE WIN CHAMPIONSHIP!"
Again, I hate the Shaq trade, but it is still early. You have to give it the rest of the season before declaring it a success/failure. BUT, I'm afraid that time is not the luxury we have right now in the very tight Western Conference. At this rate, if we lost to the Jazz on Friday and then the Spurs on Sunday, we could be out of the playoff picture! And if we play like we did tonight the next two games, we're
As much as I hate the trade, the problem now isn't on him. He's been playing well and doing all the right things. You can't blame the guy just because he makes you a different team and it's his teammates and coach aren't adjusting. It's like the original guys (Nash, Raja, Diaw, LB) are VERY VERY confused. I don't know if it's because they have never had to really play defense because the offense always seemed to bail them out or if they're really just terrible at defense, or possibly a combination of the two.
I don't think Shaq slows down our run-and gun game. And even with Shawn, the 7 second or less baskets are hard to come by unless it's a steal or turnover that leads to easy baskets thanks to Shawn. The key for running game is to have younger, quicker players at the one, two and three positions, not the PF, and NOT the center. When the Showtime Lakers fast-break, most of the points are generated by the guards (Magic, Scott..) and the SF. It's rare to see the AC Green or Rambis to finish on the break. And Amare is faster than Green, Rambis or Thompson.
I think...keep Shaq in the starting lineup and hope for getting a balance with Shaq where we slow the game down with him, and really push the pace when he's not on the floor. The ball needs to spread around. We've come to rely too much on Nash finding/creating open shots and I really believe it's on Mike at this point. We have guys capable of making plays without needing Nash to set them up. We need to really mix it up and run some plays, rather than just rely on pick and rolls. We have Shaq in the low post, we have Hill, we have Amare to play high-low. Don't kill Nash for 40 minutes dribbling around like a mad man trying to create everything while others just standing and watching. There's no movement, and the spacing sucks, defenses can scheme to stop Nash all the time now because of it. Heck, even let Hill and Amare play the pick and roll just give teams a different look.
IMO, the key for us is: we need to swing the ball around. Let other guys make some plays. Let them feed Shaq, re-balance the floor and try and make the defense really work and move. We used to be great at it but since the trade we completely went away from it it seems. We were always great at spreading the ball, not just Nash creating everything. Nash would start alot of things, but everybody was moving, passing and cutting. We can still do it with Shaq, sure the spacing and angles are different, hopefully they can figure it out soon.
The defense ...I don't know, we're really lacking it right now. We should first stop showing on the pick and roll. That should be a good start...Shaq never liked showing on the pick and roll anyway and even though he made an attempt to the past few games he wasn't showing all the way which is even worse. Either show or don't show, but don't get caught in no mans land where you're not turning the guard back or defending the basket. It is a commintment to whatever it is you are going to do. If you double team, then double team hard and the rotations for the other guys have to be there. If you are only going to show, show hard, but get out quick and let the guard recover and know what you are going to do ahead of time and communicate with each other. I definitely saw some improvement in that area last night against Portland, with Shaq and Amare both and there is still some room to improve more.
Ugh...it is times like these that I remember it is just a game and in the end, there are many things more important for me to be concerned with. I wish I don't care so I won't be so sad about it.
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